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Samsung Galaxy Note 8 overview, 3 months later: A polarizing powerhouse

You can not forget about the facility of this corporate.

Samsung keeps a large affect within the smartphone international, keeping an oversized thoughts percentage even relative to its legitimately large marketplace percentage. The Galaxy Note 8 is an ideal instance of this — it does not promote just about in addition to the Galaxy S line, but it is held up as the top of what Samsung is able to as a result of its larger dimension, further options and super-high value.

We printed our Galaxy Note 8 overview over 3 months in the past, again on September five. In that point we now have persevered to make use of different telephones, watch the business evolve and let the “new phone” honeymoon segment absolutely put on out at the Note 8. Now that we’ve got extra time underneath our belt with the telephone, it is time for a revisit and a recent overview. Here’s our new take at the Galaxy Note 8 after over 3 months of use.

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samsung galaxy note 8 review 3 months later a polarizing powerhouse - Samsung Galaxy Note 8 overview, 3 months later: A polarizing powerhouse

Just stunning

Galaxy Note 8 What I nonetheless love

My pastime in the most recent Samsung telephones basically facilities round their . All sides of it. And the Note 8 has a variety of room to blow their own horns Samsung’s high quality. Yes this can be a fairly by-product design from all of the as far back as the Galaxy S6 edge, however that mustn’t remove from the truth that Samsung has persevered to refine its processes to make one thing superb. The large panes of curved glass simply are compatible so completely with the steel aspects, and the whole thing has an ideal really feel to it. Though the Note 8 is a little bulbous and more or less bursting on the seams in comparison to the Galaxy S8+, I nonetheless can not in finding an perspective the place it does not glance nice.

The Note 8 is lovely from each perspective, and considerations over fragility are overblown.

I regularly listen court cases in regards to the fragility of the previous few generations of Samsung telephones, however I’ve but to enjoy this sort of problems. Yes the again is glass, and sure glass will pick out up scratches through the years. That’s simply the tradeoff we need to handle as a way to get this putting design and wi-fi charging. I believe like I may simply revel in a Note 8 with a flat show somewhat than a curved one, however as soon as once more it is only a tradeoff when it comes to making the telephone a little narrower and extra putting. Both choices are value it in my opinion.

And all of it wraps round this ridiculously nice show. It’s large. It’s vibrant. It’s simply stunning in each side. When you crank it all of the manner up this show can achieve eye-searing brightness ranges, which you instantly pass over when the usage of some other telephone. Viewing angles are nice, colours are punchy and the whole thing is tremendous crisp. Samsung has its presentations locked in, and this is without doubt one of the Note 8’s most powerful options. You simply can not bitch about anything else right here.

Pixel 2 hype apart, the Note 8 has an ideal pair of cameras.

It seems that although the Pixel and Pixel 2 have taken over the most important portion of digital camera hype within the remaining 12 months, Samsung nonetheless is aware of tips on how to do good stuff with its cameras. The “Live Focus” portrait mode could have been a little of a gimmick (I nonetheless overlook about it continuously), however the core basics and pictures you’ll be able to get from the Note 8 are nonetheless top-notch.

Samsung is aware of tips on how to produce eye-pleasing photographs with just a bit bit of additional punch and and not using a bunch of unnatural over-sharpening. It was once tricky to take a nasty photograph, and leaving HDR set to automated mode and snapping fast pictures so continuously yielded nice effects. The 2x lens, whilst infrequently used for Live Focus, nonetheless discovered its position for extra dramatic pictures with a tighter box of view.

As ever, the single space the place I ignored my Pixel 2’s digital camera was once in some low mild pictures, the place issues get just a little grainy and blotchy because the digital camera tries to procedure issues and also you in reality understand the loss of nice element. It’s in particular obvious in scenes that require an overly huge dynamic vary, because the darkish portions of the scene appear clean or out of center of attention as lighter spaces are tack-sharp. This is the place Google’s HDR+ processing completely leads the business.

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Size and device

Galaxy Note 8 What I do not like

On the other facet of items, my greatest problems with the Galaxy Note 8 come from the practicality of the usage of it on a daily basis. Once I am getting previous the lust of the and “potential” it exudes, I run into a pair usability problems that considerably cut back my positivity. I simply can’t get across the dimension of this factor, and the way irritating it’s to take a look at and function with one hand. Reaching the highest of the display screen is not possible with out the usage of the one-handed mode (triple faucet the house button!), and the whole width and display screen curves make it near-impossible to do edge swipe-in gestures. This is a two-handed telephone. That could also be nice for you, but it surely does not paintings for me whatsoever.

I want to use my telephone in a single hand, and the Note 8 simply is not appropriate with that.

And sure, I nonetheless can not stand the fingerprint sensor placement. It’s now not private desire of entrance vs. again vs. facet … I legitimately can not achieve it. I have discovered to handle its location at the a lot smaller Galaxy S8, but it surely simply is not imaginable to gracefully achieve and use the fingerprint sensor at the higher telephone. I take advantage of a excellent half-dozen apps more than one instances an afternoon that require fingerprint authentication, and each unmarried time I open one I get started that awkward shuffle of the telephone in my hand to achieve the fingerprint sensor. And in doing so, I continuously gunk up my digital camera lens. It sucks. It won’t ever now not suck. And regardless of how excellent iris scanning works for the lock display screen (which is possibly 85% of the time), it cannot be used for those apps that handiest paintings with a fingerprint sensor.

