Samsung Galaxy Note 8 Review: A More Powerful, Premium And Refined Flagship

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Galaxy Note 8 - Design And Build Quality

From the moment you pick up the Galaxy Note 8, the device exudes quality. The materials and finishes on every millimeter of the device feel good in the hand, there are extremely tight tolerances throughout, its buttons are solid with virtually no play, and the device is well-balanced and rigid. The metal around the edges and Gorilla glass that make up most of the Note 8's exterior mate together flawlessly. We should point out that Samsung also goes the extra mile with the Note 8 with IP68-certified dust and water resistance. The Note 8 looks every bit like a premium smartphone, and should offer good durability as well.
note 8 back
The Note 8’s design is reminiscent of the Galaxy S8, but with slightly more squared-off lines, in comparison. The front of the device is effectively all-screen, save for two slivers at the top bottom. There's nothing integrated below the display, but the top sliver is home to an array of sensors and camera. The Note 8 offers a host of security related features, like Iris, Face, and Fingerprint scanning (as well as traditional pins), and the emitters and camera for the Iris and Face scanning reside above the screen. Because of the curved display, only the smallest of bezels are visible on the sides, when viewing the device head-on. In our opinion, the Note 8 – especially in the Midnight Black version we evaluated – has an elegant and clean look overall, though the omnipresent glossy surface are absolute fingerprint magnets.

note 8 style 4

The Galaxy Note 8 features a 6.3-inch Super AMOLED Infinity Display with a WQHD+ resolution (2960×1440, 532ppi, 18.5:9 aspect ratio) protected by Corning Gorilla Glass 5. In practice, the screen on the Note 8 is superb. There is virtually no parrallaxing effect, so images appear to be right up on the surface of the glass, the resolution is super-crisp, images are bright and well saturated, and viewing angles on all-sides are exceptional. The bottom line is the Galaxy Note 8 has one of, if not, the best displays we have seen on a smartphone to date. The display is simply awesome. If the Note 8’s size is what you’re looking for, even the most discerning power users will find the display to be impressive.
note 8 screen

Because the front of the device is all-screen thoughout, there are no physical buttons. Soft buttons are available on-screen, but the fingerprint sensor has been moved to the back. Unfortunately, this sensor not centered on the rear, so its use may be especially awkward for leftys. Adjacent to the fingerprint sensor is the Note 8’s dual, rear-camera assembly with flash and heart-rate monitor, all grouped together in a single cut-out, but other than that that rear of the device is smooth and clean.

note 8 sides
The left-side of the Note 8 is home to the Bixby button and volume rocker, while the right-side houses only the power / lock / wake button. If you’re unfamiliar with Bixby, it is Samsung’s voice controlled digital assistant that just recently made its global debut. During our brief time with the Note 8, Samsung has already pushed out two updates for Bixby, so take any early reports about its usefulness with a grain of salt because Samsung is continually improving the technology.

note 8 style 2

note 8 style 1

At the top of the device, there is a microphone pin-hole and a combo sim / micro-SD card tray, but there’s lots more happening on the bottom. Along the bottom edge you’ll find a 3.5mm audio jack, a USB-C port, another mic pin-hole, a speaker grill, and the S-Pen. We're glad Samsung chose to include the 3.5mm audio jack and IP68 dust and water resistance. Some manufacturers have claimed the removal of the 3.5mm jack was necessary to achieve dust and water resistance, but that is obviously not the case.
note 8 colors
The Galaxy Note 8 will be offered in Midnight Black and Orchid Gray here in the United States through virtually all of the major wireless carriers, though additional colors (and storage configurations) will be available in other regions.

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