The Good The Galaxy Note 8 tops Samsung’s already excellent S8 and S8 Plus with dual cameras and a boatload of stylus tricks. It’s the most feature-rich Android phone you can buy.
Samsung’s portrait mode can be finicky. The poorly placed fingerprint reader repeats the Galaxy S8’s worst design flaw.
The Bottom Line The Galaxy Note 8 retakes the throne as the ultimate Android phone for now, but some intense competition is just over the horizon.
One bright star is the presence of a dual camera setup on the Note 8’s back. Battery life here goes on and on. You’ll find a welcome repeat of the Galaxy S8’s top-of-the-line processor, water resistance, expandable storage and wireless charging, plus fun ways to create animated GIFs that belong to the Note 8 alone. The S Pen stylus has some real efficiencies you don’t get on any other phone.
Throw out the stylus, and your key benefit versus the S8 Plus is… portrait mode (which Samsung calls Live Focus). On its own, that’s not a very compelling reason to level up.
The placement of the fingerprint reader off to the side of those two rear cameras drives me bananas. It’s plain inconvenient: too high and too off-centered.
If you’re using a Note 5, feel good taking the Note 8 plunge. If you’ve never owned a Note but can truly make the S Pen part of your daily life, you won’t find any other phone that goes as far (though there are rumors that the next iPhone may support an unembedded; we shall see).
If you’re contemplating the Note 8 for the second camera alone, I say wait to see how the, and , and perform — they will certainly have dual cameras, too. At the end of the day, dreamy portraits and a pressure-sensitive pen are niceties, not necessities.
Wanna Get This ?? 😉