Samsung Galaxy Note 8 Review: Is it worth 349 plates of chicken rice?

A review about Samsung Galaxy Note 8

It’s that time of the year where we get our annual edition of the Note Series and this time, it’s the Samsung Galaxy Note 8. After the Disappointing recall of the Note 7, what new features await us?

The frustrations of using desktop programs on your phone are real for many. For me. I have huge fingers which often causes me to misclick a lot of the keys when I’m trying to type. It becomes even worse when I try to use Google Sheets on my phone.

The obvious solution is to not use Google Sheets on my phone. DUH!

I’m on the move and sometimes, I don’t have a choice when it comes to using Google Sheets on the go.

The Note series again has proved that you can be productive and use desktop programs on your phone.

In this review, I’ll be going over:

  • The top features I like such as the Dual Camera, App Paring, the screen and the S Pen
  • The features I find missed the mark
  • The answer to the question on everyone’s mind; is this phone going to explode?! Nah, that’s too technical for me.

The real question is, should you fork out $1398 on this phone?

Samsung Galaxy Note 8 Dual Cameras: A marketing gimmick or a useful feature?

How Samsung Galaxy Note 8 has good dual cameras

One of best camera capabilities in the Android market, the Samsung Galaxy Note 8 has dual camera array that pairs two 12 megapixel sensors. 

The main sensor is a wide-angle lens which allows you to capture more and it’s equipped with Samsung’s super fast dual-pixel autofocus.

It’s also great that it has a f/1.7 aperture. This allows the Samsung Galaxy Note 8 to isolate the foreground from the background. It makes the foreground objects sharp and the background blurry. In short, amazing bokeh to make you look stunning!

The secondary sensor is a telephoto lens with:

  • f/2.4 aperture
  • 2x optical zoom and 10x digital zoom. Now, you can zoom really close to see the pimples on your face.

Samsung Galaxy Note 8 Camera Zoom capabilities

  • Live Focus feature. You are able to adjust the depth of field when you preview the shot or after you take it. Other phone cameras such as the iPhone 7 plus and the One plus 5 aren’t able to do this.

How Samsung Galaxy Note 8 Live Focus Feature helps you steady your camera

The standout feature is that the Galaxy Note 8 has image stabilisation in both lenses. This means images from either lens should be crisp and sharp in most lighting conditions.

The Camera also packs in some extra features such as the sticker pack! Surprisingly, the camera is able to detect quite a few faces to add the sticker too! Here is a sample of the stickers on 3 people.

Samsung Galaxy Note 8 provides sticker packs to play around with

Not a deal breaker, but it’s nice to see that Samsung has included this small extra features.

Samsung App Pairing Shortcuts: A quick way to increase productivity

Before you pick up your boards to protest, yes I know this feature has been around for ages! But with the Note 8, you are able to create a shortcut that you can pair 2 apps together. Increase in production yay!

HowSamsung Galaxy Note 8 can pair apps together so you can multi task

In this example, you can see that I have paired my YouTube and Telegram. By doing this, I am able to make use of that amazing screen to watch YouTube and reply my girlfriend at the same time. Happy girl, happy me. It’s a win-win situation!

Galaxy Note 8 Infinity display screen

Samsung Galaxy Note 8 Bezel is almost nonexistent

Go to infinity and beyond with the near bezel-less display.

Samsung is known for having some of the best displays on a smartphone. Of course, the biggest difference to other large smartphones is the 18.5:9 aspect ratio!

There is plenty of screen to support App Pair and Multi Window. Personally, watching YouTube on this screen is beautiful.

The Galaxy Note 8 S PEN

The inclusion of the S Pen on a smartphone is something I wish more phones did. The S Pen helps with increased precision such as selecting a Google Sheets cell.

The S Pen has a smart select option. This allows you to extract text from the image or save it as a more precise screenshot. With Smart Select, you are able to create video screenshots. In short, a Gif of up to 15 seconds. It’s useful if you want to show a friend a part of a YouTube video without having to send the link over.

Samsung Galaxy Note 8 S Pen provides you with the convenience and accuracy of touch

Another cool S Pen feature is Auto Translation. By hovering your pen over the word, you are able to auto-translate it. This isn’t something you will use every day but it’s useful when travelling.

Before you start roasting me for being an Android Fanboy, here are the bad points about the Samsung Galaxy Note 8. 

Samsung Galaxy Note 8 battery life is small but we all know why

Samsung’s decision to load the Note 8 with a much smaller battery than the Note 7 is understandable. Unfortunately, that means the new Note has underwhelming Battery life.

It’s enormous, 2,960 x 1,440 display is a lot for the 3,300mAh battery to handle, and it struggles. In my time with the phone, the battery has comes close to running flat halfway during the day. This forces me to either find a place to charge the phone, limit my use of it or turn down the settings of the phone.

Would have been nice to have a bigger battery, but it’s understandable. Wouldn’t want the Note 8 to blow up like its younger sibling.

Samsung Galaxy Note 7 battery explosion

It’s a pity considering other flagships this year have come out with bigger batteries like the One Plus 5 model to name one. 

You can always pick up a power bank to give your Note 8 the extra boost!

Fingerprint Sensor positioned only for people with long fingers

The fingerprint sensor for Samsung Galaxy Note 8 is located beside the back camera

In most phones, the fingerprint sensor in the middle below the camera behind the phone or at the front of the phone.

Samsung decided to be revolutionary and placed the fingerprint sensor beside the camera. My hands are average sized and I have difficulty reaching it. And even when I do, I need to readjust my grip to continue using the phone!

Most of the time, I miss and my finger ends up on the camera.

Samsung Galaxy Note 8 fingerprint sensor position isn't for everyone

Thankfully, the note 8 has other ways to unlock the phone such as the Iris Scanner and the Face recognition.

Samsung Note 8 ridiculous price

Phones nowadays are getting ridiculously expensive! $1398 is a lot of money. That’s 932 plates of sushi at Sushi Express. 699 egg pratas and the ultimate 349 plates of chicken rice.

The price comparison of Samsung Galaxy Note 8 vs Chicken rice

Touching more about the price. You are paying a few hundred more to get a few extra features over the Samsung S8/S8+ which costs only a fraction of the price.

Should you buy the Samsung Galaxy Note 8 or save up for a whole year’s worth of lunch?

Ultimately, it comes down to these main questions:

  • Do you need the pen?
  • Do you do Hardcore Multi-Tasking?
  • Will you use the Portrait mode and 2x Zoom?
  • Are you going to give up a whole year worth of lunch?

If your answer is yes to everything, buy it!

If not, One plus 5 and the Samsung Galaxy S8+ are cheaper alternatives if you’re an Android fan.

What do you think? What features of the Samsung Galaxy Note 8 are you most excited for? And are you going to get one? Let us know! We would love to hear from you!

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