Samsung galaxy note 8 blue

Samsung Galaxy Note 8.0

Tablet with support for GSM voice communication, SMS, and MMS Also known as Samsung Galaxy Note 510, Samsung Galaxy Note 8 3G & WiFi, Samsung Galaxy Note 8.0 LTE

Technology GSM / HSPA / LTE
2G bands GSM 850 / 900 / 1800 / 1900 - N5100, N5120
3G bands HSDPA 850 / 900 / 1900 / 2100 - N5100
  HSDPA 850 / 900 / 2100 - N5120
4G bands LTE band 3(1800), 7(2600), 8(900), 20(800) - N5120
  LTE band 2(1900), 4(1700/2100), 5(850), 17(700) - SGH-I467 (AT&T)
Speed HSPA 42.2(LTE)/21.1(3G)/5.76 Mbps, LTE Cat3 100/50 Mbps
Announced 2013, February
Status Available. Released 2013, April
Dimensions 210.8 x 135.9 x 8 mm (8.30 x 5.35 x 0.31 in)
Weight 338 g (3G) / 340 g (LTE) (11.99 oz)
Type TFT capacitive touchscreen, 16M colors
Size 8.0 inches, 185.6 cm2 (~64.8% screen-to-body ratio)
Resolution 800 x 1280 pixels, 16:10 ratio (~189 ppi density)
OS Android 4.1.2 (Jelly Bean), upgradable to 4.4 (KitKat)
Chipset Exynos 4412 Quad (32 nm)
CPU Quad-core 1.6 GHz Cortex-A9
GPU Mali-400MP4
Card slot microSD, up to 64 GB (dedicated slot)
Internal 16GB 2GB RAM, 32GB 2GB RAM
Main Camera
Single 5 MP, AF
Video [email protected]
Selfie camera
Single 1.3 MP
Loudspeaker Yes, with stereo speakers
3.5mm jack Yes
WLAN Wi-Fi 802.11 a/b/g/n, dual-band, Wi-Fi Direct, hotspot, DLNA
Bluetooth 4.0, A2DP
Infrared port Yes
Radio No
USB microUSB 2.0 (MHL TV-out), USB On-The-Go
Sensors Accelerometer, gyro, proximity, compass
  Non-removable Li-Ion 4600 mAh battery
Stand-by Up to 710 h (2G) / Up to 480 h (3G)
Talk time Up to 28 h (2G) / Up to 24 h (3G)
Music play Up to 120 h
Colors Black, White/Silver, brown
Models GT-N5100, GT-N5120
SAR EU 0.74 W/kg (head)     0.76 W/kg (body)    
Price About 320 EUR

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Samsung Galaxy Note 9 vs Galaxy Note 8: Worth the upgrade?

The Samsung Galaxy Note 9 is a moderate upgrade over the Note 8, both in terms of specs and design. The new Galaxy Note sports a 6.4-inch Super AMOLED display, making it a tad larger than the 6.3-inch panel found on its predecessor. The resolution and the aspect ratio remain unchanged, coming in at QHD+ and 18.5:9.

Don’t miss: Samsung Galaxy S10/Plus vs Galaxy Note 9: Battle of the 6-inchers

The Galaxy Note 9 is powered by the latest and greatest Snapdragon 845 chipset or the Exynos 9810, depending on which region you’re in. It comes in two variants: 6GB of RAM with 128GB of storage and 8GB of RAM with 512GB of storage. The Galaxy Note 8, on the other hand, sports the Snapdragon 835/Exynos 8895 chipset along with 6GB of RAM. It offers 64, 128, or 256GB of storage, although only the base model was officially released in the U.S. Both handsets are suitable for power users and you likely won’t notice a massive difference in performance, even though the Note 9 has a newer chipset and 2GB of RAM more (on the higher-end model only).


Like the Galaxy Note 8, the Galaxy Note 9 also sports a dual-camera setup on the back with two 12MP sensors. But it also features dual-aperture like the Galaxy S9 series, which should improve images taken in low-light conditions. However, our very own Gary Sims called this fancy feature a gimmick after testing it out.

Update, October 5, 2018, 05:30 p.m. ET: We included an eBay deal that will get you the international version of the Galaxy Note 9 for just $816. That is still a good amount of money, …

Additionally, the camera supports AI scene recognition, which means it recognizes what’s in its frame and adjusts things like the saturation, white balance, and brightness to produce a better image. But as this is a software feature, it could make its way to the Note 8 via an update in the near future.

Battery life

Ever since the Note 7 fiasco, Samsung has been playing it safe when it comes to battery sizes. The Note 8, for example, has a 3,300mAh battery, placing it far behind market leaders like the Huawei P20 Pro. Samsung finally decided to take a step forward with the Note 9 by equipping it with a massive 4,000mAh battery. Paired with a more power-efficient chipset, the handset should offer a much better battery life than its predecessor.

S Pen and other features

The S Pen hasn’t changed much, offering the same set of features as last year. The only major addition is that it now supports Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE), which lets you do things like launch the camera and take a selfie via the button on the stylus. The S Pen charges while it’s in the phone and will get up to 100 percent in less than a minute.

Related: Samsung Galaxy Note 9 specs and features

Most of the other specs and features are the same between the two devices. Both are IP68 rated, support wireless charging, and sport an 8MP selfie snapper, among other things. The software experience is also more or less identical, as both phones have already been updated to Android Pie with Samsung’s new One UI on top.

