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[MWC 2013] Samsung Galaxy Note 8 Hands-on and Initial Review

We go hands-on with the Galaxy Note 8 here in MWC 2013 in Barcelona, Spain!
We go hands-on with the Galaxy Note 8 here in MWC 2013 in Barcelona, Spain!

Hello Galaxy Note 8!

A few days ago we posted Samsung’s announcement about the new Galaxy Note 8. Fast forward today and we already have a hands-on and initial review! The Samsung Galaxy Note 8 was front and center in Samsung’s booth at the Mobile World Congress here in Barcelona, Spain. We spent a good half hour with the device playing around with it and getting a feel for the new form factor. Read on for our initial impressions below.

Samsung Galaxy Note 8 Spec Sheet

  • 1.6GHz Exynos 4 Quad-core Processor
  • 2GB RAM
  • 16GB or 32GB Storage, expandable via microSD
  • 8-inch TFT display, 1280 x 800 resolution, 189ppi
  • 5-megapixel rear-facing camera
  • VGA front-facing camera
  • WiFi a/b/g/n, Bluetooth 4.0, A-GPS, GLONASS, HSPA+
  • 4,600mAh Battery
  • Android 4.1.2 Jelly Bean with TouchWiz UX
  • S Pen
  • 210.8mm x 135.9mm x 7.95mm

It truly is a big Galaxy Note 2, lol

Boom!~
Boom!~

In our initial article we said that the Galaxy Note 8 is kinda like a bigger Galaxy Note 2 or a Galaxy Note 10.1-mini. It’s actually more of a bigger Galaxy Note 2 because of the similar design elements and the materials used for the chasis (boo for plastic). In fact if we zoomed out on the photo above you’d probably think it was a Galaxy Note 2, hehe.

The 8-inch form factor is very intriguing. It gives a much bigger space (compared to the Note 2) which allows you to make full use of the functionalities of the S Pen. It’s also not as bulky or big as the Galaxy Note 10.1 making it more portable.

Samsung staff teaching eager peeps stuff they probably already know, hehe. :P
Samsung staff teaching eager peeps stuff they probably already know, hehe. 😛

The S Pen is where the Galaxy Note 8 rises and falls. Without compelling S Pen software this is doomed to be just a “slightly bigger 7-inch Android tablet”. So where do we stand on this? As of this writing what we have are the existing Samsung S Pen friendly apps/features like S Note, AirView, Multi-Window, Photoshop Touch, and annotation apps like Polaris. Now is that enough? Personally I think that it is but there’s massive room for improvement. Hopefully more third part developers will actually make awesome stuff for the S Pen in the next few months.

Unbox on the Galaxy Note 8 in Barclone Spain! Woot.
Unbox on the Galaxy Note 8 in Barclone Spain! Woot.
What it looks like in one hand. Yes, it can be a bit unwieldy because of the width.
What it looks like in one hand. Yes, it can be a bit unwieldy because of the width.
What the back looks like
What the back looks like

It rounds off the Note family

Everything considered, the Galaxy Note 8 is a logical step forward for Samsung. It completes the line-up of the Note family and it definitely will have its own following (more for the S Pen power users).

We’ll try to get a unit from Samsung Philippines when we get back so we can spend more time with it so we can come up with a more comprehensive review.

That’s it for now! Back to the exhibition hall to find more good stuff!

Carlo Ople

Carlo is the Editor-in-Chief and Founder of Unbox.ph. During daytime he’s the Managing Director and Partner of a Digital Marketing Agency in the Philippines and by nighttime he’s living out his passion as a gadget enthusiast and story teller through Unbox.

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