Samsung has outed its next major flagship in the form of the Galaxy Note 8; can this premium phablet reach for the stars? We dive in with a hands-on preview!
This time last year marked not only one of the biggest disasters for Samsung, but further one of the largest shake-ups in the mobile space in years – for the South Korean company, the Galaxy Note 7 was an unqualified disaster pushed to explosive heights by social media zeitgeist. In a return to form, we were offered the Galaxy S8 – and now, one year later, Samsung is back and ready to reinvent the phablet with the Galaxy Note 8.
While the Galaxy Note 8 brings a total overhaul to the company’s phablet line, it is one heavily inspired by the Galaxy S8; for example, the Note iterates on the Infinity Display we were first introduced to earlier this year by widening the display slightly and discarding rounded corners for a more broad-shouldered affair.
The effect is pleasing; in the hand, one is not only reminded of the sheer quality of the S8, but the fact that this is indeed a premium handset. Glass wraps around both the front and back, while at the rear is a treat for those desperate to see Samsung jump onboard the dual-camera hype train.
The Note 8 introduces a dual-camera array – the first of its kind on the company’s flagship range – that offers one standard lens and another telephoto unit capable of 2x optical zoom. The move is a coup de grace to Apple’s iPhone 7 Plus, which also offers 2x optical zoom geared for portraiture.
Where there’s a Note, there’s an S-Pen – and the Galaxy Note 8 reintroduces the classic pairing with a re-invigorated stylus with new note-taking capabilities.
Bixby, of course, returns – and the debut of the Galaxy Note 8 marks the first time that the service’s Home, Vision, and Voice services are all available at launch. There’s little to distinguish Bixby from its outing on either the Galaxy S8 and Galaxy Note 7 Fan Edition, though the service remains useful for its contextual features and the ability for consumers to offer feedback to the service will – in the months to come – smooth out its rough edges.
In terms of specs, the Note 8 will arrive on the market with the same Snapdragon 835 chipset as found on the Galaxy S8, and will bring 6GB of RAM, 64GB-256GB of expandable internal storage, and a large 3,300mAh battery that will go through eight safety checks before landing on store shelves.
The handset will retail for a hefty suggested price of R18,499 ZAR – making this one of the most expensive devices to land on South African shores in recent memory. The device will be available on all major South African mobile networks on contract offerings that will be announced at a later date.
What are your thoughts? Would you be excited to get your hands on the Galaxy Note 8? Be sure to let us know your opinion in the comments below, and be sure to stay tuned for our full review in the months to come!