The Hot Four
● Samsung Galaxy Note 8
● ACW The Terminator T-800
● Rolls-Royce Phantom
● Nokia 8
BACK WITH A BANG SAMSUNG GALAXY NOTE 8
Remember the time Samsung’s Galaxy Note 7 was Stuff’s cover star? We do. It was not a fun month, but time forgives all sins and here we are one year later with a new Note to contend with. Having been burnt before by a very similar-looking mega-phone, we weren’t initially sure what to make of this phoenix-like rise from the ashes. Then we picked up the Note 8’s S Pen stylus, conjured up a juvenile stick-man drawing and remembered what it was that we loved about these phones in the first place: they’re built to do absolutely anything. In practice, this means everything the Galaxy S8 is capable of and a little bit more. An added dual-lens camera serves up far superior zoom capabilities and hands you the chance to take fancy portrait shots with artfully blurred backgrounds. Aside from that camera-and-stylus combo, there isn’t all that much to distinguish this new Note from the S8. But do you know what? We loved that phone, and it didn’t explode at random. Here’s hoping Samsung has learnt its oh-so-explosive lesson this time around. As hot as… a phone that literally caught fire (minus the flammable bit) US$tba / samsung.com
“ALEXA, I’LL BE BACK” AC Worldwide The Terminator T-800
Smart security cameras are normally anonymous little chunks of plastic designed to blend into your home furnishings, not stand out like a killer robot in a nursing home. But what’s scarier for a burglar to see on a shelf as they crawl through your kitchen window: a small white square with a lens on it, or an 18in metal skull with glowing red eyes? AC Worldwide’s T-800 wireless speaker has full Alexa support, plus a camera built into the left eye, so you can see who’s wandering around your home in real time via the accompanying app, with a year of cloud backup included for recordings. Hasta la vista, uncertainty. As hot as… the fires of Judgment Day from US$360 / acworldwide.com
LIFE IS A ROLLER COASTER Rolls-Royce Phantom
The name Rolls-Royce conjures images of chauffeurs, toffs and top hats. And while anyone who can afford a new Phantom has probably got enough cash to pay someone to drive it for them, why would they want to? With a 563hp V12 engine that’s almost as silent as an actual phantom, it’s packed with sensors, including a camera that analyses the road ahead to warn the air suspension about any champers-spilling bumps to come. And let’s not forget the satellite-assisted transmission that means the gearbox is always prepared for any steep hills. If you can’t even be bothered to drive a car like that, it’s probably time you got a bicycle. As hot as… a swan vindaloo £400,000 / rollsroyce.com
Business class With its more angular edges, you can easily tell the Note 8 apart from Samsung’s other current smartphones. The Galaxy S8 is smooth, soft and almost pebble-like, but this one feels as though it really means business.
No scan do A lot of features have been ported across from the Galaxy S8, including the digital home button – with the 6.3in screen taking up so much space, there’s no room for a fingerprint sensor up front, so you’ll find it on the rear.
Jacked to the max Just like the S8, the Note 8 is water-resistant, has a 3.5mm headphone jack, and offers USB-C charging. There’s also a button for the voice assistant Bixby – only he still hasn’t found his voice here yet. The Note 8’s dual-lens cam feels quick and responsive, but how it compares to the rest of the dual-camera world will boil down to image quality. There’s not much here that’s different from the iPhone 7 Plus. Room to doodle The Galaxy Note 8’s extra screen space isn’t wasted with cutesy curves. Its sides still bend around the edge of the phone, but at a much sharper angle, leaving you more space to doodle with the S Pen. Dual in the crown
Handle with care With a whopping 6.3in AMOLED panel this isn’t a phone you want colliding with a concrete floor. Thankfully, a skinny 18:9 aspect ratio screen means you don’t need the hands of a giant to grip it. The write stuff All your favourite S Pen apps have returned with the Note 8, but new for 2017 are Live Message, a cute way to draw doodles or annotate images; and live translation of whole sentences, instead of just single words.
Phantom tech Rolls-Royce claims the Phantom is home to the highest-res head-up display available. If you’re not that bothered about pixels when it comes to cars, you might like its 360° and night vision cameras instead.