The biggest phone of the year is here, both literally and figuratively. Samsung’s Galaxy Note 8 is the evolution in a series of devices that pioneered the massive smartphone screen, and this year Samsung is expanding the screen size without really expanding the device size. Sporting the same nearly bezel-free design as the Galaxy S8 and Galaxy S8+, the Galaxy Note 8 is a slightly more squared off phone that features dual curved edges as we saw on last year’s Galaxy Note 7, and a massive 6.3-inch panel on the front. The Quad-HD+ resolution of the Super AMOLED panel matches the Galaxy S8+'s resolution, and the 18.5:9 aspect ratio pulls more content in than ever before on a Note device.
The S Pen has once again been refined and improved, with more pressure sensitivity levels, a thin tip and tons of new features. Screen off memos and Translation features have been enhanced and improved, and Samsung is even adding a new way to pin split screen apps to the edge display. Samsung is packing on the feature list with an updated version of the Samsung Experience, the renamed skin that sits atop Android 7.1.1 Nougat, and has even refined the camera experience too. Sporting dual 12-megapixel cameras, the Note 8 is the first dual-camera phone from Samsung, with a single wide-angle lens and another 2x zoom lens. Both 12-megapixel cameras feature optical image stabilization (OIS), which is a first in the industry, as most phones with two cameras only have image stabilization on the main camera.
The new Zoom lens gives significant detail enhancement when looking for detail in the distance, and even helps capture great portrait mode shots at the same time as the regular wider-angle shots. Live Focus and Live Message modes bring some new features to the top, letting you both refocus on the fly after taking a shot, or even draw on the image without having to edit the photo later. It all adds up to the most complete smartphone experience we’ve seen yet, and that’s a good thing given the price. Pre-orders start August 24, and the Note 8 launches September 15. Prices hover around $950, €900 and £870. Other regions and carriers will vary, but check out the hands on in the video below!