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D13H4RD

Samsung Galaxy Note8 revisited - Still awesome!

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Posted · Original PosterOP

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Samsung’s Galaxy Note9 is now in stores, and so far, it has been living up to expectations and many have regarded it as not only Samsung’s best flagship phone thus far, it’s also looking to be one of the top phones released this year. But what if you have its predecessor, the Galaxy Note8? Or if you’re looking to buy one over the Note9 if you want to save a few pennies? Do you miss out if you choose not to upgrade or get the older model?

 

Well, here the answer: Not really. The Galaxy Note8 holds up extremely well, though not without a few caveats

 

What has held up

Let’s start with what has held up.

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The design is still beautiful. Samsung really hit a chord with the Infinity Display-esque design on the S8 and Note8 and they seem content with keeping it for their respective successors. The Note8 doesn’t look much different from its successor and that also comes with it the bonus of not appearing aged as the Note8 still looks as modern alongside even the notched competition. On a subjective note, I do actually prefer the way the fingerprint sensor is mounted on the 8 compared to the 9 as it’s located at where my index finger usually lies and I think it looks more cohesive than the Note9, although that’s likely because I have large hands and a long index finger.

 

The overall build quality is still excellent. The phone still feels as solid as it did back at launch and it also has a reassuring heft that makes it feel as expensive as it costs alongside its very-clicky buttons. I was worried that the glossy coating on the metal parts would wear off much like the similar coating on Samsung’s older phones which had a metallic coating on their plastic parts, but as of right now, the coating still holds up very well, and there’s barely even a scratch.

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The display is still, unsurprisingly, wonderful. The Note9 obviously has the better display, but the Note8 itself already set a high bar at launch and it still has many of the same hallmarks. It’s very easy to read outdoors thanks to the ludicrously high brightness mode it goes to in direct sunlight, and offers an extremely deep contrast due to it being OLED. I’ve never utilized its HDR capabilities much but even when watching regular old YouTube videos, the display was great. Perhaps oversaturated at the default setting, but the “Basic” setting provided pretty strong sRGB accuracy.

 

When it comes to software, I think Samsung has finally started to find that area where their overlay atop Android finally looks more cohesive and less vomit-worthy while also offering lots of features without bogging down the Android experience too much. Compared to something like a OnePlus 5T, obviously the Note feels a bit slower but in day-to-day use, I’ve never felt an egregious slowdown that made me frustrated. Coming from a person who used to loathe Samsung’s skin for this issue and also being someone who used to use nothing but phones running stock Android/lean UX layers, this is a big improvement.

The Experience v9 UX over Android Oreo doesn’t change all that much compared to Experience v8 over Android Nougat, but it brings some small features over the expected stuff from Oreo. If you’re in it for the Samsung features, once you’ve owned at least one Note, you pretty much know what to expect. The phone continues to have a ton of features, including broad multi-window options, an Edge panel that uses the curved edges to slide out, an always-on display, customizable themes and much more, alongside the hallmark stylus. The Note9 adds more stuff like remote functionality on its stylus, but the Note8 has most of what the Note9 has, which contributes to it not feeling as dated.

 

Performance-wise, this Note8 runs on the Samsung Exynos 8895 Octa SoC, while other variants have the option of Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 835 SoC. Real-world performance is identical across both platforms but in the case of this one, performance has held-up extremely well. There’s very little of that slowdown I’ve come to expect out of Samsung phones and in daily use, the phone handles everything I throw at it without much of a hitch. While the Note9 is much more powerful, the Note8 isn’t really *that* much slower and in daily use, I think you’d be hard-pressed to notice any significant difference.

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As for the camera, the Note8 loses out on new functionality that its successor has, such as a dual f/1.5 <-> f/2.4 aperture, a stacked DRAM module on the sensor which allows for 960/720p slow-motion video alongside a much more in-depth multi-frame processing algorithm and a new scene optimizer plus more, but when it comes to the actual photos, the Note8 is no slouch. Samsung’s image-processing is more heavy-handed than Apple’s and Google’s, but the Note8 holds up quite well. You get the expected solid dynamic range and punchy colors from the Samsung phones but it compared to the pre-S6 days, it’s significantly toned down although if accuracy is your thing, you’d probably want to go into Pro mode to tweak them yourself.

 

I won’t talk too much about the S Pen, but it’s the one thing which defines the Note. I use it every day to note down important items, doodle for fun and even just to do screenshots and stuff. The Note8 adds a couple of novel features such as Live Message, which does a GIF from whatever you write on it, but the basic experience still holds up and while it’s not something that everyone users, it’s one thing hardcore Note users swear by, me included. It has come in handy more than once for university work. You’ll miss out on the Note9’s new stuff like the remote functionality but if you don’t rely on that too much, it’s not a huge loss.

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Oh yeah, it has a headphone jack, alongside the LDAC codec for high-quality wireless audio. Who said you can’t have a headphone jack, good wireless audio, IP68 certification and more in one package? Oh….right. Them.

 

What hasn’t held up

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Let’s start with the elephant in the room: Battery. As a result of the Note7 fiasco, the Note8’s battery shrunk to 3300mAh. While 3300mAh is still a “decent” capacity and it got me through the end of a day on my usual use, it’s usually down to 10% by that time with 4.5-5 hours of SOT, sometimes less. Much more frugal use might get me to the second day but I would need a charger by that time. It’s certainly considered average, but the Note9 absolutely dwarfs it with a much larger 4000mAh powerpack, which makes it much more likely to survive a day on heavy use. If you need more battery, the Note9 is your pick.

 

The speaker is also pretty weak. It’s not very loud and it’s a little tinny. The Note9’s speaker setup is a very significant improvement not just due to it being stereo but also much louder, clearer and with more depth.

