MWC 2013: Samsung Galaxy Note 8.0 to take on Apple iPad mini

MWC 2013: Samsung Galaxy Note 8.0 to take on Apple iPad mini

Summary: Samsung defined the multi-sized tablet market, and Apple decided 8 inches was better than 7. Samsung has now followed up with its own unique take on the 8-inch tablet.


Samsung launched its first Android tablet in 2010, starting off with a 7-inch display. It then moved on to 10.1 inches, 7.7 inches, 8.9 inches, 5 inches, 5.5 inches with Galaxy Note II, and back to 10.1 inches with the Galaxy Note 10.1. At the Mobile World Conference (MWC) event in Spain, it revealed the Galaxy Note 8, which looks to take on Apple's new iPad mini.

Readers know I am a huge fan of the Galaxy Note II and find the unique Samsung features and functions such as the S Pen, multi-window view, and other TouchWiz enhancements to be worthwhile. CNET has a hands-on article showing off the new Galaxy Note 8 and the S Pen functions that really set it apart from the iPad mini.

The Note II looks like a large Samsung Galaxy S III, and now the Note 8.0 looks to be an even larger version of the GS III with the same overall design features and arrangement. There is nothing revolutionary with the design, but Samsung is successful with these tablets and large smartphones because of their enhanced features and inking capability. Specifications for the Galaxy Note 8.0 include:

  • 8-inch display with 1280x800 pixel resolution (ppi)

  • Quad-core 1.6 GHz Samsung Exynos processor

  • Android 4.1.2 Jelly Bean OS

  • 2GB of RAM

  • 16GB and 32GB internal storage options

  • MicroSD card slot for memory expansion

  • IR port for TV control

  • 5-megapixel rear camera and 1.2-megapixel front-facing camera

  • Dimensions: 210.8x135.9x7.95 mm and 338 grams of weight.

It's interesting to see that Samsung added an infrared port back into the Note 8.0, along with a new Samsung TV Discovery app so you can control your TV and entertainment system. We just saw HTC announce its new HTC One with IR support and a media application too, so I suppose we will see Apple put this on a device in the future and tell us how it invented it.

The model coming to the US will be wi-fi only, so this is definitely not a device designed to challenge the Note II, but to fill in the gap between a large phone and a large tablet. The international 3G model will allow you to make and receive phone calls. Since I use my Note II primarily for data, the Note 8.0 with phone support could be useful. Then again, I still pocket my Note II and there is no pocket in my wardrobe that supports anything the size of the Note 8.0. There is not yet any pricing or availability information for the Galaxy Note 8.0.

Related stories:

Topics: Mobility, Android, iPad, MWC, Samsung, Tablets

Kick off your day with ZDNet's daily email newsletter. It's the freshest tech news and opinion, served hot. Get it.


Log in or register to join the discussion
  • Not "not", but "now"

    The "not" in the intro sb "now" I believe.
  • suprised at the apple comment

    not really reporting there.
    • I know right?

      Not everything is apple related, and I really don't care which brands a "reporter" has a personal issue or two with. I was enjoying hearing about the new note, and it ruined it a bit. I have no doubt the note will be excellent, but the sane part of my brain wants to reject all prejudices however petty.
  • On the IR Blaster...

    They actually have it on a lot of their products now.

    "We just saw HTC announce their new HTC One with IR support and a media application too so I suppose we will see Apple put this on a device in the future and tell us how they invented it."

    Well, they're more likely to say their version is 'magical and revolutionary' and simply ignore the fact that it's basically the same as everyone else's - or that anyone else ever had it before they did...
    • I had a watch that could change tv channels

      And a game boy that could communicate through IR.

      I wouldn't get excited. As the android tv dongles progress into full android smart tv's, your home wifi network will give your tablet far more range in options and interactivity than is possible through a slow one direction communication. Turning your note I to an all in one remote.... Have you used an all in one remote??
  • Jorj_X_McKie

    Matthew, you don't need no steenking pockets... get a 'man bag'. Seriously, although I am a big fan of the Note line (still have and love my original Note 1 phone), I think it would be a huge mistake to release the Note8 in the USA without LTE. Cellular phone option would be very welcom... it needs either or both to knock out the iPad Mini.
  • still 16:9?

