BrandArena: Unpacking the difference between the Galaxy Note 8 and Galaxy S8 Plus

Friday, 25 August 2017

Unpacking the difference between the Galaxy Note 8 and Galaxy S8 Plus

Samsung has just unleashed the Galaxy Note 8, its newest flagship smartphone. Just for months after the launch of Galaxy S8 and S8+, the new Note Series device was announced on Wednesday, August 23 in New York. So far, the two S devices are of the best handsets of the year, selling in droves and Note 8 promises to do better for phablet fans.

The Samsung Galaxy Note 8 follows a similar design path to the Galaxy S8 and S8+ but with a couple of tweaks. We have have decided to unpack the difference we have so far observed between the Samsung Galaxy S8+ and the new Note 8.

The Galaxy S8 measures 148.9 x 68.1 x 8mm and weighs 155g, while the S8+ measures 159.5 x 73.4 x 8.1mm and weighs 173g so the Galaxy Note 8 offers closer measurements to the S8+ than the S8, though still larger to accommodate the fractionally larger display and S Pen.

The Bixby button that debuted on the S8 and S8+ is also present on the Note 8, making the three devices very similar. What distinguishes the Note 8 from the other two flagships, aside from the S Pen and size is dual-cameras on the rear.

Like the S8, the Note 8 is HDR certified by the 4K Alliance, but the actual amount of HDR content around is still slim.

However, the biggest question is whether you should plump for the Galaxy S8+ or the Note 8. Since there is basically no difference (well, 0.1-inches) in the 6.3-inch screen size, it’s all about whether you’ll make good use of the S Pen stylus, now slightly more sensitive. Hence, you’ll have to be a fan of Samsung’s phablets specifically to be drawn towards the Note 8 over the Galaxy S8 Plus.

The Note 8 uses a dual-camera setup, which combines a 12-megapixel telephoto lens with an f2.4 aperture with a 12-megapixel wide-angle sensor with an f1.7 aperture. The biggest talking point here is a feature called Live Focus, which lets you tinker with depth of field and adjust bokeh both within the camera app and after you’ve taken a photo.

The other big change is on the rear of the device. Samsung has jumped on the dual-camera bandwagon, popping a 12-megapixel telephoto sensor next to the already excellent wider-angle 12-megapixel sensor from the Galaxy S8. Importantly, both these sensors feature optical image stabilisation (OIS), so even if you use the 2x optical zoom, your snaps should be blur-free. The main issue with the secondary sensor on the iPhone 7 Plus is that it lacks OIS, and so it struggles if you’re not stock still.

As with the S8+, the Quad HD+ 1,440 x 2,960 Super AMOLED display is an absolute stunner for the Note – it’s only ever so slightly less pixel dense than the sister phone.

Once again, Corning Gorilla Glass 5 is used, alongside other common but modern accoutrements such as Bluetooth 5.0, iris scanning, Samsung’s Bixby Assistant (yes, the Note 8 has a dedicated Bixby button), USB Type-C and Gigabit LTE.

The Samsung Galaxy Note 8 comes with the latest hardware as expected: the Qualcomm Snapdragon 835 platform or the Exynos 8895 (depending on the region). Samsung has increased the RAM to 6GB, as well as storage capacity options to 64GB, 128GB and 256GB. MicroSD is also on board.

In terms of battery capacity, Note 8 comes with 3300mAh, meaning it sits between the S8 and S8+. The Note 8 is charged via USB Type-C, or wirelessly and it supports fast wireless charging as well as standard fast charging.

Ultimately, the Samsung Galaxy Note 8 brings all the latest features and functions from Samsung, but you'll pay a price for it and not everyone will want the S Pen features, or the new software functions in which case the S8 or S8+ might be the better option. 

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