Samsung Note 8 was one of the most eagerly-awaited smartphones when it was released back in late 2017. With the Note 8, Samsung was expected to correct many of the flaws found in Note 7. Did Samsung succeed? If you go by sales figures, it definitely did. Note 8 went down in history as having sold more than 10 million pieces.
Fast forward to 2019 and Note 8 is still going strong. Prices have also come down for the phone, making it a more attractive buy than ever. Is it a good idea to get the Note 8? We’ll help you figure that out with this review.
Samsung Note 8 at a glance
Samsung Note 8 features many improvements over its predecessors. Here are some of the top highlights of the phone you need to know about:
- Samsung Note 8 looks very classy and premium with a glass back and a smooth aluminum frame.
- Note 8 has an amazing 6.3-inch quad-HD+ AMOLED HDR-ready display.
- The smartphone has outstanding rear and front cameras.
- The stylus S-Penis very useful and offers 4,096 levels of pressure sensitivity.
Design: Beautiful Glass Body
Note 8 was one of the trendiest smartphones when it was launched. The phone continues to look and feel spectacularly premium in 2019. Note 8 has an aluminum frame, wrapped around with glass at the back and the front. At 6.4 inches tall and 2.94 inches wide, Note 8 is a big phone. Holding it in one hand isn’t too much trouble, though. The phone is protected by Gorilla Glass 5, which makes it scratch and drop resistant.
The phone supports two SIMs via a hybrid dual-SIM tray. You can unlock the phone via a fingerprint scanner. There’s a USB-C connector at the bottom, next to the speaker grille and the slot for the S-Pen. The S-Pen stylus is exceptionally useful. It slides out easily and gives you access to several features. The phone is IP68 certified, so you don’t have to worry about dust, dirt, sand, and water damaging your phone. The screen is fitted snugly into the aluminum frame, with bezels at the top and the bottom, and very thin ones on the side. All in all, Note 8 is a good looking phone.
Display: Amazing Super AMOLED Infinity Display
Samsung has really pushed boundaries with the display on Note 8. It’s a big 6.3-inch screen which supports a WQHD+ resolution of 1440 x 2960 pixels. It has an amazing screen-to-body ratio of 83.2%. The screen is Super AMOLED, capable of rendering 16M colors and supports HDR10. The screen has a very impressive PPI of 521.
What do all the numbers mean when it comes to usage? To put it simply, the screen is gorgeous. It’s capable of producing near-perfect whites, vibrant colors, and perfect blacks. There’s little to no motion blur when you scroll through text. Pictures and videos are a treat to behold. The screen also supports an always-on feature, which displays a clock, media keys, and battery info even when the screen is “off”. This is one of the best displays on the market, even today.
Camera: Outstanding Picture Quality
When it comes to camera quality, Note 8 is exceptional. Note 8 has a dual-camera setup at the back, with a 12 MP wide-angle lens and another 12 MP telephoto lens. The wide lens has an impressively wide aperture of f/1.7, while the telephoto lens has an aperture of f/2.4. Both cameras support OIS. The telephoto lens has a 2x optical zoom. The front selfie camera is 8MP, with an f/1.7 aperture. Both front and back cameras support Auto-HDR.
The main camera has an almost instant focus, even at night. The OIS feature makes any image you click look like it was taken from a camera on a tripod. Any photos you take will have excellent detail, rich colors, and little noise. The cameras do a solid job of capturing day as well as night scenes. The secondary telephoto sensor with the 2x optical zoom only comes into play when there’s sufficient light. The camera app offers nifty features like Pro, Hyperlapse, Food, Slow Motion, and Panorama. The front 8 MP camera, combined with Samsung’s AI software, allows you to click amazing portraits.
Performance: Blazing Fast
You expect a phone at this price point to be fast, and Note 8 doesn’t disappoint. It has a solid Exynos 8895 Octa-core processor, with four cores clocked at 2.3 GHz and the other four at 1.7 GHz. The phone has a Mali-G71 MP20 GPU and 6 GB of RAM. The processor chipset varies slightly in China and the US. You can choose between 64/128/256 GB of internal storage. The hybrid-SIM tray supports a microSD card of up to 512GB.
How well does the phone perform in daily usage scenarios? The iris scanner and fingerprint scanners are lightning-quick. Apps boot up quickly, with virtually no performance lag even when you’re multi-tasking. Net surfing, social media, and video streaming are smooth and streamlined. The phone has great cooling even in intensive-use scenarios. Note 8 can play the latest games like PUBG on maximum settings, making it an excellent purchase if you’re a gamer.
Software: The Samsung Experience
Samsung has done a great job with Note 8’s operating system (OS). Out-of-the-box, Note 8 supported Android 7.1.1 (Nougat), though Samsung has released an Android 9.0 update for the phone recently. Of course, Note 8 runs on Samsung’s custom Experience UI firmware, which includes several upgrades and improvements over Android’s stock OS. There are plenty of in-depth customization options for new as well as advanced users.
There are several features supported by Samsung’s Experience UI firmware to be excited about. We’ll mention the best ones here. Bixby, Samsung’s personal voice assistant, deserves a mention. It allows you to access many useful features and perform tasks on the phone, like looking up information, with your voice alone. The S-Pen allows you to sign documents, draw, and take off-screen memos. The S-Pen supports 4.096 levels of pressure sensitivity, which makes it almost as if you’re sketching on paper. It also supports features like Live Message and Translate.
Battery Life: A Big Step Up Over The Note 7
The Samsung Note 7 had a famously bad battery. Thankfully, Samsung has corrected that problem with Note 8. The 3,300 mAh is stable and works well. On a typical day of average use, you can expect the smartphone to last from morning to night on a single charge. Performing intensive tasks like playing games or using a map application will drain the battery quicker, of course.
Thankfully, the phone supports USB-C fast charging. You can get the phone up from 0 to 100 percent in 90 minutes or less. Samsung’s power-saving features also deserve a mention. They greatly optimize battery performance and keep your phone going for a long time. For a phone this size, the 3,300 mAh battery performs exceptionally well.
The Bottom Line
Is Samsung Note 8 a worthwhile purchase in 2019? Most definitely, yes! Note 8 has an amazing screen, top-notch camera, and blazing-fast processor. The battery life is good, and the Samsung custom firmware is a joy to use.
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