Samsung Galaxy Note 8.0 review
Even if you rarely use the S Pen, the Galaxy Note 8.0 is a solid tablet in its own right.
- Sturdy build quality
- Strong performance
- Vibrant display
- Pen can now be used to tap the capacitive soft keys
- Not many tablets this size with pen support
- Disappointing battery life
- No HSPA+ option in the US
Overseas, it doubles as a phone. Here in the US, it's just a tablet with an S Pen onboard. For its stateside debut, Samsung's stripped the Galaxy Note 8.0 of the very HSPA+ radios that made it an 8-inch curiosity at this year's Mobile World Congress. Now, as it's primed to go on sale, the Note 8.0 has sobered up, combining a host of compelling TouchWiz software tricks lifted from its high-profile Galaxy mates into a more serious, along with a more pocketable, size.
Its 8-inch form factor may be new, but the bits used within should be plenty familiar: Samsung's borrowed elements from previous products, including the Note 10.1's 1,280 x 800 TFT display (albeit with a higher pixel density of 189 ppi). Meanwhile, the Note 8.0 draws inspiration from some Samsung phones, too, with chrome accents, a bulging rear camera module and a build that manages to be reminiscent of both the Galaxy S III and Note II. What's more, it packs a 1.6GHz Exynos 4 Quad inside -- yep, just like its predecessor. It'd be easy to pass the Note 8.0 off as a comfortable retread; a Best of edition for the Note line. In a way, it is. But, Samsung's not so daft -- there's a cushy market for tablets as a second screen and the company knows this all too well. So, can it best the iPad mini as the go-to, do-everything couch companion? Or is this $399 tablet more of a supernova for the Galaxy line? Follow along to find out.