It's now been a month since I first saw the Galaxy Note 8 in person and back then I thought the S Pen and dual camera setup would be compelling.
I was correct and despite the announcement of the Apple iPhone X and Google Pixel 2 XL, it's clear that the Note 8 is still the best smartphone to end 2017.
As I look back over the last month of use and towards the future, here are eight things I love about the Galaxy Note 8:
- S Pen: In the past, I was smitten by the S Pen for about a week or so. However, after a month with the Note 8, I still use it several times a day and I've come to rely on it for many things. I use it for easy navigation and text entry, hovering over email to preview the content, screen off memos, enjoyable browsing with hover scrolling, fun and personal Live Messages, quick magnification, and much more. No other phone has this capability and once you incorporate it into your life there is nothing to compare.
- Display: The Infinity Display is the killer feature of the Galaxy Note 8 with DisplayMate rating it the best smartphone display of all smartphones. The 6.3 inches is glorious and you won't find anything better.
- Design: The Note 8 has a flatter display and edge design than the Galaxy S8 Plus and it feels perfect in my hand. I am able to hold onto it and write on the display easier than on the S8 Plus.
- Innovative technology: The Galaxy Note 8 offers fast charging and fast wireless charging, Samsung Pay with MST, Bluetooth 5.0, a microSD expansion card slot, ANT+ for connectivity to fitness devices, and the Qualcomm Snapdragon 835. You won't find another phone today packed with all of this technology in a single device.
- Always On Display: It's a subtle feature on the Note 8 that is found in a few other devices, such as the LG V30 and Moto devices, but once you have it on a device it is tough to go back to something like the iPhone 7 Plus where you cannot just glance over and see basic status and notification information with no effort required by you. I also like that you can double tap on a notification to jump directly into the app that originated the notification.
- Dual rear cameras: The Samsung cameras have been fantastic the last couple of years and the Note 8 takes it to the next level with two rear cameras with OIS. I've been able to capture some fantastic creative shots and for the first time I honestly feel I can leave the camera behind in any situation and let the phone capture everything without compromise. The Note 8 recently earned a still photo rating of 100 from DxOMark.
- Galaxy apps: While Google offers core apps in Android, I would argue that Samsung's own apps are better for productivity, efficiency, and functionality. Some argue against anything but stock apps, but in this case using the Samsung apps on a Galaxy Note 8 is a better choice.
- Ecosystem: You can use a Samsung Gear 360 or Samsung Gear VR to enjoy immersive experiences, but only if you have a compatible Samsung smartphone. There are new versions of both of these devices and both are nice improvements over last year's models. The Samsung Gear S3 Frontier is also best with a Samsung phone and it is a stunning smartwatch that continues to get better with continued rollout of third party apps.
The Samsung Galaxy Note 8 is about as perfect of a smartphone as you can find. I honestly cannot think of a single thing it is missing, which is not something I can say about other recent flagships. The Note 8 has a 3.5mm headset jack, microSD expansion card, amazing dual camera, and much more.
The Note 8 is so good, I have not been able to justify buying any other new smartphone.
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