The Galaxy S9 from Samsung just got announced a few days ago and surprise surprise, it still maintained the price point its predecessor had when it launched, starting at Kes.85,000. This means that both the S9 and S9 Plus are cheaper than last year’s Note 8.
I do realize that these two categories of products are aimed at different market segments but there may be someone looking to get the Note 8 and wondering whether you should go for the S9+ instead, well, this long-term review is meant to help you understand if the Samsung Galaxy Note 8 is worth getting, six months after its launch.
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For the data conscious, here’s a quick overview:
Software – Android 8.0 Oreo Update
Those who care for software updates will appreciate that the Note 8 has recently been updated to Android 8.0 Oreo, albeit much later than everyone else and Samsung still did not push the latest version of Oreo to their most expensive phone to date.
Performance and Battery Life
The Note 8 does not disappoint when it comes to performance, the device still feels fast, app load time is still fast and the UI is lag free. The only issues I have with the device is that Instagram occasionally drags its feet to load up new images but since I have not seen anyone else complain, this issue could be isolated to my device.
As for the battery life, when the Note 8 launched, it was not given a good score when it came to battery endurance. The device packs a meagre 3300mAh battery, even smaller than what the S8 Plus packs. Well, in my time with the Note 8, there’s no time I have had to charge it during the day, as long as I leave the house with the battery at 100%. Getting to 11pm with around 20% battery left is good enough for me and it should be for most people. The phone also charges really fast and in about 90 minutes, you can go from a single digit to 100%.
The S-Pen is what defines the Note series.It works perfectly for anyone who writes a lot or does some word document related work while on the move. Apart from the gimmicky tricks the S-Pen brings to the Note 8, like live messages, GIF creation and scribbling notes on the lockscreen, I actually found the stylus to be very useful.
The Note 8 was the first Samsung device with a dual camera setup that enabled 2x optical zoom and DSLR-like bokeh photos. The Note 8’s camera is still as good as it was when it launched, despite being overshadowed by the likes of the Galaxy S9 Plus which stole the Note’s optics and added some neat tricks on top. I am still very proud of the images that the Note 8 takes and the wow effect is still very much strong. If you’d like to see the images I took with the Note 8, you’ll just have to watch our video. You’re welcome!
Unfortunately, the Note 8’s not-so-good features such as the poorly placed fingerprint scanner and the tiny sounding loudspeaker are still here, no software update can fix those. So, is the Samsung Galaxy Note 8 still worth getting at this time? Yes. It is. You will still have to fork out quite a huge sum of money, it’s still more expensive than the S9 Plus but you will have the bragging rights of being in the Note family.