Samsung has unveiled the Galaxy Note 8, the latest in the company’s series of ultra-large screen phones designed for creativity and productivity.
Most notably though this is the first Note device since the company’s ill-fated Galaxy Note 7.
As you may recall the Note 7 became one of the company’s biggest headaches after a faulty (and exploding) battery resulted in a global recall and a complete cancellation of the phone.
It’s fair to say that since then the company has achieved an impressive turnaround, resulting in the exceptional Galaxy S8 and now its larger sibling the Galaxy Note 8.
In terms of design, the Note 8 borrows heavily from its smaller flagship sibling.
There’s the same stunning bezel-less Infinity Display that you’ll find on the S8 but this time the screen has been upped to a massive 6.3-inches.
It’s a QuadHD AMOLED display that boasts Mobile HDR Premium certification meaning that certain shows from Netflix and Amazon Prime will look even more impressive on the Note 8′s display.
Despite this increase in size the Note 8 still feels impressively comfortable to hold in the hand, if a little tall.
Thanks to a fully glass body and metal frame the Note 8 is the heaviest of Samsung’s smartphones so if you don’t mind taking good care of it we would recommend against a case.
As with all Note products, the Note 8 comes with an S Pen stylus. This latest version of the S Pen is both more sensitive and also waterproof.
New features with the S Pen include something called Live Message. This effectively lets you draw your own messages and even create your own GIFs which can then be sent via MMS or WhatsApp.
Thanks to the Note 8′s always-on display you can also create instant notes simply by removing the stylus from the phone and tapping it onto the display.
Where Samsung’s really trying to impress however is the camera.
The Galaxy Note 8 is the first of Samsung’s phones to sport a dual-camera, similar to those found on the iPhone 7 Plus and the OnePlus 5.
What makes the Note 8 unique however is it’s the first phone to offer Optical Image Stabilisation on both of its 12MP lenses. That means that you get the same level of stability when recording video or taking pictures no matter how zoomed in you are.
A new feature called Dual Capture takes two pictures at once. One through the telephoto lens for a close-up and another through the wide-angle giving you a larger image.
Finally Live Focus lets you take Bokeh images but actually adjust how much blur you want to apply while taking the shot. Now in the short time we used this we found it to be an interesting, if fiddly process, but ultimately we suspect that given time it could become a really powerful photography tool.
As with the S8, the Note 8 features Samsung’s version of Google Android. Unlike the S8, the Note 8 has a new feature called Dual Apps which lets you open two apps side-by-side with the single touch of a button.
While those apps are open you can drag and drop content between the two.
With the Note 8 lacking a physical home button Samsung has moved the fingerprint sensor to the back of the phone next to the camera. Instead Samsung’s hoping you’ll take advantage of either its facial recognition system or its biometric iris-scanner that can unlock your phone just be reading the patterns on your eyeball.
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For those interested in the Note 8′s specs it comes with 6GB of RAM and three storage sizes: 64/128/256GB. It’ll also be available in two colours: Midnight Black and Maple Gold.
You can pre-order the Note 8 today and the phone will officially go on sale on the 15 September.
Now for the bad news, the Note 8 isn’t cheap. It starts at £869 for the 64GB version.
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