Samsung Announces Note 8 “Super Phablet”

Posted on August 23, 2017 by Paul Thurrott in Android with 32 Comments

Samsung Announces Note 8 "Super Phablet"

In what is arguably the most predictable and anti-climatic consumer electronics device announcement ever, Samsung today unveiled the Note 8, which it describes as a “super phablet.”

That positioning is important: Though the original Note was (literally) a big deal when it was first introduced in 2011, smartphone sizes have grown overall since then. And the differences between a smartphone and what we call a phablet have shrunk.

So with the Note 8, Samsung is doing what it did first with the innovative Galaxy S8 and S8+: It has stretched the screen size ever upwards, but in a way that now allows for one-handed usage, with a super-tall but still thin display. In this case, one that is 6.3-inches diagonally, compared to 5.8-inches for the Galaxy S8 and 6.2-inches for the Galaxy S8+. It’s a Quad HD+ (2960 x 1440) display, with the same resolution as the S8+ (but only a slightly smaller pixel density).

The Note 8 includes other notable innovations, including dual 12 MP cameras (where the S8/S8+ have a single 12 MP camera). It’s not the first to have dual rear cameras, of course, but the Note 8 is the first to have OIS (optical image stabilization) in both.

And of course, Note 8 continues to differentiate itself from its Samsung smartphone siblings by offering an S Pen stylus. Samsung says it has enhanced the S Pen in this release with “a finer tip and improved pressure sensitivity.” And there are more places in the system where you can use handwriting now, including messaging.

The Note 8 also offers some interesting software innovations. A new feature called App Pair that lets you configure sets of apps that will launch together side-by-side in the device’s multi-window mode. App Pair is available from the Edge panel that is unique to Samsung’s curved-edge devices.

As you should expect of a 2017 flagship, the Galaxy Note 8 includes top-shelf internals, including 6 GB of RAM and 64 GB of expandable storage. It is compatible with the DeX desktop accessory, wireless and fast charging, and offers water and dust resistance.

You can preorder the Samsung Galaxy Note 8 in the US starting tomorrow, August 24. It will be available in Midnight Black and Orchid Gray at most wireless carriers and unlocked via Samsung. And it will be available for purchase starting September 15. Those who pre-order by September 24 will also receive their choice of a free Samsung Gear 360 camera (worth $229.99) or a free Galaxy Foundation kit with Samsung 128 GB EVO+ memory card and Fast Wireless Charging Convertible (worth $189.98).

Samsung, um, notes that the Note 8 will also be compatible with the new Gear VR with Controller, which will be available for pre-order starting August 24 and for sale on September 15. The cost is $129.99.


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Comments (32)

32 responses to “Samsung Announces Note 8 “Super Phablet””

  1. F4IL

    It'll be interesting to see if the Note will be featured in msft's stores. Given the stylus and high-end specs, it would make for a good showcase of msft's mobile apps (especially the office suite).

  2. Minok

    I'd really like to know what percentage of smart phone users use their phones 'one handed' regularly that this capability is such a big deal. Due to the cost and fragility I'd never consider using it one handed, prefering to hold in one hand and type with other (or dual thumbs typing).

    These days its a non-issue as its in my wallet case that makes it unwieldy for single-hand use even if I wanted to and I'm fine with that.

  3. Boris Zakharin

    I don't get the point of these super huge phones. My Lumia 950 already causes problems when I want to put anything else in the same pocket. Why can't we get a high-end 4.5" phone anymore?

  4. Angusmatheson

    What a difference a year makes. Amazing that the Note 8 can launch without a single comment, or joke, about exploding phones. It seems to me that was a big deal. And Samsung's response was terrible...and now no one seems to care. That being said, I'm sure these phones will not explode. I bet they tested the heck out of that!

  5. Daekar

    I want to want this phone. But the screen, Samsung, the screen! Why with the curves? Are you TRYING to drive me to competition that doesn't make phones that break when you put them near something hard?

  6. Belralph

    All they needed to do is come out with a 128 GB version of the Note 5 with expandable storage. I setup a lot of phones and both my brothers have S8s. Just not a fan of the curved screen. I buy cases for my phone just to have a better edge on it for safe handling and Samsung seems to be doing everything possible to make the phone a greased banana.

