Samsung has just launched the Galaxy Note 8, a large 6.4-inch screened phablet.
It promises to be the South Korean company’s most advanced handset yet, but is it one you should consider buying?
The Galaxy Note 8 is strong in every area, and it has a number of new features that will be attractive to consumers.
I would personally find it hard to be disappointed if this was my day to day smartphone.
Here are a five reasons why you should too.
It’s comfortably big
The Galaxy Note range has always offered some of the largest screens on any smartphone as they get dangerously close to being a small tablet. The Note 8 is no exception with the aforementioned 6.4-inch screen.
Given the reduced size of the bezels, the front of the Note 8 is almost all screen.
That’s great if you want to read a lot of information and watch movies, but not everyone has that need – or has hands the size of shovels to hold the Note 8 and operate it comfortably with one hand.
Sometimes a bigger device is not what consumers are looking for. There’s a reason why many people love the diminutive iPhone SE.
But if it’s size you want, the Note 8 is your phone.
Carried inside the Note 8 is the S-Pen. Samsung’s stylus allows you to doodle on the screen, input text through handwriting, highlight text, and navigate the user interface.
New for the Note 8 is the ability to use the standby screen as a notepad. Now you don’t need to even turn the phablet on – just start writing on the dark display and your notes will be recorded.
Stylus support on a smartphone is a pretty rare beast, so there’s very little competition.
Apple does have the Apple Pencil, which is supported by the iPad Pro range but not by the iPhone. That may change in September with the launch of the iPhone 8, but that’s speculative.
If a stylus is a deal breaker, then the Note 8 is where you want to be.
Memory and storage
With 6GB of RAM, the Note 8 has a huge amount of room to run complicated applications and games. But it’s the amount of storage available that will be welcomed by many.
If you want, you’ll be able to pick up a Note 8 with 256 GB of memory. And if that’s not enough, every model allows you to add a microSD card for more storage.
Throw in another 256 GB on a card and you have a smartphone with the same amount of storage space as many high-end laptops.
Talk to your phone
Samsung is playing catch-up here with the competition having a big lead in digital assistants, but that has changed this week.
As well as launching the Note 8, Samsung is ‘switching on’ Bixby’s voice capabilities in the UK for all of its Galaxy devices.
Just like Siri, Alexa, and Google Assistant, you can now use your voice to control multiple features – Samsung suggest using ‘Good night Bixby’ to activate the ‘do not disturb’ mode, set an alarm for the morning, and turn on the blue-light filter.
Two camera lenses, one image
Samsung already has the advantage in terms of image quality with the Galaxy S8, and that’s with a single lens camera.
The Note 8 is Samsung’s first smartphone with a dual lens camera, and I’m excited to see the leap in quality that the second lens offers.
As well as better clarity, Samsung is offering the artistic portrait mode favoured by Apple, 2x optical zoom, and optical image stabilisation in both lenses (Apple’s iPhone 7 plus only has OIS in one of its two dual lenses).
I’m expecting the Note 8 to be the best smartphone camera on the market, and I’ll be testing that when I get a hold of a review model.
Sasmung’s Galaxy Note 8 is not the only large-screened, dual lens camera device that will be launched over the next few months.
Apple’s presumptively named iPhone 8 should be announced on September 12, alongside the iPhone 7S Plus, and the latter is going to be very similar to the Note 8.
HMD Global’s recently announced Nokia 8 should be considered as well, as should the second version of Google’s Pixel XL when it is revealed in October.