After months of hype and leak, Samsung today unveiled the Galaxy Note 8 at its Unpacked event in New York. The Galaxy Note 8 is Samsung’s response to the likes of the Pixel XL 2, the iPhone 8, and represents the company’s best device in terms of pure technology.
Despite being based on the Galaxy S8, there are a lot of new features on the Galaxy Note 8 for one to play around with. Ask any Note owner and they’d sing praises about the device. After all, there’s a reason why Note owners are so fiercely loyal to the brand and that is despite the ill-fated Galaxy Note 7 from last year. There’s a lot to like about the Galaxy Note 8. If you are wondering what makes the Note 8 so special, read about the top features of the device below.
Dual Camera Setup
The Galaxy Note 8 is Samsung’s first device to come with a dual-camera setup at the rear. While the primary 12MP shooter at the rear is the same that was seen on the Galaxy S8, the secondary 12MP telephoto lens is brand new. By making use of the data collected from two sensors, Samsung is able to offer better image quality on the Note 8. This also makes it the first device in the world to offer OIS for both camera sensors at the rear.
Additionally, the telephoto lens allows the Note 8 to offer 2x optical zoom. While we have already seen Apple achieve this with the iPhone 7 Plus last year, Samsung’s implementation is arguably superior since the telephoto lens features a wider f/2.4 aperture, Dual Pixel, and perhaps most importantly, OIS. The inclusion of OIS will be handy since any movement is easily visible when using optical zoom. Apart from 2x optical zoom, the Galaxy Note 8 also features 10x digital zoom.
The dual camera setup and a powerful ISP also allow the Galaxy Note 8 to offer Live Focus. As the name suggests, the feature allows one to adjust the blur strength of bokeh photos that one can click on the Note 8. The feature is similar to the Portrait mode offered by Apple on the iPhone 7 Plus. What makes Live Focus even better is that the overall blur intensity and the depth of a photo can be altered even after a shot is taken through the Gallery app, which is not possible on the iPhone 7 Plus.
Same S Pen But Improved Software
Hardware wise, the Galaxy Note 8’s S Pen is the same as the one found on the Galaxy Note 7. It features 4096 pressure points and a 0.7mm thin tip. However, Samsung has improved the S Pen software on the Galaxy Note 8 to enhance its functionality.
On the Galaxy Note 7, one could take out the S Pen and start scribbling on the Always On Display to take notes. This feature has been improved on the Galaxy Note 8 as Screen off memo now allows one to take notes of up to 100 pages. Additionally, one can now pin and edit notes directly from the Always On Display.
The Translate feature of S Pen — which quickly translated a word when the S Pen hovered over it — has been improved as it can now translate full sentences in up to 71 different languages.
App Pair and Snap Window
Google made multi-window multitasking a commonplace on Android with the release of Android Nougat last year. Now, Samsung is taking this feature to the next level with App Pair on the Galaxy Note 8. Using App Pair, one can create a custom pair of apps on the Edge panel. This pair of applications can then be launched in multi-window mode in just a single tap.
Then, there’s also Snap Window. Simply drag and drop an app to the top of the screen to keep it in multi-window mode. The bottom part of the screen will automatically shrink so that you can continue using the device like normal. This can come in handy while watching a live stream on YouTube or any other content that is being refreshed constantly.
The inclusion of 6GB RAM on the Galaxy Note 8 should also help it make a multitasking beast and ensure that the device will not unload apps frequently from its RAM like the Galaxy S8.
As if the already impressive spec sheet of the Galaxy Note 8 was not already enough to wow you, the 6.3-inch QHD+ Infinity Display at the front of the device definitely will. The lack of bezels surrounding the display, the curved edges, and the 18.5:9 aspect ratio makes the Galaxy Note 8 display an absolute stunner to look at.
The 6.3-inch display on the Galaxy Note 8 offers more surface area for drawing and writing with the S Pen. Compared to the Note 5, the Galaxy Note 8’s display offers 14 percent more viewing area thanks to the new aspect ratio of the display. The display has also been certified as Mobile HDR Premium by the UHD Alliance so you can enjoy even more vibrant and richer colors on it when viewing the appropriate content.
What do you think about the Galaxy Note 8? While it is definitely an impressive device, remember that the Note 8 is priced at almost $1000 in the US. Samsung and US carriers are throwing in some freebies to sweeten the deal, but that will only help to a certain extent.