The Samsung Galaxy Note 8 is the most complete smartphone ever made. It offers a nice, big, beautiful AMOLED display, a formidable camera system, unique S-Pen features, and sheer, raw power. You will pay a really high price tag for it all, but this is the one phone that may be worth every penny.
For $399, the ZTE Axon 7 is one of the only Daydream VR certified phones on the market., which means it can take advantage of Google’s latest vision for VR. That’s not just marketing speak, either, as Daydream phones have some serious requirements to be called such, the most consistent of which are the inclusion of a Snapdragon 820 chipset, 4GB of RAM, and a 5.5-inch 2560 x 1440 display.
At $99, the ZMax Pro brings an immense amount of value with features like a massive 6-inch Full HD display and even a fingerprint sensor. For horsepower, the phone relies on an octa-core Snapdragon 617 chipset and 2GB of RAM, and a 13MP camera on the rear should do well enough for some casual memory capturing.
The Pixel 2 and Pixel 2 XL are the first smartphones to achieve a score of 98 from DxOMark’s mobile testing labs, beating out the likes of the Galaxy S8 and HTC U11. HTC’s camera takes well-balanced photos with a pleasing color balance, great sharpness and detail, and remarkable low-light performance. Add in Google’s AI-infused enhancements and there’s little that can match it.
The Moto G5 is a great option for kids. The smartphone comes in starting as low as $199, and it has a wide range of features to ensure your child can do whatever you need with it. Specs include a 5-inch 1080p display, a 13-megapixel rear camera and 5-megapixel front camera, and a 3,000mAh battery with Turbo Charging.
The Samsung Galaxy S8 Active may not be the most durable phone on this list, but it certainly is the most well-rounded of the lot. This phone’s tough exterior can withstand more than a punch or 2. At the same time, you don’t have to sacrifice powerful specs, a beautiful display, and a great camera.
The Galaxy Note 8 may have a safe battery that’s run through many tests to ensure that fire hazard isn’t an issue, but it looks like some Note 8 units are refusing to power on once they reach 0% battery charge. Quite a few Note 8 owners have taken to the Samsung community and forums on sites like Android Central to complain that their Note 8 stopped working after they let the battery drain completely. Samsung has been offering replacements, but like many other issues with its flagships, the company hasn’t officially confirmed or released a statement on why this might be happening.
To make things worse, Samsung seems to be replacing bricked units with refurbished devices, which seems a little strange considering every Note 8 would be covered by warranty just a couple of months after its release. Owners of the device from US carriers seem to be most affected, so it’s possible it’s only the Snapdragon variant of the phone that’s at risk. The problem doesn’t seem to be too widespread, but it’s still interesting to see that a phone can fail to boot just because its owner might have used it until the battery ran out.
It’s also unclear if this is a hardware or software issue. Some users report that their phone does show the charging circle when connected to a power source but refuses to actually charge, while others say the phone gets warm when connected but the screen remains blank. It’s a similar theme with wireless charging: the blue charging light on the charger comes up, but the phone remains unresponsive, suggesting the software might be to blame.
No known fix at this point
If the fault’s in the software, it’s possible it was introduced in a recent software update. There’s no way to tell and no known fix, and the only way to keep the phone in working condition right now is to ensure it’s plugged in before the battery charge reaches 0 percent. If your Note 8 does run out of juice and refuses to power up, be sure to contact Samsung to request a replacement. We’ll try looking into more such reports to see just how widespread the issue is; at this point, it’s looking like one of those problems that can affect any device, especially since there’s at least one Galaxy S8+ owner who seems to have encountered the same phone-bricking bug.
Some Galaxy Note 8 users reporting that their phones will not accept charge
Fault seems to occur after fully draining the battery
Samsung is aware of the issue and appears to be replacing affected devices on a case by case basis
Update, (12/27) 17:49: According to a number of our readers in the comments, as well as a friend of Android Authority’s, the Galaxy S8 Plus is experiencing similar battery issues. We’ll investigate this issue further.
It’s now just over a year since Samsung prematurely killed off the Galaxy Note 7 after a batch of defective batteries caused numerous devices to “explode” – in the process doing immeasurable damage to the Note brand and forcing the South Korean giant to overhaul its battery safety checks.
Since then, the Galaxy S8, S8 Plus and, most significantly, the reborn Note 8 have been praised by fans and reviewers alike, have sold by the bucketload, and have avoided any major battery problems on the scale of the Note 7 debacle.
While it doesn’t seem to be anywhere near as dangerous, Samsung may have another battery related headache on its hands, however, as some Galaxy Note 8 are reporting that their phones are refusing to accept any charge.
According to a number of users on Samsung’s Community Forums (via PiunikaWeb), the issue occurs after the phone falls to 0% battery and switches off. At this point, affected Note 8 devices apparently won’t accept charge and become completely unresponsive. This includes the LED charging light in most cases.
