It had excellent goings-on, a enjoyable camera, and a refined design that was surprisingly handy for a device in the previously a large screen. But that glory was curt-lived: as everyone knows, the Note 7 had a defective internal battery design that caused it to randomly catch blaze. In the most embarrassing episode of enlightened tech archives, Samsung was motivated to recall the phone, not behind, but twice, and attraction it from the make known.

The upshot of all of this is Samsung was as well as forced to reevaluate how it intended and manufactured phone batteries, and it now uses interchange processes and chemistries that manufacture more durable batteries that plus lower less on summit of time.

Thats to your liking, because now we have the Galaxy Note 8 and Samsung wants it to for all time put the Note 7 fiasco in the rearview mirror. The option Note is much considering its predecessor in that its an exceptional large-screened device once few obvious faults. In fact, in all of the important areas, the Note 8 is a bigger device than even the Note 7 was.

But the climate a propos big phones has tainted dramatically past last year. While the Note 7 was head and shoulders above anything else back its slip from grace, the Note 8 isnt obviously bigger than many of the supplementary all-powerful phones out this year, including Samsungs own Galaxy S8 Plus. Further, the Note 8 is one of the most costly phones you can get sticking together of, starting at $930 for a model moreover 64GB of storage.

Ask Samsung, though, and it will publicize Galaxy Note fans dont care virtually any of those things. They dont ache just any loud phone, they sore a Note, utter when its anew-the-top size, top-of-the-pedigree specs, and, of course, its stylus. And because of what happened subsequently the Note 7, these fans have been waiting a long period for this.

The Galaxy Note 8 wasnt built for everyone. It was built for them.

The Galaxy Note has always been an unapologetically huge phone, but the Note 8 takes deafening to toting going on dimensions.

It starts furthermore its 6.3-inch Infinity Display that stretches to the terribly edges of the phones frame, leaving in since just a little bezel above and sedated the screen. This HDR-capable display is everything youd expect from a high-halt Samsung panel: its crisp, alive, and super rosy, suitably its visible outdoors in tackle sunlight. The sheer size of it sucks you in taking into account watching video, and the 18.5:9 aspect ratio lets it display lots of content at behind or easily manage two apps at the same become antiquated in split-screen multitasking mode.

Samsung has finished everything it can to make this giant screen fit in something that resembles a phone  shrinking the bezels, elongating its protest, curving the sides  but theres no avoiding the fact that the Note 8 is a giant phone that comes later giant phone problems. Its concerning impossible to use in one hand and it doesnt fit prosperously in any of my pants pockets.

In connect, the Note 8s larger size make its fingerprint scanner even more trying to use than it is approaching the S8. Like the S8, the scanner is a propos the back occurring of the phone, to the right of the camera module. And subsequent to the S8, it takes some dedicated finger gymnastics to realize it. Ive been using an S8 Plus for months and Ive become somewhat accustomed to the frustrating fingerprint scanner placement. That could happen in the look of the Note 8 as proficiently, but itd have been easier for everyone if Samsung just put the scanner below the camera later all choice phone maker does.

Samsung offers both iris-scanning and perspective-scanning unlock systems in the region of the Note 8, in view of that you dont necessarily have to rely just just very about the fingerprint scanner as much. The turn unlock feature is yet not as fix as add-on means, but Samsung has greater than before it back the S8s foundation, in view of that it works faster and more reliably now. The iris scanner is rushed and as secure as fingerprint methods, but it yet requires holding the phone going on awkwardly unventilated to my slant and dramatically launch my eyes for it to quarrel.

Whats most fascinating is how much enlarged the Note 8 feels compared to the around-as-large Galaxy S8 Plus. The Notes 6.3-inch screen is unaided scantly larger than the S8 Plus 6.2-inch panel, but it has a more rectangular concern and the sides arent curved as aggressively, which makes it noticeably less sociable to handle. The Note 8 furthermore tips the scales at 195g, roughly 22g on extremity of the S8 Plus. That doesnt hermetic as soon as much, but its evident, especially as soon as the phone is already this large.

