Samsung’s last Galaxy Note didn’t go so well — you might remember that it had a habit of burning up.
But the company is back in the game with the brand new Galaxy Note 8, which was unveiled Wednesday in New York City. Geared Up co-host Andru Edwards was at the event, and in this episode, he phones in to give us his impressions after experiencing the phone hands-on.
The first thing to talk about is the display. The Note 8 has a fancy OLED display with high dynamic range, and on top of those features the display is even bigger than the one on the iPhone 7 Plus — 6.3 inches diagonally, compared to 5.5 inches for the Apple device — even though the Note 8 is just a bit larger overall.
Samsung accomplishes this through a super-thin bezel, the hot trend in smartphone right now.
That screen size makes it practical to run two apps simultaneously, something that the Galaxy Note 8’s 6GB of RAM help to achieve. As Andru notes, that’s more memory than some laptops have. There’s also an option to pair apps, such as YouTube and Twitter, to launch them simultaneously.
The Note 8 also touts a dual camera that makes for some unique photography features, including the ability to control the background blur in a high-end portrait. The dual optical image stabilization on both lenses is a first in the world for a smartphone.
Andru was also impressed with new features of the Note 8’s stylus, the phone’s trademark S Pen. You can use it to take notes on the phone’s lock screen and — maybe less practical — it now works underwater. It can also be used to highlight text and translate it into a user’s native language.
Samsung also touted what used to be a standard feature on these devices: a headphone jack, which got big applause at the unveiling, in a dig at Apple’s removal of the headphone jack. Andru said the headphone jack may be a nice thing to have for the moment, but the market is quickly moving towards getting rid of the headphone jack and, eventually, ditching ports entirely.
The Galaxy Note 8 is available for preorder starting today, officially launching on Sept. 15. It sells for $929 unlocked and various prices if you purchase through a wireless carrier.
Andru’s bottom line? It’s an impressive device, but you might want to wait before you go out and buy it. Apple and Google are going to be coming out with their new flagship phones in the weeks ahead.
Listen to Geared Up above and download the MP3 here.