Samsung's Galaxy Note 7 was a fantastic phone, until the battery issues destroyed its reputation and left it with a legacy of being the only phone to be singled out before boarding a flight.
We expected the Note family to die with the Note 7, but it lives on, reborn like the phoenix from the flames of its forebear. Here is everything you need to know about the newly-announced Samsung Galaxy Note 8.
Samsung Galaxy Note 8: Design
- Metal and glass sandwich design, wider and heavier than S8+
- Significantly reduced bezels and no home button, like S8 and S8+
- Built-in S Pen and dual-rear camera
The Galaxy S8 and S8+, which debuted on 29 March, ditched the physical home button in favour of an almost all-screen front and repositioned the fingerprint sensor to the rear next to the camera lens. It was a bold move for Samsung to move the fingerprint sensor, but one that resulted in a beautiful design, which the Galaxy Note 8 follows.
The new device features a very similar design to the S8 and S8+ but with a fractionally wider and taller stance, as well as a little more weight, measuring 162.5 x 74.8 x 8.6mm and hitting the scales at 195g. It's made up of the metal and glass sandwich we've come to know and love from Samsung flagship devices over the last few years and it offers IP68 water and dust proofing.
The front of the Note 8 is almost all-screen, as the preceding 2017 Samsung devices, with a dual-edge display and reduced bezels, but the rear sees a second camera lens added, marking the Note 8 as the first Samsung device to offer a dual rear camera setup. The lenses are arranged in a horizontal alignment, with a flash module on the right in between the lenses and the rear-mounted fingerprint sensor. The housing sits almost flush to the rear of the device, though not quite, with a small raised bezel surrounding them.
The Note 8 also features a built-in S Pen, as you'd expect from a Note device. The new and improved S Pen, which offers 4096 levels of pressure, is hidden away in its dedicated slot which sits to the right of the USB Type-C port on the bottom. There is also a 3.5mm headphone jack on board at the top of the Note 8.
Samsung Galaxy Note 8: Display
- Big screen at 6.3-inches
- Dual-edge display with Mobile HDR
- Quad HD+ resolution, 522ppi
The Samsung Galaxy Note series is known for its large display so it was pretty much always a given that the Note 8 would have a big screen. Traditionally, this has been 5.7-inches, at least since the Note 3, though the Note 8 increases this to 6.3-inches, a fraction larger than the S8+, with only a slight change in its body dimensions.
The Note 8's 6.3-inch screen has the same 18.5:9 aspect ratio as the S8 and S8+, meaning the display size is a result of the increased height of the device rather than its width, which should allow for one-handed use despite being over 6-inches.
The Infinity Display of the Note 8's smaller siblings has also been adopted so you'll find a Super AMOLED panel with dual-edges and a Quad HD+ resolution. It was rumoured the Note 8 might increase its resolution to 4K, but alas, 2960 x 1440 pixel are the magic numbers this time round for a pixel density of 522ppi.
Additionally, the Note 8 offers Mobile HDR Premium, which both the Galaxy S8 and Galaxy S8+ launched with. The Note 7 was the first smartphone to feature Mobile HDR compatibility, though it was a little before its time as there was no compatible content available when the device arrived and died. Mobile HDR can also now be found on the LG G6 and the Sony Xperia XZ Premium and both Netflix and Amazon Video have started to offer compatible content, making it a feature more relevant to have on a smartphone than it was in 2016.
Samsung Galaxy Note 8: Camera
- Dual-rear camera, horizontal setup
- Dual 12MP sensors, one telephoto and one wide-angle
- 8MP front camera
Dual-cameras are a big trend in smartphone cameras at the moment, with Apple, LG and Huawei all offering their own takes and even though Samsung and Sony have both steered clear until now, the Galaxy Note 8 has taken the leap.
The Note 8 follows the same path as the Apple iPhone 7 Plus by combining a telephoto lens and a wide-angle lens to offer 2x optical zoom. Both sensors offer a 12-megapixel resolution and both offer optical image stabilisation, a feature Samsung claims is the first for a smartphone.
The telephoto lens delivers autofocus and an aperture of f/2.4, while the wide-angle lens is a Dual Pixel lens with an aperture of f/1.7, like the Galaxy S8 and S8+ offer in their single-lens arrangement on the rear. The two rear sensors on the Note 8 will work together in order to deliver a better quality of images, according to Samsung, and there's also a feature called Dual Capture that will allow you to take two shots at the same time, one zoomed and one wide angle.
On the front, the Galaxy Note 8 has an 8-megapixel sensor wth an f/1.7 aperture and autofocus, like the S8 and S8+. The Note 8 also offers facial recognition from its front camera, as well as iris scanning technology.
Samsung Galaxy Note 8: Hardware
- 10nm Qualcomm and Exynos chips
- 6GB of RAM, 64GB storage
- 3300mAh battery, fast wireless charging support
The Samsung Galaxy Note 8 comes with the latest hardware under its hood, as is typically the case with the Note series. The latest and greatest Exynos or Qualcomm chips run the show, depending on region, which means the Exynos 8895 or Qualcomm Snapdragon 835, both of which are supported by 6GB of RAM.
There is 64GB of internal memory on board, coupled with microSD support for further storage expansion and the Note 8 offers a battery capacity of 3300mAh. This battery capacity is a little smaller than both the Note 7 and the S8+ though with bit of luck, hopefully it will be more reliable than the one within the Note 7.
The Note 8's battery can be charged via USB Type-C or wirelessly and it supports fast wireless charging, as well as fast charging through the port.
AKG headphones are also included within the Note 8's box, as they were with the S8 and S8+.
Samsung Galaxy Note 8: Software
- Android Nougat with TouchWiz
- Bixby voice assistant
- Several specific features for Note 8
The Galaxy Note 8 arrives on Android Nougat with Samsung's TouchWiz software over the top. TouchWiz was refined for the Note 7, S8 and S8+ offering less duplication and a more streamlined design and the same applies for the Note 8 too.
Unsurprisingly, there are some new features for the Note 8 specifically, along with the S Pen features of course. The device will come with a feature called App Pair, which allows two apps to be opened at the same time, such as maps and music for example, as well as Live Message, which will allow users to turn drawings into GIFs.
The Note 8 will also offer enhanced Screen Off Memo, which will support up to 100 pages of notes, and there is also a new Translate feature that will translate sentences with a hover. The Bixby voice assistant will also be on board, with a dedicated launch button.
Samsung Galaxy Note 8: Release date and price
- Launched at 23 August event
- Priced at £869
- Available from 15 September in the UK
Samsung announced the Note 8 at its Unpacked event in New York on 23 August and will be available from 15 September. The official price is £869 in the UK.
It will be available in Midnight Black, Orchid Grey and Maple Gold colour options, with a Deep Sea Blue edition following, although the colours will vary by region, with only black and gold launching in the UK.
Pre-orders for the Galaxy Note 8 have opened, with a free DeX cradle being offered as an incentive at some retailers.