The Samsung Galaxy Note 8 is official. I mean that literally and as a compliment. We attended the official launch event in New York. Samsung apologized to and thanked their fans for sticking by them with the whole Note 7 debacle. After some hands-on time with the phone and of course, pictures, here are my first impressions.
Samsung Galaxy Note 8 Specs
Display: 6.3” Quad HD Super AMOLED 2560 x 1440 (521ppi)
Cameras: Dual 12 Megapixel rear-facing camera (Both with OIS) / 8 megapixel front-facing camera
Processor / RAM: Quad 2.3GHz + Quad 1.7Ghz, Octacore application processor/ 6GB RAM
Memory: 64GB /128GB / 256GB Internal Memory (with expansion slot)
Battery: 3,300 mAh embedded battery / Fast Wireless and Wired Charging /
Connectivity : Bluetooth 5.0 / Wi-Fi / NFC / USB-C / Headphone Jack
OS: Android Nougat 7.1.1 with Samsung Experience (Formerly TouchWiz)
Features: IP68 Rating (water and dust resistant) / Bixby
First Impressions and Hands-On
Nothing has changed. Even though the Samsung Galaxy S8 really stepped up this year to be more sleek and sophisticated. The Galaxy Note is still my favorite Galaxy phone. The Galaxy Note8 went the slim route, the S8 and S8+ went. They fit a lot of screen into the body, and it looks great. Definitely doesn’t feel like you 6 plus inches of screen in your palm. The corners look pointier, giving the Note 8 a more business-y type look. But as you can see from the pictures, it’s definitely a fingerprint magnet.
The Note 8 keeps external storage slot and the headphone jack, something fans will appreciate and can use the AKG headphones that come with the phone. The battery on the Note 8 is smaller than the Note 7 which concerns me a bit, not sure how that will play out for all-day use on a large screen. The screen looks beautiful, as Samsung screens always do, and it can get very very bright. Samsung input an 8-point battery safety check for obvious reasons.
The camera upgrade was one of my favorite things. The Note8 has dual rear cameras; a telephoto, and a wide-angled lens side by side. With the new lenses, Samsung introduced Live Focus which allows you to focus on a subject and blur the background (think bokeh). I tried it and fell in love with it. If you follow my personal Instagram and Google+ pages, you know I enjoy taking tons of pictures. The Galaxy line has taken many throughout the years. With a dual camera and live focus, I’m sure many shots will come out incredibly gorgeous.
Live Message is pretty cute too. It’s a nice way to spruce up text messages with animations. Not a huge selling point but definitely a fun feature to have.
I wish the gold and blue colors came to the US. They are the more “fun” colors that I enjoy. The Midnight Black does look super sleek though. I do feel Samsung has owned up to the whole Note 7 debacle, and they’ve taken precaution in making the Galaxy Note 8 better than the Note 7 was and obviously a safe device to use. You’ll get more details when we get our review unit.
Pricing and Availability
The Galaxy Note 8 will be available for all 4 major US carriers starting September 15th. You can pre-order now. Some are offering deals with the purchase of a Note 8 such as a 128GB SD memory card or a Gear 360 camera. Samsung is also offering a trade-in credit for those who had the Note 7 last year (up to $425 with a phone trade-in).
AT&T: AT&T has a few offers for the Galaxy Note 8 including discounts on Samsung TVs. The phone will start at $950. You can learn more HERE
Sprint: $0 down and monthly payments of $40 for 18 months (lease). Right now they have a deal where you can save 50% on leasing. You can learn more HERE
T-Mobile: $210 down and $30 per month for 24 months on EIP Plan or $930 in full. You can learn more HERE.
Verizon Wireless: $40 per month with zero down or $960.00 full retail. You can learn more HERE