15 days with the Samsung Galaxy Note 8, is it worth it?
Just a year ago, Samsung experienced one of the worst moments of its history with the crisis arising from the problems with the batteries of Note 7. Even so, the Korean brand has managed to recompose itself with its new releases. A few months after the presentation of the S8 and S8 Plus, comes the spectacular and brand new Samsung Galaxy Note 8, with SPen and for the first time in the history of Koreans, with a double camera.
We continue almost without more square frames and corners
The Samsung Galaxy Note 8 has a design very similar to the S8 and S8 Plus where aluminum and glass predominate as materials but this time it has more straight edges, less rounded. We continue to have IP68 water and dust protection and grows in dimensions with respect to the S8 Plus and the ill-fated Note 7 with a larger 6.3-inch screen that occupies 83% of the front. Of course, it has the same resolution as the S8 and with the same unusual format of 18: 5: 9. Due to this aspect ratio, when we see content we have a button to expand it or we leave two black bars on the sides.
The screen makes the difference
Having said that. This infinite screen made in Samsung with Super AMOLED technology is amazing. We already said in the review of the S8 Plus, but without doubt, makes a difference. This type of panels provides a great depth of colors, very bright and above all, excellent pure black colors. And the frames, as you see, are reduced to the minimum expression. In addition, if that was not enough, it is compatible with the new formats HDR 10 and Dolby Vision.
Impossible to use it with one hand
Anyway, the dimensions of this Note 8 do not weigh ergonomics at all. Surprisingly, it is quite comfortable in the hand although, it is true that in some cases it will be bigger than you would like. For example, I use my cell phone to listen to music when I’m going to run and the truth is that taking the Note 8 to sports is a little more uncomfortable.
Also in the pocket can stand out if you wear tight pants and forget to use it with one hand. And finally, if in the S8 Plus it was difficult to reach the fingerprint detector without repositioning the hand, with this Note 8 it is impossible. But I repeat, in general terms, Samsung has done a very good job compacting the screen in the body.
To close the theme of appearance, a couple of notes: we have Corning Gorilla Glass 5 protection both front and back. And the glass finish, again, is a magnet for the prints. A problem of modern life that usually predominates in this type of finishes.
As for the layout of the buttons and the minijack and USB type C inputs, it is the same as in the S8. On the left side, we find the button dedicated to Bixby, the virtual assistant of Samsung, which I personally do not use and accidentally press more than I would likeSamsung Galaxy Note 8,
Samsung Galaxy Note 8,Features
Dimensions: 162.5 x 74.8 x 8.6 mm and 195 grams
Processor: Exynos 8895 64 Bits and 10nm
6 GB of RAM
Storage: 64 GB expandable up to 256 GB via microSD
6.3 ” Super AMOLED screen with QHD + resolution
Main camera : Dual system: 12MP AF and F2.4 + 12MP Dual Pixel and F1.7
Front camera : 8 MP AF with 1.7 lens aperture
Battery 3300 mAh
Android 7.1.1 with TouchWiz
WiFi connectivity ac, Bluetooth 5.0, LTE Cat16
Fast charging , wireless fast charging, USB C connector, 3.5 mm jack
Surely you will know that the differential factor of Note 8 is the SPen that it has incorporated. On this occasion, renewed, more precise, with more than 4,000 levels of pressure and it is wonderful to use it. We have features inherited from Note 7 and new ones. For example, we can write down anything with the screen off, this time up to 100 pages. Translate text, a function to expand, a quick view of apps, there are apps to color, etc … It is the differentiating tool and works really well. We will talk a little more about the SPen in the software section. Improved and with more functions
Spectacular double camera
Another great holder of this Note 8 is that it is the first phone in the history of Samsung to equip a double camera. And here comes the good thing about the review. We have two 12 MP sensors, one with a focal length of 26 mm with a lens aperture of 1.7 with focus per phase detection. And the second with a lens aperture of 2.4 and a focal length of 52 mm.
Thanks to this configuration, we can work with depth of field and bokeh. We have the dynamic approach to it and we can also correct it once we have shot. There are times that it looks too artificial but I think it is the best solution we have seen on a mobile to date. That you know that we also have an optical zoom of 2 increases and another digital of 10 increases. And the truth is that the quality is impressive. The best we have tested on a mobile and stand without too much grain in low light situations.
