Galaxy Note" has always been synonymous with "big phone," and that's still very much true today. Taking on the Galaxy S8's proportions of being tall and skinny, but applying them to a 6.3-inch display, the Note 8 is very tall indeed. At 162.5 mm, it's notably taller than the (158.4 mm) — all while also being wider and heavier as well
The Note 8 is huge, there's no way to get around it.
Even with very small bezels around the screen, that big footprint makes it rather tough to reach the top of the display or even reach across for a slide-in gesture from the edge. In many cases you'll have to awkwardly shift your hand, or just wait until you have both hands available to get everything done. In a pinch, you can use the one-handed mode, which shrinks the screen down to the corner so you can actually use it without fear of dropping the phone.
Some people love the big screen — that is, after all, often why they bough a Note in the first place. But if you aren't committed to it, and think you may be able to figure it out in the future, consider getting a smaller phone.
Part of what you get for that added size is two rear cameras rather than one. Samsung is using the most popular formula of two sensors with the same resolution behind lenses of different focal lengths — one "standard" field of view, and another that's roughly twice the length with a narrower field of view. They aren't the same sensor, though, and the longer lens has a narrower aperture of f/2.4 to the main camera's f/1.7 — that means it lets in less light.
Two cameras ... and not quite twice the capabilities.
In practice, the second camera offers you an extra shooting option and some more utility. As you zoom in, whether you're shooting photos or video, the software will automatically switch to the longer lens so you don't lose resolution. The result? Better photos and video with less noise. You can also just tap the "2X" button to switch to the long lens, giving you a narrower field of view and an altogether different look from a "normal" smartphone shot. It works particularly well for macros, provided you have enough light.
Samsung has also developed a "Live Focus" mode that lets you take photos with both cameras at once, and use that extra data to artificially blur the background ... or at least, what the camera thinks is the background. It doesn't always get that calculation right, and when it misses the mark it looks kind of funny. Thankfully the camera also saves the standard photo from the main camera every time you take a Live Focus shot — an escape hatch, of sorts. Live Focus is worth trying out, and it's capable of excellent results sometimes provided the conditions are all right, but this feature alone isn't enough to differentiate this camera from the Galaxy S8+'s single sensor and lens.
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The Note 8’s near-bezel-less 6.3-inch Quad HD+ Infinity Display with an 18.5:9 aspect ratio is one of our favorite parts about this phone. DisplayMate agrees with us too. It’s big, maybe too big for some people, but at least the company puts that screen to good use. There’s a new App Pairing feature that allows you to open up two favorited apps in multi-window at the same time, and there are a few new S Pen features that will satisfy the stylus users out there.
What’s more, the new dual-camera setup on the back performs incredibly well. While picture quality isn’t a huge step up from what we saw on the Galaxy S8 and S8 Plus, the extra 12 MP sensor with OIS allows you to take clear, concise photos and impressive bokeh shots in just about any situation.
No, it’s not perfect, but no phone is. Samsung’s fingerprint sensor placement is still super annoying, and this phone is expensive. If those things don’t matter to you though, the Note 8 might be the right phone for you. Check out our full review below!