Samsung Galaxy Note 8 in Hands-On

Galaxy Note 8 Hands-On: Samsung's pen-smartphone is a 1,000-euro hybrid

Tl; dr: It has been three years since a Galaxy Note was regularly available in Germany. The Galaxy Note 4 is now followed by the Galaxy Note 8. In the first hands-on with the new smartphone, Samsung shows that it has created a creature half Galaxy S8 + and half Galaxy Note 7. After all, the dual camera is completely new.

The note is back after three years

Hardly to believe, but the last regular Galaxy Note offered in Germany was the fourth one to be presented at IFA 2014. The Galaxy Note 5 never came to the German market, and a year later followed the Galaxy Note 7 due to the approximation of the name to the Galaxy S7. Its battery debacle should remain many in memory, even if Samsung with the Galaxy S8 (Test ) Has proved that the problem no longer exists. Anyway, there are many parallels to the Galaxy S8.

Galaxy Note 8 with stylus

This is primarily the design that Samsung has taken over to small changes from the Galaxy S8. This does not mean anything bad, because after all, the Galaxy S8 is the most modern design smartphone. No other device lets the display go so elegantly into the chassis. For the Galaxy Note 8, however, Samsung dispenses a little on the curves and shapes the device more angularly. The now 6.3-inch Infinity-Display draws Samsung back into the frame, but not quite so strong, so it can be operated better by stylus. The display offers again 1,440 × 2,960 pixels and comes with HDR support.

The stylus hides again in the lower right corner of the IP68 certified case and uses it for the functions, which have already been introduced with the Galaxy Note 7, but have never really entered the market. Samsung is applying the stylus with a fine tip, as well as being more sensitive to pressure compared to previous models. This is only true, however, when referring to the Galaxy Note 5. Stylus features such as GIF animations, Google Translate translate and translate, as well as memos on the Always-on displays all come from the Galaxy Note 7. The stylus also provides 4,096 reps and a 0.7 millimeter wide tip.

Strong hardware of the Galaxy S8

Samsung’s new system-on-a-chip with LTE Cat. 18 modem is already under development, but it is not yet ready for use in Galaxy Note 8. With the Exynos 8895 of the Galaxy S8, however, the new note is anything but weak. The chip uses a total of eight cores, four of which are based on Samsung’s own development Exynos M2 and four on the Cortex-A53 from ARM. The fast ARM Mali-G71 MP20 is again used as graphics unit. New compared to the Galaxy S8 is the upgrade of the memory from 4 to 6 gigabytes. On the internal memory Samsung does not hand however: Germany comes the model with 64 gigabytes, which can be expedited expediently with microSD card. In Asia there will also be variants with 128 and 256 GB of internal memory.

Dual SIM comes to Germany

The Exynos 8895 installed modem for LTE Advanced Pro creates up to 1 Gbps in the downlink and up to 150 Mbps in the uplink. Users who are most likely to benefit from Vodafone’s network are up to 500 Mbps downstream. For the first time Samsung will offer the Galaxy Note 8 here officially as a dual SIM variant. Like the Galaxy S8 + Duos, sales are planned exclusively via the Samsung Online Store.

Dual camera with zoom and dual OIS

Completely new is the dual camera on the back of Galaxy Note 8. That Samsung has developed a dual camera module had already been known since the end of June, as the LSI division the ISOCELL Dual and little later even the individual functions of the module Has presented. Samsung uses two sensors each with 12 megapixels, which are also supported by two optical image stabilizers (OIS). This is a novelty in the industry, as the second sensor has always lacked an OIS with other manufacturers. For example, the iPhone 7 Plus (test) makes the smartphone more responsive to movement. Samsung has now for the first time managed to synchronize the stabilizers among themselves.