 

There’s also a couple of very odd software gremlins. The phone would sometimes take a really long time to awake from sleep and while it’s not something that breaks the phone, it’s still somewhat frustrating as it feels just as if someone is trying to get out of bed but is still struggling to. I’ve never had this happen on Nougat.

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On the topic of software, while Samsung has been mostly good with releasing security patches, their rate of releasing them is more inconsistent that I would have liked, which would sometimes take far too long or not even releasing them for a month or two. And if fast OS updates are your thing, Google’s Pixel line should still be your first pick as Samsung is one of the slower ones in this regard.

 

And well, Bixby. Is it bad that I called it “BixBYE”?

 

Onto smaller, more insignificant gremlins, the fingerprint sensor is annoyingly more easily scratched up than ones with glass-topped sensors, which is trigger-inducing on such an expensive phone, the Bixby key could’ve been a very useful shortcut key but bizarrely, Samsung doesn’t seem to think so minus the guys behind bxActions and while I love nice designs, I’m still not a fan of slippery, smudge-tastic glass.

 

The wrap up

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In short, even after a year, the Note8 holds up really well up against even its immediate successor. It’s not a perfect phone and the Note9 makes heavy improvements in its biggest weak spots, namely battery life and sound. But as a package, the Note8 is still a pretty damn good phone and if you own one, you can probably still use it for another year or two. It’s still a powerful, capable phone. And if you’re looking for one with a lower price tag, it’s not a bad option.

 

Picture samples here: https://photos.app.goo.gl/HcEUPEyBxqgTq98U6


Please tag me if you need assistance or if you want me to contribute to a topic 

 

ASUS RoG STRIX GL502VM

Intel Core i7 7700HQ | GeForce GTX 1060 6GB | 16GB DDR4-2133 | 128GB SanDisk M.2 SATA SSD + 1TB 7200RPM Hitachi HDD | 15.6" 1080p IPS monitor @ 60Hz w/ G-SYNC | Windows 10 64-bit

 

Samsung Galaxy Note8 SM-N950F

Exynos 8895 (4x Mongoose @ 2.3GHz, 4x Cortex A53 @ 1.7GHz)ARM Mali G71 MP20 | 6GB LPDDR4 | 64GB Samsung NAND flash w/ UFS 2.1 dual-lane controller + 128GB SanDisk C10 UHS-I microSD | 6.3" 1440p "Infinity Display" AMOLED | Android Nougat 7.1.1 w/ Samsung Experience 8.5

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I upgraded from an HTC 10 to a note 8, the battery life jump from the old beater was really nice, and after getting a case, accidentally touching the edge of the curved screen happened a lot less.


I WILL find your ITX build thread, and I WILL recommend the SIlverstone Sugo SG13B

 

Primary PC:

i7 8086k (won) - EVGA Z370 Classified K - G.Kill Trident Z RGB - Force MP500 - Jedi Order Titan Xp - The venerated Hyper 212 Evo (with RGB Riing flair) - EVGA G2 650W - Black and green theme, Razer branwashed me.

Draws 400 watts under max load, for reference.

 

Linux Proliant ML150 G6:

Xeon X5560 - 24GB ECC DDR3 - Asus DirectCU GTX 760 - old Seagate 1.5TB HDD - Dark moded Ubuntu (and Win7, cuz why not)

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Posted · Original PosterOP
5 minutes ago, fasauceome said:

I upgraded from an HTC 10 to a note 8, the battery life jump from the old beater was really nice, and after getting a case, accidentally touching the edge of the curved screen happened a lot less.

I use a Spigen Tough Armor with mine.

 

It's a bit of a thicc boi, but it does a great job of protecting the phone.

IMG_20180404_134120.jpg


Please tag me if you need assistance or if you want me to contribute to a topic 

 

ASUS RoG STRIX GL502VM

Intel Core i7 7700HQ | GeForce GTX 1060 6GB | 16GB DDR4-2133 | 128GB SanDisk M.2 SATA SSD + 1TB 7200RPM Hitachi HDD | 15.6" 1080p IPS monitor @ 60Hz w/ G-SYNC | Windows 10 64-bit

 

Samsung Galaxy Note8 SM-N950F

Exynos 8895 (4x Mongoose @ 2.3GHz, 4x Cortex A53 @ 1.7GHz)ARM Mali G71 MP20 | 6GB LPDDR4 | 64GB Samsung NAND flash w/ UFS 2.1 dual-lane controller + 128GB SanDisk C10 UHS-I microSD | 6.3" 1440p "Infinity Display" AMOLED | Android Nougat 7.1.1 w/ Samsung Experience 8.5

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Posted · Original PosterOP
19 minutes ago, linustouchtips said:

only thing i hated was the color locked regions i had two choices in the US black and orchid grey i was ready to move to canada for deep sea blue

We had pink. 

 

Yes, pink


Please tag me if you need assistance or if you want me to contribute to a topic 

 

ASUS RoG STRIX GL502VM

Intel Core i7 7700HQ | GeForce GTX 1060 6GB | 16GB DDR4-2133 | 128GB SanDisk M.2 SATA SSD + 1TB 7200RPM Hitachi HDD | 15.6" 1080p IPS monitor @ 60Hz w/ G-SYNC | Windows 10 64-bit

 

Samsung Galaxy Note8 SM-N950F

Exynos 8895 (4x Mongoose @ 2.3GHz, 4x Cortex A53 @ 1.7GHz)ARM Mali G71 MP20 | 6GB LPDDR4 | 64GB Samsung NAND flash w/ UFS 2.1 dual-lane controller + 128GB SanDisk C10 UHS-I microSD | 6.3" 1440p "Infinity Display" AMOLED | Android Nougat 7.1.1 w/ Samsung Experience 8.5

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