Samsung's next Note device was unveiled at an event on 23 August in New York following months of rumours. The new Galaxy Note 8 joins the Galaxy S8 and S8+ as the company's third flagship smartphone in 2017, adding a stylus to the mix.
Samsung Galaxy Note 8 vs Galaxy S8 vs S8+: Design
- Similar design across all three devices
- Note 8 slightly bigger than S8+
- Dual-rear cameras and S Pen slot on Note 8
The Samsung Galaxy Note 8 follows a similar design path to the Galaxy S8 and S8+ but with a couple of tweaks. Being a Note device, the design needed to cater for a built-in S Pen so the Note 8 is slightly wider than the S8 and S8+ at 162.5 x 74.8 x 8.6mm and heavier too at 195g.
The S Pen slots in next to USB Type-C port at the bottom of the device, while the front is almost all-screen like the Galaxy S8 and S8+ with super slim bezels and dual edge Infinity Display. Despite rumours of a fingerprint sensor built into the display, the Note 8 has the sensor next to the camera on the rear of the device like the S8 and S8+ and it also continues with the metal and glass waterproof sandwich design as well as IP68 waterproof rating.
The Galaxy S8 measures 148.9 x 68.1 x 8mm and weighs 155g, while the S8+ measures 159.5 x 73.4 x 8.1mm and weighs 173g so the Galaxy Note 8 offers closer measurements to the S8+ than the S8, though still larger to accommodate the fractionally larger display and S Pen.
The Bixby button that debuted on the S8 and S8+ is also present on the Note 8, making the three devices very similar. What distinguishes the Note 8 from the other two flagships, aside from the S Pen and size is dual-cameras on the rear.
Samsung Galaxy Note 8 vs Galaxy S8 vs S8+: Display
- Note 8 has 6.3-inch display so largest of all three devices
- Quad HD+ resolution for all three devices
- Super AMOLED panel and Mobile HDR Premium on all three
The Samsung Galaxy Note series is known for a big display so it's no surprise that the Note 8 continues that trend. It offers a 6.3-inch screen but with a 18.5:9 aspect ratio like the Galaxy S8 and S8+, meaning only a slight change in its body dimensions compared to the S8+, as we mentioned above.
The Galaxy S8 has a 5.8-inch display, while the S8+ has a 6.2-inch display, meaning the Note 8 is slightly bigger than the plus-size Samsung flagship. Both the S8 and S8+ have Super AMOLED panels with Mobile HDR Premium compatibility, all of which the Note 8 also offers.
In terms of resolution, the S8, S8+ and Note 8 all have a Quad HD+, putting their pixel counts at 2960 x 1440. This means the S8 has the highest pixel density at 570ppi, followed by the S8+ at 529ppi and the Note 8 at 522ppi. Despite the Note 8 offering the softest display, it will no doubt still be a very capable screen and the difference between the S8+ and Note 8 won't be noticeable.
All three devices also offer an Always-on display, presenting useful information at a glance without having to turn the main display on.
Samsung Galaxy Note 8 vs Galaxy S8 vs S8+: Camera
- Dual-rear cameras on Note 8
- Dual OIS on Note 8
- Same front camera with iris scanning on all three
The Samsung Galaxy Note 8 comes with dual rear cameras, as we mentioned briefly in the design section. As the leaks predicted, the rear cameras are situated in a horizontal alignment and they consist of two 12-megapixel sensors, one wide-angle, one telephoto.
The wide-angle camera has an aperture of f/1.7, while the telephoto sensor has an aperture of f/2.4 offering 2x optical zoom and both have dual optical image stabilisation. In terms of the Note 8's front camera, it offers an 8-megapixel sensor with an f/1.7 aperture autofocus lens and it includes iris scanning capabilities.
The Galaxy S8 and Galaxy S8+ both have the same camera functionality, featuring a single 12-megapixel rear camera with autofocus, optical image stabilisation and a f/1.7 aperture with eight times digital zoom. The front-facing camera is an 8-megapixel sensor with autofocus and the same f/1.7 aperture, meaning the Note 8 and S8 models have the same on the front.
Samsung Galaxy Note 8 vs Galaxy S8 vs S8+: Hardware
- Same hardware, though Note 8 increases RAM
- S8+ has largest battery capacity
- All three devices come with AKG headphones
The Samsung Galaxy Note 8 unsurprisingly comes with the latest hardware, which is either the Qualcomm Snapdragon 835 platform or the Exynos 8895, depending on the region. Samsung has increased the RAM to 6GB, as well as storage capacity options to 64GB, 128GB and 256GB. MicroSD is also on board.
Battery capacity sits at 3300mAh for the Note 8, meaning it sits between the S8 and S8+. The Note 8 is charged via USB Type-C, or wirelessly and it supports fast wireless charging as well as standard fast charging.
The Galaxy S8 and S8+ both have either the Qualcomm Snapdragon 835 platform or the Exynos 8895, depending on the region, coupled with 4GB of RAM, which means the Note 8 is likely to have a slightly improved performance compared to these two devices thanks to the extra RAM.
The S8 and S8+ both have 64GB of internal storage with microSD support for storage expansion, so a few less options to the Note 8. Battery capacity of the S8 is 3000mAh, while the S8+ has a 3500mAh battery. All three devices come with AKG headphones in the box but the Note 8 also offers AKG Audio, suggesting improvements in the sound department.
Samsung Galaxy Note 8 vs Galaxy S8 vs S8+: Software
- Similar software experience across all three devices
- Note 8 offers extra features for S Pen
The Samsung Galaxy Note 8 launches on Android Nougat with Samsung's TouchWiz over the top, just like the S8 and S8+. The experience between these three devices being compared here will therefore be very similar, though there are a few additional features on the Note 8.
The new device will allow for app pairing, where users will be able to open two apps at the same time, as well as something called Live Message that will turn drawings into GIFs. There will also be Screen Off Memo and a Translate feature that will translate sentences with a hover.
Bixby voice assistant is available on all three devices.
Samsung Galaxy Note 8 vs Galaxy S8 vs S8+: Price
- Note 8 to be more expensive than S8+
Carphone Warehouse has listed the Note 8 at £869, making it hugely expensive.
The Galaxy S8 costs £689 and the S8+ costs £779, so for those not fussed about the S Pen, the Galaxy S8+ might become the obvious choice of phone.
Samsung Galaxy Note 8 vs Galaxy S8 vs S8+: Conclusion
The Samsung Galaxy Note 8 has a similar design to the Galaxy S8 and S8+, but with a slightly wider and taller stance to accommodate the S Pen, along with the slightly larger display. It also features dual-rear cameras compared to the single lens on the S8 and S8+.
In terms of hardware, the Note 8 sticks with the same screen resolution as the S8 and S8+ but it increases its RAM ad storage options. The processor remains the same, along with the software remaining similar but with a few extra features on the Note 8.
Ultimately, the Samsung Galaxy Note 8 brings all the latest features and functions from Samsung, but you'll pay a price for it and not everyone will want the S Pen features, or the new software functions in which case the S8 or S8+ might be the better option. We will update this feature once we have reviewed the Note 8 in full to let you know how all those numbers perform in real life use.