The Galaxy Note 8 is the world’s first smartphone with two 12MP rear cameras with Optical Image Stabilization (OIS) on both the wide-angle lens and the telephoto lens — this means blur-free photos from either sensor.
The dual camera is also a nice change from the Galaxy S8, which I criticised for only had one.
I have found the camera to be fantastic, especially when using Samsung’s ‘Live Focus’ feature that allows you to create the bokeh effect seen with many smartphones using dual cameras.
The phone also offers fantastic 2X zoom capabilities that offer detail and quality to get any smartphone photography enthusiast excited.
Other than the dual camera, photography is relatively similar to the S8 and includes shooting modes like panorama, slow motion, virtual shot, and a pro mode with full manual controls.
During my experience, I found the camera to take highly detailed shots with vibrant colours and fantastic dynamic range in both low and full light.
The 8MP front-facing camera on Note 8 is also high quality, with Samsung’s smart autofocus ensuring sharp and clear selfies.
Unlike the iPhone X’s limited passcode and facial scanning technology, the Note 8 offers those options, plus fingerprint and iris scanning to unlock the device.
There is no need pay more for additional storage like is the case with Apple’s iPhones, with an extra 256MB able to be added using a microSD card.
The Note 8 also includes wireless charging and has IP68 water and dust resistance (IP68) — making it fully protected from dust and able to handle being submerged in 1.5 metre of static water for up to 30 minutes.
This rating is superior to the forthcoming iPhone X’s IP67 rating, which offers full dust resistance but can only be submerged in 1 metre of static water for up to 30 minutes.
Even more impressive is the ability to use Samsung’s S-pen on the display even when it is wet.
The 3,300 mAh battery ensures you would easily get a day’s use out of the device with regular usage and fast charging will help you top up quickly when needed.
Under the hood, the phone is powered by Samsung’s octa-core Exynos 8895 CPU and 6GB of RAM supporting all the usual 4G network bands.
Also included on the phone is Bixby — Samsung’s own personal assistant to rival Siri and Google Assistant.
Bixby can be used to control home automation, set reminders and has the ability to scan a product to find more information.
Thankfully the feature has been improved since the release of the S8 and now works better with our unique Aussie dialect.
The phone also comes standard with the Android 7.0 Nougat operating system, with Samsung’s own skin overplayed, which is nice, clean and easy to use.
Admittedly the Galaxy Note 8 is much closer in price to the cheapest iPhone X model, yet I feel it’s far superior in majority of its functions.
If you don’t want to drop $1500 on a smartphone I would recommend the Galaxy S8, although if the dual camera and stylus seem like a welcomed addition, the Note 8 is your best choice.
Obviously we will need hands on with the iPhone X before we can fully make this claim, but on paper the winner is pretty clear cut.