Galaxy Note 8 vs Galaxy S8+ UI comparison: are there any major differences?

When the Galaxy S8 and S8+ broke cover back March, it became clear that Samsung did a bit of a visual overhaul on the flagship duo's TouchWiz interface. The tech giant even renamed TouchWiz to the more regal "Samsung Experience" in accordance with the added layer of polish to the UI.

Today, Sammie unveiled another one of its high-end contenders - the Galaxy Note 8. Apart from the dual-camera setup at the back, the handset's appearance is almost identical to that of the Galaxy S8+. At a first glance, it looks like the UI has also largely remained the same, but is this truly the case? 

The short answer to that question is "no". The Note 8 will hit the shelves with Samsung Experience version 8.5, while both S8 models still run on SE 8.1. However, a newer version isn't always a guarantee for any observable changes in the visual department. 

We have obtained some screenshots of the Samsung Experience on the Note 8 during our quick hands-on with the device, so let's dive in and see if we can find anything new that is currently exclusive to the 6.3-inch phablet. Keep in mind that we're not including any features associated with the new S Pen, as we'll give them a more detailed look in the future.

And that's pretty much it. These are the only differences between the new and old version of Samsung Experience which we were able to locate. Granted, there are a few more sections of the UI which we weren't able to capture with our limited time on the Note 8, but we'll make sure to update this article if we notice anything interesting once the phone arrives at our office. Now, let's move on to some example shots that portray the uniformity between the interfaces of Samsung's high-enders. 



1. WPX00

Posts: 513; Member since: Aug 15, 2015

Everything except the camera app is the same.

2. adecvat

Posts: 664; Member since: Nov 15, 2013

Note series is dead. Samsung made it only for naming fans. It's the S8+ S-Pen Edition.

3. darkkjedii

Posts: 31773; Member since: Feb 05, 2011

LMAOOOOO! That was a good one.

13. Skizzo

Posts: 437; Member since: Jul 14, 2013

His statement is very sensationalist, and I don't agree with it, however, one can't argue that this year, there is less than ever to differentiate them than ever before. It used to be that the Note would come with an updated SoC, "Note only" UI features, a much larger screen, a noticeably different design, bigger battery, etc. Now, the Note 8 still maintains the spec bump by going with 6gb of RAM, a dual camera, and as always, the stylus...BUT, the form factor is more similar than ever, the same SD835 SoC, the screen size difference is almost non existent (6.2" vs. 6.3"), the UI is basically the same (short of the few stylus specific things), even the wallpaper is the same, albeit in a different hue. I'm a huge Note fan, and I see the value in having a Note compared to the 'S' series, but you gotta admit that this year, the Note fails to completely stand out next to the S8+. Not necessarily a bad thing mind you, as the S8+ is fantastic, but those looking to hate the Note (or Samsung in general), and call it "the S8+ S-Pen Edition" have more ammunition than ever before.

15. darkkjedii

Posts: 31773; Member since: Feb 05, 2011

I'm not worried about differentiation, I'm just taking the Note 8 as it is, and I'm impressed by it. Samsung is being smart, by bringing them close together I'm my book. It's easier to choose which fits you best, without giving up too much. I don't mind it at all. I've used the S8 Plus since launch, and now I'm ready for the Note 8. It's the phone I've been hoping for, since the 7 recall. Now it's here, and no way do I skip it. The V30, and iPhone 8 will be great too, something for everybody. The S8 Plus continues to shine.

5. Sammy_DEVIL737

Posts: 1529; Member since: Nov 28, 2016

Ya & iPhone's are dead after iPhone 5s.

4. XDAdam

Posts: 276; Member since: Feb 03, 2016

The only thing I want is the 2-app shortcuts on the edge panel.

6. Pitrich

Posts: 239; Member since: Apr 13, 2016

I'm good with my s8. Perfect size for me.

7. SupermanayrB

Posts: 1188; Member since: Mar 20, 2012

Wondering when people will realize that the Note is not meant for Galaxy S users to upgrade from.

8. darkkjedii

Posts: 31773; Member since: Feb 05, 2011

Preorder is done. Note 8 cometh.

9. brasstax

Posts: 546; Member since: Apr 16, 2014

Darkk... what are your initial thoughts about the Note 8? I for one was hoping for a surprise or two at the unveiling like maybe a larger 6.5" screen or quad speakers or even a larger battery. But I am sure this will be THE phone to beat until the Note 9 rolls over next year irrespective of higher benchmark numbers from pretenders *cough*

10. darkkjedii

Posts: 31773; Member since: Feb 05, 2011

I'm impressed, but not blown away. I knew samsing would play it safe, and launch a great phone, but the Note 9 will be the killer one. I love the look, and the features are excellent. Live blue, live message, dual camera, S-Pen, 2X zoom, 7.1.1, UX 8.5. It's got everything. I love that unlike the iPhone, Samsung's message features aren't galaxy exclusive. You can send them to anyone. And app pair is awesome too. Great phone....oh and Bixby with the S-pen is great. What are your thoughts?

14. brasstax

Posts: 546; Member since: Apr 16, 2014

I like it but these days phone launches do not have the excitement of years past as pretty much everything is "leaked" in advance save the presenter's outfit. I miss the olden days when almost every single small feature was new and hit our ears fresh. My thoughts are that as usual this is going to be the best all around phone even though the iPhone 8 and the pixel 2 will bench higher. IPhone is too restricted in my opinion and considering that its severely feature and productivity crippled with a lightweight OS it almost has to bench higher to justify both price and feature limitation.

16. darkkjedii

Posts: 31773; Member since: Feb 05, 2011

I totally agree with that post. 2 things contribute. 1. Tech has matured and 2. Leaks. The iPhone is the San Antonio Spurs of smart phones, a boring champ. It's the ultimate "can't go wrong with it" phone. It just lacks way too much now, and I've outgrown, and moved past it. It's main selling point noe, is speed. Yep...It's fast, but lacks too many features, and has a boring static, watered down UI, that doesn't tax the chip.

11. IronTech

Posts: 154; Member since: May 27, 2016

The only difference I found is fahrenheit vs celsius.

12. redmd

Posts: 1964; Member since: Oct 26, 2011

I like that the corners are just ever so slightly curve on the Note. That boxy figure is retained. It's classy. The curvy S8+ is futuristic.

17. deleon629 unregistered

In short, not a damn thing has changed... And can we PLEEEASE get a reviewer that uses the S-Pen for something other than writing, "YES!!!" on the screen?!


Posts: 134; Member since: Feb 21, 2016

There is no difference between Android 7.1.1 with Samsung Experience 8.5 and Android 7.0 with Samsung Experience 8.1. Is waiting to see if Android 8.0.0 with Samsung Experience 9.0 will have more drastic changes

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