There’s a lot of pressure on a company to release a new phone every single year, with new features, new design and attract new buyers – never more so though than Samsung who this time last year were walking into one of the biggest dramas we’ve seen for a consumer electronics device.

The Galaxy Note 7 was a stunning device, received rave reviews, then reports of battery fires began and forced a recall, followed by a second recall and finally the withdrawal of the device from sale.

Fast forward less than twelve months and today in New York Samsung announced the Galaxy Note 8.  With it’s huge 6.3 inch screen it takes the Note family of devices to the next level.

Samsung’s timeline of Note devices features advances like Dust and Water protection in 2013, wireless charging in 2015, and the Infinity display of the Galaxy S8 in 2017 – yet skips the innovations of 2016 in the Note 7 which make a re-appearance today in the Note 8 – such as Iris scanning.

That said, Note owners are loyal, fanatical even – so there’s a willing and ready audience of buyers.

The Galaxy Note 8 will be available to pre-order from this Friday the 25th of August, and will hit stores on September 22 – outright pricing is $1,499 and it will come in Black or Gold – with Australia missing out on the Blue and Grey versions.

As an added incentive to buy early Samsung is offering those that buy before the end of October free access to their “Screen Assure” program which offers one free screen repair in the first 12 months.

That screen – 6.3 inches, and it’s achieved by stretching the limits – just like on the Galaxy S8.  The phone body top and bottom of the screen is dramatically reduced changing the aspect of the screen and giving a taller screen and overall diagonal measurement.

At 7.48cm wide, it’s the only a touch larger than the Note 7 was in width, but is almost a centimeter taller.

Screen resolution is QuadHD+, and features Mobile HDR support, which Samsung say is “almost better than watching TV”.

The S Pen is of course back, and is the standout feature of the device – allowing notes to be taken on screen and much more, it’s one of the key reasons for the device loyalty among Note owners.  The S Pen tip has reduced to 0.7mm with 4096 levels of pressure sensitivity.

With 6GB of RAM on board, and a 10nm processor, speed and performance aren’t going to be an issue, and for speed you’ll get Gigabit LTE which on Telstra’s City networks will provide some stunning internet speed tests.

Samsung say the battery is “long lasting” – under the hood it’s a 3300mAh battery, which is huge – but smaller than the Note 7 – which is smart.

Software enhancements include App Pairing, which allows you to group two apps together and launch both side by side with the tap of just one icon.  With multi-tasking available on many phones it’s a difficult feature to launch, so App Pairing makes that a breeze and should result in much more split-screen usage.

Another software trick is Live Messaging – reminiscent of some Apple iOS features – allowing you to scribble a message on screen and SMS it to people.  Those messages can be saved as Animated GIFs which can then be shared on any platform – a nifty little feature.

Probably the stand out technical feature of the Galaxy Note 8 is the dual camera setup on the rear of the phone.

Following a clear industry trend, this is Samsung’s first dual-camera and they’ve put it to an interesting use.

One lens is a wide angle, the other 2x telephoto zoom.  Like the iPhone 7 Plus, this means a higher quality zoomed photo, but also allows for a depth of field (blur) effect on portrait photos.

Samsung are confident the quality of the camera will stand up to the best in the market, with each lens having Optical Image Stabilisation, and in Dual Capture mode, you can manipulate the blur level after taking the photo, and the wide angle lens also takes a shot at the same time so you can choose between your zoomed portrait shot or the wider image as both are captured.

The Galaxy Note 8 closes a chapter for Samsung which many will see as one of the darkest in their history, but in fact, it was a testament to the company how they handled the issue, the recall and the investigation.

With an eight point factory level battery testing regime in place, and millions of S8 and S8+ devices sold since the Note 7, there’s no concern at all about the Note 8.

Telcos will announce plans soon, retailers will be clamouring for pre-sales which commence this Friday.

For a more detailed look at The Camera, App Pairing and Live Messaging, read my hands-on review here at


Trevor Long travelled to New York as a guest of Samsung – for more information, read our full list of commercial agreements and disclosures


Full Galaxy Note 8 Specifications:

Display 6.3-inch Quad HD+ Super AMOLED, 2960×1440 (521ppi)

*Screen measured diagonally as a full rectangle without accounting for the rounded corners

*Default resolution is Full HD+ and can be changed to Quad HD+ (WQHD+) in Settings

Camera Rear: Dual Camera with Dual OIS (Optical Image Stabilisation)

– Wide-angle: 12MP Dual Pixel AF, F1.7, OIS

– Telephoto: 12MP AF, F2.4, OIS

– 2X optical zoom, 10X digital zoom

Front: 8MP AF, F1.7

Body 162.5 x 74.8 x 8.6mm, 195g, IP68

(S Pen: 5.8 x 4.2 x 108.3mm, 2.8 g, IP68)

*Carrying an IP68 dust and water resistance rating. Based on test conditions of submersion in up to 1.5 meters of fresh water for up to 30 minutes

AP Octa core (2.3GHz Quad + 1.7GHz Quad), 64bit, 10nm processor

Octa core (2.35GHz Quad + 1.9GHz Quad), 64bit, 10nm processor

*May differ by market and mobile operator

Memory 6GB RAM (LPDDR4), 64GB/128GB/256GB

*May differ by market and mobile operator

*User memory is less than the total memory due to storage of the operating system and software used to operate the device features. Actual user memory will vary depending on the operator and may change after software upgrades are performed.

SIM Card Single: one Nano SIM and one MicroSD slot (up to 256GB)

Hybrid: one Nano SIM and one Nano SIM or one MicroSD slot (up to 256GB)

*May differ by market and mobile operator

Battery 3,300mAh

Wireless Charging compatible with WPC and PMA

Fast Charging compatible with QC 2.0

OS Android 7.1.1
Network LTE Cat. 16

*May differ by market and mobile operator

Connectivity Wi-Fi 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac (2.4/5GHz), VHT80 MU-MIMO, 1024QAM,

Bluetooth® v 5.0 (LE up to 2Mbps), ANT+, USB Type-C, NFC, Location (GPS, Galileo*, Glonass, BeiDou*)

*Galileo and BeiDou coverage may be limited.

Payment NFC, MST
Sensors Accelerometer, Barometer, Fingerprint Sensor, Gyro Sensor, Geomagnetic Sensor, Hall Sensor, Heart Rate Sensor, Proximity Sensor, RGB Light Sensor, Iris Sensor, Pressure Sensor
Authentication Lock Type: Pattern, Pin, Password

Biometric Lock Types: Iris Scanner, Fingerprint Scanner, Facial Recognition

Video MP4, M4V, 3GP, 3G2, WMV, ASF, AVI, FLV, MKV, WEBM