[Tech Flashback] | Should you buy a Galaxy Note 8 in 2018?

Yep. I bought a Galaxy Note 8 for my personal use in 2018 instead of the Note 9 which I planned for. Although it was mainly because of the price difference between the two, and also because I managed to grab a great discount on it, I was also curious as to how much of a difference does the Note 9 actually have over it's predecessor.

I mean, sure. The Note 8 is already a year old and you have surely seen a ton of reviews, read details articles and such on the technical side of the phone. So naturally, you don't need me to tell you that it's still a great buy in 2018. You already know that much.

Instead, I'm going to tell you how much value does it really add to your everyday life if you choose to rocket as your daily driver. This article includes The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly.

This is somewhat of a personal documentary as opposed to a standard tech post. Keep in mind that I will be making a lot of comparisons of this with my older phone to justify the reason behind my grievance or appreciation. Alright, let's get straight to it then.

You already know that the Galaxy Note series is a two-handed device from the get go. So, I never went in with this purchase expecting a comfortable single handed usage, which I enjoyed a lot on my previous phone, the Galaxy S7.

Since I was moving up from a small device, I naturally felt a bit of a hassle to handle the Note 8 on the first day. But I was surprised how quickly I adapted to the huge 6.3 inch form factor.

In my opinion, ergonomics is the key to leaving a good first impression for any smartphone. The premium in hand feel and the attention to detail is why I always prefer flagship phones over mid-range devices for my personal use.

Even though I highly encourage you to buy a mid range phone, which are incredible value for money, I have a very specific demands of my own which a typical non-flagship phone simply can't satisfy.

I am very much like Christian Grey when comes to selecting my phones.

Let's move on before you start getting some wrong ideas.

In short, the build quality on the Note 8 is obviously great. I wasn't really blown away though because I was already using the magnificent Galaxy S7 before this for a year. So, I was already spoilt by that Metal and Glass premiumness.

One thing I found odd was that, for some reason, the buttons on the Note 8 don't feel as tactile as they were on the Galaxy S7. This might seem like a silly thing to pick up on, but I feel buttons are quite important when determining the overall usability and the feel of the phone.

Even though the Note 8 has a metal frame, I don't like the plasticky layer which has been coated on it, probably for a shiny Jet black look.

I genuinely enjoyed the matte finish aluminum frame of the S7 and I thought it complemented it very well. I'm definitely gonna bring that up a lot if you ask me about my smartphone anytime.

As always, I enjoyed the unboxing experience of the smartphone. Samsung provides pretty much every accessory that you might need with your phone, including earphones and even a transparent hard case. I was not aware of that and was pleasantly surprised when I found it. Take notes, Apple!

Oh, and yeah! This is a note device, meaning it has a nifty little pen tucked inside it! But the S pen is more of an entertainment accessory to me then an actual tool.

I pull it out occasionally, scribble some random things, save/discard it, put it back inside. That's all the interaction I've had with it so far. But I appreciate the added precision that I get with it as compared to using my thumbs.

Speaking of usability, one thing that I have to mention is the new and improved haptic engine. I don't think anyone has talked about this before, but it needs to be told. The vibration engine on the Note 8 is excellent. It's much more solid and feels significantly stronger than the one on my old Galaxy S7.

I noticed this immediately because I always put my phone in vibration mode. I do not like it making noises every time I get some notifications. Call me weird, but I don't like sudden alarming sounds around except when it's metal music.

Speaking of sounds, I am quite disappointed by the bottom firing speakers of the note 8. I already told you that I don't have very high expectations from loudspeakers because I rarely play anything out of them, but when I am playing games, I constantly get let down by the speaker performance when it is compared to my friends phones. They cost literally half of this giant phone and still sound much louder and clearer.

I don't know if it's just me, but I feel that the S7's speaker had a stronger, somewhat fuller sound stage (not volume) as compared to the one right here. Oh well, nothing PowerAmp can't fix.

Also, I am aware that I can get dual front firing speaker functionality by flashing a custom ROM on this phone. I will try that out in the future and let you know how that turns out.

Android Oreo doesn't seem to be running as fast on the Note 8 it like it did on my S7. A few things like pressing 'share' button on an image takes a while to populate the menu.

I'm sure these things can be fixed with simple software patch or something like that, because my 'less powerful' phones like the S7 or even the S5 before that didn't have such issues.

While we are on the topic of issues, let's quickly discuss the battery life. No no, it's not blowing up, but neither is my mind. The 3300 mAh unit provides you with a "meh" feeling after a full charge cycle.

Yes, I knew that the battery life wouldn't be amazing because I have read the reviews just like you have. But, it's better than my Galaxy S7's screen on time, so I'm not entirely disappointed either. Overall, in the battery department, it feels like any other smartphone and not like the "Galaxy Note" of old, if you know I mean.

The charging speed is also nearly the same. The adaptive fast charging brick included in the box has the same rating as the Galaxy S7 and charges the phone in about two hours.

To end this on a positive note, let's talk cameras.

Hi Dad!
That dual camera setup on the note 8 was the first for the Galaxy lineup, as far as I remember. I rarely use the telephoto lens, but I'm definitely happy with the live focus mode that allows you to get a great background blur around any subject. I love the fact that you can even shoot portraits of objects and not just people, which was a drawback of the pixel camera.

Hi Mom!
The stock camera software still does not allow for front camera portrait mode, so I went ahead and installed the pixel camera apk anyway. The Portrait mode on it works flawlessly on both the cameras, but it does not work on non human subjects. But that's okay. I now have live focus for that! Check out the sample shots below and make your own judgement.

Hi random blue bottle!
I also received a software update which supposedly enables the super slow mo which was a trademark feature of S9. But I don't think it's that same 960 FPS slow mo, but something around the 240 FPS mark. It still is good though, just not the best.

There you have it. This is pretty much what you can expect to feel if you buy a Galaxy Note 8 in 2018.

Do I regret buying it? Of course not! It's a beautiful phone with great features and I love using it. I just feel it's not that big of an upgrade over my Galaxy S7 because, like I said, I am already spoilt by premiumness. I don't notice any major improvements over the performance and the general camera quality, so I am not overly happy but I am not sad either.

Do I recommend the note 8 in 2018? Hell yeah! The new price tag is perfect for the smartphone independent for even less if you exchange your current phone with this phone on Amazon, like I did.

Btw, this is supposed to be me..
If you are in need of an upgrade and you're looking to invest into a premium phone like the note 9, I was just to save your money and get something like this instead. You won't be missing out on a ton of features and you still have an amazing smartphone that last for a couple of years at least.

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There is a lot more headed your way in #Techtober, so be sure to subscribe to my newsletter with your email. I will see you next time, cheers!


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