 Samsung Galaxy Note 9Samsung Galaxy Note 8
Display6.4-inch Super AMOLED 2,960 x 1,440 resolution 516ppi

18.5:9 aspect ratio

6.3-inch Super AMOLED 2,960 x 1,440 resolution 521ppi

18.5:9 aspect ratio

ProcessorU.S.: Snapdragon 845 Global: Samsung Exynos 9810U.S.: Snapdragon 835 Global: Samsung Exynos 8895
Storage128/512GB expandable via microSD64/128/256GB expandable via microSD
CamerasRear camera - Main: 12MP wide-angle AF Super Speed Dual Pixel sensor with ƒ/1.5 and ƒ/2.4 dual aperture, OIS - 12MP telephoto AF sensor with ƒ/2.4 aperture, OIS Front camera

- 8MP AF sensor with ƒ/1.7 aperture

Rear camera - Main: 12MP wide-angle AF Dual Pixel sensor with ƒ/1.7 aperture, OIS - 12MP telephoto AF sensor with ƒ/2.4 aperture, OIS Front camera

- 8 MP AF sensor with ƒ/1.7 aperture

Water resistanceIP68IP68
SoftwareAndroid 8.1 Oreo (can be upgraded to 9.0 Pie)Android 7.1.1 Nougat (can be upgraded to 9.0 Pie)
Dimensions and weight161.9 x 76.4 x 8.8mm 201g162.5 x 74.8 x 8.6mm 195g


Moving on to the design, the Note 9 looks nearly identical to the Note 8. There are a few changes here and there, with the biggest one being at the back. The Note 9 has the fingerprint scanner below the cameras instead of next to them, which not only looks better but is also more practical. The device also has a chamfered edge that runs across the entire body and makes it feel a lot less slippery. Other design differences include flatter sides, a few new colors, and slightly smaller bezels that translate to a higher screen-to-body ratio.


The one thing that may stop many folks from buying the new Note is its price. The Galaxy Note 9 is Samsung’s most expensive flagship to date, starting at $1,000. If you want to get the beefed-up version with 8GB of RAM and 512GB of storage, you’ll have to dish out a whopping $1,250. For comparison, the Galaxy Note 8 launched with a $930 price tag, which went up to $950 shortly after. This means the base model of the Note 9 is $70 more expensive than its predecessor at launch, but it does offer twice the storage at 128GB.

However, since both phones have been on the market for a while now, their prices have dropped a bit.

Buy the Samsung Galaxy Note 9Buy the Samsung Galaxy Note 8


The Galaxy Note 9 offers a 0.1-inch larger display, features an upgraded camera with dual-aperture and scene recognition, and has more storage and RAM — depending on the model. It also sports a newer chipset, has a much larger battery, and a slightly improved S Pen, among a few other things.

It’s a beast of a phone, but I wouldn’t recommend buying it if you already own the Note 8. The list of upgrades isn’t exciting enough to justify spending at least a $1,000 on the device in my opinion. But if you happen to own an older Note device or a different smartphone that isn’t up to your standards anymore, the Galaxy Note 9 is a great option.

Would you consider upgrading from the Galaxy Note 8 to the Note 9? Let us know in the comments!


If you’d like to learn more about the Galaxy Note 9, check out our related content below:

Samsung Galaxy Note8 review

If accessorizing is your thing, the Note8 will hardly leave you disappointed. Its box is packed to the brim (literally) with all sorts of goodies. As for the packaging itself, it is traditional Samsung - a two-piece, all black, soft-touch cardboard box, complete with glossy blue lettering on the front.

Opening the inner lid reveals a plastic cradle for the Note8 itself. Everything else is neatly organized underneath. For starters, you get one of Samsung's Adaptive Fast chargers, rated at 5V at 2A or 9V at 1.67A. Interestingly enough, the same charger can also power the DeX dock, which is rated at 12V and doesn't work with other regular phone chargers. There is also a SIM ejector in the bundle.

You'll also find a USB 3.1 Type-C to Type A cable for data transfer and charging, as well as a pair of converters. One is a microUSB, while the other a simple Type-A unit, for compatibility and potentially, data migration.

The S-Pen gets some love as well, namely a set of five spare tips with the relevant replacement tool. Three of these are black, the other two white. As far as shape, size, and sharpness goes, they look identical.

Other than a clear case for the Note8, Samsung have included a pair of wired earbuds. These come courtesy of AKG and have a retail value of $99 on their own. But pricing is not indicative of quality, and we are happy to report the headphones sound really good - we got deep bass and nice and clear mids. These are the same headphones which came bundled with the S8 and S8+, complete with a dual-driver (8mm and 11mm) setup and a microphone for phone calls.

Samsung Galaxy Note8 360-degree spin

Dissecting the design of the Galaxy Note8 is hardly a daunting task. Everything is centered around Samsung's new Infinity Display. At 6.3-inches in diagonal, the unit in the Note8 is the most impressive of its kind to date - even more so than the one on the Galaxy S8.

The basic construction is unchanged as well - there is a polished aluminum frame all around and Gorilla Glass 5 on both the front and rear. All sealed together well enough to guarantee IP68 water and dust resistance. This is quite a feat on a Note device considering the sizable slot for the S-Pen.

There are quite a few distinct features in the Note8 design as well, and the S-Pen might be partially responsible for at least some of them. The struggle for space is real in every modern smartphone, so accommodating a stylus inside the body isn't exactly an easy task. The Note8 is slightly bigger than its S8+ sibling in every dimension, but surprisingly not much thicker. Still enough to affect the width of the side bezels to some extent.

The Note8 has a distinctly boxier feel to it, and it comes down to more than just the extra half millimeter of depth. Samsung went for a less curved front and rear, making for a simpler, more streamlined design. The change is also just enough to have some effect on handling. We think it helps since the Note8 has a bit more room on the side to comfortably place your thumb and grab.