    I've been very happy with my Note 5 32 GB so I bought a 64 GB one that will hopefully get me by until this curve-craziness fad passes. Still set me back a little over $400 as long as it's been out.

  7. nbplopes

    What this phone can do really sounds awesome. I was not excited by Galaxy S8 but this ...

    Let's see how it works in real life. But considering Samsung it would be a surprise if it hits the mark of its marketing.

    PS: This looks like what a Windows Phone should have been.

  8. RobertJasiek

    Is the battery replaceable? No? So why would one buy this?

    • Bob Shutts

      In reply to RobertJasiek:

      Can one take the phone to a place like BatteriesPlus and have it swapped out? I replaced my iPhone 6 battery that way. Does the term "battery replaceable" really mean user replaceable?

      • RobertJasiek

        In reply to Bob_Shutts:

        Certainly, there are different forms of replaceability: a) the user simply swaps the battery like for a pocket lamp, b) the manufacturer or its licensed partner is supposed to swap the battery, c) repair cafes / shops are likely to succeed if batteries of dubious quality can be bought somewhere. For me, (a) is absolutely preferable but (b) can be tolerated if the service price is reasonable and speed very fast. iFixit tools do-it-yourself are not really a solution because you never know if you succeed or destroy.

        OC, batteries must be available long enough. Standardisation would help. Currently every device uses proprietary battery shapes and specifications. Thin, thinner, explosive is the motto.

    • Tony Barrett

      In reply to RobertJasiek:

      It's just the way the market is going. To get all the IP67/IP68 certifications, to get the ultra slim body and other things, something has to give. Battery tech is getting way better, and most phones are replaced every two years anyway, so having a replaceable battery is not really required, and not many are asking for it anyway. Get used to it, or find a handset that allows it.

    • Jim Lewis

      In reply to RobertJasiek: That's why I got my Lumia 950 XL! Er...., just try to find an official Microsoft replacement battery. You get shunted to the 3rd party support (B2XB) that Microsoft has dumped us loyal Lumia phone users on: a relatively expensive and inconvenient source. Earlier Samsung phones with "irreplaceable" batteries could have their batteries replaced by Samsung for something like a $50 charge. Apple iPhones the battery replacement charge is closer to $100 but it can be done in an Apple Store with at most a few hours wait, from what I've read. So "irreplaceable" doesn't necessarily mean so but maybe for the newer Samsung designs....??

  9. Polycrastinator

    You know, with this price, the Essential Phone's price, supposedly the next iPhone being over $1000.. we all complained that the Pixel was priced as a premium device, but it's only $650. Maybe it actually is a value, it's just the cost of phones is going up right now.

  10. shameermulji

    The Note8 definitely isn't cheap. It's priced anywhere from $930 to $960 depending on which carrier you go with. We're in premium laptop territory now in terms of pricing.

  11. jbinaz

    "Those who pre-order by September 24..." Should that be August 24th?

  12. CaedenV

    A few months ago I picked up a One+ 3 as a 'hold over' device until the Note 8 came out... but that curved front display... I just don't think I can do it. Who is asking for this feature? I find it makes the phone less usable, and it is valuable internal space for batteries and other components that just goes to waste while making the product more expensive to make. I just don't get it.

    At the same time, my One+3 is working quite well for the things I do, so perhaps I will just ride it out until it dies.

    • Darmok N Jalad

      In reply to CaedenV:

      Yeah, I don't care for it either. Seems very counter-intuitive to phone design to expose the most critical exterior component of the device to more potential damage. Not only that, but I've seen first hand how users accidentally tap the screen edges by merely handling the phone. A buddy of mine tried to show me a video on it, and he kept accidentally triggering things when he was trying to hold the phone in landscape. Sure, I guess you could adapt, but in this case, why should someone need to?

      • CaedenV

        In reply to Darmok N Jalad:

        Ya, I got to borrow a Note 5 Edge at work a while back, and it was just awful. Even with a case on it... no good. About the only thing missing on my One+3 is a solid camera... but my wife has an S6 which does a very respectable job at taking pictures, so that has become our 'primary camera' for now

  13. Jim Lewis

    Don't know if Paul's site allows links but the Galaxy Note 8 has been rated as the best smartphone display "ever" by Displaymate:

    http : //

    (see 8/28 post if link does not survive or remove spaces I've added in link)

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