Galaxy Note 8 is the best phone Samsung makes right now. It is also the most expensive phone Samsung has ever built. So, last year, Samsungs Note 7 went onto the radar. Samsung stopped producing the phone due to the fact it was blowing up (literally). Sales came to a complete stop but it was low-key one of my favorite phones of last year before it left the market with a bang. Galaxy Note 8 is trying to tick all the mandatory boxes to ensure it is a great smartphone. Noticeably Samsung is attempting to formulate the best smartphone possible. It’s swinging for the fences, trying to hit a homerun. So, let’s treat it like that and let’s see if you should buy one or avoid wasting your money. So, let’s break it down a little bit.
Samsung’s build quality has been on point for a while. The Note 8 is a modification of last years Note 7, which is a refinement of previous years. You will notice the display melts over the edges onto the sides and gets pretty close to the top and bottom bezels. It is not bezel-less but I’d say 83% screen to body ratio is very 2017, meaning the edges are not sharp anymore. It has an overall boxy structure, however, the Note 8 has an improved aluminum rail to hold. There is no camera bump on the back so it does not rock on the table. In my opinion, Samsung has had the best industrial design in smartphones for the past 2-3 years and the Note 8 is no exception to that rule. Samsung played a part in making the glass sandwich design more dominant in today’s world of smartphones. We now see this design everywhere, some people detest this design as the phone is deemed more fragile. I personally loathe the fingerprint reader placement and believe this is a setback. The fingerprint reader placement is way high up, nearing the camera, considering this is a really big phone, I find there is absolutely no natural way to hold the phone whilst using it and being able to reach the fingerprint scanner. This is not a huge concern as there are other options available such as the iris scanner, passcode, pattern unlocks etc. So yeah, this badass-looking, super sturdy, metal and glass premium, fully water sealed, edge-to-edge display, Galaxy Note 8 definitely checks the box.
The Note 8 has the single best display I have ever seen on any smartphone. Somehow, they keep getting better and better at this. The Note 8 has a 6.3inch, 2960 x 1440 Super AMOLED display and is stunning under all conditions. Just a couple of months ago, the Galaxy S8 and Galaxy S8 Plus held the title for best display. The Note 8 panel is the same resolution but bigger and brighter. 1200 nits versus 1000 and it is still viewable outdoors which really matters in certain scenarios such as navigating or trying to use the phone in sunlight. Like all other Note series, the Samsung Note 8 is OLED, the colors are overwhelming, and the blacks are pitch black. The Contrast ratios are incredible, it is super sharp, It is even HDR 10 compliant and keeps the pressure sensitive home button at the bottom of the glass. The bottom line is, in the display department, Galaxy NOTE 8 checks that box.
The camera on the NOTE 8 is still one of the finest in any smartphones. It is rocking a 12-megapixel, F 1.7 primary camera and an additional 12-megapixel camera with an F 2.4 telephoto lens. Both cameras on the Note 8 have optical image stabilization, making it the first phone to do so. The quality is what you would expect from Samsung. It has the same characteristics such as little extra saturation in the colors, a little extra sharpening from corner to corner. The picture quality of the camera is unrealistic but prettier than real life and I’m continually impressed at how well the camera handles the more extreme colors and high dynamic range. Seriously, very few cameras handle Reds this well. In most outdoor shots, you can count on getting detailed shots, both in the lightest and darkest parts of the exposure. Being optically stabilized, it is safe to bring this camera into low light and letting in a ton of light helps a lot with that. With all these qualities, it definitely checks the camera box.
In regards to performing the Samsung Note 8 is a monster. It has some high-end, some might say best-in-class hardware on the inside. Snapdragon 835 / Adreno 540 / 6 GB RAM / Expandable storage. One thing I noticed when scrolling through a lot of heavy stuff or through multi-tasking it is not quite as fast but is not a big enough deal to be seen as a negative. When gaming and moving through apps and web browsing and all the other stuff it has no problem. This does not mean I cannot 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
The Samsung note 8 does not have a huge battery life. There, I said it. Note 8 has 3300 mAh which would ordinarily sound like a solid size but then you consider padding the worlds brightest 6.3inch smartphone display and then it starts to sound a little bit lacking. For perspective, the Galaxy S8 Plus has a smaller display but has a larger 3500 mAh so has a much better battery life. First of all the NOTE 8 has an entire column on the side for the stylus so you cannot fit a bigger battery in. Also, they did not want to push the battery to the limits on the NOTE 8 because of what happened last time they tried. This explains why it is a 3300 mAh. With this phone, you have to play the battery life versus a resolution game. Out the box, you’re going to get this preset which is in the middle, you’re scaling down the resolution. It is like they know you are not going to get the best battery life. When you turn the resolution further down, you can definitely ensure you get to a full day battery life but that is a little less enjoyable and when you max out the resolution which they do not want you to do unless you turn on the ‘performance mode’ which maxes the brightness and resolution. You will get less than 4 hours for sure and you will probably have to charge the battery at some point during the day. That is a pretty unfortunate stat. The Galaxy Note was the phone power users buy due to the battery life. With that being said, it definitely does not check my box in regards to the battery.
So is it worth all the extra money to get a phone that also has dual cameras and a stylus but does not have a decent battery life especially when you consider the Galaxy S8 Plus costs less? If you are like me and you just want the best possible, most complete phone then the Galaxy Note 8 is one to buy and you have to deal with charging the phone regularly. You still have a really fast fast-charging and wireless charging available for you, therefore is not a big deal. Considering the Galaxy S8 Plus delivers a similar experience and therefore checks one extra box in regards to the battery life and costs less if you’re looking to save a few bucks you should consider the galaxy s8 plus.
Don’t forget to check iPhone X: 4 Key Features to help you decide if It’s Worth It.