Samsung's comeback Galaxy phablet is finally here. Boasting a massive 6.3-inch screen, an innovative dual-lens camera and the promise of a free screen repair if you break it, there's certainly a lot to like about this new phone. It's (almost) like the Note7 never happened.
Last night, Samsung officially unveiled the Galaxy Note8 during its Unpacked event in New York City. While the event was obviously US-centric, we've managed to scrounge together the details that matter to Australians. Here's everything you need to know.
First things first: Is the Samsung Note8 safe to use?
After the disastrous Note7 launch, many believed Samsung would either permanently retire the Note branding, or undergo a disingenuous digit reboot. Instead, Samsung has bravely elected to call its new device the Galaxy Note8. Ballsy. (The press conference even brandished the line "forgive and forget" on a giant cinema screen.)
"We have been closely working with Samsung to make meaningful advancements in the science of smartphone quality and safety evaluation," Sajeev Jesudas, president of UL International explained in a statement. "As a result, the Galaxy Note8 has successfully completed a rigorous series of device and battery safety compatibility test protocols. We look forward to maintaining our strategic relationship with Samsung and helping ensure device safety for all consumers."
TLDR; the latest version of the Samsung Galaxy Note is definitely safe to use. Probably.
Samsung Galaxy Note8: New hardware
The Samsung Galaxy Note8 comes with a 6.3-inch Quad HD+ Super AMOLED Infinity Display boasting a native resolution of 2960x1440 pixels. This is slightly larger than the S8+, which has a 6.2-inch display. The screen's resolution is identical to the S8 and S8+.
The Note8 runs Android 7.1 and comes with 6GB of RAM: a beefier memory total than either of its predecessors. The on-board components are rounded out by a 10nm processor, a 3300mAh battery with fast and wireless charging, a USB Type-C connector, up to 256GB of internal storage and that all-important Micro SD slot (which is something not all Note products have had.)
Other noteworthy features include water and dust resistance (IP684), iris and fingerprint bi-security options, Secure Folder for keeping professional data secure, the usual array of sensors and compatibility with Samsung's DeX virtual desktop. There's also an "enhanced" S Pen which boasts a finer tip and improved pressure sensitivity. Oh yeah, and there's a 3.5mm headphone jack, which Samsung gleefully mentioned during the press conference. (As you all know, this feature was removed from Apple phones last year.)
Samsung Galaxy Note8: New software
Software enhancements include Live Message (which allows you to add animated texts or drawings to text messages with the S Pen), Always On Display (which gives instant access to notifications without switching on the screen), Dual Capture (which takes close-up and telephoto shots simultaneously), Live Focus (which lets you control the depth of field by allowing you to adjust the bokeh effect in preview mode) and App Pair (which allows you to create a custom pair of apps on the Edge panel for quicker multitasking.)
Samsung Galaxy Note8: New cameras
Samsung is really bigging up the Note's camera this time around, and with good reason: it's equipped with two 12-megapixel rear cameras - one wide-angle lens and one telephoto lens - with Optical Image Stabilisation (OIS) on both. While dual cameras are nothing new in the smartphone world, this is the first Samsung model to have one.
According to Samsung, the wide-angle lens is capable of capturing sharp, clear shots in low lighting due to its dual pixel sensor with rapid auto focus. Naturally, there's also a front-facing camera that comes with an 8MP sensor and Smart Auto Focus for the selfie-lovers out there.
Samsung Galaxy Note8: specifications
Here's a look at the chief specifications:
|Galaxy Note 8|
|OS||Android 7.1.1 (Nougat)|
|Dimensions (mm)||162.5 x 74.8 x 8.6|
|CPU||Octa core (2.35GHz Quad + 1.9GHz Quad), 64bit, 10nm processor|
|Memory||6GB RAM (LPDDR4)|
|Storage||64/128/256GB (+ MicroSD card slot)|
|Display||6.3-inch Quad HD+ Super AMOLED|
|Resolution||2960 x 1440 (521 ppi)|
|Camera||Rear: 12MP OIS (Wide-Angle F1.7; Telephoto F2.4), Front: 8MP AF (F1.7)|
Samsung Galaxy Note 8: Free screen replacement offer
Following in the footsteps of LG and Huawei, Samsung will provide Note 8 with one free screen replacement per device: no questions asked. Here are the details:
With the Infinity Display offering an incredible viewing experience, Samsung will provide peace of mind to Australian customers who order the Galaxy Note8 between 25 August and 31 October 2017 and register by 14 November 2017, by offering free access to Samsung’s Screen Assure program. This will provide one free screen repair should the screen be damaged within the first 12 months of receiving the device.
Samsung Galaxy Note8: Australian availability
Samsung has confirmed that the Galaxy Note8 will be available from selected retailers to pre-order in Australia from 25 August 2017. It will officially go on sale on 22 September 2017.
Samsung Galaxy Note8: Australian pricing
The Galaxy Note8 will be priced at $1499. That's $150 more expensive than the Samsung Galaxy S8+ and $270 more than the 128GB iPhone 7. You might be able to find cheaper offers from overseas retailers, but local sellers are unlikely to budge on this price point.
If you're desperate to get your hands on the Note 8 on launch day, you can pre-order on Samsung's website. As mentiond, the company will be accepting pre-orders from August 25 to 21 September.
Australia's major telcos have started releasing their own pricing for the Samsung Galaxy Note 8. You can snap the phone up on a range of 24-month plans from Telstra, Optus, Virgin and Vodafone with prices starting at around $70 a month.
If you pre-order before 21 September, Samsung will throw in a free Samsung Convertible Fast Wireless Charger valued at $119. This isn't quite as cool as the Gear VR virtual-reality headset that came with the S8, but it's better than nothing we suppose. The free Wireless Charger can also be redeemed via Australia's major telcos so keep an eye out on their respective product pages.
The Samsung Galaxy Note8 will be romping into Aussie stores at the end of next month. So which telco has the best prices? Here are all the plans released thus far from Telstra, Vodafone, Virgin and Optus. (With more to come!)