Samsung Galaxy Note 8.0 Review
Starting out from a weird “phablet” device, Samsung's Note series of smart products have grown to become a complete line-up, which today includes a 5.5” phablet, a 10.1” tablet, and now a smaller, 8” tablet. The Galaxy Note 8.0 keeps the characteristic feature of the series, namely the S Pen stylus, which seems to be getting more and more capable with each new iteration.
As with the Note 10.1, the Note 8.0 will probably have some tough time because its direct competitor is the Apple iPad mini. Apple's smaller tablet is already enjoying some notable demand, which comes to show that there's money to be made in this device category. Another popular device, which is also dangerously close to the Note 8.0 is the Nexus 7. Being so aggressively priced, Google's 7” tablet sure is a force to be reckoned with.
With such mighty competitors, it's very interesting to see what the Galaxy Note 8.0 is going to offer. Has Samsung loaded its product with enough features? Will the S Pen play its part and provide the Note 8.0 with some much needed differentiation? Read on to find out!
Surprise is the last thing you can feel upon opening the box of the Samsung Galaxy Note 8.0. The tablet has Samsung's traditional design language, which gives it a kind of a retro look with those rounded corners. This kind of design actually works quite well for the Note 8.0, which doesn't look bad at all.
As always, this Samsung device uses smooth, glossy plastic for its exterior, which we appreciate. It makes the Note 8.0 easy and comfortable to hold.
The Home button, as well as the ones around the sides of the Galaxy Note 8.0 function very well. Only the power button could have been a bit better, but it's not too bad the way it is.
iPad mini, but it's OK and is quite comfortable to use. Thanks to its light weight of 11.92 oz (338 g), it's also easy to hold with just one hand – something very important for an 8” tablet.
The Galaxy Note 8.0 doesn't surprise with some kind of innovative display technology. It simply has a quality LCD TFT screen with a resolution of 800 x 1280 pixels. This makes for a pixel density of 189 ppi, which is certainly not too high, and that's easy to notice when using the tablet. In terms of clarity, the Note 8.0 positions itself below the Nexus 7 but above the iPad mini, which has an even lower pixel density. Anyways, Samsung's newest tablet has just enough resolution to make everything readable without annoying you, but yeah, it won't blow you away with super-sharp visuals.
Viewing angles are pretty decent, and so is outdoor visibility, as the display is able to get quite bright. At the same time, we're glad to report that it can also get very dark, which is very valuable when using the device in the dark.
The signature feature of the Samsung Galaxy Note 8.0 is, of course, the S Pen stylus that can be used for stuff like note-taking and drawing. The stylus itself fits into its silo very tightly, so there's absolutely no chance of it falling by accident. The S Pen is big enough to be comfortable to hold, although it probably would have been even better if it was a tad bigger. Still, it's OK the way it is right now.
As you probably know, Samsung has worked with Wacom, the company that makes professional grade tablets for designers, in order to integrate some of its technology in the Note 8.0. As a result, the stylus is pressure-sensitive, and we're more than happy to say that writing with it is actually quite convenient. Sure, most people will probably find it harder to write with the S Pen than with a real pen, but the difference seems to be surprisingly small.
You can learn more about the S Pen and the apps that are optimized for it in the following sections of the review!
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3. PhenomFaz (Posts: 1040; Member since: 26 Sep 2012)
of couurse since it has the Note features....it easily beats out all tablets period!
2. AamirSIII (banned) (Posts: 187; Member since: 04 Oct 2012)
Note series of devices when owned by the right kind of person (artist or someone with good drawing) are unbeatable by any device no matter what!
and for ordinary users like me, and many others, these are the fastest and most reliable devices!
good job sammy! waiting for Good build and unbeatable S4 *fingers crossed*
4. _Bone_ (Posts: 1741; Member since: 29 Oct 2012)
Wow, benchmarks smoke the Nexus 10. Interesting.
9. Taters (Posts: 1760; Member since: 28 Jan 2013)
Stock Android 4.2 benches super low. As you can see by the Nexus 4 getting owned in benchmarks by every other S4 pro device.
Plus the 2560 x 1600 is going to affect the readings.
13. _Bone_ (Posts: 1741; Member since: 29 Oct 2012)
Why is this happening in your opinion?
BTW... what about battery life on the Note 8.0?
25. TylerGrunter (Posts: 704; Member since: 16 Feb 2012)
It happens a lot with the Nexus devices, mainly because they are the first ones with the latest version of the Android software, and when they are benchmarked it´s the bechmark applications that are not yet ready for that Android version... and after no one bothers test them again when they are.
Happens a lot with Antutu and Quadrant in particular, and happened already when moving from GB to ICS.
Check GLBenchmark for GPU and Geekbench results for CPU and you´ll get a more accurate picture.
Just my two cents.
33. yyuu1000 (Posts: 149; Member since: 26 Jul 2012)
benchmarks are not mostly optimized for andriod 4.2
12. voxmarc (Posts: 296; Member since: 22 Aug 2012)
of course they made the N10 so they know how to beat and exploit.
18. Aeires (unregistered)
One was built on a shoestring budget to keep price down, the other was built to price higher.
21. sorcio46 (Posts: 390; Member since: 27 Jul 2011)
There is a mistake on the Antutu score for the Nexus 10, it should be around 13k, not 8k.