Galaxy Note8 in the hand

Color options also differ a bit on the Note8. You still get the standard Midnight Black, as well as the familiar Orchid Grey and Maple Gold. The blue variety, named Deep Sea Blue, is slightly different, and there is a Star Pink option, only limited to Taiwan at the moment. Oddly enough, there is no Arctic Silver.

Hardware overview

Just like the Galaxy S8 and S8+, the symmetry is strong with the Note8. Since the home button no longer has a physical manifestation, you can easily grab the Note8 from either side. But, complaining about such things is kind of impossible once you lay eyes on the virtually borderless display within a subtle yet solid frame.

Despite what is clearly a strong effort in design though, Samsung is yet to get rid of the top and bottom bezels around the Infinity display. Speaking of, there is more than enough gadgetry perhaps to justify the size of the top bezel. For one, a dedicated RGB status LED makes sure you won't miss an incoming event, even if you don't like Samsung's AOD solution. Right next to that is the illuminator for the Iris scanner. The scanner itself is on the far right. This dual setup is necessary since this biometric sensor operates with IR light - invisible to the naked eye, but necessary for capturing the retina pattern. It's a familiar arrangement, dating back to the Note7.

Lots of tech on the front

Going back to the left side of the earpiece, we also find the traditional proximity and ambient light sensors. Lastly, the 8MP autofocus selfie camera also plays a part in the new facial recognition system.

The bottom bezel (or the tiny bit that's left of it) holds absolutely nothing. We presume Samsung still needed to reserve some space underneath for components. Plus, the home button and navigation keys are positioned low enough as it is.

Seemingly empty bottom bezel

And in case you are still not familiar with Samsung's current solution, YES, indeed the Note8 does technically have a home button. In the absence of a physical button, there is now an area in its place which is specifically designated to detect a home command when pressed hard enough. There are some dedicated pressure sensors underneath it, so it continues to function even when the screen is off. Plus, there is even haptic feedback, which tries to emulate the tactile feedback you get when pressing a physical button. Samsung also lets you adjust the pressure sensitivity of the control, which is convenient.

The rest of the Android navigation controls - Back and Task switcher - are available on-screen too, identical to the S8 approach. By default, these are using the more traditional pattern, back key on the right, but you can rearrange them. Since it is a software solution, the entire navigation area gets out of the away when you are enjoying some full-screen content or playing games, for instance. The Note8 also has an optional pin toggle which, when turned on, places a dot near the left corner of the navigation bar. Double-tapping it pins the bar or auto-hides it.

Right-hand side

Once again, we do appreciate the extra grip the less-curvy Note offers over its S8 and S8+ siblings. You wouldn't think a gentler slope can be that much of a factor, but it is. Hand positioning on the Note8 doesn't have to be as awkward. Resting your thumb on the right-hand side of the device is a lot more comfortable than on the S8.

Other than making it a better resting place, Samsung hasn't done anything new to this area. The solitary power button occupies it, arguably positioned a little too high. That, however, is part of a bigger handling issue with the Note8. At 162.6mm, it sits even taller than the already hard to manage S8+. Adopting a sort of grip re-position maneuver is a necessity for one-handed use, especially if you want to reach the fingerprint reader on the back.

However, this is arguably a much smaller issue on the Note8, since the Note line has always been geared towards two-handed use in more ways than one.

Lelf-hand side

On the left-side, Samsung's Bixby button is arguably even harder to reach with an index finger. However, we think that this is not necessarily a bad thing. Bixby has come a long way, which we will elaborate on further up in the software section, but its overall usefulness is still questionable. This time it's harder to hit the button by accident.

We do understand Samsung's desire to not rely too much on third-party or industry-standard solutions as somewhat of a contingency plan for the future. This is likely the same logic that is currently powering Tizen development. However, it seems like a good bet right now that most users would've appreciated being able to remap the key. Having a key just sit around and go unused on a device with such a high premium on space doesn't make much sense.

Top bezel

Moving on to the top side of the Note8, we find another familiar hardware setup: a SIM/memory card tray and a hole for a secondary microphone. The tray has a rubber seal to protect the internals from water ingress. There are dual-SIM versions of the Note8, which can take two Nano-SIM cards in this slot. Sadly, it is a hybrid setup, so you have to make a choice between a second line and extra storage.

Bottom bezel with S-Pen slot

Despite being a tad wider, the bottom side of the Note8 looks and is arranged in pretty much the same way as on the Galaxy S8 pair. A USB 3.1, Type-C jack in the middle, flanked by a single speaker on one side and the 3.5mm audio jack on the other. Samsung still managed to find enough space to house the S-Pen - great job!

The pen detection and ejection mechanism work pretty much like on the Note7 and the Note5 before that. The S-Pen itself is familiar as well. You get an addictive clicky button on one end for grabbing and pulling in out, know...annoying everyone at your next work meeting.

The other button on the S-Pen triggers actions and menus, just like always. The way it works hasn't changed since the original Note. It's still a passive control, which is convenient since you don't have to charge it or worry about getting wet.

If you happen to have an older S-Pen laying around that you like better, we did verify backward compatibility all the way back to the Note 4. The latest iteration does come with a few new software tricks, but more on that later.

The digitizer built into the phone's touchscreen can recognize up to 4096 different pressure levels when you are using the S Pen, so you can change the line thickness just by varying the pressure you apply - just like you do when pencil-sketching on a piece of paper.

Back side

Before we complete the hardware tour, there are a few things to note about the back of the device, other than its sloping Gorilla Glass 5 design. It has to do with the fingerprint reader. Its placement on the Note8 is arguably even higher, making it even more inconvenient than on the S8+. At least it's a bit further to the side, so it's not as easy to smudge your camera lens when you send your index finger searching for the fingerprint reader. Apparently, Samsung has pretty much given up on improving usability for the sensor, at least in this generation. The shift in focus to other trendier biometric authentication methods is obvious as well.

