The Buyer's Guide

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Samsung Galaxy Note 8

from  $923.33+
89
Engadget
Score
An all-around great product that's among the best in its category. You'll almost certainly be happy.
89

An all-around great product that's among the best in its category. You'll almost certainly be happy.

How we score

The Engadget Score is a unique ranking of products based on extensive independent research and analysis by our expert editorial and research teams. The Global Score is arrived at only after curating hundreds, sometimes thousands of weighted data points (such as critic and user reviews).

Engadget Review

With its exceptional screen, solid performance and an improved S Pen, it's no surprise that Samsung's Galaxy Note 8 is its best big phone ever. It also doesn't hurt that it has one of the best dual camera setups we've ever seen. The problem is, Samsung's second-biggest phone, the Galaxy S8 Plus, is nearly as good, and mostly just lacks the gimmicks that make the Note 8 more expensive. If you’ve always wanted to sketch or write on a phone, the Galaxy Note 8 is exactly what you've been looking for. For the vast majority of people, though, the Note 8 remains a tough sell.

Pros
  • Huge, beautiful display
  • Excellent, water-resistant build
  • Great dual camera
  • S Pen is now more useful and fun
Cons
  • Very expensive
  • Bixby can be flaky
  • Not a huge improvement over the S8 Plus
  • US version gets less storage than other regions
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Scores

Engadget

89
 

User Reviews

90
BRIJDPATEL
I loved it. Using first time in shop near by, I just tried with s pen which...read more
80
louispark
Switched from an iPhone 6 Plus to the Note 8 and am quite pleased so far. Biggest...read more
90
kstagg
I love this phone. I've always been an Android user since the OS first was...read more
Write a Review

Score Breakdown

 
89
Average user Score

Reception and call quality

97
 

Display

100
 

Battery life

93
 

Camera

97
 

Ease of use

90
 

Design and form factor

87
 

Portability (size / weight)

90
 

Media support

97
 

Durability

90
 

Ecosystem (apps, accessories, etc.)

93
 
 
90
BRIJDPATEL
I loved it. Using first time in shop near by, I just tried with s pen which looks so stylist and easy to use.
 
80
louispark
Switched from an iPhone 6 Plus to the Note 8 and am quite pleased so far. Biggest issue was simply the switch from iTunes to Google Play. I listen to a lot of music so switching gears from these two ecosystems. However it's far more simpler on an Android device since you're able to drag/drop the data directly to the phone without the need for a specific application. I'm using Verizon so the call clarity/reception is pretty spot on. Previously used AT&T and I've had numerous dropped calls, poor sound quality, etc. Earphone on the Note 8 is quite good and the speakerphone is quite good as well. No issues with either of them being too weak. Display is really nice on this phone which was one of the primary reasons I got this phone. Really, it's either an iPhone or Galaxy phone to choose from me. The display is bright and crisp. I don't see any real difference in screen clarity from this and an iPhone. Both displays are super crisp and good range of colors. Battery life is quite good as well. I'm on the phone pretty much all day and the battery holds up for the entire day. I generally hit around 40% by bed time so that's pretty good by my needs. As far as the size/weight/form factor, I like it. Some people don't like big phones but I prefer the larger form factor than smaller sized phone. So this phone is pretty much just right in that respect for me. The camera is OK but I think it could be better. It works great in sunlight however not so great in low(er) light conditions. Pics come out quite blurry/grainy in low light conditions. Biggest issue I have with this phone is the fingerprint reader. I think it's really poor design to have the fingerprint reader on the back of the phone as it's quite awkward to use. I much prefer the reader being on the front of the phone. Overall, it's a really great phone, albeit an expensive one, but I'm quite pleased with it.
 
90
kstagg
I love this phone. I've always been an Android user since the OS first was introduced and am a fan of Samsung. I've had several Galaxy devices so large footprints haven't ever been a problem for me. But then again, I like big displays. And this display is - WOW. Beautiful. It just bleeds into the sides of the phone. No black "non-bezel" of the iPhone X. No unseemly wedge at the top of the screen. Just a fluid beauty. And it is fast as hell. You will not have any problems with the 6GB RAM and processor on this puppy. The camera? Awesome. Now - for the nitpicks? It admittedly, despite my history of larger phones, take me a little while to get used to it. Not so much the width as the HEIGHT. They could have knocked off 1/4"-1/8" of this thing and it would have been perfect (and bigger than GS8). But I did get used to it. And the Bixby button? It is so close to the volume buttons I find myself clicking it instead of toggling the volume. I wish you could reprogram that button. Ugh. That's it. Will I have envy for those getting the GS9? No - as it won't have the stylus (and I do use it occasionally for quick notes and whatnot). And the next Note? It has been confirmed will have foldable display.... THAT - will be something to see. In the meantime? Pick up this phone. You won't be sorry. Just make sure you don't get sucked into the display. You'll have a hard time coming back out. :)