6. martinlosha (unregistered)
What's the price of this device?
Because at this price I can buy a nexus 10 and tell Samsung to put their stylus in their a......s
11. voxmarc (Posts: 296; Member since: 22 Aug 2012)
and samsung says why dont you shove OUR nexus 10 to your a.s...
14. martinlosha (unregistered)
Samsung would rather prefer to shove that nexus 10 in your mothers ass....
By the way why your momma has a picture of my d**k on her nexus 7?
31. imkyle (Posts: 911; Member since: 18 Nov 2010)
Samsung also makes the Nexus 10, so they don't care.
10. voxmarc (Posts: 296; Member since: 22 Aug 2012)
as an Architect i love to sketch,design and doodle with graphical ideas so i bought the note 1 later replaced it with note 2.....now i feel that note 1 and note 2 are small...the 10.1 is big....then i prayed for 7inch or anything lower than 10.1....and..whoa...prayer was granted and i am waiting for the official release...
17. darac (Posts: 2156; Member since: 17 Oct 2011)
The next generation of this is certain to have a 1080p screen and a quad core A15 soc.
Add android 5 with whatever software enhancements Samsung slaps on top of it, and, well.. it'll be good :p
19. Diego! (Posts: 392; Member since: 15 Jun 2009)
Quoting: "As always, this Samsung device uses smooth, glossy plastic for its exterior, which we appreciate. It makes the Note 8.0 easy and comfortable to hold."
I will read your review of SGS IV and see if you complain about the quality of the plastic used in it (if it's made of plastic, that is) :P
22. skullman (Posts: 20; Member since: 01 Aug 2012)
its ray s article. ...oh look the rating 9/10
23. maccess (Posts: 398; Member since: 16 Jan 2013)
because it deserve to get 9/10.. do you think it doesn't deserve to get 9/10?? why?? because its boring design or its screen "just" WXGA resolution?? or ray s is a samsung bias?? lol..
24. Taters (Posts: 1760; Member since: 28 Jan 2013)
No use having a conversation with them. They believe that all the accolades, awards, great reviews, personal recommendations, sales etc. All stem from either clueless fans or marketing. Of course they have no hard facts and just speculation to back them up but they will take the Samsung hate to the grave anyways!
27. Q1Q10 (Posts: 16; Member since: 08 Mar 2013)
i would buy this 3x over if it wasnt for the pixel density
28. pkiran1996 (Posts: 160; Member since: 22 Oct 2011)
Only thing stopping me from buying this is screen resolution. Surely it's not that hard to implement a 1080p screen in an 8 inch device.
29. Edmund (Posts: 599; Member since: 13 Jul 2012)
Remove the google/android blinkers before reviewing a product.
32. Sangeet (Posts: 222; Member since: 21 Apr 2012)
Awesome review from Ray S, by reading Ray S i thought this one would be a one directional review comparing samsung with apple but it was not, Good work unlike your previous reviews
34. windboater (Posts: 1; Member since: 14 Mar 2013)
How wonderful, a device that finely does it all. Sends and receives regular cellphone calls and has a decent size screen for surfing the web. Where do I send my money for an international version (with phone!).
36. henrickrw (Posts: 402; Member since: 16 Sep 2011)
Great Review Ray. As an owner of the original Note, Note2 & Note 10.1 we can see Samsungs efforts in making better products. :)
Very clean and unbiased review. Top notch!
Hope to get the S pen features software on upcoming firmwares for my previous note devices.
37. Phaze0085 (Posts: 93; Member since: 22 Sep 2011)
I thought the Note 8.0 didnt have an LED flash on it, but theres no mention of it in the video review or the in-depth review. Does anyone know if this thing has LED flash?
40. Divya_chauhan (Posts: 1; Member since: 20 Mar 2013)
Well I am using Nokia x2 mobile but soon I am going to Purchase this beautiful Samsung galaxy Note because of its good camera and long standby battery.
41. DaRKMaGiC (Posts: 1; Member since: 23 Apr 2013)
What's better Samsung Galaxy Note 8.0 or Samsung Galaxy S3 screen,gaming they are the same price in my country please help .
42. k1ng617 (Posts: 217; Member since: 13 Oct 2009)
Any idea if the IR blaster will work with my Comcast DVR?
43. amir1975 (Posts: 22; Member since: 18 Aug 2012)
I have both of them : iPad mini & Note 8 n5100.
Note 8 is more suitable than mini for me, specially in terms of display quality, Spen & the brilliant feature called "Multi Window" which lets you work with 2 applications at the same moment without Switching between them, for instance i read a french PDF text on the left window, and translate it on the right window with Babylon, a task which can be done only on a desktop, but thanks to the new feature, i can do it on my slate happily now !!
the only drawback of note 8 is it's shorter battery life, but it's acceptable due to the highest screen resolution and almost 2X more powerful hardware specs. (quad core CPU against dual core, 2GB RAM against 0.5MB)
if anybody has any ambiguity about two slates, contact me at :
44. clayton (Posts: 8; Member since: 15 Jun 2012)
why do people always talk about the price? This is a tablet that comes with loads of great apps. The screen size is perfect for me. I don't think price should be an issue if it serves the right purpose. No one is being forced to buy it. Go and get a cheap one if only it serves your purpose and stop criticizing samsung. This is a company that is trying to meet every budget and I think they should be commended for it.