After the debacle that was the Note 7, the South Korean smartphone maker had a lot to prove with the release of the Note 8.
The former put a dent on the otherwise successful series of Android-based high-end smartphones and high-end tablets. Battery defects caused many Note 7 units to overheat and combust or explode, forcing, in October 2016, Samsung permanently discontinuing the gadget due to these repeated incidents. All devices were recalled globally. Following the announcement in August that Samsung would be releasing the Note 8, it was understandably one of the most eagerly-anticipated devices, among critics and fans alike. The introduction of the phablet offered the company an opportunity to redeem itself and from my fortnight-long operation of the device, Samsung has done so in style. The Note 8 is the third device in the series that I have reviewed before, having also test-driven the Note 4 and 5. I have rated the previous highly, and, following these positive verdicts and the farce around the Note 7, it was with excitement that I accepted the offer to use amigo the most keenly-anticipated smartphone in the market in 2017. Ironically, the test drive seems to ever coincide with the most eagerly-awaited event in the local sporting calendar, the Soweto derby, featuring Kaizer Chiefs and Orlando Pirates. Said to be the most beautiful derby in the world, the match has retained that beauty aspect with fans from both teams freely mingling in the stands and on the way to the venue. However, on the pitch, the derby has degenerated into a big yawn otherwise known as the Soweto "Draw-by". The latest result was no different with the two underperforming sides playing to a goalless draw. Back to the Note 8:
The Note 8 weighs 62,5 x 74,8 x 8,6 mm and weighs 196 grammes. Everything is centered around Samsung's new Infinity Display, which breaks from the confines of bezels and offers an uninterrupted surface that flows over the edges. The Note8 has the biggest screen ever on a Note device, a 6,3-inch Quad HD+ Super AMOLED Infinity Display. The Home button is embedded under the screen and only activates when needed. The Note 8 comes bundled with AKG-tuned earbuds as well as the Note series' proprietary S Pen. Ports include a 3,5 mm headphone jack and a USB-C charging and data transfer port. It has support for Samsung DeX as well.
The smartphone features a 12 megapixel (MP) primary camera, as well as an 8 MP secondary which in a drab day like the Soweto Derby match day can add colour to the big yawn by snapping some colorfully dressed fans in the stands. Unlike the two teams, they (fans and camera) never disappoint.
Highly addictive. The productivity-boosting stylus is usable without waking the phone up. The feature was introduced on the Note 5.
The Note 8 runs comes with Android 7.1.1 (Nougat) with Samsung's own custom skin, Samsung Experience, pre-installed. It also comes with Bixbyvoice assistant. The assistant has been improved to do tasks related to a single keyword. The phablet supports gigabit LTE that offers superior mobile data connection speed of 1 gigabit per second.
microSD, up to 256 GB Internal, between 64 GB(the one under review) and 256 GB. With the exploding battery the Achilles heel of the Note 8's predecessor, focus was always going to be on this aspect. Because of that, Samsung seem to have taken a more cautious approach to the Note 8, which comes with a 3 300 mAh (the Note 7 had a 3 500 mAh battery). The Note 8 battery offers up to 22 hours talk time and up to 74 hours music play.
The Galaxy Note is back. It is bigger. It is better than ever.