Samsung Galaxy Note 8.0 Review
The OS that you'll find preloaded on the Samsung Galaxy Note 8.0 is Android 4.1.2. Yes, it's not the latest version, but Samsung has tried to make up for it with its TouchWiz Nature user interface. The UI isn't anything different from what we've seen on the Galaxy S III, Note II, and the company's other recent Android devices.
We actually like this custom software. It's definitely one of the best, if not the best custom Android UI out there currently. It moves very fluidly and all applications open quickly with any considerable delay. Of course, the powerful hardware is one of the reasons for this, but Samsung should also be given credit for the optimizations it's done to the code.
The OS on the Samsung Galaxy Note 8.0 is Android 4.1.2 with its TouchWiz Nature user interface on top of it
Custom features like Pop Up Play and Smart Stay are naturally on board, and so is the Multi Window view, which allows you to work with two apps running simultaneously side by side. In contrast to when it's used on a phone, this feature is actually convenient and useful on a tablet like the Note 8.0, which has enough screen space to keep things big enough. There's also a visible handle that's always present on the left, which you can pull to reveal a number of frequently used apps. You can then simply pull those apps and decide where you want them to occupy the upper half of the screen, the lower half or the full screen. It's a very convenient way to boost your multitasking.
One thing we didn't enjoy when using the Samsung Galaxy Note 8.0 was typing on its on-screen QWERTY keyboard, which seemed too small, even for the 8” screen. Thankfully this is easy to fix by installing a third-party keyboard.
You can also use the S Pen to take advantage of the handwriting recognition technology of the device, if that input method will suit you better. However, we didn't found it to be very accurate. Not that it's unreliable, but it could certainly use some more work. If you try to use it as your main input method right now, you'll constantly have to check if the device has recognized your handwriting correctly. Don't trust it too much!
S Pen applications and performance
Alright, let's take a look at the software that Samsung has provided for use with the S Pen!
S Note application, which can be used for all types of note-taking. Samsung's efforts with regards to the integration of the Wacom technology really show here, as writing with the S Pen feels almost as natural as typing with a real pen. Our only complaint here has to do with the presence of some slight lag, which makes the experience a bit less appealing than it could have been. Anyway, that doesn't make writing itself much harder.
Samsung has been paying attention to the small details recently. Behind-the-scenes features like Smart Stay prove that. The fact that the device isn't registering your whole hand while writing with the S Pen also proves that. Since writing with a pen without resting your hand on the surface isn't really a comfortable experience, that's exactly what the user tends to do when writing with the S Pen. The problem here is that you actually have to rest your hand on the tablet's screen itself. Under normal circumstances, this could have ended ugly, but thanks to the tweaks Samsung has done, the Note 8.0 never registers your hand as a touch while you're using the S Pen.
As a result of all this, and the versatile nature of S Note, we can conclude that the Galaxy Note 8.0 is a wonderful device for note-taking. And we mean serious, quick, during-a-meeting note-taking. You can't do this on any other tablet out there, because it's simply not possible with a regular capacitive stylus.
Awesome Note is another app for note-taking. Making its Android debut on the Note 8.0, Awesome Note is like a normal notes app on steroids – it features a bunch of options that let you organize and prioritize your notes/graphs, whatever you work with. It can also show a calendar at all times, making it easy for the user to view and create notes for different days.
Paper Artist is a simply drawing app which allows you to take or import a picture and then draw on top of it using some basic tools like a pencil or a brush. The app also features a set of photo effects, most of which being a bit over the top. Anyways, it's interesting to play with if you have some free time, but it's nothing of interest for people how need some more advanced functionality. In such cases, better install a third-party app like Photoshop Touch.
Processor and Memory
The Samsung Galaxy Note 8.0 is equipped with the trusty quad-core Exynos 4412 processor clocked at 1.6 GHz. Throw 2 GB of RAM in, and the Note 8.0 provides a perfectly fluid experience with no major delays.
|Samsung Galaxy Note 8.0||6747||17013||60.1|
|Google Nexus 10||4446||8954||55.4|
|Samsung Galaxy Note 10.1||5479||12722||58.9|
|Asus Transformer Pad Infinity||4204||12693||39.6|
The Note 8.0 comes in two storage space variants: 16 GB and 32 GB, with both variants featuring a microSD slot for memory expansion.
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: 1736; Member since: 29 Oct 2012)
Wow, benchmarks smoke the Nexus 10. Interesting.
9. Taters (Posts: 1744; 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: 1736; 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: 392; 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: 1744; 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.