The Note Gets Another Chance with the Samsung Galaxy Note 8 But Don't Expect USB Power Delivery Fast Charging Over USB-C
It's always exciting to see what Samsung and Apple will be giving us next when they go head to head. While Apple fans usually get hyped up with a new release of the Apple iPhone, Samsung fans tend to be more subdued with what Samsung has to offer. Now with the new Apple iPhone 8, iPhone 8 Plus and iPhone X, of course Samsung also presented their Galaxy Note 8 phone, and again both phones were released almost the same time.
Since the unfortunate battery fire incident with the previous Samsung Galaxy Note7, Samsung might be aiming to win back the trust of Galaxy Note users through the Samsung Galaxy Note 8. Like the Note7, the Samsung Galaxy Note 8 is also a USB Type-C based Android but doesn't support either Qualcomm Quick Charge 3.0 or USB Power Delivery technology for rapid charging. Instead the Note 8 still sticks with its own proprietary Adaptive Fast Charging technology over USB Type-C but could have been better if it can also support USB Power Delivery charging like the recent Samsung Galaxy S8 phone.
In addition to wired charging, the Samsung Galaxy Note 8 offers the Qi based wireless charging technology also found on the Note7. Coincidentally Qi is also adopted by the Apple iPhone 8 but unlike Samsung, this iPhone can support USB Power Delivery charging (click here to see more). Both the iPhone 8 and Galaxy Note 8 come with Bluetooth 5.0 LE to better support new Internet of Things applications.
We purchased the Samsung Galaxy Note 8 through Amazon that came in a familiar packaging as observed with the Samsung Galaxy S8. Like the S8, the Note 8 also has the Qualcomm Snapdragon 835 processor but only supports the Qualcomm Quick Charge 2.0. With Snapdragon, the Note 8 should be faster and have higher storage capacity than the Note7 which uses its own processor chips just like Huawei with the Huawei P9.
Also similar with the Galaxy S8, the Note 8 came in a very stylish box which is not surprising given the Note 8 is by far Samsung's most premium phone.
With the Samsung Galaxy Note 8, you will get plenty of accessories that include a Samsung Adaptive Fast Charger, USB Type-A to USB Type-C cable, ear buds, USB Type-C to USB Micro-B adapter, USB Type-C to USB Type-A adapter, S Pen, pen nibs, ejection pin, tweezer, casing, and several documentation. While almost similar to what we received with the Samsung Galaxy S8, the Note 8 comes with an additional S Pen as expected from a Note device including the Note7. The S Pen is an easy way to take notes and also supports other useful note features on the phone. When not used, the S Pen can just be inserted into and carried along with the phone.
The Samsung Galaxy Note 8 uses the same Adaptive Fast Charger as the Galaxy S8 that makes use of its own Samsung proprietary charging scheme to quickly charge the phone through the phone's USB Type-C connector. The Samsung charger is also seen here to support 15 watts (9 volts @ 1.67 amps) and 10 watts (5 volts @ 2 amps) charging through a USB Type-A port instead of a USB Type-C port. You can use the supplied USB Type-A to USB Type-C cable to connect the charger to the Note 8.
The USB Type-C to USB Type-A adapter comes convenient to allow you to attach USB Type-A storage drives to the Samsung Galaxy Note 8. You can also use the USB Type-C to USB Micro-B adapter to connect USB Micro-B based storage drives and cables to the Note 8.
Compared to the previous Note7, the Samsung Galaxy Note 8 looks more elegant with smooth edges and glossy exterior that is compatible style-wise to the Galaxy S8 as well as the new Apple iPhone 8. Between the Galaxy S8 and Note 8, the Note 8 appears just slightly bigger than the other.
The Samsung Galaxy Note 8 shows off its dual 12MP color camera on the rear which is a new feature by Samsung. This dual lens camera which was first introduced by Android phones such as the LG G5 and Huawei P9 offers similar high end capabilities and features as the Apple's iPhone 7 Plus.
The Samsung Galaxy Note 8 follows up from its predecessor by also having a USB Type-C connector which unfortunately can't support USB Power Delivery based charging or video output using DisplayPort Alternative Mode like the Samsung Galaxy S8. The USB Type-C connector uses USB 3.1 Gen 1 (5 Gb/s) speeds which are also supported by other USB Type-C phones like the Lumia 950, HTC 10, Lenovo's ZUK Z1, Zuk Z2 Pro, and Moto Z Droid.
The Samsung Galaxy Note 8 continues to offer the traditional 3.5mm audio jack which you won't find anymore on the Apple iPhone 8 and other earlier phones like the Apple iPhone 7 and Moto Z Droid. The Note 8 also features its own Bixby Assistant voice control first introduced on the Samsung Galaxy S8 which works similarly to the Google Assistant and Apple Siri platforms.
Starting up the Samsung Galaxy Note 8, we were first greeted with a Samsung's Welcome screen and accepted Terms and conditions.
You can then add your Google account, install different face recognition, fingerprint, and iris scanning security protections, and enable Google services and location settings for the Google Assistant.
Next you need to set up your Samsung account and access Samsung features like Bixby, Samsung Health, and Samsung Pay.
Samsung also offers the Smart Switch app to transfer your content from another phone.
Once you finally see the main screen of the Samsung Galaxy Note 8, you can also perform updates for the software as well as other pre-installed and installed apps on the phone.
The Samsung Galaxy Note 8 appears to have greatly improved from its previous Note7 and is a good way for loyal fans to relive their Note experience. Keep a close eye on our next coming reviews to see how the Note 8 works with various other products and peripherals in the market.