Samsung Galaxy Note8 next to the S8 and S8+

Still, if we circle back to the two-hand usage scenario argument, reaching the sensor does become less of a chore. As far as performance goes, it is just as quick and dependable as that on the S8. That is to say - we've seen quicker scanners, but not by much.

Samsung Galaxy Note 8 review: Still a great big phone


The Note 8 has a dual-camera setup which is entirely non-essential yet extremely fun to use, while the stylus is certainly useful for many. Meanwhile, the S8+ has an easier-to-hold design and a larger battery at 3500mAh, which for many people will be the difference between making it through a full day of heavy usage and having to dig out the battery pack at 9pm. If its extra pen and camera features interest you, the Note 8 is undoubtedly a decent buy if you can stomach learning how to use power-saving modes.


  • Stunning design and build
  • Great screen
  • Well-implemented stylus and software
  • Superb cameras


  • Average battery life
  • Wildly expensive

Key Specifications

  • Review Price: £869
  • 6.3-inch quad-HD+ AMOLED HDR display
  • Snapdragon 835 or Exynos 8895
  • 6GB RAM, 64GB storage
  • 3300 mAh battery, Wireless and fast charging
  • Android 7.1.1
  • 12-megapixel dual camera: 1x telephoto (f/2.4, OIS) and 1x regular wide-angle (f1.7, OIS)
  • 8-megapixel (f1.7) selfie camera
  • IP68-certified waterproof
  • Colours: Midnight Black (UK), Maple Gold (UK), Orchid Grey, Deep Sea Blue
  • S-Pen with 4,096 levels of pressure sensitivity
  • USB Type-C charging port
  • Bixby AI digital assistant
  • 8MP front camera

Updated: check out our coverage of the all-new Samsung Galaxy Note 10.

If you’re after a big phone, with big phone features then the Note 8 is still a great choice. Thankfully, it’s a fantastic device that ticks nearly every box.

Some thought the Note 8 might never happen. After the successful launch and subsequent disastrous recall and discontinuation of the Note 7, which still gets namechecked on some airlines as a banned object, you’d have forgiven Samsung for dropping the Note name and starting again.

The Note 8, then, is supposed to be Samsung’s humble return to the phablet market – plus a big rival to the iPhone X and iPhone 8 Plus  – and in many ways this phone is a huge success. With a gorgeous design, incredible 6.3-inch screen, great software and excellent stylus, there’s very little not to like here.

In fact, the only big concern I have is that this phone’s battery life might not be long enough for heavy users.

Samsung Galaxy Note 8 – Design

The Note 8 is a stunning piece of design. While the Galaxy S9 and Galaxy S9+ have a friendly, more curvaceous design aesthetic, Samsung continues to nod at its business customers with slightly sharper edges and a squarer camera module. You still get the iconic InfinityEdge design where the left and right sides of the screen slope off to the side, and you get the ultra-thin top and bottom bezel to boot. I actually prefer it to the regular S phones, although others might disagree.

Related: Samsung Galaxy Note 9

The whole lot is coated in Corning Gorilla Glass 5.0, and my unit lives up to its colour description of Midnight Black. It looks great out of the box, but after a little while of using it, greasy marks do begin to build up on the back. That’s not unique to this phone, and it looks far cleaner than many smartphones do after they’ve been subjected to my clammy palms.

Related: Best phablets

It’s hard for me to comment on the longevity of the glass coating on this device because I haven’t dropped it properly. However, experience from elsewhere tells me that even the latest glass phones won’t survive clumsiness: our mobiles editor, Max Parker, dropped the Galaxy S8 and cracked it, while my wife dropped her (Gorilla Glass 4) Galaxy A5 2017 from table height and smashed the back panel to smithereens. The Note 8 is at least IP68-certified, meaning it’s waterproof even when subjected to a half-hour submersion.

I did drop the phone a couple of inches onto my kitchen counter at one point, and later laid it on a slightly rough stone table, and it came away without blemishes, as you’d well expect. The camera module has a very, very slight extruding border that protects the lenses from such behaviour. I did pick up one tiny mark on one of the exposed antennae on the top of the phone, which seems to have happened when it was in my pocket.

As for features, let’s start with the front. There’s a front-facing camera and iris scanner inside the top bezel along with the earpiece and an LED notification light. On the bottom there’s nothing visible, although the lower portion of the screen is actually a pressure-sensitive home button that can be used to wake the phone. On the left edge you get the volume rocker and the Bixby personal assistant button, while on the right is the power button. The lower edge is home to the USB-C connector, 3.5mm headphone socket and pop-out S Pen stylus, as well as the loudspeaker. Finally, on the top, you get a SIM card/microSD card slot.

The camera module comprises of two sensors behind two lenses (more on these in the Camera section), an optical heart-rate monitor, LED flash, and a fingerprint scanner. I’ll save the fingerprint scanner for later, but I’ll say right here that on a phone this size, this is most certainly the wrong place for it and is almost impossible to reach when pulling the phone out of your pocket.

Its 6.3-inch screen might sound like a nightmare for the small-handed. In reality, thanks to the sloped edges, tiny top and bottom of the bezel, and slightly stretched 18.5:9 aspect ratio, it’s nowhere near as big as the 5.5-inch iPhone 8 Plus and other similarly chunky phones.

Credit: Max Parker / Trusted Reviews

It’s comfortable to hold in one hand, but less so to operate it effectively. If you’re just idly scrolling through Facebook then it’s fine, but as soon as you want to tap a button in the top half of the screen you’ll need your other hand, or to activate one-handed mode. One-handed mode is off by default but will be essential for many buyers and, once enabled, can be activated either by triple-tapping the home button or swiping diagonally up from the bottom corners.

