Experts and analysts had uncertainties about whether the Korean electronics giant “wouldve been” removed from what is arguably the most devastating smartphone launch in history.
But following the successful release of its flagship device, the Galaxy S8, last spring, Samsung is now ready to bringing the Galaxy Note back from the dead with the safer — but still feature packed — Note 8.
The road to the Note 8 has been a bumpy one and filled with plenty of lessons learned. Following the Note 7 nightmare, Samsung’s U.S. smartphone marketshare was around 20 percent according to data collected by research firm Strategy Analytics. But after the Galaxy S8’s launch, it’s now closer to 40 percent mentions Justin Denison, Senior Vice President of Samsung Electronics of America.
“The proof point through this process of recovery — the brand, the business, etc. — is truly manifested in the Galaxy S8 machines, ” Denison told Mashable . “These devices have been extremely well-received with the near flawless launch. We’ve grown sales time over time — both in the U.S. and globally. ”
That’s reassuring to hear as a phone buyer, and it’s exactly what Samsung needs ahead of the Note 8 launching. The phone itself will be officially available for pre-order from all of the U.S. carriers starting on Aug. 24 and begin shipping on Sept. 15.
And for the first time, the unlocked versions( without all the bloatware) will likewise be also be obtained on launch day. Samsung is also sweetening the deal for anyone who buys a Note 8 between Aug. 24 and Sept. 24 by including a free Gear 360 camera or “Galaxy Foundation” kit which includes a 128 GB memory card and fast wireless accusing cradle.
The launch of the Galaxy S8 and S8+ the beginning of this year was Samsung’s first real exam at winning back consumers who feared the company’s phones were unsafe. While the Note 7’s faulty batteries are still concerns for many consumers, Samsung mentions it’s running the extra mile to make sure the Note 8 will not blow up. That includes putting the phone’s batteries through the same new 8-point battery safety check introduced with the S8.
It likewise intends not cramming every new technology into the Note 8, but adding in advancements that are meaningful without being over the top. The Note 8 has plenty of new features for power consumers, but it’s also quite conservative.
Signature Samsung designing
If you’ve determined a S8 or S8+ you already “know what i m thinking” the Note 8 looks like. It’s have the same glass and metal sandwich designing Samsung’s been fine-tuning for years and it still appears damn slick. Just like on the S8, the glass front and back boundaries curve to meet the metal frame.
The Super AMOLED, HDR-ready “infinity display” is a little larger at 6.3 inches compared to the S8+ ‘s 6.2 inches, but it seems much larger. Whereas the S8 has more pronounced curved rims, the Note 8’s are gentler. Samsung mentions this was intentional may be required for more screen surface area for using the S Pen stylus — makes sense.
The Essential Phone and upcoming iPhone 8’s screens will herald in a new period of displays with “notches, ” but that’s penalty by me because the Note 8’s presentation is still best-in-class. The crisp 2,960 x 1,440 resolution is as bright as ever and the vibrant colorings and deep blacks are just as you’d expect from a Samsung phone.
I likewise saw no noticeable lag during my brief hands on with the Note 8. It’s powered by the same Qualcomm Snapdragon 835 chip as the S8. But instead of 4GB of RAM, Samsung’s bumped it up to 6GB. There’s 64 GB of internal storage with a microSD card slot for expansion up to 256 GB.
The Note 8 also comes with all the Samsung pillars you’ve come to desire, like fast accusing via USB-C, wireless charging that’s as fast as wired, IP68 water and dust resistance, and a headphone jack. The speaker’s simply mono, but still sounds fine.
It’s still a little disappointing to see the fingerprint sensor on the back, next to the camera, but at the least it’s now separated by the dual LED flash. The Note 8’s also equipped with the same biometrics found on the S8, including the iris scanner and face recognition.
Powerful dual cameras
While the S Pen is what differentiates the Note from the Galaxy S series, the Note 8’s dual cameras( eventually) are even more exciting.
Rumors proposed Samsung’s second rear camera would offer 3x optical zoom or hobble behind the iPhone with a secondary monochrome sensor, but they were wrong. Both cameras are 12 megapixel sensors — one’s a regular wide-angle lens with f/ 1.7 aperture and the other’s a 2x telephoto with f/ 2.4 aperture.