Since the Note 8 got here out I have spent really extensive time the usage of telephones just like the Google Pixel 2, OnePlus 5T and Android One Moto X4. I simply slot Samsung’s tackle Nougat beneath this team. There is not anything else functionally incorrect with “Samsung Experience” model 8.five, however the corporate remains to be preventing a struggle towards bloat and a loss of total design course. Too a lot of the way in which you have interaction with the interface feels tied again to the time of KitKat and Lollipop. So although the device appears to be like extra trendy now it positive does not act accordingly.

The mild colours, refined shadows and use of transparency is excellent, however the serve as is not — the lock display screen is a calamitous aggregate of concepts, the launcher is clunky (the ones folders …), the settings move down into deep rabbit holes of untold depths, some buttons simply are not intuitive, and there are options tucked away in each little nook. On one hand this has surely made the Note 8 so much more uncomplicated to pick out up and use its fundamental purposes with out all the extras getting into the way in which, but if all of that legacy cruft remains to be there to search out and easily hidden from preliminary view it is irritating. Samsung is promoting lots of telephones, has a large consumer base that is used to the way it does issues, and has device that is super-powerful. But I do not see how you’ll be able to use a Note 8 and say it is extra pleasant and pleasurable to have interaction with than a Pixel 2 XL. Sorry, now not sorry.

Design is something, however this $940 telephone should not be stuttering or losing frames after 3 months.

The styling and lines now not jiving with my preferences are something, however I have been severely underwhelmed as soon as once more with how the Note 8’s pace has held up after a couple of months of putting in apps and loading it up with information. Precisely as I skilled after 3 months with my Galaxy S8, the Note 8’s day by day efficiency has began to sluggish. Most issues I do are fast and clean, however there are nonetheless some distance too many circumstances now the place apps dangle up only a few beats sooner than launching or scrolling, or animations stutter and drop frames.

If the script from my Galaxy S8 performs out the similar manner right here, a manufacturing facility reset will have to be the remedy. But why am I manufacturing facility resetting my $940 telephone to get it to accomplish after 3 months find it irresistible did after 3 days? I am rising even much less tolerant of this conduct. It simply should not be a factor now, in particular in an organization’s super-high-end telephone. (For what it is value, our personal Alex Dobie’s Exynos-powered UK Galaxy Note 8 does not showcase such sluggishness. Annoying, to mention the least.)

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Polarizing powerhouse

Galaxy Note 8 Three months on

Time has handiest generated extra appreciate for the standard of the Note 8’s — within the fabrics, design and construct high quality throughout. It’s stunning from each perspective, feels nice while you pick out it up and has elderly in addition to you’ll be able to be expecting from a telephone with this a lot uncovered curved glass. I am nonetheless in awe over how superb the show is and suspect I’m going to really feel the similar every other 3, six or 9 months from now. Battery lifestyles remains to be excellent, and wi-fi charging is a deal with. And oh yeah, it has a headphone jack!

The previous pronouncing of ‘time heals all wounds’ does not follow right here. The Note 8 has shortcomings.

And but, the previous pronouncing of “time heals all wounds” does not follow right here. Samsung’s fingerprint sensor placement is solely as unhealthy as of late because it was once on day one — my finger hasn’t gotten any more in 3 months. Its iris scanning has confirmed to be ok, however some distance from a top quality fingerprint sensor. The telephone could also be simply manner too giant for me to make use of in a single hand — and it simply does not be offering a lot of a novel enjoy, apart from the S Pen, to turn for those deficient ergonomics.

Samsung’s device is certainly an obtained style, and 3 months on I do have a greater working out of tips on how to get round its quirks and make it paintings how I would like. Turning off Bixby is a brilliant get started, as is changing the launcher and clearing out some default apps. But because the Note 8 got here out I’ve additionally spent weeks the usage of Android 8.zero Oreo on a Pixel 2 — and Samsung’s device enjoy simply does not come as regards to Google’s when it comes to pace, fluidity, ease of use, consistency and total satisfaction. And the way in which the telephone now shows inconsistent efficiency stutters is disheartening.

The greatest factor with the Note 8 could also be that you’ll be able to get a Galaxy S8 for over $200 much less.

My court cases in regards to the unwieldy dimension and excessive value are lovely properly mitigated via the truth that Samsung sells the Galaxy S8 and S8+. Just taking place to the Galaxy S8+ you in an instant save over $100, beef up ergonomics just a little, and get a bigger battery whilst handiest shedding the perimeter options of twin cameras and the S Pen. Save every other $100 and also you get the Galaxy S8, which provides the similar core enjoy because the Note 8 in a dimension you’ll be able to if truth be told organize in a single hand whilst keeping many of the options and high quality. Samsung’s personal nice Galaxy S8 and S8+ make the Note 8 really feel a little much less … treasured.

For anyone who has to have the very best telephone an organization provides, and does not care in regards to the sheer impracticality of what that includes, the Note 8 is a brilliant telephone as of late simply because it was once 3 months in the past. It does near to the whole thing somebody may ask for. But 3 months after first reviewing the Note 8, it is even clearer that during pursuit of being the most important and baddest, it does not be offering a well-rounded smartphone enjoy that different telephones — together with the ones from Samsung — can. It’s just a little too giant, a little too dear and total a little too compromised to be a go-to advice.

It’s a flagship. A halo instrument. But now not the most efficient telephone Samsung sells as of late.

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