One user even recorded a video showing an attempt to revive a defective phone to no avail. Many of the impacted users have also tried several charging cables and attempted to reboot the dead phone in safe mode, but most have had no success.
Thankfully, Samsung is responding to those affected in most cases. In one thread, a moderator going by the handle ‘SamsungMel’ is advising customers to return their faulty phones for a warranty replacement, saying that “this particular problem with the Note 8 not turning on is definitely something that we want to get addressed immediately.”
As PiunikaWeb notes, it’s hard to tell how widespread the issue is at this stage, but Samsung will certainly want to pinpoint the source and resolve the fault quickly to alleviate any concerns that it has shipped another batch of faulty batteries.
The problem also appears to be affecting some phones sold via carriers, with Verizon, Sprint, and T-Mobile customers all posting similar concerns. If that’s the case with your Note 8 I’d suggest you go through your carrier’s RMA process as soon as you can.
For seven years, Samsung has been consistent in releasing two flagship devices each year. In the spring, we get the Galaxy S model. This phone is Samsung’s bread and butter, ushering in the newest version of Samsung’s software and giving general consumers a sleek and powerful device. If you’re a true Samsung loyalist you probably know that the company’s fall release is typically the device you should wait for, but that’s not really the case this time around.
I think we can all agree that the prestige around owning a Note isn’t what it used to be. In the past people, bought the note because it was a bit ridiculous. It was substantially larger than mainstream devices and offered a battery which could easily last two days. But the screen on the new Galaxy Note8 is just 0.1-inches bigger than the Galaxy S8 Plus’ and the battery inside the phone is roughly the same size as well.
After the explosive demise of the Galaxy Note7, it’s quite evident that Samsung is playing things safe with the Note8.
It’s clear that Samsung’s done a lot of work to bring a unified design to its phones in 2017. If it weren’t for the S Pen on the bottom edge and the rearrangement of the camera and fingerprint sensor array on the back of the phone, the Note8 could easily be mistaken for the Galaxy S8 Plus. The placement of the fingerprint sensor is definitely awkward since you need to readjust your grip to reach it, but you should at least have fewer fingerprint smudges on the camera lens since Samsung placed the heart rate sensor between them.
As for everything else, the Note8 looks and feels like the S8. You get a metal frame that’s sandwiched between the front and back glass panels, a pretty useless Bixby button next to the volume rocker on the left edge, a power button on the right and the S Pen, USB-C port and 3.5mm headphone jack on the bottom. And despite having all those holes, the Note8 is also IP68 dust and water resistant.
Overall, the phone looks and feels like a thousand bucks — as it should, since the phone sells for $929.
The Note8 is the most expensive mainstream Android device on the market, but that doesn’t mean that its specs are any better than what you’d get if you bought any other 2017 flagship device.
The phone runs on a Qualcomm Snapdragon 835 processor with 6GB of RAM and 64GB of storage. There are also 128GB and 256GB storage options for those who don’t mind paying a bit more, but you can always bump the storage capacity up later with a microSD card. The battery measures in at 3300mAh and it supports wireless charging as well as Fast Charging with Adaptive Fast Charging.
It also has a 6.3-inch, 18.5:9, Quad HD+ AMOLED display which features curved edges. Biometric security features include a fingerprint reader, an iris scanner and facial recognition with the front-facing camera.
The main camera setup features a pair of 12-megapixel cameras, both with optical image stabilization. The main sensor features a f/1.7 lens while the second one sports a f/2.4 lens with 2X optical zoom. Like the Galaxy S8, the front-facing camera on the Note8 features an 8-megapixel sensor which is paired with a f/1.7 autofocus lens.
The Snapdragon 835 that’s used in this phone is quite common, but Samsung’s done a bit more tweaking on the software to make sure it’s incredibly fast. In the past, Samsung has gotten a lot of flak for its bloated UI since it has always hindered the performance of its devices. While we expect this phone could run faster if it were running stock Android, Samsung’s software tweaks don’t seem to get in the way this time around.
Benchmark scores show that the Note8 is one of the fastest devices of 2017 and day-to-day use confirms that. There’s not even a hint of stutter or lag and it kills the competition when it comes to multitasking. Thanks to the phone’s 6GB of RAM (a first for a Samsung device), you can easily jump in and out of apps and even pick up a game exactly where you left off 2-3 hours ago without it needing to reload. Pair that performance with the phone’s 6.3-inch display and the included S Pen and you’ll be hard-pressed to find a device that’s better suited for multi-tasking.
The 6.3-inch AMOLED panel is absolutely stunning. It’s bright, crisp and doesn’t have any of the issues that we’ve seen on the LG V30 or the Pixel 2 XL. The 18.5:9 aspect ratio does take some time to get used to, but the taller display means that the Note8 is surprisingly manageable despite its obnoxious size.
