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Gadgets and Gizmos (India) - - CONTENTS -

Af­ter the Note 7 bat­tery fi­asco, Sam­sung’s time un­der the sun has come. The Korean gi­ant has hit a home run with the Note 8. Un­like other smart­phones in the Note se­ries that sport a 5.5-5.7 inch dis­play, the Note 8 boasts a 6.3 inch ‘in­fin­ity’ dis­play. Its slightly longish de­sign makes it com­fort­able to hold. On its 2,960x1,440 pixel dis­play res­o­lu­tion, the text ap­pears crisp and colours look good.

One can ac­ti­vate the split-screen mul­ti­task­ing fea­ture from the set­tings op­tion and with the new app pair fea­ture, cre­ate com­bos that launch two apps in mul­ti­win­dow mode with a sin­gle touch. The home but­ton has been re­placed with an on-screen con­trol but­ton and the fin­ger­print scan­ner has been moved to the rear, next to the cam­era. The place­ment is in­con­ve­nient – I ended up smudg­ing the cam­era sev­eral times while un­lock­ing the phone. The Note 8 is wa­ter and dust re­sis­tant, and comes with a sty­lus (S-Pen) mounted on the right bot­tom panel.

While the Note 8 shares many sim­i­lar­i­ties with the S8 Plus, its Sty­lus func­tion­al­ity is no­tably dis­tinct. In­put text through hand­writ­ing, scrib­ble or sketch­ing is much more nat­u­ral and in­tu­itive – as good as writ­ing with a real pen on paper. The S-Pen’s ease of use, for in­stance

while writ­ing a memo and pin­ning it to the lock screen, is re­mark­able. Like Ap­ple’s iMes­sage that al­lowed hand­writ­ten mes­sages, Sam­sung has a Live Mes­sage fea­ture that records an­i­mated GIFs of hand­writ­ten mes­sages and th­ese can be shared us­ing any app. Us­ing Screen Write, I was able to take a screen­shot of the cur­rent screen and write over it – handy for high­light­ing or mark­ing cor­rec­tions. Smart Se­lect can be used for cap­tur­ing a part of the screen – text, draw­ing, videos, etc. Sam­sung has also en­abled para­graph trans­la­tion us­ing the S-Pen.

This is Sam­sung’s first smart­phone to boast a dual 12-MP cam­era with sen­sors, 2x op­ti­cal zoom, dual ISO and dual LED flash. Us­ing the Live Fo­cus fea­ture, back­ground depth can be ad­justed while cap­tur­ing an im­age. The images look sharp and re­tain nat­u­ral colours. There is also a Pro mode with man­ual set­tings; images shot us­ing this mode in low light were im­pres­sive. The Note 8 is a pow­er­ful de­vice. There was no lag or heat­ing is­sue while play­ing heavy graphic games, stream­ing videos, us­ing VR and AR apps or mul­ti­task­ing. It is pow­ered by Sam­sung’s own 1.7 GHz Exynos 9 octa-core pro­ces­sor, paired with 6 GB of RAM. The 3,300 mAh bat­tery, that sup­ports quick charge and wire­less charg­ing, lasted me a day de­spite heavy us­age.

The sty­lus func­tion­al­ity on the Note 8 is in­com­pa­ra­ble. How­ever, if the sty­lus and dual cam­era are not your pri­or­i­ties, then the Sam­sung Galaxy S8 Plus, priced lower than the Note 8, could be worth con­sid­er­ing.

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