Just a couple of days ago, the Samsung Galaxy Note 8 became official. It is the world’s first truly tablet-sized phone. It’ll come with a quad-core, 1.6GHz Exynos 4 processor, 2GB of RAM, HSPA+ 21 megabit per second radio, a 4,600mAh battery, a 1280 by 800 display, and it runs Android 4.1.2. It also makes phone calls.
Our initial impressions were mixed. While we loved the Galaxy Note 2, the Galaxy Note 8 looked like a giant Galaxy S3 with fairly similar specs as the Galaxy Note 2. So the Galaxy Note 8 really doesn’t bring much new to the table except being the only tablet that can make phone calls.
At Mobile World Congress 2013, our own Darcy LaCouvee and Joshua Vergara got a hands-on look at the Galaxy Note 8. If you don’t feel like reading, the video and gallery are posted below!
What we liked about the Galaxy Note 8
Everything we liked about the Galaxy Note 8 happens to also be on the list of everything we liked about the Galaxy Note 2. This is both good and bad news. It’s good news because the Galaxy Note 2 is an amazing device and is still among the best available today. It’s bad new because that means the Galaxy Note 8 isn’t bringing anything new to the table. Anyway, here’s what we liked about the Galaxy Note 8:
It has a smooth and quick user interface.
Full S-Pen support.
All of the good Touchwiz features, including a Smart Reader mode which will automatically adjust contrast to emulate real books.
7.95mm profile makes it very slim with a good weight. It is not too heavy or too thin.
It makes phone calls. Most will probably never need it, but you just never know.
What we didn’t like about the Galaxy Note 8
Unfortunately, the Galaxy Note 8 isn’t all cookies and milk. There are a few flaws we found with the device. Most of it revolves around the idea that Samsung really isn’t breaking new ground with the Galaxy Note 8. It’s more like they’re repaving the road they’ve already traveled. Here’s what we didn’t like in more detail.
It has yet another gaudy plastic back that Samsung is known for. So the build quality leaves much to be desired.
The 1280×800 resolution is on par with the Nexus 7, but definitely not on par with what the competition will cook up this year.
Internal specs all but mimic the Galaxy Note 2, so there is no new technology encased in that gigantic, plastic frame.
We at Android Authority have unanimously agreed that, if this tablet is going to be popular, then it will need to have a competitive price. It’s going to be hard to convince people to buy one of these when there are more exciting devices coming out like this year’s Nexus tablets. Alternatively, it’s going to be hard to convince people to buy it if it can’t compete with the already capable Nexus 7, Amazon Kindle Fire HD, and the newly announced HP Slate 7 in terms of price.
Is the Galaxy Note 8 a nice device? Oh yes, it’s definitely a nice device. Would we recommend it? Well, let’s see how much Samsung intends to charge for it first. Meanwhile, check out our first look video above and our image gallery below.
Also keep an eye out because we’ll be pitting it up against some of today’s best tablets in our classic versus battles. What does everyone think of the Galaxy Note 8?