People are gonna tell Samsung facsimile the iPhone 7 Plus, and that’s true-life and false. First, everyone’s facsimile the iPhone 7 Plus’ dual cameras( Hi OnePlus 5 !). And second, the Note 8’s dual cameras might actually be better.
Both “re coming with” optical image stabilization( OIS) so that your photos are sharp even when you’ve zoomed in 10x digitally on a subject. The iPhone only has OIS in its regular camera.
And unlike OnePlus, who just shamelessly facsimile the “Portrait mode” epithet and all, the feature’s called “Live Focus” on the Note 8, with good reason. When the mode is switched on, the camera concentrates in on a subject and blurs out the background. But unlike Portrait mode, you can actually adjust the intensity of the background blur in real-time or after you’ve taken the shooting.
But the Note 8’s camera tricks don’t be brought to an end. While you’re shooting a DSLR-quality photo with the background all de-focused, the regular wide-angle camera also takes a normal photo so you likewise capture the entire scene.
I only got to try the dual cameras in a controlled indoor illuminating situation, but from what I read, it looked fairly darn good. Live Focus still sometimes fails to isolate the background from, say, a person’s mane or transparent and reflective things like glass and metal, but it’s to be expected from phone cameras.
The selfie camera didn’t get an upgrade. It’s the same 8-megapixel shooter as on the S8. Honestly, I’m not sure if selfies need to get sharper, so I’m fine with it.
Samsung earned a bad reputation for piling on gimmicky software features into its Android telephones that nobody craves, but it truly has dialed it way down in recent years.
The Note 8 still operates Android 7.1.1 Nougat with Samsung’s own TouchWiz, but like on the S8, it no longer induces you wishes to draw your hair out. The UI still feels fresh and modern and the company tells it’ll be one of the first telephones to get updated to Android 8.0 Oreo.
People buy Note phones to get more material done. Split-window and the Apps Edge shortcuts have helped push the Note’s productivity features and now Samsung’s adding a pair most useful ones.
Apps Edge has a new pairing feature that lets you create a shortcut that’ll open up two apps in split-window. For instance, if you always use Chrome and Notes, you can program a shortcut that’ll open them both together.
The useful Screen Off Memo, which lets you start jotting notes on the showing as soon as draw out the S Pen now supports up to 100 pages.
The S Pen also now translates full sentences as opposed to just terms. It’s still a little wonky to use is comparable to simply using Google Translate, though.
And there’s a Live Message feature that lets you handwrite and describe animated messages just like iO’Ss own Digital Touch. But whereas Digital Touch is a special format, Live Messages are saved as GIFs so you can share them anywhere.
As you can see, these software features are not groundbreaking by any means, but they’re practical. With the Note 8, Samsung’s building on top of the software blocks it already set down with its previous flagships instead of flinging a dozen new silly notions at the wall.
The one big part of the software on the Note 8 that I’m still not seeming is Bixby, and that’s because it has a dedicated physical button just like on the S8. It’s merely been about a month since Bixby launched on the S8 and Samsung tells 30 percent of proprietors have registered to try it. Speeches to Bixby are reportedly in the “tens of millions” according to the company.
Samsung’s extremely ambitious with Bixby, but compared to other digital deputies like Siri and Google Assistant, it still falls short — really short.
Return of the Note
“I will bring back a better, safer and very innovative Note 8, ” DJ Koh, Samsung’s mobile chief, told CNET following the company’s press conference that detailed what went wrong with the Note 7’s batteries.
The Note 8 believe that there is safer and the dual cameras and the new productivity features are a little more innovative, but they’re still modest improvements. I’m not sure if that’s enough to compete with the upcoming iPhone 8 and Google Pixel 2, but maybe that’s fine.
Samsung will still likely sell tons of Note 8’s — accepting people really trust them again. Last year, I boldly extol the Note 7 the best smartphone on countries around the world before they started exploding globally. Will Samsung be able to reclaim the title? We’ll have to wait until we get to test the Note 8 IRL. But in so far, it looks pretty sweet.