Samsung also improved on S Pen features that we first saw on last year's model. With the Note 7 you could use the S Pen to highlight text you wanted to translate, but the Note 8 supports translating full sentences and snippets of text instead of just words. Dashing off notes on the screen while it's off still works, but you can now keep writing for up to 100 pages before having to save them to Samsung's S Note app.
Other features are geared toward using efficiently using all of the Note 8's screen space. Split-screen multi-tasking has been a thing since the early days of Android Nougat, and Samsung is capitalizing on that feature with what it calls App Pairs. Essentially, you can program two apps to launch in split-screen mode at the same time, if you're the type of person who likes, say, thumbing through lyrics in Genius while listening to Spotify. It's far from crucial, but hey -- we're sure someone will find it handy.
Really though, the biggest change is the camera. The Note 8 features Samsung's first dual camera (unless you count the leaked-but-unreleased Galaxy C10), and it combines a wide-angle 12-megapixel with an f/1.7 aperture with a 12-megapixel telephoto camera. We've seen these kinds of dual cameras before, most notably in LG's G-series phones, and they're generally more flexible than the color-and-monochrome sensor setups rival devices use. After some brief testing, it's clear that Samsung still knows what it's doing. Our test photos came through with remarkable color and clarity, and the 2x optical zoom also worked very well. We even got good-looking photos when we were shooting in the dim corners of Samsung's demo station. That's thanks in part to the optical-image stabilization found in both of the cameras, though the wide-angle camera's lens allows it to capture more light.