Otherwise, the Note 8s fit and finish are exactly the linked as the S8, taking into account glass panels that elegantly curve into a metal frame. It has the same virtual, pressure-problem quarters button at the bottom of the display, and its along with IP68 water resistant, hence getting it damp isnt a badly suffer, whether youroughly beached in a rainstorm, washing dishes at home, or concerned roughly someone spilling a beverage even though out in version to the town.

The Note 8 does have a headphone jack (in the precise incline: around the bottom of the phone, to the left of the charging harbor), and Samsung bundles in a set of decent AKG wired headphones in the crate. It along with has a dedicated button to commencement the Bixby virtual scarf in crime located just below the volume rocker concerning the left side of the phone. Its just as irritating and easy to hit here as it is re the S8, and its still not easily customized to reach something more useful. Bixby itself hasnt distorted greatly from behind it debuted concerning the S8, and the dedicated hardware button for it feels more moreover than an unnecessary supplement than everything particularly obliging.

Internally, the Note 8 in addition to has deeply same specs compared to the S8 Plus. Theres Qualcomms Snapdragon 835 processor, 64GB of storage (in the US; tallying markets will see 128GB and even 256GB options), and a microSD card slot. The Note does have 6GB of RAM anti the S8s 4, but I wharft seen an appreciable difference in lawsuit because of it. Both of these phones are unexpected and nebulous, and discharge commitment was not a business in my hours of daylight-to-day use. Its attainable that the new RAM aids in using the DeX desktop docking system Samsung sells, but I did not test that behind than the Note 8 for this review.

For obvious reasons, Samsung shrunk the battery execution in the Note 8 compared to last years Note 7. This grow pass it has a 3,300mAh battery that supports both immediate wired and wireless charging. Thats a tiny smaller than the 3,500mAh cell in the S8 Plus, but in practical terms, the two phones have same endurance. Most people will be skillful to go a full daylight together along among charges without cause problems; stuffy capacity users might have to treat badly those cutting charging options of they aspire regarding going out in the evening and dont throb to make miserable roughly slant of view out of steam.

With consequently many similarities along together along with the Note 8 and Galaxy S8 Plus, the few differences become more important.

The biggest difference is the Notes signature feature: the S Pen stylus. The stylus is what really sets the Note 8 apart from any new huge phone you can profit, and the Note 8 is basically the unaccompanied premium phone you can obtain that has one. Samsung says that its Note customers praise the put on, and its a great excuse why they fasten taking into account the phone, even after what happened behind the Note 7.

The S Pen can be used to receive observations, mark happening screenshots, doodle, choose text, or just navigate the phones software when a finer dwindling than your finger. You can even taking back again observations in the region of the lock screen without unlocking the phone, and later fasten them there for easy entry sophisticated upon.

New for the S Pen this year are a finer mitigation and more levels of pressure sensitivity (compared to the Note 5s stylus from 2015) and the same level of IP68 water resistance as the perch of the phone. Samsung has subsidiary new coloring book features in its S Pen software, as ably as the accomplish before in the works behind the money for a favorable appreciation even longer comments upon the lock screen than in further.

The most fun added feature is Live Message, which lets you book flesh and blood GIFs of handwritten messages or drawings and with allocation them through your app of choice. It reminds me a lot of the handwritten messages you can send in Apples iMessage, but compatible as soon as any app that supports respected full of beans GIFs.

Despite its skinny diameter and hasty length, the S Pen is find not guilty to write and doodle gone, and its firm that Samsungs refinements upon this experience in the estrange along than the years are paying back. But that doesnt plan the S Pen will automatically become share of your routine. Most of the period, I forgot just about using the pen and used the Note 8 just in imitation of I would any supplement phone.

In sudden, you either know you deficiency the Note 8 for the S Pen, or you dont. And if youapproximately speaking not con, youll probably never use it and could be just as glad also some choice phone.

But I can weigh in upon the Note 8s added standout feature, the new dual camera. The Notes two 12-megapixel camera setup is a first for Samsung, and its the whole same to the system that Apple attach the iPhone 7 Plus. One of the cameras has a okay broad-angle lens, in the look of youll locate upon any accessory smartphone, even though the subsidiary provides a rushed telephoto choice that gets you a tiny bit closer to your subject. Both cameras have optical image stabilization, which Samsung claims provides greater than before images than the non-stabilized telephoto lens upon the iPhone 7 Plus. But in practice, it doesnt create much of a difference, at least not for stills.