Samsung Galaxy Note 8 – Screen

At 2960 x 1440 pixels (‘WQHD+’, 522ppi), the 6.3-inch panel certainly isn’t left wanting when it comes to resolution. Trouble is, you’ll rarely see that many pixels being put to good use. In its default ‘optimised’ power state, the Galaxy Note 8 only renders apps and photos at 2220 x 1080 pixels (‘FHD+’, 392ppi), and 1480 x 720 pixels (‘HD+’, 261ppi) when in power-saving mode. It’s only when you switch on Performance mode, to the detriment of battery life, that the Note 8 actually fires on all cylinders and pixels.

Related: Best Android phones

To many users, this will be confusing. Why have so many pixels when you’re not going to be using them to their full effect? When in FHD+ mode, 2.3 million dots are being dealt with by 4.2 million physical pixels, which seems like a waste. Indeed, only serving up FHD+ saves processing power, but doesn’t save any power from the screen itself.

Complexity aside, even when in its standard mode, the screen is stonkingly good. When it needs to, it can rise to an eye-searingly bright 1200 nits. For for the uninitiated, a good laptop screen will get to about 300 nits and a top-end HDR TV will generally get to around 1000 nits. That’s unbelievably bright, although it’s hard to verify because even with automatic brightness switched off the screen refuses to go beyond 340 nits under normal conditions. I suspect you’ll only ever get to 1200 nits when watching HDR compatible content from YouTube and Netflix, both of which look fantastic.

The AMOLED display manages clean whites, rich colours and only a hint of motion blur when scrolling through text. There’s a slight blue tinge if you view the phone off-centre, and the two sloping edges lose some brightness and clarity, which is a bit disappointing, if not surprising.

With the screen turned up to its full WQHD+ resolution, text is super sharp and crisp, as are high-resolution photos. But, I’ll be honest, you’d be hard-pressed to spot the difference in everyday use. I suppose this conclusion sort of justifies Samsung’s decision to disable the full resolution by default, but that doesn’t change the fact that this super-expensive screen is being wasted most of the time.

Because of the odd aspect ratio, you have to explicitly set each app you open to be stretched to the full length of the screen. So far I’ve had no problems with this. The only other downside is that most online videos are in a 16:9 aspect ratio, which means your video will have black bars either side of it, or you can stretch and crop the video so it fills the screen. Some widescreen movies actually benefit from the latter, but you’ll need to decide on a video-by-video basis.

One final function of note is the always-on screen. Because AMOLED pixels are self-lighting (they only consume power when they’re not black, unlike conventional LCDs that are always on), you have the option of keeping the display on with a black and white clock, battery information and media buttons.

This is great, until you check out Samsung’s power options and realise that having it on can decrease battery life by over an hour a day. What’s more, it doesn’t seem to turn off even when the phone is in your pocket, wasting even more precious energy. It’s a great feature on Samsung’s other phones, but when battery capacity is so tight, it’s the first thing you should turn off.

Unlike other sites, we thoroughly test every product we review. We use industry standard tests in order to compare features properly. We’ll always tell you what we find. We never, ever accept money to review a product. Tell us what you think - send your emails to the Editor.

Samsung Galaxy Note 9 vs Galaxy Note 8

Review index
Display | Interface | Performance and Memory | Camera | Multimedia | Call quality | Battery life | ConclusionThe mighty Samsung Galaxy Note 9, it’s been unwrapped and sets the tone for the backend of the year. As with any successive device, however, there are always going to be some people wondering if it’s worth the upgrade over last year’s offering, especially if it is still a solid contender in the space. Obviously, cost and performance are going to dictate the need to upgrade, but we’re going to dive in and really put these two giant-sized smartphones through a proper comparison to uncover their differences. If you’re an existing Note 8 owner, you may want to pay extra attention!Aesthetically, it would be difficult for anyone to tell the two smartphones apart. From their metal-meets-glass premium constructions to the placement of their ports and buttons, there’s no denying that Sammy has recycled the majority of the design. To be technical, though, the Note 9’s is shorter and heavier, but it’s almost indistinguishable when you hold the two together in the hand. Still, there are a few changes to the design. For starters, the most notable change here is the repositioning of the fingerprint sensor. Samsung received flak for having it placed in an odd spot near the camera with the Note 8, which made it prone to being covered and smudged when trying to unlock the phone. Thankfully, they’ve listened to the criticism this time and moved it just below the cameras – though, we still wish it were moved just a little bit farther down to give it more separation.Secondly, the mighty S Pen with the Note 9 has been upgraded with Bluetooth LE connectivity for additional functionality. At the core, though, the S Pens with both devices function similarly in providing users that pen and paper-like experience when it comes to jotting down notes and drawing sketches, but now the Note 9’s S Pen becomes an extension of the phone. That’s because it can be used as a remote shutter for snapping photos, navigating between slides in a presentation, and even offering media playback controls. The added functionality is useful, but we wouldn’t necessarily say that they’re essential.It is also worth mentioning that the Note 9 comes in a slightly different selection of colors. Out of the four, the new Ocean Blue Note 9 paired with a yellow S Pen makes for the most interesting color combo.And lastly, the cameras on the Note 9's back occupy less room that what we see with the Note 8. It may be negligible for some people, but it’s still nonetheless a noticeable difference with their designs. Over on the specs side, the only change that’s evident in this comparison is the miniscule increase in size with the Note 9’s display, which of course, borrows the same all-screen look as its predecessor. It’s a 6.3-inch Super AMOLED panel with the Note 8, while the Note 9 goes up slightly with its 6.4-incher – with both employing Quad HD+ resolution. On paper, that equates to a slightly better pixel density count for last year’s Note 8. Then again, it’s something so insignificant that no one will notice. Specs aside, the characteristics between them are surprisingly similar, which would lead many to believe that they’re identical. While their spot-on ~6400K color temperatures and color accuracy in the sRGB gamut chart appear to be the same, the only improvement we see with the Note 9 is its stronger brightness output of 575 nits, which is a step up over the Note 8’s mark of 518 nits. Naturally, that increase helps in the Note 9’s visibility outdoors under direct sunlight, but the Note 8 is still visible as well. This is truly a case for that age-old adage of if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.At this very moment, both the Note 8 and Note 9 are running Android 8.0 Oreo – with the two on tap for Android 9.0 Pie whenever it becomes available. Superficially, there’s no denying the incredible focus on productivity that’s offered by the two experiences, as they’re packing nearly the same arsenal. They include things like Edge Panel for quick shortcuts, side-by-side apps windows for better multi-tasking, one-handed mode for easier operation, and vast S Pen functions to jot down notes and drawing stuff.

