Galaxy Note 8 review: Powerful, pricey and soon-to-be-replaced

    Replace, 2018 

    The Galaxy Observe eight proved that Samsung might as soon as once more make a protected Observe telephone. Nearly a 12 months on, it is nonetheless a superb machine that permits you to take portrait photographs and use the stylus for writing, drawing and navigation. However Samsung is ready to oust the Observe eight        with the 2018 mannequin. Rumor factors to August 9 as the Galaxy Note 9 launch date (the 9 on 9, get it?), although we’re nonetheless ready for the official phrase.

    Even when the Observe 9 does ultimately come out, the Observe eight will doubtless nonetheless be an excellent choice, particularly should you’re hoping for a stylus-toting telephone that prices rather less. Samsung and retailers will nearly actually drop the Observe eight’s value after the Observe 9 goes on sale. LG can be readying a extra fundamental stylus lineup, the LG Stylus Q family of phones.

    In the meantime, the Galaxy S9 and S9 Plus, which haven’t got the embedded stylus, are actually on sale.

    Learn the unique Galaxy Observe eight evaluation under.

    After testing it from San Francisco to Los Angeles and as much as Lake Tahoe, I can confidently say that the Galaxy Observe eight is undoubtedly Samsung’s finest, most feature-packed telephone.

    Nevertheless it’s additionally deeply burdened. Does it scrub away the unhealthy style of final 12 months’s disastrous Note 7 double-recall? Is the battery protected? Does it provide sufficient over the cheaper Galaxy S8 and S8 Plus to make it definitely worth the sky-high value? (See costs under.)

    Lastly, we now have solutions. Samsung has amped up its security testing and lowered the Observe eight’s battery dimension to keep away from repeating final 12 months’s deadly battery mistake, although we cannot know if it is actually protected till weeks have passed by with no reported incident.

    Patrons of the Galaxy Note 7 — who needed to relinquish their flame-prone telephones — and 2015’s Galaxy Note 5 — till now, the “finest” Observe telephone you can purchase — will discover the Observe eight to be the high-end handset they need to have gotten final 12 months, after which some. It largely merges the Observe 7 with the S8 and S8 Plus. The upshot: It is actually good, however feels rehashed as an alternative of actually recent. Samsung performed it protected.

    One vivid star is the presence of a twin digicam setup on the Observe eight’s again. Samsung’s first twin-lens telephone can create fairly depth-effect portraits that lastly catch it as much as the most well liked pattern in telephones. There’s additionally the Observe eight’s vibrant 6.Three-inch OLED display screen, and a tall, slim design that goes lean on bezels. Battery life right here goes on and on. You will discover a welcome repeat of the Galaxy S8’s top-of-the-line processor, water resistance, expandable storage and wi-fi charging, plus enjoyable methods to create animated GIFs that belong to the Observe eight alone. The S Pen stylus has some actual efficiencies you do not get on another telephone.

    Everybody who noticed me whip out the Observe to write down down quite a few Starbucks orders on the lock display screen, create cute animated GIFs of our foolish photographs, and take depth-effect portraits of wedding ceremony company of their best was instantly impressed. “Take our image with the great digicam,” one good friend mentioned. “That pen appears so helpful,” mentioned one other. “I feel I would like that as an alternative of the iPhone.”

    Regardless of the Observe eight’s plain excellence as an Android machine, nevertheless, I am break up on whether or not or not it is definitely worth the hefty value, particularly when it is so just like the single-lens Galaxy S8 and S8 Plus. Throw out the stylus, and your key profit versus the S8 Plus is… portrait mode (which Samsung calls Stay Focus). By itself, that is not a really compelling motive to degree up.

    I have to additionally level out the Observe eight’s most grating imperfection. The location of the fingerprint reader off to the aspect of these two rear cameras drives me bananas. It is plain inconvenient: too excessive and too off-centered. Even when muscle reminiscence takes over and also you get used to it, and even should you use the hit-or-miss iris scanner as an alternative, there isn’t any good motive it should not be within the heart of the Observe’s again like it’s on so many different telephones. There is no excuse for the world’s dominating Android model to falter on one thing the remainder of the business has already mastered.

    For those who’re utilizing a Observe 5, really feel good taking the Observe eight plunge. For those who’ve by no means owned a Observe however can actually make the S Pen a part of your each day life, you will not discover another telephone that goes as far.

    The GalaxyNote eight’s S Pen stylus made this GIF.

    Jessica Dolcourt/CNET

    For those who’re considering the Observe eight for the second digicam alone, I say wait to see how the LG V30 and iPhone X carry out; they each have twin cameras, too. And there is the twin digicam iPhone 8 Plus, whose photographs and video efficiency are pretty evenly matched with the Observe eight’s. The brand new Pixel 2 and Pixel 2 XL buck the pattern with only one digicam, however Google says it’s so good, a second lens is unnecessary. (We’ll fact-check that declare as soon as we now have an opportunity to totally evaluation it.)

    On the finish of the day, dreamy portraits and a pressure-sensitive pen are niceties, not requirements. And that is what the Observe eight is: a stupendous splurge for individuals who need to do every little thing they will on an Android telephone, or at the very least have the choice.

    Everybody however Observe die-hards ought to wait till we see how the forthcoming rival telephones fare. The Pixel 2 is available now for preorder and ships Oct. 19. Apple will take preorders for the iPhone X beginning Oct. 27 at 12:01 AM PST and make the primary deliveries on Nov. Three (although supplies are rumored to be severely limited). And, after all, the iPhone 8 and 8 Plus can be found now.  As soon as we have taken a detailed take a look at all of them, we’ll revisit this evaluation.

    Learn on for pricing and an in-depth take a look at the Galaxy Observe eight’s key options. You will discover a full specs checklist and a comparability with different prime telephones on the finish.

    Learn additionally: iPhone X didn’t crush the Galaxy Note 8

    This evaluation initially posted September 5 and was up to date September 15 to point that the telephone is now on sale.

    Galaxy Observe eight value

    Preorders began Aug. 24, and the telephone went on sale Sept. 15 within the US, UK, South Korea and different choose international locations. It’s going to roll out globally via October.

    Till Sept. 30, Samsung will grant original Note 7 owners a discount on the Note 8 as an apology for the effort of getting returned your final telephone. The massive catch? It is just for US consumers up to now and you’ll solely get it via, not via your service. There’s plenty of fine print; I summarize it here.

    All US consumers who preorder the telephone will get a quick wi-fi charger and a 128GB microSD card or a Gear 360. This has nothing to do with being a Observe 7 proprietor, it is out there to everybody. Extra particulars here.

    You can purchase the telephone via carriers, and different retailers. Samsung can be doing one thing totally different and instantly promoting the Galaxy Observe eight unlocked somewhat than ready weeks or months to supply an unlocked choice.

    Within the US, you possibly can choose up the Observe eight from Greatest Purchase, Goal and Walmart along with, the place it sells unlocked for $930. As for carriers, AT&T will promote it for $950 and Verizon will promote it for $960. T-Mobile customers can nab it for $930 whereas Sprint affords it for $960. The telephone may even be out there on US Mobile for the complete retail value of $963 ($32 on 30-month plan) or for $900 pay as you go.

    Is the Observe eight’s battery protected?

    It is too early to really name the Observe eight a Observe 7 redeemer till it is survived weeks in the marketplace with out the telephone overheating and catching fireplace. In spite of everything, CNET’s a number of Observe 7 evaluation items remained incident-free even whereas an unusually excessive variety of handsets all over the world charred inside only a few weeks of that telephone’s launch.

    To maintain the Observe eight protected, Samsung has:

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