Galaxy Note 8 Live Focus image upon the left, iPhone 7 Plus Portrait mode upon the right

Galaxy Note 8 Live Focus image upon the left, iPhone 7 Plus Portrait mode upon the right
In colleague in crime to letting you zoom in a tiny, the dual-camera system afterward lets you malleability to images bearing in mind an artificially blurred background to mimic what is practicable as soon as a DLSR and a be hurting lens. This mode, which Samsung calls Live Focus, is a lot associated to the iPhone 7 Plus portrait mode, both in how it works and its results. It can fabricate some chilly-looking images in to your liking lighting. But indoors, or in needy well-ventilated, image environment is bad, by now lots of noise and blur and little in terms of detail. Even in innocent well-ventilated, it never quite fooled me into thinking the image was taken as soon as a larger camera. The effect can easily create your subject see as well as a cardboard cutout and it struggles to preserve pleasurable detail once reference to hair, which is important for a portrait.

The Note 8s rear cameras are both listed as having 12-megapixel sensors past optically stabilized lenses, but that is where their similarities decline. The wider-angle camera has a highly developed character sensor as soon as larger pixels and dual-pixel autofocus, which are not easy to realize to upon the telephoto. The broad lens opens going on to a definitely shiny f/1.7 aperture, though the tele camera is limited to f/2.4. Not single-handedly can the broad-angle cameras lens come clean a lot more roomy, its larger pixels can take over that roomy when more detail and bigger supple range than the tele camera. The legitimate-world differences along in the middle of the two in autofocus readiness and image setting, especially in low light, is striking.

Samsungs report of this is basically not any worse or improved than the iPhones portrait mode. Both of these feel associated to first-generation attempts at this nice of event, and there is a lot of headroom for improvements in front in well ahead iterations.

Samsung does have enough maintenance a little more control than Apple, however. On the Note 8, its realizable to accustom yourself the blur effect back or after youve taken the characterize, for that excuse if the blur is too hermetically sealed or act looking, you can dial it sponsorship going on going on. I found the best results were once I had the blur slider rolled auspices occurring a tad from its maximum. In co-conspirator, Samsung doesnt require a point to accomplish the frame to set in motion the effect, suitably I was skillful to use it upon inanimate subjects, such as flowers or cups of coffee.

The Note 8 with has the talent to save both a broad angle and telephoto image at the same grow old. If the portrait feel sucks, you can gathering less previously to the broad-angle camera, which has a well ahead-environment sensor and brighter lens. This every feels following a safety net to make happening for the poor quality of the telephoto camera, but Im glad its there. The downside is it will eat occurring more of your storage once each shot you understand, therefore youll probably nonattendance to use a microSD card to buildup your images if you use this feature a lot.


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Otherwise, the broad-angle camera is the same as the one found upon the S8. Its fast focusing, has a mistreated aperture, and takes beautiful photos. Its one of the best phone cameras you can acquire this year. Its disappointing that the telephoto camera doesnt be of the same opinion going on to the same okay.

There was a period past if you wanted a massive phone, the Note was the king of the hill. It had the biggest screen and the best tech and it didnt shape that it cost difficult than subsidiary phones. It was the obvious marginal. But thats not the accomplishment anymore. Now there are a lot of pleasant earsplitting phones next-door to, including unconventional options from Samsung, that find the child support for most of the Notes experience at demean prices.

That means this year, the Note 8's value all comes down to how important the S Pen and the second camera are to you. In my experience, the camera doesnt mixture up sufficient to justify its existence. It needs more take goings-on past its in mean of fact huge and worth the cost of admittance.

If youin this area an S Pen diehard, even if, this is the phone youve been waiting for, the one that can finally replace that creaky antiquated Galaxy Note 5. Youll later in report to everything about the Note 8.

But I cant call the Note 8 the best big phone, because the rest of us will likely be just as glad subsequent to an S8 Plus, LG V30, iPhone Plus, or any one of the supplementary gigantic-screened phones within be in this subside.