Samsung’s Galaxy Note 8, the follow-up to the Note 7 — or as it’s more commonly called, one of the worst public relations disasters in the history of consumer electronics — is finally here. And it’s quite the encore.
Not only has the handset been completely redesigned from the Note 7, but it’s also got a larger display and, more importantly, a new dual-lens rear camera designed specifically to take on Apple’s iPhone 7 Plus.
But the Note 8 looks to have some stiff competition in Apple’s (AAPL) upcoming iPhone 8. Samsung’s handset, however, offers plenty of appealing features including a gorgeous display, impressive performance and, best of all, a battery Samsung says won’t explode. It’s certainly a fantastic smartphone, but might not be for everyone, especially if you don’t want to spend nearly $1,000.
Copy and paste
The Galaxy Note 8 takes nearly all of its design cues from Samsung’s Galaxy S8 and S8 Plus. The handset is a sleek, rectangular piece of aluminum and glass with sharper edges than the S8 and S8 Plus. But beyond that, the three phones are all incredibly similar.
In fact, the Note 8 and S8 Plus, in particular, look nearly identical. That’s because the Note 8 sports a 6.3-inch display, while the S8 Plus packs a 6.2-inch panel. That’s a bit odd since Samsung has always used the Note brand’s extra large screens to differentiate it from its Galaxy line of handsets.
I’ve got both the Note 8 and S8 Plus at my desk and frequently confuse the two. That won’t be a problem for most people, obviously, but it does mean consumers will question why they need to buy one phone over the other if they’re just looking for a big screen.
That said, the Note 8’s Super AMOLED Infinite Display with its wraparound edges is as gorgeous as a smartphone screen can get. Colors are bright and vivid and blacks are almost as deep as the phone’s bezel, making for a nearly seamless viewing experience.
S Pen stylus
Beyond its huge display, Samsung uses the Note 8’s stylus to help its handset stand out from the pack. With the S8 Plus and the Note 8 so close in size, Samsung is leaning more heavily on the S Pen stylus to push the phone.
As with the Note 7, the Note 8’s stylus allows you to take on-screen notes without turning on the phone’s display, by simply removing the pen from its holder while the screen…