Samsung Galaxy Note 8 review key takeaways: 8 things that you should know

Our Samsung Galaxy Note 8 review is out, laying it all on the table. 

The latest high-end smartphone has been deemed "a Galaxy S8+ with an S Pen and worse battery life" by some, and while they might be correct for themselves, there's no denying that the Note 8 is successfully building upon the strong foundations laid by Samsung's post-Note 7 era phones.

We strongly recommend you to check out our full review of the phone which will give you the fullest possible picture pertaining to its qualities and drawbacks, but for anyone out there that's simply can't spare some 10-15 minute of their time to go through it all, we'll happily provide а TL;DR with some key takeaways!

Related phones

Galaxy Note 8
  • Display 6.3" 1440 x 2960 pixels
  • Camera 12 MP / 8 MP front
  • Processor Qualcomm Snapdragon 835, Octa-core, 2350 MHz
  • Storage 64GB + microSDXC
  • Battery 3300 mAh(22h talk time)



1. tedkord

Posts: 17514; Member since: Jun 17, 2009

518 buts of peak brightness?

2. jellmoo

Posts: 2679; Member since: Oct 31, 2011

All those "buts" are the people that are going to bring up other reports of the Note 8 having super brightness (like 1200 nits). ;)

5. rob5150

Posts: 183; Member since: Oct 31, 2011

11. splus

Posts: 174; Member since: Nov 26, 2011

Exactly! DisplayMate says 1200 nits, and PhoneArena says 518 nits. Hey PhoneArena, something is wrong here! Did you have some power saver feature enabled while testing the max brightness???

28. JadeMoon

Posts: 145; Member since: Aug 12, 2012

I agree. And sometimes adaptive brightness will do that too. I prefer setting the brightness myself according to what is comfortable for my eyes. Advice for other people is dont take one person's personal experience to stone because your going to have a different experience. This is a review article, not an official scientific benchmarking.

16. tedkord

Posts: 17514; Member since: Jun 17, 2009

I'll take displaymate results over PA any day. Dr. Soniera is a PhD in physics, expert in displays and has over 30 years expertise in manufacturing, designing and testing them. He had to school PA a couple of years ago for their color accuracy results.

22. jellmoo

Posts: 2679; Member since: Oct 31, 2011

Heck, just Google "Note 8 Brightness" and the first couple of results are all about how it is a record setting device for screen brightness. It's such a weird point to raise...

65. AxelFoley unregistered

Well, Apple-Rulz says real phone experts have degrees in psychology (cognitive behavior). So, I hope Dr. Soniera is at least smarter than him.

58. bobby84

Posts: 595; Member since: May 13, 2016

The exact brightness is 1240. Lol, I see iphonearena isn't defending there 518. They been called out a bunch of times, even on their youtube channel

3. Tipus

Posts: 913; Member since: Sep 30, 2016


4. maherk

Posts: 7065; Member since: Feb 10, 2012

I'm not sure whether I should laugh at the buts part, or their ridiculous claim that it only hits 518 "buts" of peak brightness.

6. Bankz

Posts: 2550; Member since: Apr 08, 2016

So, is this a new trend of nit-picking every little thing phonearena publishes? Lmao. Left for you guys all you want is for phone arena to wake up every morning and start with "Oh great samsung, we love you" and close with "Oh mighty samsung, you are the best ever" every single day. If you guys are tired then stop coming here, it's that simple honestly. if you say that PA is pro-apple (which is a lie anyway), then we could also say the comments section is pro-android/Samsung so I don't know what the big deal is here. Phonearena might not be the absolute best tbh, but they sure as hell are one of the most entertaining, only third to macrumors and androidcentral. Which is the same reason you all run back here at every given opportunity. Stop the desperation, It's quite pathetic tbh. There's a site called sammobile, I think you guys should try it some time, you're really gonna like it down there.

8. ph00ny

Posts: 2079; Member since: May 26, 2011

Wait talking about measured screen brightness being 1/2 or 2/3 of what others are observing is considered nitpicking now? It's one of the more important criteria for mobile display along with color accuracy, contrast ratio and power efficiency

12. TechieXP1969

Posts: 14967; Member since: Sep 25, 2013

No one is nit picking. PA claims they leave the phone at default settings for reviews and tests. If they do, then the default setting for brightness, makes the display 1200+NITS. They don't do this BS when they review the iPhone, so they shouldn't do it here either. Also based on the DisplayMate, even in manual mode the display is at 540NITS with a manual peak brightness of 728NITS Where the f**k did PA get 518NITS? Its not nitpicking. A tech site is suppose to give accurate data, period. They are doing this to make it seem the ote 8 display isnt as bright as the iPhone 7. Yet when you put them side by side in artificial and natural bright light, you can see which is brighter even in manual mode DISPLAYMATES SAYS AND I QUOTE:

13. TechieXP1969

Posts: 14967; Member since: Sep 25, 2013 · Screen Brightness and Performance in High Ambient Lighting Mobile displays are often used under relatively bright ambient lighting, which washes out the image color saturation and contrast, reducing picture quality and making it harder to view or read the screen. To be usable in high ambient light a display needs a dual combination of high Screen Brightness and low Screen Reflectance – the Galaxy Note8 has both. This is extremely important for screen readability, picture quality, and color accuracy in ambient light. The Galaxy Note8 is up to 22 percent Brighter than the Galaxy S8. For most image content the Galaxy Note8 provides over 490 cd/m2 (Luminance, which is a measure of Brightness sometimes called nits), comparable or higher than most LCD displays in this size class. The measured Brightness on the Home screen is even higher at over 540 nits. When the display Brightness is set Manually with the slider, it can be adjusted to reach a maximum screen Brightness of up to 728 nits, which is impressive. See the Screen Brightness section for the measurements and details. The measured Galaxy Note8 Screen Reflectance is 4.6 percent, close to the lowest that we have ever measured for a Smartphone. Our Contrast Rating for High Ambient Light quantitatively measures screen visibility and image contrast under bright Ambient Lighting – the higher the better. As a result of its high Brightness and low Reflectance, the Galaxy Note8 has a Contrast Rating for High Ambient Light that ranges from 88 to 158, the highest that we have ever measured for a Smartphone. See the Screen Reflectance section for the measurements and details. · Even Higher Automatic Peak Brightness On the Galaxy Note8 the Maximum Screen Brightness can go much higher when Automatic Brightness is turned On, so that users can’t permanently park the Manual Brightness slider to very high values, which would run down the battery quickly. High Screen Brightness is only needed for High Ambient Light, so turning Automatic Brightness On will provide better high ambient light screen visibility and also longer battery running time. When Automatic Brightness is turned On, the Galaxy Note8 produces up to a very impressive 1,240 cd/m2 (nits) in High Ambient Light, where high Brightness is really needed – which is the brightest Smartphone display that we have ever measured, and 22% Brighter than the Galaxy S8. As a result of its very high Automatic Brightness and low Reflectance, the Galaxy Note8 has a Contrast Rating for High Ambient Light that ranges from 122 to 270, also the highest that we have ever measured for a Smartphone display. See the Brightness and Contrast, the High Ambient Light and the Screen Reflections sections for the measurements and details. The much higher Peak Brightness of over 1,200 nits is also used to provide High Dynamic Range HDR, which we discuss next...

14. TechieXP1969

Posts: 14967; Member since: Sep 25, 2013

DisplayMate is an unbiased tech site, that test displays. They have no affiliation with any single OEM. They give full details on how testing is done and how info is obtained. There is noway PA is as through as DisplayMate. If they were, then where did 518NIT comes form? DS clearly states that in manual mode the peak is up to 728NITS. Which means if you were in a completely dark room and you set the brightness manually, it would be 728NITS. And if you had it on auto its 1240NITS Where does the 518 come from dude?

17. sissy246

Posts: 7129; Member since: Mar 04, 2015

"So, is this a new trend of nit-picking every little thing phonearena publishes" When it's not the truth , sure will.

18. tedkord

Posts: 17514; Member since: Jun 17, 2009

Calm down, troll boy. I saw it, thought it was funny. I didn't criticize them. I realize it was probably an autocorrect. Hopefully there's a site called Takingyourselftooseriously that you can try sometime.

61. bobby84

Posts: 595; Member since: May 13, 2016

I5s not nitpicking, it called calling out b.s. Come on now the note7, s8 and note8 officially got over 1000 nits. The only phones to do so. Iphonearena only got around 500 smh. They are lying to ppl who read this article and at least I won't people to know the truth

72. slow00

Posts: 97; Member since: Mar 08, 2017

Pete was blinded by the note 8 brightness and that explains his findings ..

98. Skimshaddy

Posts: 126; Member since: Feb 23, 2016

Phonearena = Fake reviews site. 90% of their staffs are sitting around FaceTime and iMessages each others what to say about Android phones. I came here to enjoy my popcorns thats all lol.

7. raju516

Posts: 19; Member since: May 05, 2016

1.Please comprehensive review of all the display modes in phone while reviewing 2. Is the s8 note as fluid as pixel? Thanks

20. tedkord

Posts: 17514; Member since: Jun 17, 2009

No such phone as the S8 Note.

9. Avieshek unregistered

I wonder, how Apple would re-invent the same display. And.. And, what DisplayMate would have to say when the iPhone finally comes out.

24. TechieXP1969

Posts: 14967; Member since: Sep 25, 2013

They are buying Samsung displays. So they arent reinventing anything.

33. trojan_horse

Posts: 5868; Member since: May 06, 2016

Exactly! If anything, Samsung is the one "reinventing" the iPhone with it's OLED panels.

73. darkkjedii

Posts: 31771; Member since: Feb 05, 2011

Samsung makes the iPhone display dude. In fact, there's several Samsung components in the iPhone.

10. twens

Posts: 1186; Member since: Feb 25, 2012

No one is complaining about lag not even on YouTube. That’s a good thing, can’t wait for the prices to drop. I’ll be very satisfied with this phone for a while.

15. Plasticsh1t

Posts: 3109; Member since: Sep 01, 2014

All I read here is "waaaaaa waaaaaa PA hates samesung I wanna die". f**kin' whiners.

19. tedkord

Posts: 17514; Member since: Jun 17, 2009

All I read here is "waaaaaa waaaaaa I hate people who like Samsung I wanna bitch about it!" f**kin whiner.

Latest Stories

This copy is for your personal, non-commercial use only. You can order presentation-ready copies for distribution to your colleagues, clients or customers at or use the Reprints & Permissions tool that appears at the bottom of each web page. Visit for samples and additional information.
FCC OKs Cingular's purchase of AT&T Wireless