Capture video in high resolutions and stabilized
In the field of the video we noticed another great novelty: the optical stabilization of the two lenses, with what we get, apart from a magnificent image quality, an excellent stabilization in very high resolutions: UHD, QHD, FHD at 60 fps, etc … A curious detail is that you can record clips of a maximum of 10 minutes.
Let’s not forget the front camera with an 8 MP sensor with a lens aperture of 1.7 with automatic HDR and that allows us to capture video in 4K.
A complete camera app
For its part, the camera app I think is, humbly, the best on the market with many options and modes. As I said, we have the dynamic approach to play with depth of field, a Dual capture to play with the frame and focal length: if we want an angular or not, a completely manual mode to configure what we want with matrix metering, a panoramic mode, virtual shot, etc … It is worth getting lost in the camera app to explore all the options we have.
I am going to get wet. While waiting for the iPhone X, I tell you that the Note 8 cameras are currently the best. We are thinking of doing a review exclusively of the cameras.
The hardware is the best in the market
We went over the hardware because there is not much to tell because we have a configuration of the best of the market: Exynos 8895 8-core processor, Mali G71 MP20 GPU, all supported by 6GB of RAM. As for storage, we have 64 GB expandable to 256 GB with a micro SD card plus 100 GB in Google Drive.
The experience is fantastic, how could it be otherwise. We can play the heaviest games and work with several apps at once without a problem.
Less add-ons in the software
And here I start talking about software because one of the novelties is to be able to launch two apps at the same time and that I find a success given the 6.3 inches of the screen. We continue to have the Game Launcher, the secure folder and the Air Command to make the most of the SPen.
It is really natural to use this Spen with more than 4,000 levels of pressure with which we can make an animated gif, translate text, write on the screen, select specific areas of the screen, use it as a magnifying glass and use Bixby Vision, the function of the virtual assistant from Samsung to recognize objects or photos and offer links to online purchases.
Let’s forget that the Note 8 equipped Android 7.1.1. below the layer of the Koreans, now named Samsung Experience (although there is no official statement of the brand). There are some preinstalled apps that do not bother you at all, which respond to Samsung’s need to create their own ecosystem and we notice that more and more, Koreans lighten the layer for more experience.
And finally, in the field of software I assure you that both the S8 and Note 8 will be upgradeable to Android Oreo.
3.300 mAh battery that responds well
Crucial moment of the review. As you probably know, the Note 8 equips a battery with a lower capacity than the S8 Plus and Note 7, an aspect that has created concern. Why is this owed? Samsung did not want to risk taking into account the problems of last year? It is not because of the position of the SPen because the Note 7 had more amperage.
In this case we have 3,300 mAh that give us a very good autonomy. Our experience is to squeeze it to the maximum and we reached the end of the day with 20% of the battery. Our battery test has given us 5 hours of screen. And remember that we have fast and wireless charging that allows us to have 75% of the battery charged in just over 30 minutes for rush cases.
Regarding connectivity, we have everything expected, I will not bore you, with Bluetooth 5.0 to use two devices at the same time and NFC chip needed for Samsung Pay mobile payments.
We have used facial recognition
I would also like to tell you about my experience with the security options that this Note 8 has and that it inherits from the S8. The position of the fingerprint sensor makes soles use other functions, such as the iris scanner or the face recognition detector. After trying it for a couple of weeks, I am left with facial recognition because it works really well in most situations. Even with glasses! Although it is true that when there is little light and very blurred it does not recognize you. Likewise, we have tried to deceive and we have not been able either. So, personally, I’m left with this option.
And to finish, I also want to tell you a couple of details. In the box are included a correct AKG headphones for a better sound experience and we do not have FM Radio as is usual in the high range of Samsung.
Moment of conclusions. It has been a long review but there was a lot to tell you. Samsung has been the first manufacturer to offer a mobile over € 1,000, a border that until recently we saw very far. The Note 8 is the best phone to date waiting for the iPhone X to arrive. Do not worry about it. But is it worthwhile choosing the Note 8 having the S8 for less price? It depends on your needs. Of if the SPen is the tool that you look for in a telephone of 6.3 inches and double camera. A tool focused on productivity , which by the way, is included in a launch offer.