I can already hear the jokes about exploding batteries, but I have to admit, I had my doubts about the Samsung Galaxy Note8 when I first held it too. I knew that Samsung had implemented a new battery checking system which eased my worries, but I wondered if it would affect the capacity and battery life as a result.
My first impression? I was blown away by how much I preferred holding the Note8 as compared to my iPhone 7 Plus. Yes, the Note8 is a tad longer, but it is also slightly less wide compared to the 7 Plus, which results in an extremely comfortable feel in the hand.
Add to that the much bigger screen size thanks to the implementation of the Infinity display, and I’m already halfway sold on this phone.
Another feature that I thought was great was the multitasking Split Screen function. Granted, iPads have this, but that’s not a phone, and the iPhones don’t allow you to use two apps at the same time.
With the Note8, you can hold your phone in portrait mode and have the screen split between two apps. That makes it infinitely easier to multitask, especially when I’m texting my friends while watching a video on YouTube.
But of course, the unique point of the Note series from Samsung is the S Pen, and Samsung has outdone previous iterations with the new Screen Off Memo function. I hate fumbling with my phone to unlock it and get into the Notes app, especially when I’m trying to jot down notes while someone is talking quickly.
Now I can just pull out the pen and instantly start writing on the screen, saving me those precious 30 seconds.
Sometimes, I come across a word in a foreign language and I’ll have to open up a new tab just to search for the meaning, or I’ll have to Google for unit conversions between the metric and imperial system because unlike my friends, I haven’t memorised exactly how many centimeters there are in an inch (I literally just Google-ed it because I can’t stand not knowing).
But why go through all that hassle when I can just hover the S Pen over the word or number that I want to search for, and get an instant translation or conversion? The Note8 is all about convenience, and I am absolutely loving the direction Samsung is going with this phablet.
I had a short hands-on experience with the Samsung S8, and what impressed me most with it was the insane quality of the camera. It performed better in every scenario than my 7 Plus, and were even comparable with my DSLR camera in some situations.
The Note8 builds on all the strong points from the S8 camera, with a dual camera setup that has Optical Image Stabilization, resulting in clearer photos.
There’s even a new feature called Live Focus, which allows you to adjust the depth of field of photos as you take them. Sure, you can do that with other phones too, but wait, you can adjust it even after you’ve taken the photo.
That’s right; no more making your friends wait while you get the perfect shot, just snap it and edit later. Like I said, convenience is the name of the game here.
I know that the battery is a concern for plenty of people, but Samsung handled the Note7 fiasco as best they could, with new and more stringent battery checks implemented.
The battery life for the Note8 easily beats the 7 Plus with a full charge lasting me slightly under 35 hours on average usage such as texting, surfing the web, listening to Spotify and scrolling through Instagram.
Phones are all getting smarter and better, and I think the Note8 is one of the best phablets released in 2017, simply because it makes your life so much easier.
The increase in efficiency and productivity is definitely what Samsung has gotten spot on this time around.
Dates: Available from 15 September 2017 onwards
Price: S$1,398 RRP