Samsung Galaxy Note 8.0 Review
Introduction

Starting out from a weird “phablet” device, Samsung's Note series of smart products have grown to become a complete line-up, which today includes a 5.5” phablet, a 10.1” tablet, and now a smaller, 8” tablet. The Galaxy Note 8.0 keeps the characteristic feature of the series, namely the S Pen stylus, which seems to be getting more and more capable with each new iteration.

As with the Note 10.1, the Note 8.0 will probably have some tough time because its direct competitor is the Apple iPad mini. Apple's smaller tablet is already enjoying some notable demand, which comes to show that there's money to be made in this device category. Another popular device, which is also dangerously close to the Note 8.0 is the Nexus 7. Being so aggressively priced, Google's 7” tablet sure is a force to be reckoned with.

With such mighty competitors, it's very interesting to see what the Galaxy Note 8.0 is going to offer. Has Samsung loaded its product with enough features? Will the S Pen play its part and provide the Note 8.0 with some much needed differentiation? Read on to find out!


Design

Surprise is the last thing you can feel upon opening the box of the Samsung Galaxy Note 8.0. The tablet has Samsung's traditional design language, which gives it a kind of a retro look with those rounded corners. This kind of design actually works quite well for the Note 8.0, which doesn't look bad at all.

As always, this Samsung device uses smooth, glossy plastic for its exterior, which we appreciate. It makes the Note 8.0 easy and comfortable to hold.

The Samsung Galaxy Note 8.0 is easy and comfortable to hold - Samsung Galaxy Note 8.0 Review
The Samsung Galaxy Note 8.0 is easy and comfortable to hold - Samsung Galaxy Note 8.0 Review
The Samsung Galaxy Note 8.0 is easy and comfortable to hold - Samsung Galaxy Note 8.0 Review

The Samsung Galaxy Note 8.0 is easy and comfortable to hold


The Home button, as well as the ones around the sides of the Galaxy Note 8.0 function very well. Only the power button could have been a bit better, but it's not too bad the way it is.

Samsung Galaxy Note 8.0 Review
Samsung Galaxy Note 8.0 Review
Samsung Galaxy Note 8.0 Review

All in all, we like what Samsung has done with the design of the Note 8.0. The device isn't anything groundbreaking, especially when compared to something like the iPad mini, but it's OK and is quite comfortable to use. Thanks to its light weight of 11.92 oz (338 g), it's also easy to hold with just one hand – something very important for an 8” tablet.

The sides of the Samsung Galaxy Note 8.0 - Samsung Galaxy Note 8.0 Review
The sides of the Samsung Galaxy Note 8.0 - Samsung Galaxy Note 8.0 Review
The sides of the Samsung Galaxy Note 8.0 - Samsung Galaxy Note 8.0 Review
The sides of the Samsung Galaxy Note 8.0 - Samsung Galaxy Note 8.0 Review

The sides of the Samsung Galaxy Note 8.0


Samsung Galaxy Note 8.0 Review
Samsung Galaxy Note 8.0 Review
Samsung Galaxy Note 8.0 Review


Display

The Galaxy Note 8.0 doesn't surprise with some kind of innovative display technology. It simply has a quality LCD TFT screen with a resolution of 800 x 1280 pixels. This makes for a pixel density of 189 ppi, which is certainly not too high, and that's easy to notice when using the tablet. In terms of clarity, the Note 8.0 positions itself below the Nexus 7 but above the iPad mini, which has an even lower pixel density. Anyways, Samsung's newest tablet has just enough resolution to make everything readable without annoying you, but yeah, it won't blow you away with super-sharp visuals.

Viewing angles are pretty decent, and so is outdoor visibility, as the display is able to get quite bright. At the same time, we're glad to report that it can also get very dark, which is very valuable when using the device in the dark.


S Pen


The signature feature of the Samsung Galaxy Note 8.0 is, of course, the S Pen stylus that can be used for stuff like note-taking and drawing. The stylus itself fits into its silo very tightly, so there's absolutely no chance of it falling by accident. The S Pen is big enough to be comfortable to hold, although it probably would have been even better if it was a tad bigger. Still, it's OK the way it is right now.

The signature feature of the Samsung Galaxy Note 8.0 is, of course, the S Pen stylus - Samsung Galaxy Note 8.0 Review
The signature feature of the Samsung Galaxy Note 8.0 is, of course, the S Pen stylus - Samsung Galaxy Note 8.0 Review
The signature feature of the Samsung Galaxy Note 8.0 is, of course, the S Pen stylus - Samsung Galaxy Note 8.0 Review

The signature feature of the Samsung Galaxy Note 8.0 is, of course, the S Pen stylus


As you probably know, Samsung has worked with Wacom, the company that makes professional grade tablets for designers, in order to integrate some of its technology in the Note 8.0. As a result, the stylus is pressure-sensitive, and we're more than happy to say that writing with it is actually quite convenient. Sure, most people will probably find it harder to write with the S Pen than with a real pen, but the difference seems to be surprisingly small.

You can learn more about the S Pen and the apps that are optimized for it in the following sections of the review!


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42 Comments

1. Dimitru

Posts: 40; Member since: Feb 10, 2012

9 is fair enough

3. PhenomFaz

Posts: 1236; Member since: Sep 26, 2012

of couurse since it has the Note features....it easily beats out all tablets period!

15. Dimitru

Posts: 40; Member since: Feb 10, 2012

note 10 is better for me

16. RaKithAPeiRiZ

Posts: 1488; Member since: Dec 29, 2011

might get one ...first tablet

8. MrKoles

Posts: 368; Member since: Jan 20, 2013

I think it deserves more.

30. GTR722

Posts: 270; Member since: Oct 20, 2012

If its 250$ or less....

2. AamirSIII

Posts: 187; Member since: Oct 04, 2012

Note series of devices when owned by the right kind of person (artist or someone with good drawing) are unbeatable by any device no matter what! and for ordinary users like me, and many others, these are the fastest and most reliable devices! good job sammy! waiting for Good build and unbeatable S4 *fingers crossed*

4. _Bone_

Posts: 2155; Member since: Oct 29, 2012

Wow, benchmarks smoke the Nexus 10. Interesting.

9. Taters

Posts: 6474; Member since: Jan 28, 2013

Stock Android 4.2 benches super low. As you can see by the Nexus 4 getting owned in benchmarks by every other S4 pro device. Plus the 2560 x 1600 is going to affect the readings.

13. _Bone_

Posts: 2155; Member since: Oct 29, 2012

Why is this happening in your opinion? BTW... what about battery life on the Note 8.0?

25. TylerGrunter

Posts: 1544; Member since: Feb 16, 2012

It happens a lot with the Nexus devices, mainly because they are the first ones with the latest version of the Android software, and when they are benchmarked it´s the bechmark applications that are not yet ready for that Android version... and after no one bothers test them again when they are. Happens a lot with Antutu and Quadrant in particular, and happened already when moving from GB to ICS. Check GLBenchmark for GPU and Geekbench results for CPU and you´ll get a more accurate picture. Just my two cents.

33. yyuu1000

Posts: 260; Member since: Jul 26, 2012

benchmarks are not mostly optimized for andriod 4.2

12. voxmarc

Posts: 336; Member since: Aug 22, 2012

of course they made the N10 so they know how to beat and exploit.

18. Aeires unregistered

One was built on a shoestring budget to keep price down, the other was built to price higher.

21. sorcio46

Posts: 435; Member since: Jul 27, 2011

There is a mistake on the Antutu score for the Nexus 10, it should be around 13k, not 8k.

6. martinlosha unregistered

What's the price of this device? Because at this price I can buy a nexus 10 and tell Samsung to put their stylus in their a......s

11. voxmarc

Posts: 336; Member since: Aug 22, 2012

and samsung says why dont you shove OUR nexus 10 to your a.s...

14. martinlosha unregistered

Samsung would rather prefer to shove that nexus 10 in your mothers ass.... By the way why your momma has a picture of my d**k on her nexus 7?

31. imkyle

Posts: 1111; Member since: Nov 18, 2010

Samsung also makes the Nexus 10, so they don't care.

7. MrKoles

Posts: 368; Member since: Jan 20, 2013

Nearly perfect!

10. voxmarc

Posts: 336; Member since: Aug 22, 2012

as an Architect i love to sketch,design and doodle with graphical ideas so i bought the note 1 later replaced it with note 2.....now i feel that note 1 and note 2 are small...the 10.1 is big....then i prayed for 7inch or anything lower than 10.1....and..whoa...prayer was granted and i am waiting for the official release...

17. darac

Posts: 2156; Member since: Oct 17, 2011

The next generation of this is certain to have a 1080p screen and a quad core A15 soc. Add android 5 with whatever software enhancements Samsung slaps on top of it, and, well.. it'll be good :p

19. Diego!

Posts: 859; Member since: Jun 15, 2009

Quoting: "As always, this Samsung device uses smooth, glossy plastic for its exterior, which we appreciate. It makes the Note 8.0 easy and comfortable to hold." HA! I will read your review of SGS IV and see if you complain about the quality of the plastic used in it (if it's made of plastic, that is) :P

22. skullman

Posts: 20; Member since: Aug 01, 2012

its ray s article. ...oh look the rating 9/10

23. maccess

Posts: 742; Member since: Jan 16, 2013

because it deserve to get 9/10.. do you think it doesn't deserve to get 9/10?? why?? because its boring design or its screen "just" WXGA resolution?? or ray s is a samsung bias?? lol..

24. Taters

Posts: 6474; Member since: Jan 28, 2013

No use having a conversation with them. They believe that all the accolades, awards, great reviews, personal recommendations, sales etc. All stem from either clueless fans or marketing. Of course they have no hard facts and just speculation to back them up but they will take the Samsung hate to the grave anyways!

26. darac

Posts: 2156; Member since: Oct 17, 2011

^ amen

27. Q1Q10

Posts: 20; Member since: Mar 08, 2013

i would buy this 3x over if it wasnt for the pixel density

28. pkiran1996

Posts: 166; Member since: Oct 22, 2011

Only thing stopping me from buying this is screen resolution. Surely it's not that hard to implement a 1080p screen in an 8 inch device.

29. Edmund

Posts: 656; Member since: Jul 13, 2012

Remove the google/android blinkers before reviewing a product.

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

Galaxy Note 8.0
  • Display 8.0" 1280 x 800 pixels
  • Camera 5 MP / 1.3 MP front
  • Processor Samsung Exynos 4 Quad, Quad-core, 1600 MHz
  • Storage 16 GB + microSDXC
  • Battery 4600 mAh

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