Since the edges of the display aren’t as curved as those of the Galaxy S8, the visual appeal isn’t quite the same, but it’s definitely more functional since there’s a clear distinction between the actual display and the edge of the phone. Samsung says the curve was reduced to improve the usability of the S Pen. While that makes total sense, it’s interesting to see how the edge display seems to be getting smaller and smaller with every new Galaxy phone that comes out.
As with other AMOLED panels, you get extremely deep blacks. Unfortunately, the colors seem to pop a bit too much, but you can tone things down manually in the settings.
As you might expect, the battery life by the Galaxy Note8’s 3300mAh cell is a bit disappointing. Yes, Samsung is playing it a bit safe since it admitted that the demise of the Note7 was in part because it had crammed too large of a battery into the phone, but they could have done a bit better than this.
The phone will still make it through a full day with more than 4 hours of screen-on time, but I’ve come to expect a whole lot more from Samsung’s Note series. Making things worse is the odd inclusion of Adaptive Fast Charging that is equivalent to Quick Charge 2.0 when Quick Charge 4.0 is readily available. This means you’ll need to wait nearly two hours for the phone’s battery to fully charge.
Gone are the days when Samsung’s Note devices were known for exceptional battery life.
As mentioned before, the main camera on the Galaxy Note8 features two 12-megapixel sensors. We all know that Samsung is a bit late to the dual-camera game, but they are the first to include optical image stabilization on both sensors.
Like most other dual-sensor camera setups, Samsung is using the wide angle and zoom approach with a portrait mode which will digitally blur the background in the photo. But rather than just copy everyone else, Samsung’s phone can capture your shots with both sensors, allowing you to choose between the wide angle and zoomed-in image.
The results you get from the camera are quite impressive. Colors are well balanced, the edges are crisp and there’s very little noise in the shots unless you’re taking pictures in extremely low light situations. The auto white balance can be a little too cool at times, but that’s easily adjustable in the settings.
We were pretty impressed with the Galaxy S8’s camera earlier this year, but Note8 takes things to a whole new level.
While there are plenty of large phones on the market these days, the real reason to buy the Note8 is for the S Pen. There’s nothing stopping you from using a stylus with the phone you already own, but the experience will never match what the Note8 offers out of the box. And this year, the S Pen has learned a few new tricks. It can now be used for live currency and measurement conversion along with language translation within the browser and other apps when you use the S Pen to select the text.
If you want to jot down notes when the phone’s display is off, you can now write to your heart’s content since the feature has been updated so that users can write up to 100 pages of notes without having to turn the screen on.
And if that wasn’t enough, the S Pen also allows you to create animated notes which can be shared with your friends. Just jot down a quick note and sketch something out and the phone will save your stroke work as an animated GIF which can be shared via your favorite messaging apps.
But of course, the main appeal is still the basic note-taking functionality of the S Pen. We may be living in a digital era, but there’s still something extremely satisfying about writing by hand rather than punching it out on a virtual keyboard. And that’s really the only reason why you should buy the Note 8.
Samsung Galaxy Note8 8.5 / 10
There’s a lot to love about the Samsung Galaxy Note8, but the only way you can really justify spending this much money on a phone is if you simply can’t live without the S Pen. The large display is nice and the camera is great, but there are other devices on the market with displays which are just as large or cameras which are just as good.
It’s a bit odd to say this about one of Samsung’s Note devices, but the Note8 would definitely be worth its $930 asking price to a lot more people if its battery life wasn’t simply mediocre.
How to Shoot RAW/DNG Photos on Samsung Galaxy Note 8
The Samsung Galaxy Note 8 is the first flagship device from Samsung to feature a dual-camera setup at its rear. The secondary 12MP telephoto lens features an f/2.6 aperture and OIS and allows the Note 8 to take some pretty incredible shots.
Overall, the Note 8’s camera is among the best you can find in a smartphone right now. And if you know the basic aspects of photography, you can make the most out of the camera by using the manual mode in the camera. If that’s not enough though, you can always shoot photos in RAW/DNG format on the Note 8 so that you can process them on your PC later on. Wondering how to shoot photos in RAW format on the Galaxy Note 8 though? Follow the steps below to know how.
Step 1: Open the default Camera app on your Samsung Galaxy Note 8 and tap the Settings button (cog icon) located on the top-right corner of the display.
Step 2: Tap on Picture size and from the menu that opens up, simply enable the ‘Save RAW and JPEG files’ toggle.
Enabling the toggle in itself is not enough to make your Galaxy Note 8 start saving photos in RAW/DNG format. You will also have to take all photos in the ‘Pro’ camera mode to ensure they are saved in RAW/DNG format. You can switch to the Pro mode on Galaxy Note 8 by swiping to the left from the camera viewfinder and selecting the relevant option.
