This Galaxy Note 8! This is the best phone Samsung makes right now!
I’ll go ahead and say that right off the bat!
It’s also the most expensive phone Samsung made!!
So last year’s Samsung Galaxy Note 7, kind of went onto the radar because of the sales stopping and obviously everything that happened to it,
But, it was low-key one of my favorite phones of last year before all that sort of blew up. Oh…. Wow… That’s a that’s a bad joke…!
But Galaxy Note 8 is again trying to be one of those phones that checks all the boxes and that is a great smart phone…
This is clearly Samsung’s attempt at making their best smartphone possible! it’s swinging for the fences it’s trying to hit a homerun…
So, let’s treat it like that and let’s see if you should buy one or not let’s break it down!! So, if you recall some of my previous reviews.
I’ve had about 5 pillars of a great smartphone:
- Build Quality
Those five and if a phone does all those five things well then, it’s probably worth the money! Seems like a complete package I’ll give you the green light to buy it, recommendation is go!!
Galaxy Note 8 does four of those five things… Really well? like not just good… But then kind of fall short on the last thing…
Then it kind of makes it up its own sixth category. With a bunch of extra stuff. That it kind of throws in there and doesn’t have to nail this category.
It’s not part of the essential five pillars I don’t think. It kind of is why people would end up buying this phone? it’s what makes the note the note?
1) Build Quality
So, Samsung’s build quality has been on point for a while now… This is a refinement of last year, which is a refinement of the year.
Before that and the year before that but you can see the display melts over the edges of the sides and gets pretty damn close to the top and bottom bezels, it’s not bezel.
this but I’d say that 83% screen to body ratio is very 2017 and it’s super refined versus previous years like I said,
So, the edges aren’t sharp anymore… it has this overall boxy shape but there’s still an aluminum rail to hold… there’s no camera bump or protrusion at all on the back…
so it doesn’t rock on a table and I honestly think Samsung has had the best industrial design in smartphones.
In the past two or three years and the note is no exception to that rule!
I mean they kind of played a part in making this glass sandwich design more popular in today’s world of smartphones we see it everywhere now!
Which some people don’t like because of fingerprints maybe or possibly dropping it maybe being more breakable? but even those two things could be easily fixable with some like a deep branch skin and that has zero effect on wireless charging.
The worst part about it?
I’d say is the fingerprint reader placement! its way up high next to the camera and on this really big phone it means there’s absolutely no natural way to hold the phone while using it and be able to reach this fingerprint.
It requires a like a hand shuffle to reach it, it’s not a huge issue because you don’t have to use a fingerprint scanner… but I prefer for the record a fingerprint reader in the middle of the back of the phone.
So yeah for this badass looking… super sturdy… metal and glass premium… fully water sealed… like edge to edge display… beautiful when clean type of look…
Samsung Galaxy Note 8 definitely checks that box and then the display! it’s also the single best display in any smartphone again somehow, they keep getting better at this!!
This time it’s a 6.3 inch 20,960 by 1440 Super AMOLED display and it’s gorgeous in all conditions… I sent us a couple months ago Samsung galaxy s 8 and Samsung galaxy s 8 plus had the best display…
Now note it’s panel is the same resolution, but bigger and brighter 1200 nits.
Now versus a thousand and there’s pretty much perfectly viewable outdoors which really matters when navigating or in a car or something and of course since it’s an OLED colors are awesome…
Blacks are pitch black… contrast ratios are incredible! it’s super sharp! it’s even HDR 10 compliant and it still keeps the pressure sensitive home button at the bottom of the glass, on top of all of that!!
I still think this implementation is best, we’re probably going to see a lot more edge to edge displays. And phones this year. You kind of wonder what you do with the home button.
We used to see on every smartphone.
I think until we see that fingerprint reader under the glass, this sort of pressure sensitive area to go home whenever you want, is the way that we should do it.
But I think the bottom line, here is in the display department, Samsung Galaxy Note 8 also checks that box!
And then the camera on the note 8 is still one of the best in any smartphone again!! it’s rocking a 12 megapixel F 1.7 primary camera and an additional 12 megapixel camera.
With an F 2.4 telephoto lens and this time both have optical image stabilization… making it the first phone to do that.
And the quality is about what you’d expect from Samsung it’s the same characteristics, you’ve kind of seen by now, just a little extra saturation in the colors… a little extra sharpening from corn to corner.
