Closer look into Samsung’s smarter, bigger Note 8

By Shin Ji-hye
  • Published : Aug 29, 2017 - 22:32
  • Updated : Aug 29, 2017 - 22:32
Samsung Electronics has returned with the much-awaited Note brand complete with smarter S Pen stylus, a bigger display and a bolstered camera.

The latest Galaxy Note 8, released to keep its rival iPhone 8 in check, features the largest-ever screen on a Note device that fits in one hand, the brand’s signature S Pen stylus and its new dual camera.

“We appreciate the relentless passion of the Note community. They’ve been a constant inspiration to us and we designed the new Note for them,” Koh Dong-jin, president of Samsung’s mobile communications business, had said at the launch of the Note 8 in New York on Aug. 23.

From the infinity display to the enhanced S Pen stylus and a powerful dual camera, the Galaxy Note 8 would “let people do things they never thought were possible,” he added.

Samsung first introduced the Note series in 2011.

Since then, a community of enthusiasts have emerged with their affinity for the Note’s expansive screen and S Pen stylus.

IHS Markit wrote that the new Note 8’s integrated S-Pen and optimized stylus-friendly software strongly differentiates the Note series from other smartphones. 

Participants look at Samsung Galaxy Note 8 during its unpack event held in Park Avenue Armory, New York on Aug. 23. (Samsung Electronics)

Its enhanced S Pen has a finer tip with improved pressure sensitivity 3. New features of the S Pen also include improved S Pen Translate for overseas travels or when users come across a website in a foreign language, by enabling quick translations of entire sentences in up to 71 languages, and instantly converting units and foreign currencies.

Live Message allows users to share animated texts or drawings across platforms that support animated GIFs.

The Galaxy Note 8 has the biggest screen ever on a Note device. It has 6.3-inch infinity display, which is 0.1 inch larger than Galaxy S8 Plus and 0.6 inch larger than Galaxy Note 7.

Despite the bigger screen, its body is narrow to better fit in one’s hand. The bigger infinity display, which lets users see more and scroll less, gives them more room to watch, read and draw-making it the ultimate multitasking smartphone.

The device, for the first time, adopted a dual camera which takes two pictures simultaneously and allows users to save both images; one close-up shot from the telephoto lens and one wide-angle shot that shows the entire background.

The Note 8 is the first smartphone with two 12-megapixel rear cameras with optical image stabilization on both the wide-angle and telephoto lenses.

Samsung said the Note 8 will be available in stores starting Sept. 15 in 40 nations, including Korea, the US and the UK. 

"Samsung’s decision to launch the Note across all regions means the Note 8 should be the most successful Note smartphone for at least three years. The last model, Note 5, did not launch in Europe,” said Ian Fogg, senior director, mobile & telecoms for IHS Markit.

Local securities predicted sales of Note 8 will exceed 11 million units with ease in the second half of this year despite upcoming competition with its rival Apple’s 10th-anniversary iPhone and LG Electronics’ V30.

KTB Investment & Securities’ analyst Lee Dong-joo said, “Despite iPhone’s major shift in specifications, sales of Note 8 are expected to reach 12 million units this year considering the consumers waiting for the Note series after the discontinued sales of Note 7.”

The prediction is in line with the mobile chief Koh Dong-jin’s remark. A day before the launch event, Koh told Korean reporters that sales of Note 8 will pass over those of its predecessor Note 5, which sold around 11 million units in 2015.

“We have confidence that Note users are different from other smartphone users. Although we have spent a tough time over the last year (due to the discontinued sales of Note 7), we will restore consumer trust by making Note 8 a turning point,” Koh said.

By Shin Ji-hye (