Samsung won’t want to be reminded of its Galaxy Note 7. After spearheading a revolutionary change in the landscape of the smartphone arena with its first-ever Galaxy Note, “phablets” have since been the standards. Its 5.3-inch display was large for its time back in 2011, however, these days 5.5-inch panels are pretty much the norm.
Last year, the Galaxy Note 7 released to much fanfare initially. It was Samsung’s first device to feature a USB type-C connector. It also inherited many elements that have made the Galaxy S7 a success—IP68 water and dust resistance and dual-sided curved display. Then it all went up in smoke. Reports of delay surfaced in August as Samsung was performing additional quality tests due to faulty batteries. Then there was a recall of early shipments and the company swiftly replaced those affected units, caused by manufacturing defects and resulted in these defective batteries generating excessive heat and eventually exploded, with supposed trouble-free ones. However, the replacement phones were soon found to suffer the same fate of battery failure and combustion, leading to sales suspension and discontinued production. Airlines were forced to ban the device on board due to the underlying risk.
There were rumours of Samsung abandoning and rebranding the Note line. That proved to be false as Samsung presented the Galaxy Note 8, a smartphone that we hope is better engineered. So is the Galaxy Note 8 a step-up from its cursed predecessor? Let’s find out.
The Galaxy Note 8 is home to a dual-sensor rear camera setup much like its contemporaries. Each featuring a 12MP sensor, one captures wide angle, while the other telephoto. What propels the Galaxy Note 8 to be ahead of the competition is that the configuration houses two optical image stabilisation systems, instead of a single unit normally seen.
On the other hand, the Galaxy Note 7 has only one 12MP rear camera.
Meanwhile, the front camera on the Galaxy Note 8 has 8MP as opposed to 5MP.
Unlike Galaxy Note 7’s 5.7-inch 1440 x 2560-pixel panel, the Galaxy Note 8 has a larger 6.3-inch screen with the resolution bumped up to 1440 x 2960 pixels. The latter’s pixel density is also marginally higher despite its larger footprint.
Even with the larger display, Samsung has managed to keep the size of the Galaxy Note 8 similar to its predecessor, resulting in a larger screen-to-body ratio, in a dimension of 162.5 x 74.8 x 8.6mm. Putting it into perspectives, the Galaxy Note 8 is less than 1cm taller than the previous phone. It is also less than 1mm wider and thicker.
Since the Galaxy Note 8 is the latest effort from Samsung, it is shipped with a newer Android operating system in Nougat. We presume that it will be upgraded to Android Oreo, which was only announced on August 21, when it is made available by Samsung.
Processor and memory
The RAM capacity has been raised to 6GB, ensuring smooth operations. There will also be variants of different storage capacities, ranging from a basic 64GB to a top-end 256GB, expandable via microSD. The onboard processor is also one generation newer as it should be.
The Galaxy Note 8 also comes with an improved S Pen. Nifty features include hovering over the text to translate sentences into other languages and creating animated GIF images.
As a conclusion, the Galaxy Note 8 has lived up to lofty expectations and at times far ahead of the competition. Nonetheless, after much bad publicity generated by the Galaxy Note 7, you may want to adopt a cautionary approach.