Samsung Galaxy Note 8.0 Review
Internet browsing is another area where we want to congratulate Samsung for the exceptional job it's done. What's so special about the Note 8.0 and its web browsing capabilities? Well, the best part about it is that Samsung has kept its own browser as the default, and hasn't replaced it with Google's Chrome, which, as you know, is the default Android browser since version 4.1. Actually, we're not entirely right when we say that this is Samsung's “own browser”, because it's more like an upgrade of the previous default Android browser – the one that was used in all Ice Cream Sandwich versions.
To be honest, we're still confused as to why Google decided to replace the ICS browser with mobile Chrome. Everyone who has seen how the two browsers perform side by side, can confirm that Chrome is much slower and significantly less responsive than the wonderful browser that was present in ICS. Not only that, but the ICS browser still supports Adobe's Flash Player, while Chrome doesn't (and probably never will).
The reason we want to congratulate Samsung here is its decision to keep the old browser and enhance it, as this easily makes the Note 8.0 a superior device for web browsing, compared to other Jelly Bean-based devices. Sure, you can always install third-party browsers, but if we don't take their special features into account (like syncing of tabs, history and so on), the ICS-based browser as found on the Galaxy Note 8.0 is arguably faster and more versatile (thanks to Flash) than any of them – Dolphin, Firefox and Opera included. Dolphin Browser comes super-close with regards to responsiveness, but it refuses to play Flash content if your device is running Jelly Bean.
Internet browsing aside, the Samsung Galaxy Note 8.0 is compatible with all Wi-Fi protocols, while the 3G/HSPA+ variant can go up to 21.1 Mbit/s downlink speeds, and 5.76 Mbit/s up. There isn't an LTE-enabled model announced right now, but such might be in the works, because we're yet to see the US carriers announce their Note 8.0s. Bluetooth is supported in its 4th iteration, and there's even an IR blaster for those moments when you feel like using your tablet as a remote.
An interesting feature of the international 3G-enabled Note 8.0 is that you can make phone calls with it. That doesn't necessarily mean that you should keep it next to your ear like a phone, though. You can simply use it to make calls with a Bluetooth headset of some sort, which can be very helpful in certain situations.
Camera and Multimedia
Yes, there's a camera on the Samsung Galaxy Note 8.0 and it's a 5MP one. As you can imagine, the Camera application is full of settings, so if tweaking the basic snapper of a tablet is your cup of tea, then you surely have the option to do so!
The camera itself takes the safe approach of taking pictures which are a bit on the softer side, thus minimizing noise, but also the fine details. The weather conditions in which we took the photos weren't the best possible, though, so the Note 8.0's camera isn't the only thing to be blamed for the gloomy colors that you'll see in the samples below. Samsung's cameras tend to come up with realistic tones, so obviously this one isn't an exception to the rule. Overall it's a pretty decent camera for outdoor pictures. It'll definitely get the job done if you only have your tablet to take photos with.
Samsung Galaxy Note 8.0 Sample Images Fullscreen
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Samsung Galaxy Note 8.0 Sample Images
Indoor photographs are also fine. Details are OK and everything looks sharp, though we're a bit disappointed by the colors, which have come out a bit greenish for some reason.
The Note 8.0, not being a camera-centric device, supports video recording at up to 720p resolution. The video plays smoothly, but it won't blow you away with its quality, which isn't so high. The microphone is also mediocre, as the sounds that it captures are quite harsh. The loudspeakers of the device aren't bad. We like them because they aren't overly sharp and the sound has some low end to it. They are also pretty decent in terms of loudness.
Samsung Galaxy Note 8.0 sample video:
Samsung Galaxy Note 8.0 indoor sample video:
There are an OK music player and picture/video gallery preloaded on the Galaxy Note 8.0 – no suprises here. In addition, you'll also find the manufacturer's Music Hub and Video Hub, where you'll be able to purchase content.
Smart Remote is new application that takes advantage of the IR blaster of the Note 8.0. As the name implies, it'll let you use your tablet as a remote control for your TV. There are many brands supported, including Samsung (surprise!), Panasonic, Sony, Sharp and Toshiba.
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: 1745; 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: 1745; 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: 601; 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.