For the past year, Samsung has been the target of hundreds of jokes regarding its exploding Galaxy Note 7 smartphone. The company made an earnest apology when releasing the Galaxy S8 earlier this year but doubled down on their message of consumer safety and satisfaction before the launch of the highly anticipated Samsung Galaxy Note 8. With the past troubles behind, the Note 8 was launched with a few new tricks up its sleeves and a very premium price tag.
The Galaxy Note 8 shares its DNA with the Galaxy S8 from earlier this year. The two Samsung phones have adopted a design language where a wide aspect ratio display becomes the center of attention for passersby. Combine the thin, near invisible bezels with a curved screen and the ever so underrated S Pen and you have a recipe that Samsung fans have been starving for. The overall design has changed slightly from the Galaxy S8. The corners of the phone are more square now and the curvature of the display has been reduced in order to increase the total surface area on which the S Pen can be used.
Another design change and perhaps one of the most notable additions to the new smartphone is the presence of dual cameras on the back of the Note 8. Both cameras are 12MP and feature Optical Image Stabilization (OIS) which is an industry first for dual cameras. One camera has a f/1.7 aperture while the second camera has a 2X telephoto lens with a f/2.4 aperture. This lens setup is similar to that of the iPhone 7 which is disappointing in a sense. Other companies like LG, Huawei and Essential have demonstrated that two camera sensors can be used in much more creative ways than to just punch into a picture by 2X. Huawei uses a monochrome sensor with an RGB sensor together in order to capture more light and detail in their photos. Additionally, the monochrome sensor can be used independently to capture stunning black and white photos. LG on the flip side added a super wide angle lens to the second camera to achieve a unique point of view that allows the capture of some extraordinary landscapes and close up shots. Most naysayers of the 2X zoom lens always argue that it is simply inadequate. If one really needs to zoom into a subject it is usually by a factor of 3,4 or higher. Like Apple, Samsung’s Galaxy Note 8 has a software feature that uses both lenses to blur out the background. Samsung has taken this one step further by allowing users to adjust the degree of blur and to also change it after a photo is taken. Adjacent to the cameras is the fingerprint scanner. This placement has proven to be problematic for most users and the added size of the Note 8 does not help either.
The internals of the Samsung Galaxy Note 8 are very similar to that of the Galaxy S8. We have a Qualcomm Snapdragon 835 processor, 64GB of built in storage and 6GB of RAM. The battery is 3,300mAh which has some critics worried as the S8+ with its larger 3,500mAh battery had less than stellar battery life. The microSD card slot makes a return and so does the 3.5mm headphone jack. The Note 8 supports wireless charging, has IP68 dust and water resistance, USB Type C, Samsung Pay and runs on Android 7.1.1 Nougat.
The Samsung Galaxy Note 8 has all the hallmark features of a 2017 flagship and so it should be on everyone’s radar. The phone will cost $1000 (expect to pay approximately BDT 90,000 when launched in Bangladesh) and will be available in blue, black, grey and gold colours. The price is very very steep when compared to the rest of the competition but Samsung is hoping to reel in customers with the beautiful 6.3-inch display, the S Pen and the best brand loyalty of any Android manufacturer.
- 6.3-inch Quad HD+ (2960×1440) Super AMOLED
- US: Qualcomm Snapdragon 835
- International: Samsung Exynos Octa core
- 64GB (US) / 128GB / 256GB
- microSD expansion
- Back: Dual 12MP cameras with OIS. Wide-angle f/1.7, telephoto f/2.4
- Front: 8MP f/1.7
- Android 7.1.1 Nougat
- IP68 water and dust resistant
- Wireless charging
- NFC and MST for Samsung Pay
- USB Type-C
- 3.5mm headphone jack
- Bluetooth 5.0
- LTE Cat. 16
- Wi-Fi: 802.11a/b/g/n/ac