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Samsung Galaxy Note 8 Review – The Return of the King

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Samsung had a rough 2016 with the issues surrounding the Samsung Galaxy Note 7. Some of us thought that Samsung will ditch the Note series but as expected Samsung released the Samsung Galaxy Note 8.

The Samsung Galaxy Note 8 is the biggest Note we’ve ever seen. As expected, it is powerful, bold, stylish and with the S Pen.We did took the Note 8 for a spin for two weeks and here’s our review.

Samsung Galaxy Note 8:

  • Octa Core Exynos 8885 processor
  • 4GB RAM
  • 64GB internal memory expandable via microSD up to 256GB
  • 6.3-inch Super AMOLED curved display (1440 x 2960 pixels)
  • Corning Gorilla Glass 5
  • IP68 certified – water/dust proof for 1 meter and 30 minutes
  • Dual 12 megapixel rear facing cameras (f/1.7 and f/2.4 aperture) with autofocus, OIS and LED flash
  • 8 megapixel front facing camera with autofocus and auto HDR f/1.7 aperture
  • 4G/LTE, WiFi, Bluetooth, Fingerprint Scanner, NFC, USB Type C, Iris Scanner
  • GPS, A-GPS, GLONASS, BDS, Gallileo
  • 3,300 mAh battery with fast and wireless charging
  • Android 7.1 Nougat upgradable to Android 8.0 Oreo
  • Price: P49,990
  • Status: Available at Samsung Experience stores, Globe Telecom and Smart Communications via postpaid plan

HARFWARE AND DESIGN

The Samsung Galaxy Note 8, as expected, looks like its Galaxy S8 siblings. It is a unibody design still with glass basically everywhere. It is a very large device with its 6.3-inch display but the reduced size of the bezels helped to keep the device favorable to hold in one hand. The fingerprint scanner is awkwardly placed right beside the camera kust like the Galaxy S8.

Since it is a big phone, it not lightweight. For us, 195 grams is quite a heft already but manageable. Holding it for long periods of time will be a bit of a pain. The S Pen is still found at the bottom part of the device.

Ports and buttons:

  • Top – SIM card tray
  • Bottom – S Pen, 3.5mm audio jack, USB Type C port, speaker grill
  • Left – volume rocker and Bixby button
  • Right – power button
  • Back – dual cameras, fingerprint scanner
  • Front – 6.3-inch display, selfie camera, sensors

DISPLAY

As expected, Samsung is still the king of displays. Samsung’s Super AMOLED panel on a large 6.3-inch screen is simply majestic. Its bright, colorful, vibrant and of course, ginormous. We enjoyed watching our favorite movies and TV shows here via Netflix, iflix and I Want TV.

SOFTWARE AND PERFORMANCE

Being a superphone, the Samsung Galaxy Note 8 is truly packed with features. Even the S Pen is loaded with features and functions. But for this review, we will stick with the basics.

Samsung has already incorporated the new look of Android 7.1 Nougat. Though it is still with Samsung’s own skinned UI, it felt more stock Android with less bloatware and redundant apps.

What can you expect from the superphone? Of course it is very fast and fluid. It can also handle memory hogging, graphic intense games with ease and breeze. So we didn’t bother taking benchmarks since it is proven powerful.

CAMERA

Dual cameras has been around for a while and the Samsung Galaxy Note 8 is the company’s first smartphone to incorporate this new tech. The dual camera set up is quite similar to many phones these days – one for normal zoom and the other is for 2x zoom. The camera is loaded with all the goodies like professional mode, etc.

So is it good? Let’s check out of the photos.

CONNECTIVITY

There are six ways to protect your Galaxy Note 8 – password, PIN, pattern, facial recognition, fingerprint scanner and iris scanner. We tried both facial and iris scan and worked very well whether with shades or glasses.

4G/LTE is within the usual speeds. The Samsung Galaxy Note 8 also supports 700Mhz LTE band with super fast internet speeds. Calls are clear with no issues.

BATTERY

On paper, 3,300 mAh battery is not much especially if you a very large display and a powerful chipset. Good thing, Samsung made some optimizations to further stretch the battery juice. For our daily grind, we managed to get around 11 hours of power as long as you keep the display settings to Full HD resolution.

Lastly, Samsung has also further explained how safe the battery and how they make their batteries now. Rest assured the Samsung Galaxy Note 8 is safe. On our two week review, we never encountered any heating issues nor getting warm after extensive use.

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VERDICT

The Samsung Galaxy Note 8 marks a big comeback for Samsung. Though the Galaxy S8/S8+ proved to be very successful, the success of the Galaxy Note 8 means Samsung commitment to safety plus throwing more features, more S Pen functions and more screen.

For us, the Samsung Galaxy Note 8 is the king of gigantic superphones.