The Note 9 and the Note 8 are packing nearly the same arsenal

So what’s technically new and different? Well, we already mentioned some of the S Pen’s new abilities with the Note 9 thanks to its Bluetooth LE connection, but besides that, the only meaningful differences are the enhanced Bixby functions, access to AR emojis, and there’s no longer the need to use a DeX pad/station to access the phone’s desktop-like experience. Knowing all of that, we feel that these new features with the Note 9 doesn’t necessarily redefine the experience, but instead, they complement the fundamental experience that the Note series is known for – and that’s a feature-rich experience for power users.Newer is better, that’s the expectation whenever a new product succeeds a previous one. However, the question that needs to be asked is actually how much better it is? Predictably so, the Note 9 leverage the latest silicon from Qualcomm, the Snapdragon 845 for US-bound models – while international units will be running the Samsung Exynos 9810. Running several benchmark tests on our Exynos-packing Note 9, it already confirms the obvious performance boost, but when it comes to real-world results, the Note 8’s Snapdragon 835 SoC conjures the same level of responsiveness and finesse with basic operations.Graphics benchmark tests also indicate a boost to the Note 9’s performance, resulting in faster frame rates. We should also point out that the Note 9 features a new carbon water cooling system, which is purported to stabilize the phone’s temperature while carrying out processor-intensive applications. However, we still found the Note 9 a little bit toasty to the touch when playing some games for a period of time. As for the Note 8, it still carries itself in a high manner in this area because it can handle all of today’s games. One aspect about the Note 9 that we appreciate greatly is the decision to boost the starting storage capacity to 128GB, which is double the amount over the Note 8. That’s undeniably fantastic by itself because in an age where 4K video recording is readily available, having a base storage of 128GB certainly goes a longer way. Then again, the two smartphones offer expansion courtesy of their microSD card slots! Improving upon its predecessor’s dual-camera implementation, the Note 9 also takes after the Galaxy S9+ by implementing a variable aperture. This year’s combo breaks down to a wide-angle 12MP sensor with f1.5/f2.4 aperture, and a telephoto 12MP sensor with f/2.4 aperture providing 2X zoom. The main difference here again with the Note 9 is that variable aperture, whereas the Note 8 only has a fixed aperture of f/1.7 with its main 12MP camera. Naturally, they’re equipped in snapping portrait shots thanks to their dual cameras. On the software side, there’s an assortment of modes available with both, but the Note 9 benefits from having additional features such as AR Emoji, super slow-mo, and a new “scene optimizer” mode that intelligently detects a scene and applies enhancements to improve the look of the shot. When there’s good lighting around, you won’t be disappointed by the results from either smartphone. They’re definitely stunning, nothing short of breathtaking. However, there are a few minor differences that we can point out after investigating the shots more closely. For starters, the Note 9 tones down some of the enhancements, as the Note 8 samples clearly tend to have more contrast and saturation. While details remain rich and plentiful, there’s a subtle amount of sharpening applied to the Note 9’s shots.In low-light situations, we’re giving the advantage to the Note 9, mainly because its shots look cleaner in general. Don’t get us wrong, the Note 8 captures some good looking low-light shots, but its performance is just a smidgen noisier and softer. The Note 9’s stronger performance can be attributed to its wider f/1.5 aperture, which allows it to capture more light. With their front-facing cameras, which are both 8MP sensors, the results are very similar, but again the Note 9’s performance is accompanied with a hairline increase of sharpness. And another advantage for the Note 9 is that it offers a new “selfie focus” mode that applies portrait-esque effects with background blurring around the face.Moving onto video recording, there are no surprises here considering that the Note 9 already showed us an advantage with still photography. Its superiority, while very miniscule, is evident in the various recordings we captured. First and foremost, we’ll admit that their performances are top-notch amongst smartphones in general, but as we’re required to closely inspect the results here, we uncover some differences between them. It’s worth pointing out that the Note 9 benefits from a newer UHD 3840 x 2160 recording at 60 FPS.Details are very strong with the two when comparing their UHD footage at 30 FPS. However, the Note 9’s performance is strengthened by its ability to stabilize footage better, a sharper overall tone, and better handling of dynamic range. The Note 8 just seems to struggle when it comes to adapting from low to high exposure scenes, since there’s some noticeable artifacting elements produced in the process. On top of that, the Note 8’s footage is shakier.Low light performance goes to the Note 9 as well, generally because the Note 8 exhibits far more noise in the scene, which doesn’t help either when details are a tad bit softer looking. Moreover, the Note 8’s footage tends to skew towards a colder color temperature – whereas the Note 9 sticks to a warmer one.

