Samsung Galaxy Note 8 Q&A: Your questions answered!

In case you've missed it, our Galaxy Note 8 review is out, concluding that you can't really go wrong with this phone... provided you've got the right amount of cash.

A few weeks ago we gave you the chance to ask us anything about the Galaxy Note 8 as we might have missed answering an incremental or a rather major question you could have had, thus leaving you in the blind for something of great interest to you.

You asked, and now we answer:

PA: Yes, you can. Most drawing and sketching apps for the Note 8 also support palm rejection so you can zoom in with your fingers while drawing with your S Pen.

PA: You can't, but thanks to a recent update you are allowed to altogether disable the Bixby button, which kind of... beats the whole purpose of that one. 

PA: No, Samsung has been slowly phasing out IR blasters off of its high-end smartphones for a while now, and we don't expect to see this feature in any future Galaxy or Note flagship.

PA: Probably by the end of 2017, hopefully. Given that the Note 8 and the Galaxy S8/S8 Plus are priorities, you will have your update as soon as Samsung is ready with it. Should there be an Oreo beta, you could even get it earlier at the cost of potential bugs and instability, but your device, your rules.

PA: Boy, Samsung has come a long way since the Galaxy S4, ditto about TouchWiz (now known as Samsung Experience). A slew of useful features and functionalities from the olden days have transcended into the latest iteration of Samsung's custom Android distribution; on another note, the tons of S Pen-related functionalities are of course exclusive to the Note 8 and add tons of value to the overall package if you're into that kind of thing. Blame it on the powerful hardware if you wish, but the interface really feels buttery-smooth and lightning fast, without any noticeable stutters or visual hiccups to hinder your experience. 

As far as upgrading from the OnePlus 3, you should ask yourself if you'd really benefit from that S Pen in your everyday life. Make sure you don't view it as a party trick of some sorts, because it's one of the main selling points of the Note 8 and getting said phone without the intention of using the stylus everyday kind of beats the purpose — you will be better off with the cheaper Galaxy S8+.

PA: No idea, but we can speculate that Samsung could theoretically supercharge its capabilities when the time is ripe for the Galaxy S9 and S9 Plus early next year.

PA: Based on the numerous user reports over at XDA, even though the Emperor Edition theoretically supports all of AT&T's LTE bands, it might either not work at all or you will have to modify your CSC (Consumer Software Customization). Either try talking to an AT&T rep or better yet get a Note 8 locally.

PA: 1. The RAM inside is LPDDR4X! 

The Galaxy S8 gave up at 44 tabs of PhoneArena in the native Samsung Browser (which is very good, by the way), while the Note 8 didn't refresh the first tab we opened even when we hit the limit of 50 tabs in the native browser. With both phones hooked to the same Wi-Fi network and sitting right next to one another–basically, with all conditions being the same–the Note 8 seems to be very well-optimized and making use of the RAM inside. Hope that helps, though your mileage may vary.

There is a slight transition, but we wouldn't call it choppy. Sure, it's slightly noticeable and takes a few fractions of a second, but that's not an issue at all. 

PA: It's Quick Charge 3.0. 

PA: Supposedly it's Gorilla Glass 5, just like the back of the phone.

PA: Sorry, we couldn't find any such functionality built into the Note 8. Best you can do is add tags to your photos or resort to some third-party app.



12. HansP

Posts: 542; Member since: Oct 16, 2011

Well this is either uneducated or an outright lie. You CAN remap the button, if you really want to. More level-headed and tech-savvy gadget bloggers like Erica Griffin can show you how to do it on YouTube. It's actually a pretty simple task to remap it to whatever you like. "boriqua2000: How can i remap the Bixby button? I understand that Samsung sends some kind of update to prevent us from doing so. PA: You can't, but thanks to a recent update you are allowed to altogether disable the Bixby button, which kind of... beats the whole purpose of that one."

11. gd761

Posts: 217; Member since: Sep 18, 2012

When Will We get a 128GB, 256GB, and 512GB of the Samsung Galaxy Note Here in the United States?!

16. peter.k

Posts: 78; Member since: Jul 05, 2017

As we said, no such plans have been unveiled, so probably never.

18. gd761

Posts: 217; Member since: Sep 18, 2012

That was also said about a Mobile Dual Core Processor, a Phone with 1GB of Storage, a Phone with 1GB of RAM, a Phone with Expandable Storage, a Phone with more than 32GB of Storage, a Phone with More than 64GB of Storage, a Phone with more than 128GB of Storage. Also, Samsung HAS the 128GB and 256GB Phones Already in the Marketplace. For Samsung to Bring them Here to the US Market, the Customers HAVE to put Pressure on Both Their Carrier and Samsung by Constantly Requesting that Samsung bring ALL Storage Variants Here to the US Market.

10. AmashAziz

Posts: 2934; Member since: Jun 30, 2014

Thank you PhoneArena for answering my questions. And sorry, I searched the article just now. Had forgotten about it..!

2. Klinton

Posts: 1409; Member since: Oct 24, 2016

I always wonder, how some ppl don't undrstand yet, that S Pen is not only for jotting or art, but has tons of features that everyone can't live without if know them. Even if don't use them very often. 'Depennds if you need S Pen' ..... is the most stupid statement.

