Introduction


In a parallel universe where all our comparisons fit in a tweet, this one would probably say "Just get the Galaxy Note 8", followed by a bunch of hashtags and emoji. But in the current, we take a much more in-depth approach to our 1v1 articles, even when one of the phones is clearly superior to the other, as is the case here.

Both the Samsung Galaxy Note 8 and the Galaxy S8+ are big and powerful, attractive in appearance, and loaded with more software goodies than you'll ever have the need for. But only the Note 8 has a dual camera -- one enabling bokeh effects and providing real 2x zoom. And only the Note 8 has the S Pen digital stylus for note-taking, drawing, and image editing. This makes it the obvious choice, but is it really the better pick once we take pricing into account? Let's dive in and find out.

Design



When it comes to looks and feel, the Galaxy Note 8 and the Galaxy S8+ tick lots of the right boxes. Their so-called Infinity Displays -- with minimal bezels and occupying nearly all of their front sides -- give them a futuristic look, while the glass-and-metal construction has “premium” written all over it. But when it comes to feel in the hand, the curved corners give the S8+ a slight advantage ahead of the boxier Note 8. In case there’s any doubt, both handsets are humongous, but if you weren’t okay with this, chances are you wouldn’t be reading this comparison in the first place.

Alas, there are downsides to the Infinity Design approach, and it’s not just the higher odds of cracking the Note 8 or the S8+ if you drop it. Both phones have their fingerprint scanners placed at an odd, offset position at the back, where they’re trickier to hit without looking.

On the topic of durability, it is great that both phones come with IP68 water resistance, as any proper high-end phone should. That extends to the S Pen on the Note 8, meaning that you’re free to jot down notes in the swimming pool like a boss.

Looking around the sides of both handsets, you’ll find the usual volume and power buttons, as you’d expect. Samsung has also added a button dedicated to activating Bixby, its own virtual assistant. Too bad that the button is not programmable, and pressing it by accident is not impossible as it is placed opposite to the power button on the other side.

Samsung Galaxy Note 8

Samsung Galaxy Note 8

Dimensions

6.4 x 2.94 x 0.34 inches

162.5 x 74.8 x 8.6 mm

Weight

6.88 oz (195 g)

Samsung Galaxy S8+

Samsung Galaxy S8+

Dimensions

6.28 x 2.89 x 0.32 inches

159.5 x 73.4 x 8.1 mm

Weight

6.10 oz (173 g)

Samsung Galaxy Note 8

Samsung Galaxy Note 8

Dimensions

6.4 x 2.94 x 0.34 inches

162.5 x 74.8 x 8.6 mm

Weight

6.88 oz (195 g)

Samsung Galaxy S8+

Samsung Galaxy S8+

Dimensions

6.28 x 2.89 x 0.32 inches

159.5 x 73.4 x 8.1 mm

Weight

6.10 oz (173 g)

To see the phones in real size or compare them with other models, visit our Visual Phone Size Comparison page


Display



Neither of these two phones will disappoint you when it comes to screen quality. The Galaxy S8+ and Galaxy Note 8 have bright and vivid AMOLED displays that pack the same high number of pixels for superb detail in images -- 1440 by 2960 of them, to be more precise. Both run at 1080p resolution by default, however, to save battery. That is perfectly sufficient for most people, but if you feel like squeezing every bit of detail these can produce, you can switch to maximum resolution from the display settings.

Speaking of settings, Samsung is offering you various display modes to experiment with. Again, most folks would be fine with the default Adaptive Display mode, but color accuracy is greater in Basic mode.

As the Galaxy S8+, the Galaxy Note 8 excels when it comes to outdoor visibility. Night Mode -- a blue light filter that makes the screen go easy on the eyes in the dark -- is also on board.

Samsung’s familiar Always-on Display mode is active on both phones by default, so you can easily check on the time or see if you have pending notifications without turning the phone on. HDR videos can be enjoyed on both devices, streamed from Netflix or even YouTube.


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26 Comments

1. maherk

Posts: 6768; Member since: Feb 10, 2012

S8+ for me. There is 270 dollars in difference here in my country between both devices, and I can't see the dual camera and the S-pen justifying this difference in price. Plus it's a little bit narrower and lighter as well.

14. Klinton

Posts: 1408; Member since: Oct 24, 2016

I suggest, you not talking about S-Pen, until you find out what S-Pen can do(it's not only for jotting) BTW if Apple have S-Pen on iPhone would charge $500 extra.

16. Achilis

Posts: 65; Member since: Oct 05, 2013

Absolutely, those who have no idea about what s pen can really do is crying about this price difference. once you understand the full potential its totally justifiable.

20. medtxa

Posts: 1655; Member since: Jun 02, 2014

Except for drawing which is great for artist that love to doodle everywhere. S-pen is imo redundant for other tasks that you can simply do with finger without pulling out the s-pen.

21. maherk

Posts: 6768; Member since: Feb 10, 2012

That's why I said for me. This isn't the 1st time that my comments about the Note 8 bothers you, and I always make it clear that I'm talking about MY OPINION and MY EXPERIENCE. I used every single Note that was released, and FOR ME, it isn't worth the extra 270 dollars. And I don't care about iPhones, iPads are the only Apple products that interest me, so save your analogies to someone else.