If you know your way around Photoshop or any other image editor, you should be able to extract a wee bit more from the Note 8’s camera by manually tweaking the RAW/DNG photos shot from it. In the end though, do remember that we are talking about a smartphone camera here so the gains are going to be limited.
Tablets have always allowed one to lock the screen orientation to either portrait or landscape, but the latter has not been possible on smartphones, at least not those made by Samsung. But did you know the ability to lock screen orientation to landscape is available on the Galaxy Note 8, and any device that runs the Samsung Experience 8.5 or newer interface?
That’s right: You can finally use your Samsung phone in landscape mode and not have to deal with the orientation flipping back to portrait just because you turn the phone just a tad sideways. Again, this feature is only available on Samsung devices running at least Samsung Experience 8.5; it will be present on newer versions as well, including Samsung Experience 9.0 that will debut on Android 8.0 Oreo.
So, how does one lock screen orientation to landscape on the Galaxy Note 8 and other Samsung phones? Just follow the steps below to see how it’s done.
How to lock screen orientation to landscape on the Galaxy Note 8
Step 1: Access the notification shade by swiping down from the top of the screen, then swipe again to access the quick toggles.
Step 2: Here, tap the screen rotation toggle repeatedly till it says Auto Rotate.
Step 3: Then, rotate the phone to make the screen flip to landscape orientation. Then, bring up the toggles again and tap the screen rotation toggle till it says Landscape.
That’s it. Your phone’s screen will now continue to work in landscape mode (at least in apps and menus that support it; the home screen, for example, only works in portrait) until you re-enable auto rotation, turn the phone to portrait orientation, then tap the rotation toggle in the notification shade till it says Portrait.
The Samsung Galaxy S8 and Galaxy Note 8 share a lot in common not just in terms of their internals but also the software experience they offer. Both phones have received plenty of praises this year from reviewers and customers alike, and if you have purchased either one of them, you really cannot go wrong with them.
Now, to help you get the most out of Samsung’s 2017 flagship handsets, the Galaxy S8 and Galaxy Note 8, we have a collection of tips and tricks for them. These tips will help you know how to make better use of the existing features on the devices, discover some hidden ones, and more. So, let’s get started.
Force Touch the Home Button
Thanks to their Infinity Display, the Galaxy S8 and Note 8 are all about their beautiful Super AMOLED displays at the front. Due to the all-display front, the phones do not come with capacitive navigation buttons as well like previous Galaxy devices from Samsung. Instead, like Google, Samsung finally decided to implement on-screen navigation buttons on its flagship handsets this year as well.
That’s not all though: the area where the Home button is shown on the Galaxy S8 and Note 8 supports Force Touch. So, you can hard press on that area when the phone is lying idle to wake the display up. Similarly, you can hard press on the home button area even when you are inside an app and the navigation bar is not being shown to go back to the home screen. Considering the fingerprint scanner on the Galaxy S8 and Note 8 is located at such an odd location, I end up Force Touching the Home button to wake the device and then unlock it by looking at the iris scanner.
Do make sure to enable the Unlock with Home button option under Settings -> Display to ensure your Galaxy S8 or Note 8 skips right past the lock screen when you hard press the Home button.
Automatically Enable Iris Unlock
By default, if you use the iris scanner on your Galaxy S8 or Note 8 to unlock the device, you will first have to press the power button/hard press the Home button to wake the device up. Then, you will have to swipe up on the lock screen to initiate the iris scanning process. This can be a particularly tedious and time-consuming process especially when you will be doing it hundreds of time on a daily basis.
To speed up the whole process, Samsung has included a handy ‘Iris unlock when screen turns on’ option under Iris Scanner in Settings -> Lock Screen & Security. Enable the feature and as soon as you wake up your Galaxy S8 or Note 8, the iris scanner will start scanning for your iris.
Quickly Hide the Navigation Bar
For an even more immersive browsing or reading experience, you can quickly hide the navigation bar on the Galaxy S8 and Note 8 by double tapping the small dot located on the left edge of the navigation bar. To restore the navigation bar, simply swipe up from the bottom of the screen and double tap the dot again.
Expand the Status Bar
You can quickly expand the notification bar on the Galaxy S8 or Note 8 by simply double tapping the status bar. This feature only works if you are using the stock launcher and might not be available on certain carrier variants of the device.
Quickly Launch the Camera App
The lack of a physical home button on the Galaxy S8 and Note 8 means you can no longer double press the home button to quickly launch the camera app. Instead, that duty has now been assigned to the power button similar to the Google Pixel. The feature is disabled by default so make sure to enable it by searching for Quick Launch in the Settings menu and enabling it.
Switch Between Front and Back Camera
Another camera related tip for the Galaxy S8 and Note 8 is related to how you can quickly switch between the front and back camera. With the camera app open, simply swipe up/down on the viewfinder to switch to the front/rear camera. An even faster way to switch to the front camera is to double press the power button with the camera app open.
