Samsung is well known for releasing flagship smartphones that consumers crave. But when it comes to the Galaxy Note series, the Note7 was a nightmare that could have taken the company down in a pocket of flames. However, the latest evolution of that line has been released, and Samsung hopes the Galaxy Note 8 will completely eclipse the shadows of its former self.

This cheat sheet is a quick way to get up to speed on the Galaxy Note 8. We’ll update this resource periodically when news and updates about this Samsung device are released.

SEE: All of TechRepublic’s cheat sheets and smart person’s guides

Executive summary

  • What is the Samsung Galaxy Note 8? The Galaxy Note 8 phone is the latest iteration of the Note series. This flagship-level device comes with a digital pen and numerous security and productivity features that will be attractive to business users.
  • Why does the Galaxy Note 8 matter? For Samsung, the Note 8 matters because of the disaster that befell its predecessor: Because of issues with the batteries, the Note7 was prone to halt and catch fire. The Galaxy Note 8 needs to prove the Note7 was a fluke, so the company can regain consumers’ trust in the product line.
  • Who does the Galaxy Note 8 affect? The Note series is popular among business users, especially those who prefer to interact with their devices via a digital pen. Consumers might also enjoy the Note 8, with its telephoto primary lens, at f/2.4 and including an Optical Image Stabilizer (OIS), to enable better low-light pictures.
  • When is the Galaxy Note 8 available? The Note 8 will be available to purchase in the US on September 21, 2017, and it will be available to purchase in the UK on September 22, 2017.
  • How do I get a Galaxy Note 8? You can preorder the device on the official Samsung Galaxy Note 8 site.

SEE: Ebook–Reducing the risks of BYOD in the enterprise (PDF) (TechRepublic)

What is the Samsung Galaxy Note 8?

The Note 8 is a flagship-level device in Samsung’s Note series. Although the Note 8 is the largest and heaviest phone since the Note2, Samsung managed to keep the Note 8 down nearer to smartphone dimensions, so size won’t be an issue like it was for some with the Nexus 6. Because of the thinner width (it’s less than 3″ wide, whereas the Nexus 6 was nearly 3.5″ wide), the device will easily fit in most consumers’ hands. Plus, the Note 8 has elegant curved edges.

Beyond the form factor, the S Pen digital pen brings an added appeal to the device. The S Pen allows users to quickly take notes or draw images; consumers will love the ability to draw an image and share that image as an animated GIF.

But don’t think the Note 8 is all form and no function. The spec sheet clearly indicates this device is–with one exception–on par with modern flagship mobile devices.

Specs for the Galaxy Note 8:

  • Body: 162.5 x 74.8 x 8.6 mm (6.40 x 2.94 x 0.34 in)
  • Weight: 195 g
  • Display: Super AMOLED 6.3″ capacitive touchscreen with 16M colors at 2960×1440 pixels (~521 ppi pixel density)
  • OS: Android 7.1.1
  • Chipset: Exynos 8895 Octa – EMEA, Qualcomm MSM8998 Snapdragon 835
  • CPU: Octa-core 4×2.35 GHz Kryo (US) and 4×1.9 GHz Kryo (China)
  • GPU: Adreno 540 (US and China)
  • Internal storage: 64/128/256 GB
  • External storage: microSD up to 256 GB
  • RAM: 6 GB
  • Camera (Primary): Dual 12 MP (26mm, f/1.7, PDAF and 52mm, f/2.4, AF) OIS, autofocus, 2x optical zoom, dual-LED flash
  • Camera (Secondary): 8 MP, f/1.7, autofocus, 1/3.6″ sensor size, 1.22 µm pixel size, 1440p@30fps, dual video call, Auto HDR
  • Battery: non-removable 3,300 mAh with talk time up to 22 hours and music play up to 74 hours

The one slight for the device is the battery. The Note 8 has a smaller battery (3,300 mAh) than the Galaxy S8 (3,500 mAh). This drop in size is due to the inclusion of the S Pen.

The Note 8 includes Samsung’s Bixby, which is the company’s take on Google Assistant and Siri. Chances are, most users will forego Bixby in favor of the more reliable and integrated Google Assistant, though some people may want to try it.

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Why does the Galaxy Note 8 matter?

The Note 8 must go a very long way to regain users’ trust in the company and the Galaxy Note line because the Note7 was a disaster. With 35 reported incidents of the device randomly catching fire, Samsung had to recall the Note7 twice. The issue turned out to be two bad batches of batteries and caused the public to lose faith in one of the largest manufacturers of smartphones on the planet.

It was fortunate for Samsung that sales of the Galaxy S7 and S8 were so strong, otherwise the Note7 could have spelled doom for the company. Not only did the Note7 become the punch line for late-night talk shows, it was banned on numerous flights. Because of the recalls and the hit the company’s image took, the financial losses were at $1 billion, according to Bloomberg.

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Who does the Galaxy Note 8 affect?

The Note series is popular with business users because of its digital pen. Samsung has improved the S Pen for the Note 8 (it has a finer tip, and its responsiveness eclipses the Microsoft Surface pen), so users will take better notes and create more detailed drawings.

SEE: The Comprehensive Android Development Bundle (TechRepublic Academy)

Other features that will easily attract business users include the following.

  • Knox 2.9: Samsung’s in-house, enterprise-class encryption provides data security and user flexibility, all from within a secure folder. The 2.9 release of Knox improves the admin control and has an enhanced UX design.
  • DeX: When attached to a display (via micro HDMI to HDMI cable), DeX will shift the mobile device into a desktop workstation so users are working with a more familiar interface; this functions similar to Microsoft’s Display Dock. DeX enables users to work with Microsoft Office/Outlook, Skype, Adobe Acrobat Reader, Adobe Photoshop Lightroom, Hancom Office, WPS Office+PDF, OfficeSuite, Gmail, Chrome Browser, Google Drive, YouTube, Spotify, Amazon Workspaces, and much more software.
  • Security options: A Note 8 device can be unlocked via the standard methods as well as facial recognition and iris recognition. These options provide for a more secure experience, which is crucial for business and enterprise users.
  • Edge Panels: A new Edge Panels feature in the Note 8 is the ability to set up shortcuts to launch two apps at once with a single tap on the icon.
  • Live Focus: If you’re looking to up your mobile photo game, the Note 8 includes a feature that allows you to focus on a single image and blur the background.
  • Telephoto lens: The primary 12-megapixel camera includes a telephoto lens at f/2.4. With the inclusion of OIS, the primary camera is capable of taking much better images at low-light levels. The Note 8 primary camera will best any competition that isn’t sporting OIS.
  • Lock screen memos: If you need to take memos on the fly, the Note 8 will now allow you to use the S Pen to write up to 100 pages of quick notes from the device’s lock screen.

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What are the Galaxy Note 8 competitors?

Some of the competitors to the Note 8 are the following devices.

When is the Galaxy Note 8 available?

The Galaxy Note 8 was unveiled on August 23, 2017 and will be available in the US starting September 21, 2017 and in the UK on September 22, 2017. The full market price of the device is $929.99 USD. Your current device might be eligible for up to $300.00 USD in trade-in value. For more information on Note 8 deals that apply to Galaxy Note7 owners, read the TechRepublic article How former Samsung Galaxy Note7 owners can get 50% off a new Galaxy Note 8.

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How to I get a Galaxy Note 8?

You can preorder a device from the official Samsung site. On that site, you can purchase a device associated with a carrier (AT&T, T-Mobile, Sprint, Verizon, or US Cellular) or an unlocked version that can be used on any of the supported networks. Once the Note 8 launches, look for the device at any supporting carrier.

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