Seriously very few cameras handle Reds this well!!! In this shot the Sun is actually right behind the hotel. But you can see the detail still in the clouds.
In the sky and in most outdoor shots you can count on getting detail both in the lightest and darkest parts of the exposure, even this back lit shot looks totally fine…
Which is their version of the portrait mode, we’ve seen coming to so many smartphones lately. so, with the note 8 it’s called live photos.
Because you can adjust the amount of blur you have in the background and see the effect in the viewfinder live! which is pretty cool.
Take the photo and then you can adjust the amount of blur after the photo is taken and it also takes a simultaneous photo with the main camera.
Just in case that portrait one isn’t good enough, so we’re doing a lot with that second camera you may or may not find it useful you may never even use it…
But the fact that it’s there and it works well alongside one of the best main cameras in any smartphone, means, it definitely checks that box!
And with performance, this thing is a monster! it has some high end!! some might say best-in-class hardware on the inside.
- Snapdragon 835
- Adreno 54
- 6 gigs of ram
And it moves through Samsung’s skin just fine!
That’s not quite – the smoothness level of phones that are much closer to stock Android, I feel the need to mention this like I noticed.
Mostly when scrolling through a lot of big heavy stuff or through multitasking especially it’s not quite as fast, but, it’s not really a big enough deal to be a bad thing like it’s just a tiny delay.
I noticed because I use a lot of other phones, but, gaming and moving through apps and web browsing and all that other stuff, has no problems on this phone.
But that doesn’t mean I can’t wish for a Google Play edition like old times! So, as you probably expect from a flagship that has these kinds of specs inside it checks the performance box too!
This phone has a 3300-milliamp hour battery. Which would ordinarily sound like a pretty solid size.
But then you consider your packing. Like the world’s brightest 6.3-inch smartphone display.
And then it starts to sound a little bit lacking for perspective. The galaxy s 8 plus has a smaller display, but has a larger 3500 milliamp hour battery.
So for that it has much better battery life. So first of all, the note has an entire column in the side of it that you have to use for the stylus.
You can’t fit battery in there. And then also the fact that they kind of don’t want to push the battery to the limits on the note. Because of what happened last time they tried that…
That kind of explains why it’s a 3300-milliamp hour battery in this one!! Out the box you’re going to get this preset which is in the middle.
You’re scaling down the resolution a bit. So it’s kind of like they know you’re not going to get the best battery life. And that right off the bat is going to get you a little bit less than 4 hours of screen on time.
At least with my types of usage… when you turn the resolution further down you can definitely ensure you get to a full day.
But, that’s a little bit less enjoyable and when you max out the resolution… you’re going to get 3 and a half hours of screen on time.
And you’ll probably have to top-up the battery at some point during the day!! So that’s a pretty unfortunate stat.
The Galaxy Note used to be that phone, that, power users get because of the battery life…
Galaxy Note 8 vs Galaxy S8 Plus
Now all that being said, there is still the point that I made, at the beginning of the Article, which is… the note kind of adds this sixth category of the extras!
- The iris scanner – If you’re into that, for unlocking your phone with just your eyes.
- It’s the expandable storage – Via a micro SD if you have a big media library or take a lot of photos and videos!
- Headphone jack – Yeah that’s. That’s become a thing many phones don’t have now!
- Dual cameras and all their features
- Bluetooth 5.0 with dual audio and everything that comes with that
- S-pen which I’d say is the best stylus experience in any phone right now for people who take a lot of notes or write a lot of things down so these are things that separate the note 8. In a little way from other phones and give people that unique reason to buy it!
As a matter of fact. it seems like the only phone this one doesn’t really separate itself. From what those extras, is Samsung’s own Galaxy S 8 plus.
Which has all of those things, except for the dual cameras and the stylus and the difference between them is about 150 bucks!
Then Galaxy Note 8 is definitely still to buy and your kind of just have to deal with the intermittent charging up during the day, but, you still have really fast…
Fast charging and wireless charging so if that’s available to you. it’s not a big deal, but also consider, galaxy S8 plus.
Delivers a really-really similar experience. Checks one extra box with good battery and cost a bit less money…
So that’s a consideration… if you’re looking to save a few bucks! you can also check this article iPhone 8 Silver vs Gold Unboxing (Ultimate Review)