While the first camera is identical to the Galaxy S8 (+), the second camera comes with the functionality of a Telezoom. This is designed optically to a double magnification, digital can be enlarged up to ten times. The zoom is similar to that of Apple: In the middle above the release button, there is a switch from 1x to 2x – so the Telezoom activates itself quickly, in the live preview this becomes directly apparent. As usual with other manufacturers, the aperture of the Telezoom slips from f / 1.7 to f / 2.4. In addition to the pure zoom functions, there is now also a portrait mode with depth of field in the background. Users can also snap with both cameras at the same time.

Larger smartphone with smaller battery

The Galaxy Note 8 is, despite the shrunken edges, not a compact smartphone any more. If you reduce the frames with each iteration, but the display is enlarged accordingly, nevertheless creates a larger smartphone. The Galaxy Note 8 is larger than the Galaxy Note 7, Galaxy S8 + or iPhone 7 Plus at 74.8 × 162.5 × 8.60 millimeters (W × H × T). Depending on how it is held in the hand, it is – also because of the dual camera – somewhat copflastig. The weight is also very high at 195 grams. On the pen, however, only 2.8 grams are used.

The 5.8 × 4.2 × 108.3 millimeter stylus is, however, responsible for the internal space of the housing less space for the battery than the Galaxy S8 +, although the external dimensions are larger. The battery of the Galaxy Note 8 offers 3,300 mAh. For comparison: In the Galaxy S8 + it is 3.500 mAh, the Galaxy S8 comes on 3.000 mAh.

Fingerprint sensor remains behind

Compared to the Galaxy S8 + yet again larger smartphone ensures that the fingerprint sensor can be used even worse, because it sits still further up. As Korean experts from Samsung explained in conversation with ComputerBase, the company is working on a fingerprint sensor integrated into the display, but this is not yet reliable enough for the serial use. Basically, however, the technology would work, just not yet good enough. Therefore, the fingerprint sensor sits next to the camera, but now next to the flash and no longer directly next to the lens, so that it is in the best case less often hit instead of the fingerprint sensor.

Price and availability

Samsung wants to bring the Galaxy Note 8 from mid-September to a non-committal price of 999 euros on the German market. This has confirmed the rumor of the end of June. The price recommendation is thus 100 euros over the Galaxy S8 +, which in free trade with serious sellers meanwhile however for approximately 630 euros is to have. The Galaxy Note 8 with dual SIM function will also cost 999 euros. Two of the four colors come to Germany: Midnight Black and Maple Gold. Blue and gray will not be available in Germany. As with the Galaxy S8 (+) the delivery with AKG headphones, power supply for fast charging, USB type C cable and Micro USB adapter are delivered.

DeX station for pre-buyers

Already this evening Samsung is launching an action for pre-buyers, which runs until September 14th. Pre-buyers will get the DeX station worth about 160 euros free of charge. With DeX Station, Galaxy Note 8 and Galaxy S8 and S8 + can be connected to a monitor and connected to external peripherals to switch to desktop mode. A small fan in the DeX station ensures that the smartphone remains cool and maintains the power during charging and heavy loads.

First impression

The Galaxy Note 8 leaves behind the first try the impression of a hybrid of Galaxy S8 + and Galaxy Note 7. The design has adapted Samsung to the better use of the stylus’ slightly, but on the whole buyers get a larger Galaxy S8 +, the more angular is. Regarding the pen features, there is little news to report, although Samsung looks different. Compared to the Galaxy Note 4 and 5 is synonymous, but who knows the Galaxy Note 7, also knows its stylus features, which Samsung now wants to sell as new.

More interesting is the dual camera, in which Samsung as the first manufacturer has succeeded in combining two sensors with two optical image stabilizers.

From a technological perspective, the Galaxy Note 8 is an excellent smartphone, the equipment leaves little to be desired, at most an even bigger battery and a fingerprint sensor in the display. Buy the device but still only those who absolutely need the stylus. In all other cases, the grip on the Galaxy S8 (+) is the better and currently much cheaper choice.

Tracy

Tracy

Always on the move… Love to blog, write about smartphones, technology and telecoms. I also like to snowboard, when I have the time :p I’ll be around for a while so, be prepared.

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