You asked, and Samsung listened. Or, something like that. Regardless of whether the world needs an 8" smartphone, it now has one. The global version of Samsung's newly announced Galaxy Note 8.0 is indeed a phone, and yes, it can make calls and handle text messages just like the original Note and Note II. It's a true hybrid of tablet and phone, but we're pretty sure only the brave would risk making a phone call with something this huge (without a Bluetooth headset, anyway). The versions destined for the U.S. will support data transmissions only, with no voice support, probably because the market just won't adopt that here.
As for the tablet itself, it's a mix between the Note II and the Tab 10.1. It has an S Pen stylus and the software to go along with it, a 1.6GHz Exynos 4 Quad processor, a 1280x800 resolution capacitive touch panel, and Android 4.1.2 with Google Now onboard. This slots into Samsung's increasingly crowded array of tablets, which ranges from 7" to 10.1". It's preloaded with some Samsung software, including Awesome Note, Smart Remote, Chat-On, and Flipboard as well. Moreover, the built-in Wacom technology allows the S Pen to control the physical menu/back buttons -- a first on a Note product.
Samsung isn't talking price just yet, but it'll be interesting to see how it compares to the similarly sized iPad mini.