Okay, so finally the big day arrived and Samsung launched Galaxy Note 8 two days ago in New York City. The phablet is a stunning beauty with more comfortable and classy design than ever, more powerful with some of the best hardware till date and also more safe with some of the most careful hardware choices till date by Samsung (see battery in the specs below).
We already covered all its leaks and rumors in extensive detail, so now without much ado let’s dive straight into the details which were revealed about the device at Samsung’s launch event:
Dual-Camera and Improved S-Pen: The Highlights
The two biggest highlights of Samsung Galaxy Note 8 are its dual camera and improved S Pen stylus.
They’re so important that Samsung spent most part of launch event keynote to explain them in as much detail as possible, so it makes sense to take a look on these two features first of all.
Dual Primary Camera
So firstly let’s talk about the camera. While dual-camera setups are no longer a new thing, for Samsung this is their first smartphone with such a camera setup. What sets Samsung’s dual cameras apart is their implementation – the device takes Apple’s Portrait Mode feature to the next level.
There’re two 12mp shooters on the back of device, one of which is telephoto lens while another one is a wide-angle lens. Optical Image Stabilization (OIS) is also present, and so are up to 10x digital zoom and up to 2x optical zoom.
However, it’s Live Focus – the Portrait Mode equivalent of Samsung – where company has taken things to the next level. Some of its coolest capabilities include:
- It allows you to adjust the background blur effect in photos that you capture on your Galaxy Note 8 before taking the photo. On a scale of 0 to 10 you can control the hardness or softness of objects in the background, and blur them to bring the subject of your (the person in the photo) in focus. The images thus captured come pretty close to the ones captured with a DSLR, depending on how well you master and use the feature.
- It has also got Dual Capture – a feature that allows you to take a blurry portrait with bokeh effect and another wide angle image with background in focus at the same time. While iPhone 7 Plus can also do the same, the problem is that its second photo isn’t captured in wide-angle mode. It’s captured at aspect ratio same as that of first image. Dual Capture comes turned ‘On’ by default, but you can also turn it off from Camera Settings.
- And you can also remove the blurred background effect from a photo after it has been captured and saved to the Gallery.
With these capabilities as of now Galaxy Note 8 is a step ahead of iPhone and every other dual-camera phone. It’ll be interesting to see if this lead over Apple in camera department remains even after the launch of iPhone 8.
Improved S Pen
The other major feature of Galaxy Note 8 is more powerful S Pen. First of all it’s IP68 water resistant, just like the phone itself, so you can take notes with it even while standing in rain. Next, it allows you to take notes on the lockscreen itself.
You can pin a note to the Always-On Display (AOD) and then just write as much as you want to in that note. Live Message is the 3rd major feature of S Pen, which allows you to create an animated handwritten note and send it as a message through any of the messaging apps on your Note 8.
Rest is, well, similar to Galaxy S8 Plus, as you can see in the specs given below:
|Display||6.3-inch Infinity AMOLED display with 2,960 x 1,440 px resolution|
|Processor||Snapdragon 835 octa-core|
|Primary Camera||Dual-Lens 12mp camera with OIS|
|Android Version||7.1.1 Nougat|
This sort of symmetry with Galaxy S8 Plus may, however, also be problematic for Samsung. Because besides dual camera, improved S Pen and a slightly larger 6.3-inch display there’re not any other major material advantages with this phone in comparison to Galaxy S8 Plus, which is significantly cheaper than its $960 price tag.