And finally, the Note 9 has the edge when it comes to slow motion video – thanks in part to its super slo-mo mode that captures video in 720p at 960 FPS. You’ll get some ridiculously smooth slow-motion footage with this mode, which dishes up a whole new perspective for capturing video.

What’s interesting is that while the Note 9 recycles its predecessor’s design for the most part, Samsung managed to offer stereo support thanks to its dual speaker configuration. Despite that new addition, it doesn’t improve the audio performance, seeing that it achieves a peak output of 74.6 dB, which is the same output found with the Note 8’s single speaker.

Videos look absolutely amazing on these phones' Quad HD+ Super AMOLED displays. Believe us when we say that playback is rather hypnotic, especially when watching HDR clips on YouTube. However, it seems as though that it’s only the Note 9 that can play back videos in 1440p60 HDR format.

Sure, their gigantic sizes don’t make them the most ideal candidates for phone calls, but they don’t get in the way when it comes to call quality performance. Conversations are handled decently, and in our experience, they both suffice for the occasion. Voices are generally audible without sounding too artificial through the earpiece, while their speakerphones are loud enough to be usable during noisy conditions. What’s really impressive is that while the overall size and shape of the Note 9 is nearly identical to the Note 8, Samsung somehow manages to stuff a larger, 4000 mAh battery into its chassis – versus the 3300 mAh one in the Note 8. The difference that we found in our testing is an increase of over an hour in our custom battery benchmark test. That’s notable, to say the least, which indicates that the higher capacity battery does offer longevity in the long run. For most people, however, they both are more than capable of lasting a full day with normal usage, but the Note 9 will just simply have more gas leftover in the tank.

At the same time, too, the Note 9’s battery doesn’t need a whole lot of extra time to recharge. In fact, it’s almost just as fast as the Note 8! Last year’s model requires 102 minutes to get back to full capacity, whereas the Note 9 zips close to that at 109 minutes. Factoring in the higher capacity battery that’s in tow, the Note 9 is incredibly zippy with its recharge. And finally, they both offer the convenience of wireless charging.

If you haven’t read our review for the Note 9 already, we’re going to simply reiterate our sentiments about how it stacks up against last year’s Note 8. If you currently own the Note 8, there’s seriously not a whole lot of reasons to make the upgrade to the Note 9 – it's just not worth forking over the extra money! Starting at $999.99, the Note 9 is undoubtedly the most expensive in the line. Sure, you’ll get a phone with the latest hardware, new S Pen features, slightly better camera performance, and longer battery life, but at the end of the day, it’s not worth making the upgrade if you currently own the Note 8 because you get the same core experience and baseline performance.

Now, if you tell us that you’re torn between one of the two phones as your next device, then that’s a totally different story. At this very moment, the Note 8 can be fetched for as low as $600 through a carrier (Verizon) – or $750 for an unlocked one. The savings are no doubt tempting, which adds more difficulty with the decision. But we’re inclined to say to go with the Note 9, despite the substantial investment. There's not only the Note 9’s newness and set of additional features that you'll get, but also possibly a bunch of freebies that come along if you pre-order. And you'll spend less money if you intend on accessing its DeX desktop-like experience!

Samsung Galaxy Note 8: Everything we know so far (Updated: August 18)

In this post, which will be updated regularly, we take a closer look at the latest rumors surrounding the Samsung Galaxy Note 8. We’re talking Note 8 release date, specs, features and more. Come back often.

The Galaxy Note 7 turned out to be a disaster for Samsung. The phone had major issues with its battery, that ultimately resulted in a total global recall. Nevertheless, the company will still release a successor, the highly anticipated Galaxy Note 8.

The Note series has always been popular among consumers, and it will be interesting to see if this changes in 2017 because of what happened with the Note 7. To make sure sales don’t suffer, Samsung’s upcoming smartphone has to bring a couple of new things to the table, while the tech giant must also convince people that the product is safe to use.

Although the smartphone is still a few days away, we already know quite a bit about it. In this post, we take a closer look at all the rumors surrounding the Galaxy Note 8 including when will it be released, what it will look like, how much it will set you back, and more. If you’re interested, keep reading.

Samsung Galaxy Note 8: Release date

We have heard quite a few rumors regarding the release date of the Galaxy Note 8 so far. One of them claimed that the phablet will be officially unveiled at IFA 2017 in Berlin, which kicks off in September. However, we now know that the smartphone actually won’t be unveiled at Europe’s largest consumer electronics trade show but will make its debut a little bit sooner. 

Samsung has sent out press invites for its Unpacked event taking place in New York City on August 23, when the Galaxy Note 8 will officially be announced. The flagship will then land in the US, UK, and a few other countries in September, before making its way to additional markets in October.

As usual, the event will be live streamed, so you’ll be able to watch the phablet’s reveal on your computer or smartphone, among other devices.

The smartphone has already been approved by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) in the US and carries the model number SM-N950 (following SM-N930 for the Note 7). As expected, the listing indicates that the Galaxy Note 8 will support both GSM and CDMA networks for full compatibility with US carriers.

As for the actual Galaxy Note 8 release date, we know that Koreans will get it from September 15, the same day the LG V30 is expected to go on sale. It remains to be seen whether the Note 8 will be launched in other regions on the same day, but we have a strong hunch that will be the case.

Samsung Galaxy Note 8: Specs and software

Just like the Galaxy S8 series, the Note 8 is expected to sport a curved Super AMOLED display with a resolution of 2,960 x 1,440 pixels and 18.5:9 aspect ratio. However, it will be quite a bit bigger when compared to the one found on the Note 7, which features a 5.7-inch screen. The latest rumors suggest that the Note 8 will have either a 6.3- or a 6.4-inch display.

