How to get Galaxy Note 8's unique features on your Android phone

The Samsung Galaxy Note 8 is one of the best smartphones released in 2017. Its futuristic design and powerful hardware are certainly impressive, but they aren't exactly unique in the heavily-saturated mobile space. 

The things that make this towering handset truly stand out are a collection of intriguing pre-loaded features, apps, and, of course, the creativity-inducing S Pen stylus. 

Some of these functionalities are going to remain exclusive to Samsung's latest and greatest. However, there's a good amount of apps and gadgets on the market that can help you achieve a Note 8-like experience and save some of your hard-earned cash. Let's check them out.

Choosing a proper stylus

One of the biggest and most recognizable advantages of the Samsung Galaxy Note 8 is the fact that it includes an S Pen stylus that can be easily accessed at any time with a simple click. 

Below, we've selected a trio of styluses that are decent alternatives to the mighty S Pen. Obviously, you won't be able to stick them in your phone (unless you're of the engineering kind), but on the upside, they are affordable, have great compatibility, and will cater to your doodling and note-taking inclinations. As an added bonus, we also included some of our favorite stylus-friendly apps for your phone or tablet. 

App Pair 

Split-screen multiwindow mode can be found on virtually any phone that runs Android Nougat. However, with the Note 8, Samsung one-upped this concept by introducing app pair. In a nutshell, app pair allows you to create a custom shortcut that launches two applications at the same time. 

You can, for instance, open the YouTube app and Google Chrome, or two different chat apps with one tap only, instead of fumbling with opening them one by one, then splitting the screen to fit them. 

If this feature appeals to you, you'll be happy to know that you can enable it on any Nougat or Oreo-powered smartphone via a third-party app. Check the gallery for our step by step guide.

Edge Panel

Samsung's Edge Panel isn't an exclusive Note 8 feature, but it is the place where app pairs are launched from. Besides, it is a nifty tool which makes one-handed use easier, so you might find it useful if you're rocking a big-screen smartphone. 

There are many sidebar apps on Google Play, including one that's an almost exact copy of the Edge Panel, but one app that we would recommend is Swiftly Switch. It's free, it won't pester you with ads outside of its own menu, and best of all, it works fine with Split-Screen Creator, our substitute for app pairs. Here's how to do it:

Always On Display 

Another big feature of the "Galaxy package" is the Always On Display functionality. Again, it's not exclusive to 6.3-inch phablet, but you can use the S Pen stylus on the Note 8 to quickly jot down notes and memos without the need to unlock it. 

If your smartphone uses an AMOLED screen, we do have a solution for you. It's not as refined as the original AOD, but it's free and does the job just fine. The app in question is called Always On AMOLED. Don't get discouraged by the big "BETA" sign next to the title. It works just fine and comes with a good amount of features.

Some of the major ones include customizable watch faces, notification alerts, various battery-sipping backgrounds and wallpapers, auto movement of the widgets (avoids AMOLED burn-in), and custom memos. The latter can't be drawn with a stylus like on the Note 8, but you change the font, size, and color of the text, which is a decent alternative. 

If you'd like to give Always On AMOLED, feel free to follow the below link to Google Play. Again, we do not recommend installing this app if your phone has an LCD screen, as your battery life is likely to suffer due to the display's backlighting.

Download Always On AMOLED on Google Play



1. HansP

Posts: 542; Member since: Oct 16, 2011

...and if you have a four inch long drill you can even make your own pen compartment in your phone! \o/


Posts: 1461; Member since: Mar 09, 2010

Yes, just buy a Note 8 and call it quits. Here's a tip you can still buy a Note 8 with up to a $350.00 dollar discount IF you have a Note 5 or a Galaxy S5 or higher. Just order the phone from the Shop Samsung app. Any one owning a previous Samsung device mentioned should take advantage of this deal while it last if you want a great phone at a great price.

3. amasog

Posts: 552; Member since: Aug 22, 2013

Buy a note 8? Man, do you lost your AC or TV remote control in your home? Next time, take care of those. So that you don't have to buy an overly expensive touch screen remote control.

4. worldpeace

Posts: 3135; Member since: Apr 15, 2016

Is that a joke? Try harder next time, don't give up

10. tedkord

Posts: 17509; Member since: Jun 17, 2009

That's the best he's got. It doesn't get better. Speaking of the best, the Note 8 is just that, and that's what causes the extreme pain in his fecal chute.

18. uncle_gadget

Posts: 1050; Member since: Sep 20, 2017

Nah that wasn't a joke, but the article sure and the hell is. I got a nice chuckle. If it was that easy to make any phone be a Note, Samsung wouldn't have made it to begin with.

7. Sammy_DEVIL737

Posts: 1529; Member since: Nov 28, 2016

LOL. Then see other's coming in same remote control size bandwagon.

6. L0n3n1nja

Posts: 1603; Member since: Jul 12, 2016

Except those stylus won't have pressure sensitivity, palm rejection, or the unique software that comes from the Note.

16. g2a5b0e unregistered

Exactly! I don't know why they would even bother to mention those other styluses as if they could be an adequate substitute. Ridiculous.

9. darkkjedii

Posts: 31757; Member since: Feb 05, 2011

Just buy the real deal, best phone of 2017 bar none, and inluding what's to come.

11. tedkord

Posts: 17509; Member since: Jun 17, 2009

Yep. And with the Note 7 owner offer, plus Samsung Pay rewards worth $60, I got it for $445 plus tax. Awesome device, awesome price.

12. darkkjedii

Posts: 31757; Member since: Feb 05, 2011

Can't beat that. I'm hooked on my N8, it's the real deal.

21. toosmoove

Posts: 914; Member since: Sep 28, 2017

Finally got mine. I can't put down. Best phone I ever had, including the Note 7.

13. chenski

Posts: 789; Member since: Mar 22, 2015

If you care about these features, buy a note 8. If you don't care about these features, buy whatever you want

17. uncle_gadget

Posts: 1050; Member since: Sep 20, 2017

Hahahahahaha. No!!!!!! The Jot is a AWESOME stylus, but it isn't an S Pen. Nothing you do qill ever make any phone a Note. Even when you install the Spen SDK onto the Galaxy S, to unlock some Spen functions, it is simply not the same because you only have access to some of the tools. Considering the haters claim the Note is just an S with a pen, how is it anyone thinks any phome running just Android without TW, can be anything like a Note !!??

19. L0n3n1nja

Posts: 1603; Member since: Jul 12, 2016

Touchwiz is part of the reason Samsung devices are so popular, it's a great skin with great features.

20. uncle_gadget

Posts: 1050; Member since: Sep 20, 2017

For a site dull if fans who say, the inky way to get an iPhone experience is from and iPhone, everyone shoukd be chiming in tbat the only way to get the Nite experience is to get one. You can get an Nadroid and get an experience very much like an iPhone, but nothing even comes close to the Njtw. All phones and tablets have drawing apps. And you can use a stylus with any of those too. But the Note apps revolve solely around the pen and without the SPen those apps are pointless and dont work as well. PA....Really?

* Some comments have been hidden, because they don't meet the discussions rules.

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