If you are someone who takes a lot of selfies, Samsung has included a handy gesture on the Galaxy S8 and Note 8 that makes it easier to click a selfie. Instead of struggling to hit the shutter button while holding the phone in your hand for a selfie, you can simply hold your palm in front of the camera to start the time. You can also take a selfie by keeping your finger on the heart rate monitor at the rear or by simply tapping anywhere on the screen.
Tweak the Flashlight Brightness Level
If you are someone who frequently uses the flashlight functionality on their Galaxy S8 or Note 8, you will be glad to know that the flashlight brightness level can also be customised on these handsets. Simply tap the Torch (or Flashlight) text below the flashlight toggle in Quick Settings to gain access to the brightness slider. There are five different brightness levels for you to choose from, though do remember that using the flashlight for an extended period of time can shorten its lifespan.
Use Secure Folder
Thanks to KNOX, Samsung’s version of Android is already among the most secure flavours of the OS out there. However, if you want an even additional layer of security while opening some important banking or enterprise apps, you can make use of Samsung’s Secure Folder feature. All apps put under Secure Folder run in a separate sandbox that is completely disconnected from the main OS.
Blue Light Filter
Similar to almost every other Android device out there, the Samsung Galaxy S8 and Note 8 also come with a Blue Light filter. As the name suggests, the Blue Light filter automatically filters the harmful blue rays emitted from a display by tweaking its color temperature to help reduce eye strain. If you are someone who reads a lot on their Galaxy S8 or Note 8, it is recommended that you turn on the Blue Light filter option especially while reading in the dark. You can also automatically set Blue Light filter to enable itself after sunset or at a scheduled time daily.
Quickly Zoom Into the Subject
The shutter button in the stock Camera app of the Galaxy S8 and Note 8 can also act as a virtual zoom slider. If you long press and drag the shutter button up, the camera will zoom into the subject. Similarly, dragging the shutter button down will zoom out from the frame.
While every other Android device offers the option to natively take a screenshot, Samsung has taken this feature to the next level with Smart Capture. When you take a screenshot on the Galaxy S8 or Note 8, you can quickly crop the picture, draw on it, add filters and effects to it, and more. Even better, simply pressing the crop button after taking a screenshot will automatically crop out the navigation and status bar which serves no real purpose in a screenshot either way.
Change System Fonts
Samsung remains among the very few OEMs in the market to continue offering the option to customise the system fonts on its devices. Changing system fonts can go a long way in refreshing the UI look and feel, though in typical Samsung fashion, there’s a lot more to know about changing system fonts on the S8 and Note 8 instead of just the steps.
Samsung is among the very few OEMs in the market that continues to offer the option to change system fonts in its skin. While changing system fonts might not seem like a big deal to many, it does go a long way in refreshing the UI every once in a while.
While changing system fonts on the Galaxy Note 8 is a pretty straightforward process, there are still a few things one must know especially if you are coming from a previous Galaxy device. First, follow the steps below to change system fonts on the Galaxy Note 8.
How to Change System Fonts on Samsung Galaxy Note 8:
Step 1: Head over to Settings -> Display -> Screen zoom and font. Here, you will find all the options related to system fonts including its size and display zoom.
Step 2: To change the system font, simply select any of the pre-installed fonts from the ‘Font Style’ option located at the very bottom and tap the ‘Apply’ button located at the top-right corner. You can download additional fonts from the Galaxy App Store.
To change system font size on the Galaxy Note 8, simply drag the slider under Font size to left or right depending on your preference.
Google introduced the ability to change the DPI of an Android device in Nougat. With the Galaxy Note 8, Samsung has renamed the option to ‘Screen Zoom’.
With Screen Zoom, you can actually adjust the amount of content being displayed on the screen. This is different from changing the font size as here the UI will also scale depending on whether you increase or decrease the DPI. So, the lower the DPI/screen zoom you select, the more content will be displayed on the screen and vice versa.
‘Font Not Compatible’ Error
If you have a collection of fonts that you had used on previous Samsung Galaxy devices, prepare to be disappointed. Similar to the Galaxy S8 and S7 before it, while you will be able to install third-party fonts through the Play Store or other third-party sources on the Galaxy Note 8, you will be greeted with a ‘Font Not Compatible’ error when you try to apply them. This is because Samsung has changed its font framework starting from Nougat that makes it impossible to apply fonts acquired from other sources. The company took this step to clamp down on the piracy of fonts that was and still is prevalent on the Google Play Store.
So, the only way to download additional fonts on the Galaxy Note 8 is through the Galaxy Apps store. The problem? Apart from one font, almost every other font is paid and that’s not likely to go down well with most people. Sadly, there’s not much that you can do about it as well. On the bright side, most of the fonts are priced at a reasonable $0.99 or $1.99.
