FIRST LOOK Samsung Galaxy Note 8 bit.ly/note431
This time last year, we were singing the praises of Samsung’s Galaxy Note 7 and were it not for its worldwide recall – following the emergence of a potentially dangerous battery flaw – we’d still be recommending it now. You can bet that Samsung has fixed the battery problem in the Galaxy Note 8, but that’s not the only thing it’s upgraded.
The phone’s attractive bezel-less design is cribbed from the Galaxy S8, allowing the huge 6.3in screen to dominate the entire front of the handset. It continues to use Samsung’s Super AMOLED technology which, at this scale, looks amazing.
Turn the Note 8 over and another new feature is revealed: dual 12-megapixel cameras. It’s hardly an original idea, but it’s a first for Samsung, and the company has really gone to town with it, combining an f/ 1.7 wideangle lens with an f/2.4 telephoto lens with up to 10x optical zoom. As well as giving you a huge range of composition options, the two cameras can work together for cleaner, more detailed shots, or to create lovely soft-focus backgrounds.
A less conspicuous but still useful improvement is that Samsung’s S Pen stylus – the handy pointing device which inspires the Note’s name – can now be used to jot things down even with the screen off, for the ultimate in quick note-taking.
There are changes inside the case, too. The processor has been bumped up to Samsung’s Exynos 8895 and memory has been increased from 4GB to 6GB. We’ll need to spend some time testing the Note 8 before we can deliver a definitive verdict, but our first impressions are excellent. Samsung has taken arguably the best plus-size smartphone ever and made it even better. It’s available to preorder now for a whopping £869, so start saving your pennies!