The upcoming phablet is rumored to be powered by either the latest Snapdragon 835 chipset or the upgraded (and unannounced) Snapdragon 836. Well, at least the US model. Samsung is also expected to offer a variant with the Exynos 8895 processor under the hood in Europe and other markets, which also powers the Galaxy S8.

The Note 8 will come with either 4 or 6 GB of RAM and should, according to most rumors, be equipped with a dual-camera setup on the back. The device is expected to sport 12 and 13 MP lenses with autofocus, f/1.7 aperture, and 1.12µm pixel size. The two lenses could be a wide-angle and a telephoto lens (similar to the latest iPhone and the OnePlus 5) with 2X optical zoom. The device is also tipped to have an 8 MP selfie snapper on board.

It’s worth pointing out that the Note 8 might not be Samsung’s first smartphone with a dual-camera setup. That title may go to the upcoming Galaxy C10.

Moving on to the fingerprint sensor, it looks like this won’t be built into the screen of the device as originally expected. According to a report by Naver, there are still various technical limitations when it comes to in-display fingerprint scanners, which is why Samsung will not use it on the Note 8. Interestingly, multiple reports claim Apple has managed to do so on the upcoming iPhone.

Based on the fact that the Note 8 will feature small bezels around the screen (more on this later), the company won’t be able to mount the fingerprint sensor on the front either, as there’s just not enough room available below the screen. This means that once again the fingerprint scanner will likely be found on the back of the device (something which has seemingly been corroborated by recently leaked renders, seen in the tweets below).

Other things worth pointing out are that the Note 8 is expected to be waterproof (IP68), will naturally come equipped with the popular S Pen as well as an iris scanner, and pack at least a 3,500 mAh battery. The latest rumors also suggest that the device will be available with 64 GB, 128 GB and even 256GB of storage, which you’ll be able to expand for an additional 256 GB with the help of a microSD card. Force touch, throughout the screen, has been rumored to be present as well.

When it comes to software, the phone will run Android 7.1.1 Nougat with Samsung’s custom user interface on top. It will likely have a more fully-fledged version of Bixby on board, the company’s digital assistant that made its debut on the Galaxy S8. This means it’ll probably have the same dedicated Bixby button on the side, which not everyone is a fan of.

As a bonus, the alleged wallpaper set of the Galaxy Note 8 is already available online right here.

Samsung Galaxy Note 8: Design

OnLeaks released a set of renders, as well as a 360-degree video, of the upcoming Samsung Galaxy Note 8. They show the device from all angles leaving nothing to the imagination.

As you can see, the Note 8 will look more or less the same as the Galaxy S8 series, with a few minor differences here and there. It will be a little bit bigger and have a slightly redesigned back thanks to the dual-camera setup. Unfortunately, the images above show that the fingerprint scanner will be positioned on the right side of the cameras just like on the Galaxy S8, which a lot of users don’t really like. In addition, the device will likely have a glass back, a metal frame, and come equipped with the popular S Pen that pops out from the bottom of the device.

The design of the device has also been hinted at in recent images posted on Twitter by Evan Blass. The first one potentially shows us the front of the upcoming phablet in the Midnight Black color option.

Shortly after, Evan Blass posted another image online, this time revealing the front, back, and sides of the smartphone in two color variants. In addition to Midnight Black, the picture also shows the Note 8 in what appears to be Maple Gold, which we have already seen on the Galaxy S8. You can check it out below.

Of course, in addition to Midnight Black and Maple Gold, the Note 8 will also come in a few other color options. According to leaker Roland Quandt, the phablet will be available in at least one new color — Deep Blue.

Samsung Galaxy Note8 coming in Black, Orchid Grey and a new Deep Blue. At least.

— Roland Quandt (@rquandt) July 22, 2017

Although the leaks we’ve seen so far haven’t been confirmed yet, it seems very likely at this point that the Note 8 will look a lot like the Galaxy S8 series, only bigger. There’s really no need to change the design based on the fact that it has been so well received among consumers. We’d also expect the same software design as that found on the Galaxy S8.

If you were waiting for some real world images of the Galaxy Note 8, several have surfaced out of China. They’re not the best quality, but they do serve as confirmation of previously leaked renders and press images:

Finally, these images of a Note 8 dummy unit are a good representation of what to expect from the device:

Samsung Galaxy Note 8: Price

The Galaxy Note series is known as being quite expensive. Unfortunately, that probably won’t change with the Note 8. There’s actually a very good chance that the phone will cost even more than the Note 7.

When the Note 7 launched in the US, it retailed for around $850 on average or $80 more than the unlocked version of the Galaxy S7 Edge. As the Galaxy S8 Plus is more expensive than its predecessor ($824.99 unlocked), it’s quite possible that Samsung will also increase the price of the Note 8.

There’s still a chance that you’ll be able to get the smartphone for around $850, but a price tag of $900 or maybe even a bit more seems like a safer bet at this point. If the base storage goes up and the phone gets an additional camera, Samsung might have no choice but to bump up the price. In Europe, the smartphone is expected to retail for around €1,000.

That’s a lot of money to pay so it will be interesting to see how high the demand will be for the smartphone, especially considering the fact that Samsung’s reputation has taken a beating in the US as well as in other countries in the past year.

The good news is that Samsung will likely give out some free goodies along with the Note 8, at least during the pre-order period. The tech giant used this strategy last year when it offered products like a 256 GB microSD card, the Gear Fit 2, and the Gear VR headset for free with every purchase.

These are all the rumors regarding the Galaxy Note 8 we have come across so far. We’ll update this page as soon as we hear more.

Meanwhile, do let us know your thoughts on Samsung’s upcoming smartphone. Would you consider buying it if it will be more expensive than its predecessor? Let us know by posting a comment down below.

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