Once you have downloaded a font from the Galaxy Apps Store, simply follow the steps mentioned above to switch to your newly downloaded system font.
Coloring is one of the most enjoyable features on the Note 8. Here's how to use it!
It’s always been fun to use the Galaxy Note’s S Pen stylus to doodle in S Note and other compatible apps, but with the Note 8, Samsung has gone one step further — it’s added a dedicated coloring feature.
Part of the little-known but, in some circles, wildly popular PenUP app, the coloring feature gives the S Pen a creative rejuvination by transposing all of S Note’s brushes, styles and colors into a collection of thick line drawings.
The feature isn’t surprising, though: coloring books, both real and digital, have seen a resurgence in recent years as smartphone and tablet addicts look for something that clears the mind and encourages focusing on one task. While it’s not quite meditative, to many people the act of filling in a pictogram with color is relaxing, rewarding, and fun.
If you’re looking to do the same thing on the new Galaxy Note 8, here’s how.
First, enable Coloring in Air Command
You can easily access the Coloring feature directly in the PenUP app, but it’s much easier to get to it using the shortcut in Air Command, which pops up when you remove the S Pen from its holster.
But it’s off by default, so you need to enable it.
Remove the S Pen from the holster. Wait for Air Command to appear.
Tap Add shortcut.
Tap on Coloring under S Pen features.
Now, access Coloring from the Air Command menu.
That’s it! Now the Coloring icon will show up whenever you open Air Command.
Then, play with the features
You can also find the Coloring feature inside the PenUP app.
Swipe up from the Samsung Launcher to access the app drawer.
Open the Samsung folder.
Tap on PenUP.
Navigate to the Coloring section on the right.
Find a drawing.
Play with brushes, opacity, colors and other features.
Now you’re set up to use, in my opinion, one of the best features on the Galaxy Note 8.
The great thing about the Coloring feature is that more pictograms are being added every week, and you can compare your work to others who have submitted their work through the community.
Even better, it’s possible to download many of those finished works of art and apply them as wallpapers, or to use as stepping stones for your own projects.
It’s now clear what the main antagonists for late 2017’s smartphone championship are – the upcoming Apple iPhone X, the Google Pixel 2 XL, the exceptional Samsung Galaxy Note 8, and finally, the LG V30. An exceptional round-up of devices, for sure, with each vying for its rightful place in your pocket. But with the hefty premium prices that almost all of these command, you will most likely want to narrow your choice to a single of said devices. Sorry, three will have to go with only one spot available!
So, which one should you pick?
The Apple iPhone X is a new chapter in Apple’s history, featuring a rather flashy new design, an OLED HDR-capable display, an intriguing face-scanning Face ID camera up front, the iPhone X is on its way of being Apple’s most advanced phone yet. And this commands a premium – $999, to be exact, which is already stepping over the psychological barrier of a thousand dollars.
Apple iPhone X
The brand new Pixel 2 XL is a device that aims to put Google on the map, and from what we’ve seen so far it has a rather good chance of doing that if El Goog doesn’t stumble upon any supply issues. The demand is there, but from the looks of it, you will have to wait long if you want to get one of these before Halloween.
Google Pixel 2 XL
The Galaxy Note 8 is easily the most-spec’d out phone out there right now, boasting almost anything but the kitchen sink in its deep feature bag. Aside from the excellent hardware and head-turning design, the Note 8 turns things to 11 thanks to the S Pen – the Note 8‘s single most important feature.
Samsung Galaxy Note 8
Finally, the LG V30 is easily the most affordable of the bunch, but don’t let this fool you, it doesn’t skimp on hardware or design for that matter. Even more, it has found its own niche – LG’s latest top-shelf phone aims to be the multimedia phone to beat out there, with a bevy of multimedia and video-related features on board.
So, here’s how all four of these high-end devices stack up against one another as far as size goes.
Apple iPhone X vs Google Pixel 2 XL vs Galaxy Note 8 vs LG V30
With size out of the equation, it’s time to compare the specs of the four devices and see how the stack up.
The S Pen is the Note series’ defining feature – a versatile tool whose intuitive design and powerful functions make multitasking a breeze, and allow users to express themselves and connect with others in fun and creative ways. There’s truly nothing else quite like it.
The Galaxy Note8’s is the most powerful S Pen the series has ever seen. Here, Hyesoon Jeong, the Principal Engineer of Framework R&D Group for Samsung’s Mobile Communications Business Team, discusses various ways that Samsung optimized the implement’s latest iteration to streamline more facets of users’ daily lives.
Q. What kind of value does Samsung hope to deliver to consumers with the Galaxy Note8 and the S Pen’s new functions?
We’ve been delighted to hear that consumers who have used the S Pen with the Galaxy Note8 have given it good reviews so far, and remarked on how much better it feels to use the S Pen.
