Hey! So it's been a few days and my week finally settled down and my Note 8 has been through a lot so I feel I'm ready to make my review post!
I'm going to break it down into sections. For background reference I'm coming from an S8+ and prior to that Note 7 and Note 3. There will be a TLDR at the end of each topic.
The colour I got was the Deep Sea Blue and I was hesitant at first but the pictures online don't do the colour justice at all! The colour is amazing it's a nice navy blue type colour tone as opposed to the harsher blue tone that it appears to be online. I feel like we did indeed get the better colour option here in Canada! Overall hold and feel of the phone is great, doesn't feel big in the hand but the screen is beautifully big, even though it's only a 0.1" difference over the S8+ it feels a lot bigger. Even the grid size on the home screen adds an additional size of 5x6 so more apps fit on the screen, that option isn't available on my S8+. Overall, absolutely amazing in design, the Note series has always featured a more rectangular style look to it over the S series rounded style.
TLDR: Deep Sea Blue is darker and less harsh, screen feels a lot bigger than S8+ even though it's only 0.1" bigger and fits a 5x6 grid for the home screen as opposed to 5x5 on S8+.
New Standard of Security which includes Facial Recognition, Iris Scanner, Fingerprint and then Passcode, Patter and Pin. I wanted to make this a section to reiterate for those who hate the placement of the fingerprint scanner while yes it does still cause you to occasionally touch the camera sensors it doesn't feel at all awkward or out of reach to touch as a few reviewers have stated. TBH I have small hands and the fingerprint sensor doesn't not feel out of reach at all, but placement below the camera would have been a better option to stray from touching the camera. My personal favourite is Facial Recognition it works flawlessly to the point where it feels like the device isn't locked, some people like the Iris but I don't like having to line it up and I always feel like I'm widening my eyes even though it doesn't require you to do so. Should be noted that Facial Recognition didn't work upon the initial setup wizard but after the launch update it worked fine so don't panic if you get the error at the start. Another addition which I never had on the S8 plus or at least never had toggled on is that when you unlock the device in a certain way that doesn't actually unlock the device there was no way to unlock the device without triggering the lock screen to come up, now you can tough the fingerprint sensor which will cause the device to unlock. So for example, if you triggered the camera without unlocking the device you couldn't unlock the device unless you returned to the lock screen but now you can just tap the sensor and it'll show a message stating the device is now unlocked.
TLDR: Fingerprint, Iris, Facial Recognition, pin, pass and pattern. Personal favourite: Face Scan. Fingerprint isn't out of reach, just causes you to touch the camera cause of position.
The camera is stunning! As we all know it's a Dual 2x optical zoom OIS camera. The pictures are super clear both close up and distant due to the 2nd optical zoom lens. With the dual lens the device is able to take 2 shots at once, one with the wide angle and another close up. Another neat feature is the Live Focus which allows you to add depth of field live and after on the shot. This makes for stunning pictures allowing the point of focus to be more or less defined by adding a blur effect to the background. Camera performs great in low light as do most Samsung cameras. Video recording is 4k at 60FPS if you want but toggled to a lower default for space. Front facing camera is the same as on the S8 plus with an 8MP camera, takes stellar selfies lol The dual camera makes a huge difference over the S8 camera but both are still really great. One drawback is the OIS doesn't work great in low light conditions as pictures still appear blurry if moving.
TLDR: Great camera, dual lens enable close up and wide angle shots with equally impressive quality. Live focus allows for real time depth of field and post shot depth of field. Video is up to 4K at 60FPS.
While smaller than the S8 plus, the battery on the Note 8 is 3300 mAh but due to optimization the Note 8 battery can outlast the S8 plus. My days are usually from 130pm to 4am and I'm not working right now so I'm on my phone for much of the day, by the time it hits 4am my device is still at around 20%, currently it's sitting at 41% and that's after catching up on New Music Friday with Spotify, YouTube videos, setting up my new Dex, setting up a meeting to sell something on Kijiji which included using maps to a location and much more. On my S8 plus a usual day would end with about 10% battery, sometimes less.
TLDR: Battery life at the end of a days use is about 10% better than S8 plus.