    16:9 is still great for watching TV and movies since most currently are in that format... I still don't like it on a tablet otherwise.
    • +1

      I bought a 7" 16:9 Android tablet out of curiosity. After using it for a while, I simply don't understand how anyone can use it effectively to do anything except watch video. It is a horrid size and format to do anything useful. The 4:3 format might not be as useful for video, but for just about everything else it is far better.
  • Why?

    Three things... Why not make this device with LTE? Why not make it with cell voice? And why not make the back cover out of something other then plastic?

    Still a more functional and high spec'ed device then the iPad Mini but fix those three things and it could have been a knock out of the ball park device.
    Rann Xeroxx
  • Odd

    I've always felt that the myriad of Android device form factors was one of the biggest selling points of Android vis a vis iOS. With dozens of Android device manufacturers, Apple simply wouldn't be able to keep up. But Samsung has me reassessing that idea. After all, Samsung by itself has released tablets and smartphones in almost every conceivable form factor. If Samsung alone can do it, then Apple could surely do the same. More likely, Apple is consciously striving for uniformity and consistency of experience as a selling point, whereas Samsung is going for the shotgun approach of "whatever you want, we probably make one." Time will tell what consumers prefer.
    • Re: If Samsung alone can do it, then Apple could surely do the same.

      The problem is that Apple's OS can't cope,
  • As always...

    Any new mobile device *must* succeed on:
    *Battery life (>8 hours)

    Guess what two data points are missing from this 'revolutionary' new product announcement from Samsung?
  • Samsung Caved to the telcos

    So, another device whose real purpose isto line the pockets of the telcos.
    WIFI only means if you don't live someplace where the Gore Tax is paying for FREE WIFI, you will have to pay the telcos extra for hotspot data ability for your phone. It also means that you will have to continue to carry around and keep two devices charged.

    Nope.. More and more I am glad I was willing to pay full price upfront for my Samsung GT-P6800 so I have a 7.7" tablet that is also a full function phone. One device. One data plan. One charger. Simpler less expensive life.
  • The competition is $199 zero-margin Android tablets

    The main problem for Samsung is that being an Android tablet, they are not really competing against the $349 iPad mini, their main competition is the $199 Nexus 7 which, being sold below-cost has an unfair advantage against poor old Samsung who doesn't have other revenue sources to make up for if they also sold the Nexus with zero profit margin.

    Considering the rumours indicate the Galaxy Note 8 will be even more expensive than the iPad mini, you get the impression this baby is going to be dead in the water. No wonder Samsung only sold 37,000 tablets in the USA in Q3 2012 according to their own court-ordered admission.
  • Little less snark

    "We just saw HTC announce their new HTC One with IR support and a media application too so I suppose we will see Apple put this on a device in the future and tell us how they invented it."

    Well, technically Apple experimented with infrared technology decades earlier. Apple's Newton devices offered infrared (IR) support back in the early 90's, Years before HTC formed as a company in 1997. My first Mac in the early 90's (Performa 6400) had an infrared receiver on the front and built-in TV Tuners. I don't think Apple will be using this old and slow technology in their future devices but just wanted to point this out.

    You forgot to mentioned how Samsung and now HTC was heavily inspired by what Apple is doing with their 'AirPlay' technology and AppleTV, where their devices can wirelessly communicate with other devices on the same network throughout the house. Not just directly in front of you like with infrared. That to me is more impressive.
  • Pass

    I'll wait for the Galaxy Note 3, thanks Samsung...
  • Note 8.0

    Big Question is that , Can Galaxy Note 8.0 Deliver in the future? What will be its Price?

    The upside , Downside, Outlook and some beautiful Pictures of Galaxy Note 8.0 is at