Samsung Galaxy Note 8 fever is upon us. Over 650000 have already pre-booked the phone around the world.
In India, where the Note 8 has launched on Tuesday at a price of Rs 67900, the introductory offers include a one-time free screen replacement and a free wireless charger. HDFC credit card holders will get a Rs 4000 cashback. The Note 8 can be bought on Amazon and Samsung's own website and from offline partners. Pre-bookings have now opened in India too.
Like the Galaxy S8 and the Galaxy S8+, the Note 8, which will be available in midnight black and maple black, too boasts an 18.5:9 "Infinity Display" .
The 6.3-inch edge-to-edge display is Super AMOLED and has a resolution of 1440 x 2960 pixels.
Also present are high-end features such as a top-of-the-line 64-bit Exynos 8895 octa-core processor chipset with 6GB RAM and 64GB internal storage.
The Note 8 is Samsung's first smartphone to feature dual camera set-up at the rear with portrait mode and dual optical image stabilisation (OIS). The 8MP front camera too comes with OIS.
Samsung claims the new, thinner "S Pen" stylus that remains unique to the Galaxy Note 8 has a latency of less than 50 milliseconds.
Samsung revealed that "Bixby Voice capability (capable of recognising Indian accents) will now be available in India from September 30 on Galaxy Note8 and Galaxy S8 & S8+ devices".
So, how good is the latest Note and does it mark a significant upgrade to the S8? More importantly, what about the battery this time around?
Marques Brownlee liked the fact that Samsung has let users create app pairs - "Spotify and Google Maps" - for instance, to make use of the split screen functionality. The headline grabbing dual cameras - two 12 shooters (one wide angle and one telephoto - 2x zoom) and both with OIS - should in theory work better in lowlight than the iphone 7 plus dual cameras, MKBHD says. In summary, I am pretty optimistic for this phone. As a package, Note 8 is looking pretty damn hot, YouTube's most popular mobile phone reviewer says.
His first impressions video here:
Michael Fisher aka Mr Mobile is impressed with the cameras, but with a few minor caveats. The wide-angle camera lens could have been wider. But otherwise he is pleased with the snappers: For most folks, it (the camera setup) is almost never going to let you down. It brings in a great combination of speed, reliability and versatility.
As for the phone, this is what he has to say: "For the past few years, my Galaxy Note review processeds have followed the same arc. I start out disappointed as it does not live up to my initial high expectations. But after a week of using it, when I collect all my thoughts and write my review, the good stuff outweighs the bad like 5 to 1. True it is not a crazy envelope pusher anymore, but to be honest, the Note hasn't been for a long time. It has grown up and it has made the compromises that come with that. As a result, it now appeals to a wider swath of people. If you don't care about the pen and love the rest of the package, yeah, you should snap up the S8+. You get almost everything that I have just talked about. But the S pen does lend the Note 8 a semblance of the specialness the line once possessed. And so dismissing it entirely is a mistake. Just like dismissing that first Galaxy Note was all those years ago."
The full review:
Linus of Linus Tech Tips is not wholly impressed and says it is obvious that "But especially at this price, Samsung played it safe this time around". He goes on to add that "The Note 8 is not bad. It is arguably the most versatile phone in the market. It does everything. It just feels like when Samsung removed the fire from the Note 7, the spark of our love went out too."
His full review: