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Samsung Galaxy Note 8.0 Review

Samsung Galaxy Note 8.0

Posted: , posted by Ray S.

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Internet and Connectivity

Internet browsing is another area where we want to congratulate Samsung for the exceptional job it's done. What's so special about the Note 8.0 and its web browsing capabilities? Well, the best part about it is that Samsung has kept its own browser as the default, and hasn't replaced it with Google's Chrome, which, as you know, is the default Android browser since version 4.1. Actually, we're not entirely right when we say that this is Samsung's “own browser”, because it's more like an upgrade of the previous default Android browser – the one that was used in all Ice Cream Sandwich versions.

To be honest, we're still confused as to why Google decided to replace the ICS browser with mobile Chrome. Everyone who has seen how the two browsers perform side by side, can confirm that Chrome is much slower and significantly less responsive than the wonderful browser that was present in ICS. Not only that, but the ICS browser still supports Adobe's Flash Player, while Chrome doesn't (and probably never will).

The reason we want to congratulate Samsung here is its decision to keep the old browser and enhance it, as this easily makes the Note 8.0 a superior device for web browsing, compared to other Jelly Bean-based devices. Sure, you can always install third-party browsers, but if we don't take their special features into account (like syncing of tabs, history and so on), the ICS-based browser as found on the Galaxy Note 8.0 is arguably faster and more versatile (thanks to Flash) than any of them – Dolphin, Firefox and Opera included. Dolphin Browser comes super-close with regards to responsiveness, but it refuses to play Flash content if your device is running Jelly Bean.

The internet browser - Samsung Galaxy Note 8.0 Review
The internet browser - Samsung Galaxy Note 8.0 Review

Internet browsing aside, the Samsung Galaxy Note 8.0 is compatible with all Wi-Fi protocols, while the 3G/HSPA+ variant can go up to 21.1 Mbit/s downlink speeds, and 5.76 Mbit/s up. There isn't an LTE-enabled model announced right now, but such might be in the works, because we're yet to see the US carriers announce their Note 8.0s. Bluetooth is supported in its 4th iteration, and there's even an IR blaster for those moments when you feel like using your tablet as a remote.

An interesting feature of the international 3G-enabled Note 8.0 is that you can make phone calls with it. That doesn't necessarily mean that you should keep it next to your ear like a phone, though. You can simply use it to make calls with a Bluetooth headset of some sort, which can be very helpful in certain situations.


Camera and Multimedia


Yes, there's a camera on the Samsung Galaxy Note 8.0 and it's a 5MP one. As you can imagine, the Camera application is full of settings, so if tweaking the basic snapper of a tablet is your cup of tea, then you surely have the option to do so!

The camera interface is full of settings - Samsung Galaxy Note 8.0 Review
The camera interface is full of settings - Samsung Galaxy Note 8.0 Review
The camera interface is full of settings - Samsung Galaxy Note 8.0 Review
The camera interface is full of settings - Samsung Galaxy Note 8.0 Review

The camera itself takes the safe approach of taking pictures which are a bit on the softer side, thus minimizing noise, but also the fine details. The weather conditions in which we took the photos weren't the best possible, though, so the Note 8.0's camera isn't the only thing to be blamed for the gloomy colors that you'll see in the samples below. Samsung's cameras tend to come up with realistic tones, so obviously this one isn't an exception to the rule. Overall it's a pretty decent camera for outdoor pictures. It'll definitely get the job done if you only have your tablet to take photos with.


Indoor photographs are also fine. Details are OK and everything looks sharp, though we're a bit disappointed by the colors, which have come out a bit greenish for some reason.

The Note 8.0, not being a camera-centric device, supports video recording at up to 720p resolution. The video plays smoothly, but it won't blow you away with its quality, which isn't so high. The microphone is also mediocre, as the sounds that it captures are quite harsh. The loudspeakers of the device aren't bad. We like them because they aren't overly sharp and the sound has some low end to it. They are also pretty decent in terms of loudness.


Samsung Galaxy Note 8.0 sample video:




Samsung Galaxy Note 8.0 indoor sample video:




There are an OK music player and picture/video gallery preloaded on the Galaxy Note 8.0 – no suprises here. In addition, you'll also find the manufacturer's Music Hub and Video Hub, where you'll be able to purchase content.

Gallery - Samsung Galaxy Note 8.0 Review
Samsung Galaxy Note 8.0 Review
Music player - Samsung Galaxy Note 8.0 Review
Samsung Galaxy Note 8.0 Review

Gallery

 

Music player

 

Smart Remote is new application that takes advantage of the IR blaster of the Note 8.0. As the name implies, it'll let you use your tablet as a remote control for your TV. There are many brands supported, including Samsung (surprise!), Panasonic, Sony, Sharp and Toshiba.

The Smart Remote app - Samsung Galaxy Note 8.0 Review
The Smart Remote app - Samsung Galaxy Note 8.0 Review


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Samsung Galaxy Note 8.0

Samsung Galaxy Note 8.0

OS: Android 4.4.2 4.2.2 4.1.2
view full specs
PhoneArena rating:
9Excellent
Display8.0 inches, 1280 x 800 pixels (189 ppi) TFT
Camera5 megapixels
Hardware
Samsung Exynos 4 Quad, Quad-core, 1600 MHz, ARM Cortex-A9 processor
2 GB RAM
Size8.30 x 5.35 x 0.31 inches
(210.8 x 135.9 x 7.95 mm)
11.92 oz  (338 g)

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