Why is the Samsung Galaxy Note 8 so popular?

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Samsung Galaxy Note 8 Review Cape Town Guy South Africa

The most talked about phone that was released near the end of 2017 was the Samsung Galaxy Note 8. You may remember that its older brother, the Note 7, was also talked about but for a totally different reason. So, why is the Note 8 such a popular device? Let’s find out.

The first reason why the Note 8 is so popular is thanks to its design and build quality. While the Note 8 is a large device (measuring at 162.5mm x 74.8mm) it is also very sleek (8.6 mm). The frame, which is made of metal, gives the Note 8 a sturdy and strong feel and creates the perfect separation between the curved front and back glass. The Note 8 is very similar in looks to the Galaxy S8+ and surprisingly it is only slightly bigger and wider. Just like the S8/S8+ there is a power/unlock button and volume rocker on the right side of the device and a Bixby button on the left side of the device. At the top of the device you get a headphone jack, unlike a certain phone that has left it out. While at the bottom you get a USB Type-C port and S Pen slot. The Note 8 comes in three colours: Midnight Black, Orchid Grey and Maple Gold. I had the Maple Gold model on test and loved the gold look.

The second reason why the Note 8 is so popular is thanks to its display. The Super Amoled display is not only large (measuring at 6.3 inches) it is also crystal clear. With loads of pixels (to be exact 1440 x 2960 pixels) and HDR10, which is the latest in dynamic range technology, the display on the Note 8 is like nothing I have ever seen before. Amazing colours, amazing quality and perfect for gaming, watching videos and doing work. The display has a curved edge and it is not just for looks. The Apps edge displays your five most frequently used apps for you to access at a moment’s notice. Simply swiping on the edge panel you get access to your favourite apps.

Thirdly, the Note 8 packs some serious performance power. Powered by a 2.3GHz Octa Core processor and 6Gb of Ram, the Note 8 is the phone for those that want to get things done quickly without lacking performance power. You can run multiple apps at the same time and with split screen, you can have two apps running on the display. Now that is what I call multitasking. With 64GB of storage as well as a Micro SD card slot, up to 256GB, you should never have any storage issues.

My favourite reason, which also happens to be reason number 4, are the cameras. The Note 8 is the first phone that I got to experience dual cameras with and let me tell you, it is pretty cool. The rear camera is a dual 12MP camera, one with a wide-angle lens and the other with a telephoto lens. The beauty of having two rear lenses is the ability to create the bokeh effect, which is usually only possible with a good lens on a DSLR. Before you take a photo you can adjust the amount of blur to get the perfect bokeh. You can also adjust the blur after you have taken the shot in your gallery. The Note 8 is really good at detecting the outline of a subject when applying the bokeh. Samsung software also does a really good job at ensuring that the difference between the blurred background and the in focus subject is less pronounced, meaning the effect is more realistic.

The Note 8 can record video in 4K @30fps and the outcome is crystal clear. What really gets me excited is the ability to record slow motion video in 720p @240fps. Here is a sample video of some footage shot in slow motion:

There is another benefit to having dual lenses, Dual Capture. Dual Capture takes a photo with both lenses. You get a close up shot as well as a wide angle shot of the same subject. Dual Capture is enabled as standard but it can be disabled in the settings. You also get the same features and camera modes that we saw on the S8+. I am not going to go into them here but you are welcome to click here and take a look.


Here are some photos that I took at the launch of the BMW X3 in South Africa and a few around Cape Town. Photos are clear, detailed and the dynamic range is pretty good. I took these photos in auto mode but manual mode is where you really get to tweak the image. You can even set the shutter speed and ISO.

The 5th reason is thanks to the stylus or as it is known the S pen. The S pen turns the Note 8 into the best device to take notes. With the display off, simply sliding out the S Pen opens a note app and you can take notes instantly without needing to unlock the phone. The S Pen also comes in handy when you want to draw or write notes on a photo/screenshot.

You can also draw animated messages to send to your friends using the Live Messages function:

The S Pen and the built in PENUP app can turn even the most inartistic person into an artist. Here are some pieces that I did!

The 6th reason happens to be a very important one, the battery life of course. The Note 8 has a Non-removable Li-Ion 3300 mAh battery. I would have expected to get a 4000 mAh or higher battery but surprisingly the battery has really good performance. I was able to get a full day of usage before I needed to plug in. There are also battery saving modes if you find your usage is too heavy. As you can see in these screenshots, even a low battery % gives a fair amount of usage.

While the Note 8 is the prefect phone for the business person, it is also the perfect phone for the adventurer. The Note 8 is IP68 certified – dust/water proof over 1.5 meters and 30 minutes so it can be taken anywhere. I even took the Note 8 for a swim and captured some awesome under water shots. So this is the final reason why the Note 8 is so popular, it can be taken anywhere.

Note 8 Underwater Pool Shot

What is in the box? Watch my unboxing video to find out:

The Note 8 sells for around R14999, best price I have seen is at Takealot.com

So now that you know why the Note 8 is so popular, you will understand why there was so much hype around its launch. Samsung are launching the S9/S9+ this month and I wonder what elements it will share with the Note 8. The Note 8 is the perfect phone for those looking to “Do Bigger Things” as Samsung puts it. If you are looking for a phone with a really large display that has amazing performance, then the Note 8 may be the phone for you.