Five Things Note 8 Users Can Do That iPhone Users Can’t

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On September 22 the Galaxy Note 8 arrives in Australia, (hopefully) explosion-free and packed full of ingenious new features that look to make the device a productivity powerhouse. Although the iPhone 8 is scheduled to drop soon, the Note 8 showcases a few features that users of Apple's flagship devices don't have (yet?). Here are five of the best of them.

Turn Your Phone Into A PC With DeX

DeX is a mobile dock that allows you to connect your Samsung device to a keyboard, mouse and monitor which means you can get a PC-like experience through your phone. While this isn’t specific to the Note 8 (the Galaxy S8 and S8+ can both also utilise DeX), the increased processing power and memory that comes built-in to the newest Note really allows DeX to truly shine. There are just some things you can’t do easily with your thumb or an S-Pen and DeX provides a good solution to those woes. Will Apple counter with the iPhone and allow you to use it coupled with a Macbook or iMac? We’re yet to see it.

Take Two Photos At Once

The Note 8 is Samsung’s first phone to feature dual rear cameras and they’re, quite rightly, stirring up a lot of buzz. Comparing it to the iPhone 7 Plus’ dual rear cameras, they both offer 12MP sensors but the Note 8’s 1x zoom wide-angle and 2x zoom telephoto lens both include Optical Image Stabilisation (OIS), which means less blur on your photos and videos, whereas the iPhone 7 Plus only features OIS in the wide-angle lens. If you’re zooming in, the dual rear cameras on the Note 8 are going to give you much better photos, not just because of the OIS, but also because of their slight improvements to shutter speed. The Note 8 will also feature Dual Capture, allowing you to take two photos at once – one with the wide-angle lens and one with the telephoto lens – and then choose which of the two resulting photos you like better.

S-Pen Translation And Currency Conversions

Samsung’s Note series use styluses. That’s the way things are. Of course, this a feature you can’t find on any current generation iPhone. In the Note 8, the S-Pen has been upgraded once again and a couple of its features are designed perfectly for the globetrotter. By hovering over text of another language, the Note 8 will automatically translate it to the device’s default language. For instance, if you’re looking at a menu online that’s in Spanish, simply hovering will translate to your native language. It also comes in handy when wandering the streets too – you can take a picture of a sign and then use the S-Pen to translate the text on that sign. Plus, there’s a built-in currency converter that works the exact same way – hover over a price and it will be converted to your device’s default currency. Pretty impressive and very handy for heavy travellers.

Live Message

But the S-Pen can do even more! The internet is ruled by GIFs and Samsung want your phone to be, as well. That’s why the Note 8 allows you to draw on photos and messages using the S-Pen and send them to your friends and family as GIFs. You can pull out the S-Pen and draw over photos and when Campbell over at Gizmodo got hands-on with the Note 8, he said that it’s just a ‘fun’ addition. Of course, like the S8 before it, you can also use the Smart Select feature that allows you to record a portion of the screen and send that as a GIF, too.

App Pair

With the Note 8, you can launch two apps at the same time via one convenient shortcut located in the edge menu. It’s one of those features that you immediately hear about and think ‘why hasn’t this existed earlier?’ but the Note 8 is the perfect device to fully utilise the feature – it’s huge screen and abundant RAM should make windowed apps run smoothly. There are so many times I’m working in two apps and jumping between the two on my current Samsung S7, like on the train when I’m trying to change the track playing while browsing the web, or when I’m in the car using Google Maps to navigate instead. It’s all about streamlining the user experience and increasing productivity, and though it absolutely seems like an obvious thing to implement in a phone these days, it’s definitely a welcome feature.

Bonus: Insert A MicroSD Card

Image: Supplied

Yeah, this is a huge bonus on Samsung’s most recent phones. The ability to add in a microSD card, up to 256GB, should be in every phone in my honest opinion. It does mean that Samsung get away with shipping the Note 8 in Australia in just a respectable 64GB, but you can’t put a microSD card in an iPhone at all!


    A couple of those are really scraping the bottom of the barrel

      Which ones, out of interest? I expect a few of these to be remedied with the iPhone 8 but.

        Well, I'ts my opinion of course but -

        Live message - that seems pretty gimmicky, but you can already do something similar on iPhone anyway, admittedly not with photos though.

        Taking two photos at once - another major gimmick. I had the option on Note 4 and it wasn't really useful. Edit: OK, misread this one, I thought it was front and back. Either way, its not exactly a killer feature.

        The PC thing is pretty cool, and I've thought for a while it would be amazing for apple to do something similar. Even if it was just basically iOS with mouse and keyboard.

        Last edited 02/09/17 5:09 pm

          Yeah, but opinions are interesting. I agree that not all of these features are world-changing, for sure! If they were I would have noted so. It's just an article about the current differences between the Note 8 and current-gen Apple! I expect Apple to do some cool stuff in 10 days time when they announce their iPhone 8!

      Totally agree with you there. Note 8 isn't anything special. Guess that's why it can only compare itself to iPhone.

    You could always use thr iphone to scrape the bottom the barrel, that's all theyre good for .

    It is sad to see such titans fall. Both Apple and Samsung are pretty much losing ground. Samsung is already out of the top 5 in the largest market in the world and Apple's almost going to be overtaken by Huawei in the overall global market. Of course 2017 has been Xiaomi's year though. Huawei might be jocking for #2 but every major flagship that has come out the past year is Xiaomi inspired. Note 8 is pretty much a more close copy of what S8 was trying to be but it couldn't even get the battery right. Plus at an even smaller 83% screen to body ratio it is still no competitor. iPhone 8 is probably going to beat out that screen to body ratio but only because of its cutout design and those cutout parts of the screen aren't going to be useful for anything. Plus it is coming out after the Mi MIX 2 will already be out so its going to be competing against something that was already succeeded. gg guys but the game's over.

      Yeah, the problem is that there's not a whole lot more innovation to do in phones these days. It basically comes down to OS preference now. If I was going to use android, there are so many great cheaper alternatives. I couldn't imagine spending $1000 on an android phone.

      I personally (after being backwards and forwards between all the different OS's) prefer iOS at the moment, and I'll only really be upgrading to the 8 because of waterproofing and the edge to edge screen. I honestly don't see where they could go after that, so, even though I'm a tech enthusiast, I don't imagine I'd bother upgrading for quite a while after that

      The reason why Samsung and Apple are losing ground, is simply because of cheaper alternatives.

      The Chinese brands are much, much cheaper, and people are realising that they can live without the 'best' traditional brands.

    My cunning plan was to actually use this to replace my PC by using it as a thin client. But unfortunately Microsoft's Remote Desktop app doesn't run in full screen in the DeX dock. Any tips?

      iOS version of Teamviewer is terrible, it makes my PC icons go really big.
      Best to use a real PC. And I haven't tried Teamviewer on the iMac yet.
      A Windows tablet with a keyboard and trackpad works well. I use the Samsung Tabpro S.

        Actually I currently use TeamViewer on my iPhone 6s Plus and it's great. Certainly not my full time workstation but it has enabled me to provide remote emergency support while out at dinner.

          I've used it sometimes without problems but have suffered the big icons twice. It's something to do with the swiping motion which locks up due to lag or something and might be interpreted as a zoom on the target workstation.

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