The Galaxy Note 8 is finally official, and Samsung has packed the new smartphone with features like dual cameras, Infinity Display, improved S Pen, and more. It borrows a lot from the Galaxy S8 and Galaxy S8+, including the design, specifications and features. And as Samsung tries to leave the Galaxy Note 7 nightmare behind, the Galaxy Note 8 becomes an important proposition.
I had been using an HTC One M8 for close to three years, and was looking for an upgrade earlier this year. When I got my hands on the Galaxy S8 for review, in just two days of usage, I was sure that it is likely the one I’ve been waiting for. And a week later, I finally bought the Galaxy S8. It’s been about four months now, and I’m extremely pleased with the purchase. Right from the design to features and more, the Galaxy S8 stands out from the competition. But after looking at the Galaxy Note 8, I feel tempted to ditch my Galaxy S8 for a number of reasons.
More RAM for extra fluidity
The Galaxy Note 8 essentially runs on the same hardware as the Galaxy S8 and Galaxy S8+, but the only difference comes in the form of RAM and onboard storage. Some would say that 4GB of RAM is more than enough for mobile processing tasks, but in the four months of usage, I’ve noticed my Galaxy S8 getting a tad sluggish at times. Although its once in a blue moon, for now, clearing cache, shutting down background apps, and restarting the device makes the functioning smooth once again. However, having slightly more RAM can always help handle resource hungry tasks, and in turn, run the device smoothly. ALSO READ: Is Samsung too late to the dual-camera game with the Galaxy Note 8?
Well, this may not be important for many, but for someone like me, having enough storage is important. The size of apps and updates are increasing, which consume more storage space. Over the past few months, I have been binge watching TV shows on Amazon Prime Video and Netflix on my Galaxy S8, and I usually prefer downloading high quality files. A single episode consumes about 1.5GB space, and after downloading a season, it consumes about 20GB space, roughly. Although I delete episodes after watching, having 128GB onboard storage could have been good.
Yes, there is a microSD card slot that allows you to expand the storage further up to 256GB, but it also means compromising on the secondary SIM slot. The current scenario with the telecom war, a lot of people have been using the primary SIM for contact and the secondary SIM only for mobile data, including me. But here, I’m under a dilemma and have to compromise on something or the other. ALSO READ: Samsung Galaxy Note 8 launched: Top 5 features
The Galaxy S7 duos featured the best in class smartphone camera capable of capturing great photos in any lighting conditions. Samsung didn’t change much with the Galaxy S8 camera, but made some improvements to the software. No doubt, I’m loving every bit of the Galaxy S8 camera, and have shot some really good photos, but with the dual camera trend catching up, Samsung is definitely late to join the party. ALSO READ: Samsung Galaxy Note 8: Twitter is not so sure if the Galaxy Note 7 fire is doused yet
The dual-camera setup on the Galaxy Note 8 isn’t any different from what we have already seen on the Apple iPhone 7 Plus. You get a pair of 12-megapixel sensors – one a wide-angle lens of aperture f/1.7, other a telephoto lens of aperture f/2.4. Both sensors come with optical image stabilization (OIS) which is not something that other smartphone manufacturers have managed to do yet. ALSO READ: Samsung Galaxy Note 8 vs Galaxy Note 7: Here’s what’s different
Together, the cameras work to offer 2X optical zoom, and there is also a portrait mode, that lets you add DSLR-like bokeh effects to your photos. The Galaxy S8 does have a software-based ‘selective focus’ mode that works similarly, but the effects aren’t as good as you can get with a dedicated dual-camera setup. For these advanced camera features, it is very tempting to switch to the Galaxy Note 8.
Lastly, the S Pen, which is a highlight of the Note-series, and a big differentiator for me. In fact, the S Pen is something that made the Note-series popular. The improved S Pen stylus is water resistant, and works with the Galaxy Note 8 even when the screen is submerged under water. It can sense 4,096 levels of pressure with latency of 50 milliseconds. Samsung has also included ‘Always On’ notes feature which lets you scribble and take down notes even without unlocking the device. Not to mention, the creative touch that you can add to your notes, photos and more, making the S Pen more appealing to use. ALSO READ: Samsung Galaxy Note 8 hands-on roundup: What previews say of the device
Now, of course, I went with the Galaxy S8 and not the Galaxy S8+ because I’m a fan of compact displays. At 6.3-inch, the Galaxy Note 8 is slightly bigger but as you have the S Pen, it’s not that you’ll be using the smartphone with one-hand. There is no word on the Galaxy Note 8 India launch or pricing yet, but considering the Galaxy S8+ (6GB RAM + 128GB storage) is priced at Rs 65,900, the Galaxy Note 8 is likely to be priced upwards of Rs 70,000. And as tempting as it may sound, I would only upgrade if I had that kind of money lying around.