Many of these consumers had not had a chance to experience the S Pen’s convenient functions since the last device debuted. Therefore, when refining the design for the Galaxy Note8’s S Pen, we decided to, rather than upgrading the technology within, focus on adding features that would prove convenient in daily use.
Q. What are some of the processes that Samsung utilizes to identify potential S Pen functions?
In the beginning of each year, we hold a series of “Note Kickoff” meetings, which bring together our Development, Product Planning, UX and Usability teams. Each department is asked to present brand-new ideas for innovative features to include in the new model, and come up with ways to improve upon the previous device based on customer feedback. This is how the Note8’s new S Pen features came about – by diligently listening to our customers’ insights on previous S Pens.
Q. One of these new features, Live Message, has been particularly well received. What were your main focuses when developing it?
Live Message is a fun GIF-creation feature that’s an evolution of sorts of Smart Select, which was introduced with the previous Note device. We wanted to expand this type of functionality because the ability to create GIFs has proven popular among Note users, who are very active on social media. Live Message takes GIF creation a step further by allowing users to add personal touches to messages, via animated text or live emojis, and customize their photos with various pen effects.
Our main focus when developing it was usability. We wanted to make sure that the function would be freely available for users in markets across the world. Because people in different countries communicate via different channels, we worked closely with popular messaging services around the globe, working out conditions and regional restrictions, to build something that would work with them.
We also want to show users how easy it is to utilize the function when communicating with their friends. Our developers are currently working on software updates that will introduce more beautiful and decorative examples of animated GIFs for users who may not be entirely satisfied with their own GIF-creating handiwork to plug into messages. We’re also looking into expanding the selection of pen effects that users have at their disposal.
Q. What are some of the ways that users can utilize the S Pen when using Bixby?
Bixby integration currently allows users to utilize its voice command feature to adjust the type of pen they’re using, as well as its color.
The S Pen’s Bixby support also makes it easier for users to shop. When you’re surfing the web and you find an image of a product that you like, you can activate Bixby Vision via Air Command, hover the S Pen over it, and instantly search for it online.
Q. How did you improve the Screen off memo feature?
Screen off memo is another function that’s receiving positive reviews from users. It automatically activates when you remove the S Pen, and allows you to instantly jot down notes to the off screen. This is a new function that enables users to write even when the screen is off, so that you don’t forget any passing thoughts.
For the Galaxy Note8, we’ve enhanced the feature to deliver new levels of convenience after listening to the consumers’ voices. Whereas before this update, the function was well-suited for simple, temporary memos, now, Screen off memo supports up to 100 pages of notes and allows you to pin notes to the AOD and make edits. This makes the function perfect for taking notes during meetings or presentations, managing to-do lists, or writing quick reminders for important tasks.
Q. Could you elaborate on how collaborating with Wacom has helped Samsung maximize the S Pen’s utility?
Our collaboration with (pen display, tablet and stylus manufacturer) Wacom, incorporating its tablet technologies into mobile devices through the S Pen, has been excellent – a win-win. Although other mobile-device manufacturers could design a smartphone with a large screen, by introducing Wacom’s solutions to the mobile realm, we’ve been able to establish a new standard when it comes to productivity.
We’re currently working with Wacom to explore new possible S Pen features and B2B solutions, including support for secure digital signatures, that could offer users and businesses additional convenience.
Q. What motivates Samsung to constantly seek out new ways to innovate with the S Pen?
The S Pen is a feature that’s unique to our company. We often hear that Note users are very loyal, and I would like to add that we developers are also greatly committed to our work. Those of us who work on the Note devices take great pride in providing users with an S Pen experience that allows them to streamline how they work, live, and express themselves.
This desire to arm users with a tool that makes a difference in their daily lives is what motivates us to identify new and exciting S Pen innovations.
The two flagships have remained stuck to Android 7.0 Nougat for a while now, which also brought a newer version of TouchWiz called Grace UX on board.
But the Samsung Galaxy S8/S8+ introduced the new Samsung Experience 8.1 which received an update to version number 8.5 when the Galaxy Note 8 made a debut.
But while other Samsung smartphones like the Galaxy J5 or the 2017 Galaxy A series received Samsung Galaxy 8.1, year’s flagships continue to run the same UI. But according to a Samsung Members community admin, the Galaxy S7 and Galaxy S7 edge will get Samsung Experience 8.1 as soon as the next update – which will probably be Android 8.0 Oreo – starts rolling out. No exact timeline for the release was provided.
Given that the Samsung Experience 8.5 update is more cosmetic in nature and not feature-oriented, it would make little sense for the Korean tech giant to invest time and resources to deliver only a UX-focused update. The Galaxy S7 and Galaxy S7 edge haven’t been updated that many times anyway and with Android 8.0 Oreo out, it’s quite unlikely the phones will get the bump to Android 7.1 or Android 7.1.2 now.
