The recent success of the Samsung Galaxy S8 and S8 Plus – which were launched together earlier this year – has made the Samsung Galaxy Note 8 launch all the more eagerly anticipated throughout the industry.
The official unveiling took place in New York City on the 23rd August, with Samsung finally revealing the full details and specs of the handset to the public.
So what does the latest Note handset bring to the table? How does it measure up against the widely celebrated Galaxy S8 range? And how have Samsung developed the device to distance it from the Note 7’s earlier downfalls? We take a closer look at the device below.
One of the major moves from its predecessor is the introduction of the Infinity Display, as seen on the S8. This design feature has been a major hit so Samsung have opted for a 6.3 inch display for the Note 8, making the screen a touch larger than the S8 Plus’s display.
Unfortunately, the decision to incorporate the infinity display means that the fingerprint scanner sits in the same position as it does on the S8 – on the back right next to the camera. This immediately caused a great deal of frustration, although users pained by this move have the option of alternative security measures, with either the iris scanner or facial recognition software.
But back to the display; the sheer size of the Note 8 means that the device comes with a 2960 x 1440 resolution and boasts an impressive 521 pixels per inch.
The camera is where the phone comes into itself, however. As the first flagship Samsung device to feature a rear dual camera, the Note 8 comes equipped with a 12MP telephoto lens and a second 12MP wide-angle lens to the rear, along with a solid 8PM front facing camera for Snapchat selfie fans and video callers alike.
The dual camera setup also offers an interesting new Live Focus feature, which allows users to take photographs with a blurred background and focused subject in the foreground in a “bokeh” effect.
Another new feature for the Note 8 is the new and improved S-Pen. The upgraded stylus now includes a finer tip with greater pressure sensitivity, which is fantastic news for those who’ve enjoyed creating their own masterpieces. A slightly more practical use of the new S-Pen, however, is its ability to translate entire sentences and sections of text on a page.
Bixby – Samsung’s smart assistant, announced earlier this year alongside the S8 – will also be included as standard on the Note 8. Bixby Voice is Samsung’s AI feature intended to compete with Amazon’s Alexa, Apple’s Siri and Google Home, and the new quick commands feature showcased at the launch set the assistant on strong footing. Users can set up simple voice commands which then easily instruct the phone to perform a sophisticated tasks with a series of specific settings.
The overall design of the Note 8 largely mirrors the S8 thanks to the distinctive curved infinity display featured across these handsets, while the Note 8 and the S8 Plus have been built to very similar dimensions. However, the improvements on the Note 7 and inclusion of new features mean that the Note 8 is the heaviest Note handset to date – and, at 162.5 x 74.8 x 8.6 mm thick, the thickest since the Note 2.
The Note 8 has been carefully crafted, incorporating the most loved aspects of the S8 whilst fine tuning the Note 7’s existing features. While this may have resulted in a phone that closely resembles the S8 Plus, a more modest comeback for the Note series was a wise move on Samsung’s part, delivering the features that their customers know and love in an updated format and in a larger-than-ever size.
Alongside the infinity display, the standout features are the undoubtedly the dual camera, improved S-Pen and the introduction of Bixby Voice, all of which will help to cement the Note 8 as the go-to phablet of choice for those mobile users who’ve yet to be convinced by Apple’s heftier iPhone 7 Plus.
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