4. ibend2

Posts: 159; Member since: Mar 16, 2016

Right, It's totally handy when you reading website, or editing docs.. but you won't know all those extra feature unless you own one.. You know that you need it when you ever use it..

5. Plasticsh1t

Posts: 3109; Member since: Sep 01, 2014

What's so stupid about it? Not everyone shares the same need for the s pen. People can live without the s pen.

14. Klinton

Posts: 1409; Member since: Oct 24, 2016

how could say,,don't need smth, if don't know what it can do? Stupid

1. trojan_horse

Posts: 5868; Member since: May 06, 2016

No love shown to me this time around, Peter K? I mean, you've considered my questions and answered them in the past 3 Q&A articles which I've posted in... What happened? Or you didn't like my first two questions in the Q&A article of the Note8? My post #1 and #2 were logical enough! But it's OK. :))

3. ibend2

Posts: 159; Member since: Mar 16, 2016

The answer for those 2 question is kinda obvious :-/ #1 "Why did you guys not publish an article to report on the news from Displaymate about the Note8 having the best display? " - It's been years since they ever post anything about displaymate (and DxO), and I doubt they'll ever post anything about those two, since PA already have their own test about screen and camera.. #2 "How come in your Note8 review, the max brightness is lower than what the Note 8's actual brightness... 1200nits, no?" - It's their own test, probably they got defected unit, or their test is innacurate.. Either way they won't change that value.. ever.. (just see their battery test that always differ from other site, lol..)

6. trojan_horse

Posts: 5868; Member since: May 06, 2016

"It's their own test, probably they got defected unit, or their test is innacurate.." It's most likely the latter than the former.

7. phnrpt

Posts: 23; Member since: May 28, 2012

Note 8 is an EPIC FAIL #1. 6.3" screen is deceptive because 6.3" screen is ACCUALLY SMALLER than 5.7" screen when watch video on screen. The reason is the screen aspect ratio of note 8 is 18.5:9 instead of the previous note 4 ratio 16:9 #2. bezel (side frame) is the nature protection to the NAKED GALSS EDGE. Without this protection, note 8 is facing more easy screen damage. #3. The reflexing white light on the curved edges damages eyes in a long run. Just like we will never place a curved mirror at homes for distorted images. It's the same reason why they do not make curved edge TV because the same problem will be more obvious which will eventually lead to return the defect devices and law sues. Meanwhile, the big industries are benefitting from this since their investments also include medicine. (Samsung makes MRI medical equipments, and etc.) #4. non-replaceable battery is another way to disrespect consumer's right of self-repair. Samsung's excuse is water-resistance. How many average consumer will really expose phone under the rain or under the water. What's the chance a phone will accidentally get dropped into the water? #5. solution? Yes, the 6.4" Lenovo phab 2 Pro is the true 6.4" FLAT SCREEN for comfortable view. The rest of specs are relatively low. But Lenovo has room to improve in a very easy way. #6. The ultimate phablet should be 7" FLAT screen with high-end specs, user-replaceable battery and STYLUS. Any manufacture first reach this will truly be the king of the industry. Sony, Huawei, Lenove or even LG, ARE YOU BOLD ENOUGH TO DO THIS? Ugly thing to talk about, for the ugly things already happening to us. People, if we don't stand up and speak up, nobody will speak for us.

13. LiveFaith

Posts: 522; Member since: Jul 04, 2015

... "non-replaceable battery is another way to disrespect consumer's right of self-repair." ... This I totally agree with. Everything else not so much.

8. bobby84

Posts: 595; Member since: May 13, 2016

Man you beat me to it, lol. yea how did PA get 518 nits when displaymate got 1240?

9. Boast_Rider

Posts: 536; Member since: Sep 14, 2017

Regarding the brightness thing, I have the answer, but it's a bit techy. I'll try my best to explain it though. Hope I do well On OLED panels, you don't have a backlight, and the brightness is modulated with PWM(pulse width modulation) controlling the brightness of individual LEDs(subpixels). Here's another term: APL( Average picture level). It means how much of the screen is lit up. For a pure white background, APL is 100%, for pure black, it's 0%. For grey, it's somewhere in between. You get the point! Now, since at 1% APL, you only have to drive 1% of the pixels and you can give 0 voltage to rest of the pixels since it's an OLED, you can put them on overdrive and get the dizzy heights of 1200 nits. However, if you light up the whole display white(100% APL), going up to 1200 nits will overheat the device and damage the display, so the brightness is a lot lower since the display controller limits the brightness if the APL is higher. Displaymate gives a range of brightness to you. For the note 8, it's 560-1240 nits(go check their site). Here, 560 nits is for 100% APL and 1240 is for 1% APL. Now, PA is not as scientific and only gives you the result for full white(100% APL), hence only shows the lower number. Ask away if you have any more questions. I will be happy to answer :)

15. peter.k

Posts: 78; Member since: Jul 05, 2017

Boast_Rider below has pretty much nailed it.

17. trojan_horse

Posts: 5868; Member since: May 06, 2016

You mean Boast_Rider above ^^ Peter. But you guys at PA did not explain it like Boast_Rider did in order to clarify on why there is a difference in your brightness test resultas opposed to displaymate.

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