In this post, we’ll talk about what makes the Galaxy Note 8 stand out in an increasingly crowded premium Android smartphone market, such as its dual camera system, insanely gorgeous hardware design, specs that are out of this world, and how the Grace UX isn’t nearly as bad as Samsung haters say it is.
If you judge smartphones by the specs they have, then the Galaxy Note 8 should already be at the top of your list. Here, I’ll name a few, just to get the ball rolling. The Note 8 has a 6.3″ Infinity QHD+ Super AMOLED display, wireless charging, NFC/MST, fingerprint reader, facial recognition, iris scanner, expandable storage, Snapdragon 835 processor, 6GB RAM, dual rear-facing cameras with OIS, Bluetooth 5.0, S Pen, IP68 water and dust resistance, and the list goes on.
Seriously, if you were designing your own dream phone with realistic expectations for under $1,000, you’d probably create the Galaxy Note 8. Take all of these specs and toss them into a gorgeous, all glass and metal body and you have a legit flagship smartphone that can go up against anything else on the market.
Considering the Galaxy Note 7 was taken off the market prematurely due to the recall, I don’t think ex-owners and Samsung fans in general could’ve hoped for anything better this time around. In my review, I called this the best Note device Samsung has produced to date, and I still stand by those words 100%.
2. Dual Camera System + OIS is Beast
Smartphone cameras are all pretty stellar these days, but Samsung upped the bar this year, providing dual rear shooters, both with optical image stabilization (OIS). For Android, this was a first, and from my findings with this device during my review period, it killed.
This phone is exceptional in low lighting, when other phones would blow an image’s lighting to poo due to sensitive sensors. Like past years, the cameras handle assorted colors well, too, such as reds, purples, and greens. This is handy when you’re shooting landscapes or getting in close for a macro of a flower. With the secondary sensor, which is telephoto, you can zoom in on objects without losing a ton of detail, which can be helpful for wildlife shots, such as that cute squirrel that keeps terrorizing your dogs in the backyard.
3. Grace UX, Give It a Try
Over the years of blogging about Android, I’ve heard countless people say, “TouchWiz sucks” or something along those lines. My friends, believe me when I tell you, Samsung’s custom skin that runs atop Android is not like it was back then. It’s been tweaked and refined heavily, almost to the point where I don’t have any real issues with it. Do I prefer stock Android still? Yes, but that’s because I’m a very minimal kinda guy and don’t need half of the features Samsung offers inside this skin, but others may benefit greatly from their inclusion.
My point is, don’t let this phone’s skin be the thing that is deterring you. It shouldn’t be. While at first you may feel overwhelmed by all of the different settings you can play with and enable, just know that after a few days, you’ll know everything that’s in there and be a real Note master. And luckily for you, we make videos specifically to help you discover all of the good stuff.
4. Hardware Design
If you checked out Kellen’s video review, I don’t share his exact sentiments regarding the size and feel of this phone. Yes, if you’re coming from something smaller, the Note 8’s size can take a bit of getting used to, but once you are used to it, it’s kinda hard to go back to anything smaller. You have this massive display and rounded edges for easy holding/gripping, with a body covered in soft glass. I think it’s a real delight to hold, use, and look at throughout the day.
Is this phone an accident prone-person’s worst nightmare? You better believe it, but what glass-encased phone isn’t going to shatter upon dropping it? It’s just the way things are, and you know, they do make cases to help protect your device. At the end of the day, I’ll gladly use a fragile phone that looks amazing over an ugly device any day of the week, because considering how often I’m looking at it and holding it, I want it to look good. I want others to ask me what it is and get a little jelly that all they have is an old busted iPhone. That’s fun for me and it’s the feeling I get when I pull out the Note 8 in my group of iPhone-loving friends.
Even if you don’t want something this big, you can get basically the same thing in a smaller Galaxy S8 package, which is also a great phone that we’ve covered countless times.
Remember some of those specs I talked about earlier? Like facial recognition, iris scanning, NFC/MST, and Bluetooth 5.0? Well, because this phone comes equipped with all of that, you can rest assured that your phone will go on supporting the latest trends in mobile technology for a solid period of time. Because Apple just made facial recognition “cool” with the iPhone X, you can sleep comfortably knowing that your phone is capable of the exact same thing, but even goes a step further — iris scanning. Once you see your favorite banking apps support iris scanners, you’ll know that the Galaxy Note 8 was a solid investment.
Another great piece of tech in this device that gets overlooked often is the inclusion of MST (magnetic secure transmission). Mobile payments are all the rage right now, but every phone that isn’t a Samsung flagship lacks MST and access to Samsung Pay. With this on your phone, not only can you utilize an NFC reader, but virtually all credit/debit card readers in America with this touch-less technology. It makes your payment possibilities much more consistent and adds yet another reason to leave your plastic at home when you hit the town.