Samsung has officially lifted the lid on the Galaxy Note 8 with a huge screen and massively upgraded camera, as it bids to bury the memory of the ill-fated Note 7 and its problems with exploding batteries.
In keeping with a phone that Samsung has billed as allowing you to ‘do bigger things’, front and centre on 2017’s Note is a vast 6.3-inch SuperAMOLED Quad HD Infinity Display.
That’s a major jump from the Note 7’s 5.7 inches and a mite larger than the Plus version of the S8, which came in at 6.2 inches.
It’s optimised for split-screen multi-tasking and now lets you program apps to run simultaneously. So you could be listening to your favourite jam, while scrolling through the lyrics.
Impressively, Samsung has managed to squeeze the expansive screen into a relatively compact body (dimensions: 162.5mm x 74.6mm x 8.5mm) by shrinking the bezels (that’s the edges around the display).
The camera has been super-sized too. In place of the Note 7’s single 12-megapixel camera, the Note 8 has a so-called dual camera set-up.
In this case, that means you get one 12-megapixel camera with a f/1.7 aperture. And a secondary 12-megapixel camera with a f/2.4 aperture to let in more light and a 2X optical zoom.
Both have optical image stabilisation technology to eliminate blurrycam effect while you’re on shooting on the move.
Like the iPhone 7, the cameras combine to enable you to capture what photography enthusiasts call ‘bokeh’ shots.
This is an effect that gives your images an impressive sense of depth by fading out the background details and bringing the subject of the shot into super-sharp focus.
Around the front, there’s an eight-megapixel ‘selfie camera’ with a f/1.7 aperture.
After the PR meltdown caused by the Note 7’s overheating battery, Samsung made much of the rigorous testing process it employed for the Note 8.
In place of the Note 7’s vast 3,500 mAh battery, the Note 8 has a smaller 3,300 mAh cell. But it does retain a wireless charging mode, as well as a fast-charge option.
The Note range’s trademark S Pen stylus is present and correct and once again it’s water-resistant. This time around, however, it allows you to write animated messages too and knock up platform-agnostic GIFS.
That’s not all. It also now translates full sentences when you highlight them with the stylus.
As with all recent high-end Galaxy smartphones, the Note 8 is water-resistant, with an IP 68 certification. That means it can withstand continuous, complete submersion in up to 1.5 metres for up to 30 minutes.
However unlike the iPhone 7 and HTC U11, Samsung has retained the 3.5mm headphone jack. So you don’t need an adaptor. And you definitely don’t need to invest in some new wireless headphones.
The Note 8 features a choice of 64GB, 128GB and 25GB of internal storage, with the option to add a MicroSD card to boost capacity and equipped with 6GB of RAM and a Exynos 8895 processor to keep things ticking over.
The phone will go on pre-order 24th August and will be on shop shelves on 15th October.