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Tech & Gadgets
Samsung Galaxy Note8: Bigger, Better, Faster
by Seth L.
With device malfunctions and explosions a thing of the past (hopefully), Samsung has recently revealed the Samsung Galaxy Note8 and there's a lot of reasons why this new phablet could be crowned the best smartphone of the year
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DESIGN AND SPECS: MADE TO BE LARGER THAN LIFE

Samsung’s motto of late seems to be “Bigger Is Better” Just like the Galaxy S8+, the size of the phablet is first thing you notice about the Galaxy Note 8. Seeing how physically similar they are, we can’t really help but to put the Galaxy Note8 through some sibling rivalry type of comparison with the Galaxy S8+

Side by side at a glance, it’s hard to tell the Galaxy Note8 from the Galaxy S8+. Both share the same design with their glass backs, near bezel-less Infinity Displays and aluminum chassis. But if you look closer, the Galaxy Note8 is noticeably bigger, thicker and heftier compared to the Galaxy S8+

At the back of the device, the difference is much more noticable, with the Note8 rocking a dual camera array and the Galaxy S8+, a single camera layout.

With the biggest Infinity Display to date on a Samsung device, the Note8 reigns supreme with a 6.3” QHD+ AMOLED (1440 x 2960 pixels, 521 ppi pixel density) screen with a 18.5:9 aspect ratio. Samsung literally wants you to see the bigger picture and communicate in a whole new way with their mega screen. The display is also HDR10 compliant with Corning Gorilla Glass 5, which will surely be a welcomed feature, seeing that the bigger the screen is the chances of it getting damage get significantly higher.

The QHD+ AMOLED display is simply amazing, burning with intense colours and true blacks, just perfect for scrolling through photos, watching videos or gaming.

The Samsung Note8 is incredibly powerful and fast. The phablet is driven by a 10nm mobile processor that’s loaded with 6GB RAM to make it happen seamlessly and fast.

The Note8 also supports both gigabit speed LTE and gigabit speed Wi-Fi, giving you superior connection speed by tapping into gigabit enabled network speeds.

If you are a gamer, you’ll be glad to know that the Note8 supports the Vulkan API that makes quick and fast connections between device computing and graphics generation, so what you get are explosively smooth gaming experiences that doesn't drain your battery as much when you are in the heat of the action.

Good sounds deserves to be heard through good earphones and the Note8 shines with earphones tuned by AKG, packed with 11Φ woofers and 8Φ tweeters.

The Samsung Galaxy Note8 comes with a downgraded 3300 mAh battery (comparing this to the Samsung Galaxy S8+'s 3500 mAh battery ) despite having the biggest device with the largest screen currently in the Samsung stable.

But worry not, just place your Galaxy Note8 on Samsung's wireless charger to get back to 100% without missing a beat. It's easily adjustable to be a pad or a stand: lay your phone flat or prop it up in portrait or landscape mode so you can keep watching or chatting while you charge.

The Samsung Note8 will be available in Midnight Black, Orchid Gray, Maple Gold for the Malaysian market.

THE S-PEN: IS MORE THAN JUST A PEN

The key selling point of Samsung Notes has always been the S-Pen and the usefulness of its accompanying S-Pen focused software. The new revamped stylus for the Note8 is simply a joy to use with its high accuracy, 0.7mm fine stylus point and 4096 levels of pressure sensitivity.

The plethora of useful software tools are still here, including a new function called “Live Message”. Here’s a brief recap on the software functionalities…

Samsung Note, the one stop note taking tool. From bullet journaling to serious artwork and everything in between, Samsung Notes gives you the tools. Use the wide selection of brushes, pens, and colors to draw up plans and create your own masterpieces.

Screen Off Memo, is arguably one of the best features of the S-Pen. Screen Off Memo allows you to jot down notes without unlocking your phone so just capture all your brilliant ideas by writing them down instantly.

Live Message, the new function, allows you to draw your own emojis, make animated GIFs, or write handwritten messages on photos. Live Message can be used in any app where GIFs are supported and not restricted to only Samsung's own apps.

Screen Grab long articles, emails, and documents as one image, and then add markups easily.

Glance allows you to have two apps open simultaneously and switch back and forth with ease.

Magnify lets you take a closer look whenever you need to.

Translate text, words or sentences, convert currencies and measurements with the S-Pen just by highlighting it.

DUAL CAMERAS: MAKE THE BEST OF YOUR MOMENTS

Get ready to take crisp and clear shots with the Galaxy Note8's dual 12-megapixel camera. The Galaxy Note8's dual camera has a wide-angle camera that comes with the great low-light capabilities. Its telephoto camera has 2x optical zoom to let you zoom in clearly, near or far and both cameras have optical image stabilization (OIS), producing photos that come out beautifully even with camera shake.

We should also let you know that the twin rear and the front snappers are exactly identical to the one on the Galaxy S8+

The front facing camera is 8MP f/1.7, face tracking with smart autofocus and Auto HDR.

The first rear camera is 12 MP f/1.7, autofocus with 4K video recording, OIS, Auto HDR and LED flash. The second camera on the back is 12MP f/2.4 with OIS, providing the Galaxy Note8 with a 2x optical zoom and some pretty nifty dual camera double shot tricks up it sleeves...

Live Focus brings bokeh effects into your shots. Get the focus you want before you press the shutter button. Live Focus lets you take beautiful bokeh shots where you make your subject stand out. And if you're not entirely satisfied, you always have the option to adjust the level of background blur afterwards.

Dual Capture snaps both a tighter shot and outside the frame. While you're focused on taking a Live Focus photo, Dual Capture photographs additional shots on what's happening outside the frame. That way you get to enjoy the moments you might have otherwise missed.

Food Mode lets you put your food in the spotlight for appetizing results.

Use Pro mode - White Balance to edit your shots and get just the effect you were looking for.

Pan the camera from left to right with the Panorama mode to capture the sweeping vistas around you.

Slow down the action with Slow Motion to capture the moments in a stunning way.

SAMSUNG PHONE+ : CONNECT TO A BIGGER WORLD

Turn your phone into a PC-like experience with Samsung DeX. Some things can be done faster and better when you have a full-size keyboard and a big monitor. With your Galaxy Note8 and the DeX Station, you only need to connect to a monitor, keyboard, and mouse and you are good to go.

Bixby is a smarter way to use your phone. Open up your camera and use Bixby to get information on landmarks, places to eat, and translations of the menu. Or ask it to edit a photo you've just taken, share it with your friend, and post it on social media.

Share all 360 degrees of your world, in real time if you want, using the Gear 360 and the Galaxy Note8

Break boundaries with Gear VR. Slip the Samsung Galaxy Note8 into the Gear VR headset and be transported into whole new worlds.

VERDICT: SUMMARY

So what do we think about the Note 8? Coming in at a pricey RM3999 a pop with bigger dimensions and upgraded specs than the Galaxy S8+, we reckon this smartphone is for people with deep pockets, literally and figuratively speaking. To most the price tag might be a big hurdle for a device that’s technically a “S8++”

Only get it if you want the S-Pen which we do think that it’s a pretty nifty tool though.

For your information the Samsung Galaxy Note 8 pre-order session in Malaysia will take place from the 5th to 10th of September 2017. Pre-order customers will receive a RM 321 cash rebate for their purchase (marking the price down to RM3678). They will also receive a 5,100mAh battery pack, clear in-box phone cover and Samsung Protection Plus. The Samsung Protection Plus is a 1-year extended warranty program that covers mechanical and electrical breakdowns, as well as a one-time screen crack replacement.

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