The crown jewel of the Note series! The S Pen is super accurate and allows for quick features and Note taking. The S Pen has improved pressure sensitivity which allows for improved writing and drawing. The tip of the pen mocks that of the 0.7mm pencil! I find myself using it for everything now. You can also use it to smart select things on the screen and have Bixby Vision do searches for the selected information. It allows you to sign documents, magnify text, has a mode called Glance which allows you to minimize an app containing information into a floating icon and then hover over it to quick view and then return to whatever main app you're using. You can also translate text just by hovering over something. You can write on any screen by activating Screen Write which takes a screenshot and then immediately allows you to write. If you're on the always on display screen and you remove the pen or push the S Pen button, you can write on the always on display screen for up to 100 pages and then pin that to your always on display or save in your notes.
TLDR...read it lol hard to sum up.
THE COOL STUFF
Live Message - This feature allows you to write animated messages with the S Pen and saves it as GIF file which can be sent to anyone.
App Pair - I love this feature, essentially it utilizes the multi window option that had long been in Samsung devices by highly underused. Now you can pair 2 apps together and then select the shortcut for it to simultaneously launch the applications together. Say you're going for a drive you can have Spotify and Maps paired to quick launch and that way you can setup both at the same time.
Updated Infinity Wallpapers - These will hopefully become downloadable for the S8 and S8 plus but they added a few more Infinity Wallpapers. For those who don't know, the infinity wallpapers were introduced to the S8 and they're a wallpaper pack that have a smooth flow from AoD to Lock Screen to Home Screen. However, the ones on the S8 are not included on the Note 8 but the ones on the Note 8 I personally love more than the S8 ones and I really liked the S8 ones.
Time Killing Colouring Feature - Neat little add on is a colouring book feature which is a good time killer. There's a whole series of Adult (PG not adult in the innapropriate sense) Colouring Books, they're more challenging then children's books with smaller colouring margins. Anyways, really good time killer.
Dual Messenger - Not sure if this was an available function in the S8s but I haven't yet checked. They have a feature called dual messenger which installs two of the same messenger applications such as Facebook Messenger so you can have two different accounts. Very handy for any business user.
I hope I covered it all but there's literally so much to this device! Is it a huge upgrade over the S8 and S8 plus? Not really but still worth it to me, really comes down to preference. Personally, I'm a Note series fan so the upgrade was a must for me, I have no regrets. I'd still recommend the Note over the S if you have the option because you simply get more, not hating on the S series cause it's still an amazing device. I highly recommend this to any user, It's simply amazing there's just so much to the device, it looks beautiful, runs like a champ, hasn't had a dull moment or hiccup yet. It's only been a few days so you never know but I love it! The main things to consider if you're thinking about going from S8 to Note 8 or deciding between the two is that the Note 8 has the dual camera, performance difference I haven't noticed anything different but it does have 6GB of ram so when pushed to the limit it should out perform the S8 and S8 plus, S Pen features are killer and boost productivity. Screen size is also only slightly bigger but feels much bigger and I personally favour the more rectangular look of the Note 8 over the rounded look of the S8. Any user who doesn't have an S8 or S8 plus I highly recommend going for the Note 8 but if you currently own the S8 or S8 plus think about whether or not the additional features offer you value. For current S8 users I leave you with a LeBron James Sprite commercial message "I'm not gonna tell you to get the Note 8, I'd ask you, Do you want the Note 8?" 😏
Hope this helps any users on the fence. I tried to cover it as best as possible but if there's some extra questions anyone has please feel free to post below and I'll be sure to respond!😊
Case: Caseology Skyfall to show off the Deep Sea Blue colour 😊
Sorry for the length but wanted to be thorough.
TLDR: AWESOME device, no complaints yet😊 a few users have noticed issues which you can find through posts but so far I haven't encountered any of them. Any bugs should be patched out by next month. 🤞
Okay that's it! THIS is my next phone... thanks for the amazing broken down review! Taking the time to do it this way is so appreciated and much easier for people like me to read (the non tech savvy lol) .. thanks for being an awesome guy @Jonathan34 ♡
Haha no problem! Yeah I had it as a draft for a few days now and just kept adding edits, at one point it exceeded the word count which I assumed they had but never knew I'd ever hit it😂 There's still so much more to it but I'm still exploring.
Found out this morning that they changed the "Auto-Rotate" now if you have Auto Rotate on and then turn it off, it locks to whatever orientation it's in as opposed to before it would just lock to portrait mode.