Samsung Galaxy Note8: Our First Impressions [India]

With every release, Samsung brings an array of impressive features to the forth. Joining the league of new Samsung phones is the Galaxy Note8.

Samsung Galaxy Note8: First Impressions

Priced at Rs. 67,900, the new Samsung Galaxy Note8 sports quite a handful of impressive features such as a stunning infinity display, a dual-camera setup that is a first from the house of Samsung, along with a powerful and improved S Pen.

The device landed in our office today and we have given it a quick go. Here are the first impressions of the Galaxy Note8.

Design

The Galaxy Note8 features the largest display from Samsung. At 6.3-inches, the Note8’s display only a sliver larger than the 6.2-inch one of the Galaxy S8+ and bears a strong resemblance to the latter.

Samsung Galaxy Note8 First Impressions

It features the same curved edge-to-edge infinity display, however, owing to its bigger size, the huge real estate is easily noticeable. Another striking resemblance to the Galaxy S8 is the back. It too curves gently round the edges and sports the same Gorilla Glass protection.

Samsung Galaxy Note8 First Impressions

What makes the Galaxy Note8 a bit different is its boxier design. The Note8 sports squarish corners and is designed to be thick in the middle to accommodate Samsung’s signature stylus — the S Pen.

Button placements and ports are similar to that of the Samsung flagship, the only difference is the addition of the S-Pen housing at the bottom-right corner of the device.

Samsung Galaxy Note8 First Impressions

Speaking of additions, the Note8 also comes with a dual rear camera setup and is flanked on the left side by a fingerprint sensor. Though the fingerprint sensor is pushed up, I found it easier to reach due to the narrow profile of the phone.

However, the user experience may vary from person to person and on how they hold the device.

Display

The Samsung Galaxy Note8 has a 6.3-inch (18.5:9) Quad HD+ Super AMOLED edge-to-edge infinity display, with a screen-to-body ratio of 83.2%. The display is brighter than that of the Galaxy S8 and looks absolutely gorgeous.

Samsung Galaxy Note8 First Impressions

Typical of Super AMOLED displays, the color reproduction is accurate with the images turning out to be rich, sharp and vivid.

Samsung Galaxy Note8 First Impressions

The big screen, together with the power of the S Pen, makes multitasking a joy. This is a big advantage that Samsung holds over its competitors. You can use the multi-window mode, the edge apps, or the pair apps together to make your work seamless.

Camera

The Galaxy Note8 is the first smartphone from Samsung with dual cameras. The dual-camera setup includes a primary wide-angle lens (f1.7) and a secondary telephoto lens (f2.5). Both these lenses sport Optical Image Stabilization (OIS) for blur-free photos and stable videos.

Samsung Galaxy Note8 First Impressions

Bokeh effect is the latest fad in the world of smartphones and the Samsung pulls off this feature with grace.

A mention of the Note8’s camera isn’t complete without the mention of Live Focus. This nifty mode lets you adjust the blur both before and after taking a picture. And close on its heels is the Dual Capture mode, which will capture two pictures at the same time — one from a wide angle and another normal picture.

Samsung Galaxy Note8 First Impressions

Samsung Galaxy Note8 First Impressions

Samsung Galaxy Note8 First Impressions

Samsung Galaxy Note8 First Impressions

However, typical of any dual-camera setup, this too has a bit of limitation when it comes to capturing images on portrait mode in low light settings.

During normal lighting conditions, both the lenses and the behind-the-scene software tweaks work their magic wonderfully to create shots that are intricately detailed. At the same time, the shots are sharp and vivid. However, we’ll be able to tell you more about the picture quality in the full review.

Software: The Improved S Pen

The Galaxy Note8 is based on the in-house TouchWiz and sports Android Nougat out of the box. But when it comes to the software, the Note series’ signature stylus — S Pen — takes the limelight.

Samsung Galaxy Note8 First Impressions

The S Pen is a slimmer and improved version of its former edition. Not only is it smarter, it’s also more powerful. With it, you can jot down quick notes on the phone’s locked screen but you can also use it to perform a plethora of functions seamlessly.

The S Pen shows minimum latency and is intelligent enough to reject your palm prints.

Another interesting feature of the S Pen is Live Message. All you need to do is doodle on the message to lend it a personal touch.

Samsung Galaxy Note8 First Impressions  Samsung Galaxy Note8 First Impressions

Moreover, a to-do list can easily be pinned on to the Always-on Display – just so you can stay on top of your game. The Note8 also features app pairing, using which you can launch two apps at the same time.

Samsung Galaxy Note8 First Impressions

This feature is different from the normal multi-window mode that we find on Android Nougat phones since you don’t need to set up the apps every single time.

Hardware and Performance

The Galaxy Note8 is powered by the Exynos 8895 (Snapdragon 835 for US variant) and comes with 6GB of RAM and 64GB of internal storage. The internal storage can be expanded up to 256GB via microSD cards.

Thanks to the powerful processor and ample amount of RAM, the Note8 functions fluidly. However, akin to the Galaxy S8, TouchWiz might make the phone a tad slow in the long run. However, it’s too early to speculate on it.

An important feature of Samsung that is making its India debut is Bixby Voice, however, it will be a good few weeks before we will be able to test it.

Samsung’s Doing It Right

Overall, the Galaxy Note8 seems to be a worthy successor to the Note5 with its stunning display and powerful S Pen features. However, we would be able to tell you more about the intricate details in the final review. Until then, watch out this space for the nifty tips and tricks and a full review of the Samsung Galaxy Note8.

Namrata Gogoi

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