Rapid Review: Samsung Galaxy Note8

Image: Samsung

The Samsung Galaxy Note8 was released in Australia in August, 2017. After a few short months, it's about to be superseded by the Galaxy S9+ as Samsung's head-honcho smartphone. Should you buy it? Let's take a look.

What Is It?

The Galaxy Note8 is a colossal 6.3-inch smartphone and the seventh iteration of the original "phablet". (Remember when phone manufacturers kept trying to make that word happen? It all started with the Note 1.)

After the global safety recall of the Galaxy Note7, Samsung left nothing to chance with the Note8. Having undergone a "rigorous series of device and battery safety compatibility test protocols", it's definitely not going to burst into flames. (Unless you chuck it in a microwave or something.)

Apart from not exploding, the Note8's main claims to fame are its excellent Quad HD+ Super AMOLED Infinity Display and dual 12-megapixel rear cameras. Here are the specs.


OS Android 7.1.1 (Nougat)
Processor Octa core (2.35GHz Quad + 1.9GHz Quad), 64bit, 10nm processor
Memory 64/128/256GB, 6GB RAM
Screen 6.3-inch Quad HD+ Super AMOLED
1080x2160, ~402ppi
Camera Rear: 12MP OIS (Wide-Angle F1.7; Telephoto F2.4), Front: 8MP AF (F1.7)
Front: 8 MP, f/2.0
Battery 3300mAh
Dimensions (L x W x D) 162.5 x 74.8 x 8.6 mm
Weight 195g
Price (RRP) $1499

What's Good?

The Note8 was the first phone from Samsung to sport dual cameras and they're gooduns. Crucially, the two 12-megapixel rear cameras - one wide-angle lens and one telephoto lens - both come with Optical Image Stabilisation (OIS). The wide-angle lens is capable of capturing sharp, clear shots in low lighting due to its dual pixel sensor with rapid auto focus. Without a shadow of a doubt this is one of the finest phone cameras that money can buy.

Naturally, the phone also comes with all the premium bells and whistles you'd expect from a Samsung flagship, including water and dust resistance (IP684), iris and fingerprint bi-security options, a Secure Folder for keeping personal data safe, an enhanced S Pen stylus and compatibility with Samsung's DeX virtual desktop.

What's Bad?

The Note8's battery life is passable but we've recently been spoiled by longer charges. You can still get a full day's use out of it but only barely. It's also not terribly different to the Galaxy S8+, which is cheaper. (Although that phone does lack a stylus.) Some of the "premium" software features - like Live Message - are also a bit gimmicky.

Should You Buy It?

Sure. The Note8 remains one of the best flagship smartphones on the market. It will especially suit keen photographers and fans of phone styluses. Plus, with the similar S9+ just around the corner, a price drop is surely imminent. Our advice? Wait another month, then buy it.

You can read the full review at Gizmodo, by clicking the link below.

Samsung Galaxy Note8: The Gizmodo Review

Forgive me for passing up the chance to beat the exploding battery joke into the ground. Let's get straight to the point. Samsung's once dominant flagship phablet is back after a two year hiatus. Sporting a stunning extra-widescreen 18.5.9 display, the new Galaxy Note8 is bigger and more engaging than ever before, and it packs a larger power pack than any Note besides the ill-fated Galaxy Note 7 too. But a lot has changed since 2015 - especially when you consider that starting at $1499, the new Note8 is now more expensive than ever.

That means there are two questions it needs to answer. Does the Galaxy Note8 still make sense in 2017, and can it possibly be worth $1499?

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Rapid Reviews is Lifehacker's bite-sized buying advice on the latest technology products.


    521ppi... not 402 ppi... it wouldn't be suitable for Oculus if it was just 402ppi like you claim it is
    also, outside of USA & China a different cpu is used
    Battery life is not bad at all, I still have 50-70% battery at the end of the day, depending on my usage.
    I feel like you're underselling the S-pen by calling it a mere 'stylus', it can do so much more than that, and the compatibility with Oculus and Beep'nGo are also big selling points.

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