The Samsung Galaxy Note 7 was available only for a short while, and its tragic fate has meant that many loyal fans of the Note series have been kept waiting a long time to replace their device. Here, we take a look at what the Note 7's successor has to offer, and the comparison reveals a steady improvement over the last few generations. Those looking to upgrade to the Note 8 won't be disappointed.
More cameras, better photos
Samsung is finally jumping on the dual camera bandwagon with the Note 8, and of course, it does it well. The two lenses of the main camera have focal lengths of 26 and 55 mm. Our review reveals that the new bokeh effect and the optical zoom produce smart, fantastic results. The manual mode, hyperlapse feature and other shooting modes were already available in the Note 7, and with all these features, the Note 8's camera should be fit for the next three years.
A taller display
The bezel-less design of the Note 8's 18.5:9 Infinity display means the screen reaches all the way from the top to the bottom of the body of the phone. It now measures 6.3 rather than 5.7 inches, and the home button has disappeared. Now, a firm press on the display where the home button used to be locate will have the same effect.
Because of this change, the fingerprint sensor has migrated to the back of the phone, and like the S8 and S8+, it's in a much-criticized location beside the rear camera. To make up for this ergonomics faux pas, Samsung suggests users give the iris scanner a try as an alternative for unlocking your Note 8.
The new Apple iPhone X eschews the fingerprint scanner entirely, making it the first of its caliber to do so. It wouldn't be unreasonable to expect Samsung to do the same with the 2018 Note.
DeX turns the Note 8 into a PC
For years people have been saying that today's smartphones are as fast as PCs were just a few years ago. Samsung has finally taken that thought to its logical conclusion with the DeX docking station, which gives a desktop experience with the S8, S8+ and now, the Note 8.
Connect your smartphone to DeX using the USB Type-C connector, and then you can use all your peripherals like the mouse, keyboard and monitor for a desktop-like environment. The Note 8's software will recognize that it's been connected to the docking station and the user interface will adjust accordingly, in a way that's much like Windows 10.
Samsung Galaxy Note 7 vs. Samsung Galaxy Note 8 technical specifications
|Samsung Galaxy Note 7||Samsung Galaxy Note 8|
|Dimensions:||153.5 x 73.9 x 7.9 mm||162.5 x 74.8 x 8.6 mm|
|Weight:||169 g||195 g|
|Battery size:||3500 mAh||3300 mAh|
|Screen size:||5.7 in||6.3 in|
|Screen:||2560 x 1440 pixels (515 ppi)||2960 x 1440 pixels (522 ppi)|
|Front camera:||5 megapixels||8 megapixels|
|Rear camera:||12 megapixels||12 megapixels|
|Android version:||6.0 - Marshmallow||7.1.1 - Nougat|
|RAM:||4 GB||6 GB|
|Internal storage:||64 GB||64 GB|
|Chipset:||Samsung Exynos 8890||Samsung Exynos 8895|
|Number of cores:||8||8|
|Max. clock speed:||2.3 GHz||2.3 GHz|
|Connectivity:||HSPA, LTE, NFC, Bluetooth 4.2||HSPA, LTE, NFC, Bluetooth 5.0|
Battery safety standards
Samsung had to regain the lost trust of longtime customers and potential ones after the Note 7 disaster. A new battery safety protocol, during and after production, was thus put into place with the new Note 8 and the S8. It appears to be working as intended since we've seen no reports to the contrary.
Samsung didn't take any chances with the Note 8, as the battery capacity was lowered from 3,500 to 3,300 mAh. It's not clear whether battery life will suffer because of this, as hardware efficiency and software optimizations could make up for the difference in size. We'll have to find out in a more thorough, final review. So far, it seems to last about 1.5 days with a full charge.
Those looking to upgrade can't go wrong with the Note 8. It's reliable, it provides superior performance and the dual camera is fantastic. The S-Pen and DeX make it a practical choice for productive-types, and fans of the series will be glad the sting of the Note 7's failure is finally gone.