Samsung succeeds the stylus comeback with the Galaxy Note 8. The disaster in the last year is followed by a completely successful smartphone. However, there are two hooks: price and target group. Only genuine fans of the S Pen should consider to strike at the 1,000-euro smartphone. For everyone else the Galaxy S8 + is better.
Galaxy Note 8 follows note 4
Germany plays a special role in the Galaxy Note 8. After a waiting period of three years, this is the first stylus smartphone offered by Samsung. In the US, Samsung markets the Galaxy Note 8 as a successor to the Galaxy Note 5, which was unveiled in Germany in late summer 2015. The Galaxy Note 8 follows the Galaxy Note 4 (test).
And what about the Galaxy Note 7? This Samsung smartphone blends smartly in highlighting the merits of the new model, even though the big show in New York has once again affirmed how enormously sorry the company is doing the battery debacle. The brand note was strengthened during the presentation of the Galaxy Note 8, on the other hand, by short, positive statements from genuine fans of the series. In view of the fact that the Galaxy Note 8 has changed only a few points against the Galaxy S8 (+), one might actually think that Samsung is no longer only a fan of big smartphones, but the focus is even more tight and primary to fans of the stylus.
OLED display with 6.3 inches
This can, for example, be determined by the fact that the display of the Galaxy Note 8 is not really larger than that of the Galaxy S8 +. 6.3 inches stand 6.2 inches opposite – no appreciable gain. The resolution and aspect ratios also remained constant at 2,960 × 1,440 pixels as well as 18,5: 9. The miserable down-swaying of the most important key figures, however, only supposedly describes a boring actual state. For the Galaxy Note 8, the so-called Infinity-Display is a real eye-catcher, which is really off the ground with particularly thin edges. Narrow display edges are one of the smartphone trends of the year, but Samsung is a pioneer and integrates into the case better than others.
In Galaxy Note 8, however, Samsung does not use the Galaxy S8 curves, so that a visibly more angular device is produced whose display is less “curved”. Even more of the front face is therefore actually usable, which is particularly advantageous when using the stylus. That show is not everything, Samsung has realized for this class smartphone and the coolness knob of the display turned from eleven back to ten. However, the OLED panel continues to set standards.
Colors, contrast, brightness, viewing angle – there is virtually nothing to complain about the current OLED panel generation from Samsung. Stubborn nagging on the Diamond pixel matrix instead of the classic RGB matrix does not lead to the fact that it is only approximately recognizable with the naked eye. At the factory, Samsung delivers the smartphone with the so-called “Adaptive Display”. This is the display mode, which in most everyday situations produces the best characteristics of all disciplines. In this mode, for example, 112% of the DCI-P3 and 141% of the sRGB color space are covered by DisplayMate. Colors are particularly strong in this mode and White has a light blue-light – typical OLED. Samsung shows what is in the panel.
If you prefer a particularly accurate view, which is based on a single color space, instead of acting dynamically, the screen modes “AMOLED Cinema”, “AMOLED photo” and “Easy” are available. These correspond in this order to the Farbräumen DCI-P3, Adobe RGB and sRGB. In addition, users can select between five levels of cooler or warmer display only when the display is adaptive, or set their own values in the advanced options for red, green, and blue. Samsung offers all options from predefined settings to Custom Setup.
The theme of brightness
The maximum brightness that the OLED panel achieves depends on Samsung whether the automatic or manual adjustment of the brightness is selected under Android (7.1.1). In addition, an OLED panel may be brighter if the entire panel does not have to have a white area, as is done in the measurements made by ComputerBase. The display of the Galaxy Note 8 is capable of over 1,200 cd / m². This is only possible with an average picture level (APL) of one percent. This means that one percent of the display is white while the rest of the panel remains black. It is only in this way that the record values of DisplayMate, which are followed by numerous publications every year, are possible at all. In the details of the measurements, however, only a few are taking place.
With a completely white display, the Galaxy Note 8 reaches a maximum brightness of 532 cd / m² as the average of three measuring fields. This corresponds to the value determined with the Galaxy S8 +. The smaller display of the normal Galaxy S8 glows with 558 cd / m² slightly brighter. All three values can only be achieved with automatic brightness control. In the manual mode, the peak value of Note 8 is 355 cd / m². For outdoor use, the Galaxy Note 8 is suitable, since depending on the contents shown, reserves are still present in the panel. For a very good display, even in adverse light conditions, the direction of infinity is contrasted by real black, which can only be supplied by an OLED display. The minimum brightness of the panel is also very good with 2 cd / m².
Design as an angular S8
That Galaxy Note and Galaxy S are closer together than previous generations, makes the seventh generation (there was no grade 6 worldwide) also clearly. If one puts Galaxy S8, S8 + and Note 8 side by side, one can recognize at first sight only with regard to the size slight jumps upward. The Galaxy Note 8 is only a slightly more angular design, which is derived from the slightly adapted display form.
The Galaxy Note 8 is above all one: very large. More specifically, slightly higher than an iPhone 7 Plus, but marginally narrower. The smartphone comes at 74.8 × 162.5 × 8.60 millimeters (W × H × D) and can not be operated with one hand at all. The weight of saturated 195 grams can be understood as a light training of the forearm. Rarely are smartphones nowadays so hard. The note 7 weighed 26 grams less.
Where the weight comes from, you notice the Galaxy Note 8 in the positive sense: of a lot of glass and the frame of aluminum, which holds the whole together. In particular, the tested black variant of the smartphone seems to be milled from a block, but it is not. As with the Galaxy S8, the front and back are symmetrically constructed and are made of Gorilla Glass from Corning. The slightly rounded glass elements merge seamlessly into the black, shiny aluminum frame to the edge, which widens to the top and bottom to provide enough space for drawers, sockets and loudspeakers.
All connections available
Samsung is equipping the Galaxy Note 8 with the connections with all the features that some other manufacturers have already deleted. At the top are a microphone and the drawer for nano-SIM card and microSD card, on the right the power button, on the left the volume rocker and the Bixby button and on the bottom are the 3.5 mm jack socket, USB 3.1 Type C, another microphone, the mono speakers and lastly Samsung’s Stylus S Pen. And despite all these openings and connections, the Galaxy Note 8 also maintains the IP68 certification so that the smartphone is protected from dust and water. At the processing of the housing there is at no point criticism criticism, also the material selection is by the bank very high-quality.
Ergonomics on the go
Ergonomics are, however, at most mediocre. The Galaxy Note 8 is a real two-handed, and even then some movement is still a bit habituation. First and foremost, this is again the fingerprint sensor that Samsung has once again placed on the back of the camera. The version integrated into the display works in the laboratory of Samsung, but still works to inaccurate and slow for the serial use, as Korean experts from Samsung said against ComputerBase. Since Galaxy Note 8 and S8 did not differ greatly from one another in terms of PCB and battery layout, the fingerprint sensor of the new note was not significantly different in position. The construction of the interior does not permit this.
After all, the fingerprint sensor is now separated from the camera by the component for the LED flash and the heart rate monitor, but in the immediate vicinity it is still located. The proximity to the camera and the potential fouling of the lens is but one of the problems. The other is the simply too high position, which is almost never reachable immediately with the pointing fingers. In addition, when the left hand is used, the pointer finger must unfold unfavorably wide. It remains the same: As with the Galaxy S8 and S8 +, the fingerprint sensor is also the Galaxy Note 8 the biggest weak point of the smartphone. In the test, the device was only unlocked after a short time by means of a relatively unsafe locking pattern. The constant lifting of the smartphone for the iris or face scanner is just as annoying.