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Samsung Galaxy Note 8 – Review

As so many others I was finally able to pick up my new phone (thx to TrueMove for that). While I enjoyed the ride and indy feeling that came along with owning a Xiaomi (RIP Mi4!) for a long time, I now decided to switch back to the mainstream. Two reasons played into this decision. For once it’s really difficult to find reliable service for xiaomi devices in Bangkok. While there are shops who have replacement parts in stock or are able to order some parts, it never feels really trustworthy and those parts never last long. Coincidence? Probably not, who knows if those parts are original. Secondly the Samsung Galaxy Note 8 simply looks amazing and the features it offers are matching what I was looking for in a new phone. Having me say this isn’t really easy as I was bashing Samsung for years, especially last year of course when Samsung got lots of…ahem…heat for their devices.

Hands on with the Samsung Galaxy Note 8

Without any doubt I can say that the Samsung Galaxy Note 8 is the best smartphone I ever held in my hands. That’s not surprising though – a new phone should always make you feel that way, otherwise it would be a bad new phone.

via GIPHY

What exactly is better? Well, everything :P Let me try to break it down a bit. 

The Camera of the Samsung Galaxy Note 8

I don’t need to give you all the specs, you can read them up on the Samsung website. I can, however, can try to explain how it feels using the camera. As mentioned above I had the Xiaomi Mi 4 before which was, back then, rather nice. The camera of the Note 8 however makes the Xiaomi look like a children’s toy. Of course that’s also thx to three years of advancements in camera development, I’m just stating that to let you know how it felt using the Samsung Note 8 camera for the first time. It’s crazy fast, crazy sharp, got crazy high quality and hasn’t disappointed yet. That counts for back and front camera by the way. Finally taking pics is a joy again and doesn’t need editing anymore. #nofilter here I come!

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Unique Features of the Samsung Galaxy Note 8

I’m also not planning on breaking down every little feature here as, again, you can read those things on the Note 8 ads that are everywhere right now. So here just what I really like about it: I’m a sucker for the pen. It’s so much faster to take notes with a pen, especially if you don’t even need to wake your phone up but can simply write on the ‘always on’ screen in sleep mode. Makes things much easier and faster. Also taking gif screenshots with the pen is pretty cool, so is using it for ad-hoc translations and doodles.

Besides the pen I also like how fast the phone is and that you have the option to have lots of shortcuts at your disposal. If you swipe from the right side of the screen for example you’ll see your most used apps for easy navigation. You can even define dual apps which means as soon as you open one app, the app you defined to be the ‘partner’ app will also open.

Many people said before that the placement of the fingerprint sensor on the back isn’t smart, I haven’t touched the cameralense a single time as of yet, so that’s no biggie and the sensor works very well so far, which is appreciated as my finger prints often don’t work with finger print scanners in office buildings (the downside of working as a spy I guess :P).

Another concern I had before was the size. We all know it doesn’t matter but the Galaxy Note 8 does look big. However I do love the big screen which simply makes everything so much easier plus it’s just really thin so that it still feels much nicer in the hand compared to my prior phone experiences.

Recently I’ve also started to use virtual assistants more often and here I have to say that Bixby, the Samsung assistant, lacks behind Google’s version. Not only does Bixby sometimes don’t understand me (come on, don’t blame my German accent – Google gets me :P) but the commands aren’t as native as one would expect – from my point of view. Nevertheless there’s also one positive thing to note here which is that Bixby is learning. It takes a bit of sweat but if you keep teaching Bixby, it is getting better. Right now I’m using both, Bixby and Google which has turned out to make smartphone life a lot easier.

Samsung Galaxy Note 8 - Bixby is good at flirting.
Samsung Galaxy Note 8 – Bixby is good at flirting.

The downsides of the Samsung Galaxy Note 8

Nothing ever is completely perfect. Neither is the Samsung Galaxy Note 8. The biggest downside with that phone: The price. With Over 30k THB it’s certainly not cheap – even though it’s still cheaper than the upcoming iPhone X + I’m now pretty scared to break it and handle it super carefully.

What’s your experience with your new phone? Shout out in the comments!

Sascha Funk

Founder / Editor at My-Thai.org
Sascha is the publisher of my-thai.org and switched from an online marketing agency life in Europe to a teaching and education life in Thailand. He also writes about Teaching & Technology.

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