19. QWIKSTRIKE

Posts: 1459; Member since: Mar 09, 2010

The screen comparison is wrong also. The Note 8 screen is far brighter than the s8+.... 700 nits brighter.

22. Jolliebee

Posts: 39; Member since: Sep 12, 2017

For $270 you are getting the following: 1- SPen 2 - Extra camera 3 - A pair of premium $100 headphones/earbuds 4 - 2GB of additional RAM 5 - 64GB storage 6 - Bigger display with a resolution of 3K 7 - Gigabit modem 8 - BT5.0 9 - extra adapters 10 - 128GB microSD and Fast wireless charger free 11 - or Gear 360 w/Remote. 12 - more software capabilities tied to the pen.

25. maherk

Posts: 6768; Member since: Feb 10, 2012

Flash news, the S8+ have more than half of the stuff you just mentioned.

26. MrShazam

Posts: 987; Member since: Jun 22, 2017

For that $270 difference, the Note 8 comes with all of the following over the S8+: - Bigger display area - Active digitizer pen to make productive use of big screen - Dual Camera with Dual OIS - 22% brighter and better color accuracy display (http://sck.pm/OOQ ) - 50% more RAM - Similar, if not better, battery life despite the 200 mAh lower battery capacity (https://sck.pm/rA ) - Free goodies: a gear 360 or a 128 GB MicroSD card + Fast wireless charging pad or a DeX dock. - etc. Not to talk of the many software enhancements that come preloaded. But if you have no serious use of the S-Pen, its main selling feature, yeah it's best you save your money.

2. Furkan

Posts: 552; Member since: Feb 25, 2017

S8's design is better. Maybe i should wait the S9 over Note8...

5. trojan_horse

Posts: 5868; Member since: May 06, 2016

The S8+ definitely is the better bang for buck, and it's got a better bezel-less curve design, IMO.

23. Jolliebee

Posts: 39; Member since: Sep 12, 2017

I actually didn't like the S8+. I thought the S8 was better. Same as I felt with the S6 Edge+ vs the S6 edge. The S8 is clean its small and it just feels perfect. The S8+ because they had to make it bigger, just feels awkward. The Note 8 feels good vs the S8+ to me.

3. kakudiego

Posts: 123; Member since: May 21, 2014

Big BS comparation! The difference of price is too big for a S-pen and useless portrait! S8+ or V30 or Mate10 is a far better option.

15. Klinton

Posts: 1408; Member since: Oct 24, 2016

When one day you understand what S-Pen can do(not only jotting), you would gladly agree to pay $500 extra ONLY for S-Pen. And will never come back to non-Note phone. Mark my words!!

4. Diego!

Posts: 866; Member since: Jun 15, 2009

It will be S9 for me. I bought my Galaxy S7 Edge in last November and it works flawlessly. Since iPhone X has just been announced, I'd like to see what Samsung comes up with Galaxy S9 for next year ;)

6. maherk

Posts: 6768; Member since: Feb 10, 2012

Are you sure it is still working flawlessly? Because the Apple trolls on this site swear that Samsung phones start lagging and crashing days and weeks after you buy them. I thought it was just me who wasn't having those issues with my S8.

7. Myphoneisonfire

Posts: 403; Member since: Sep 05, 2016

My one and half year old S7 Edge runs like a CHAMP !. Its my favourite all round phone of all time !

9. Landon

Posts: 1242; Member since: May 07, 2015

My 2 year old Note 5 is working flawlessly as well. I'll be hanging on to it for hopefully another year and see what late 2018 brings. Currently though, the V30 intrigues me the most.

10. Myphoneisonfire

Posts: 403; Member since: Sep 05, 2016

I don't trust LG quality honestly. Disappointed with LG so many times in the past. The last phone of Lg i really liked was LG G2.

17. Landon

Posts: 1242; Member since: May 07, 2015

I've been using Samsung since the Note 2 so I'm unaware of any other brand's quality from my own personal usage. LG really dropped the ball on not releasing the V30 yet. It will get complete overshadowed by the iPhone 8/X and Note 8 unfortunately.

12. Walkermoon

Posts: 38; Member since: Aug 22, 2015

I've been using S7 edge for over an year now. Although I won't exaggerate by saying that it lags, but yes, it's not buttery smooth either. The gallery app is the biggest offender in my opinion. I'm trying to find a suitable upgrade, but the current crop of phones don't excite me that much.

8. piyath

Posts: 2445; Member since: Mar 23, 2012

Geekbench single score is 1877 on No 8 LOLZZZZ..... It's very sad and laughable to see android/ Samsung fans getting ripped off just because of the looks of this phone. That's the truth!

11. bucknassty

Posts: 1325; Member since: Mar 24, 2017

Why put premium in quotations??? when apple does it.... its the greatest thing since toilet paper.... this site is too subjective

13. iDroidPhony

Posts: 59; Member since: Sep 21, 2016

All quiet on the Android front.

18. darkkjedii

Posts: 30964; Member since: Feb 05, 2011

Note 8! Sold my S8 Plus, shortly after getting my Note.

24. Jolliebee

Posts: 39; Member since: Sep 12, 2017

Same here 0_o

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