Samsung Galaxy Note 8 surreptitiously snapped with stylus

The hotly rumoured Samsung Galaxy Note 8 has been snapped au naturel with a Galaxy Note 2 at its side, styluses to the fore.

Nick Hide Managing copy editor
Nick manages CNET's advice copy desk from Springfield, Virginia. He's worked at CNET since 2005.
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Nick Hide
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Bonnet de douche! The hotly rumoured Samsung Galaxy Note 8 has been snapped au naturel with a Galaxy Note 2 by Gallic phone paps Frandroid. It's the first time we've been able to compare the new tablet to one of its stylus-toting freres.

It's not an official pic from Samsung, of course, but it looks exactly the same as the other purported leaked pics we've seen, from a few different sources.

The pic seems to confirm the Note 8, as we expect it to be called, will come with a meaty S Pen stylus like its big-screen brethren. In previous Notes, the S Pen has been cleverly integrated with Samsung's take on Android, with all sorts of little tricks bringing up extra information, such as a thumbnail appearing on the timeline of a video when you hover the pen over it.

The pic above shows something we've not seen before on Samsung's Android tablets -- separate windows for different apps. It looks as though the Chrome browser and Facebook app (or possibly Facebook in another Chrome window) are open at the same time in movable windows, like a desktop OS.

The Note 2 and Note 10.1 offered a kind of split-screen system, so you could have two compatible apps, such as Gmail and chat, open at the same time, but this looks more flexible. There's also pop-up play, which lets you keep a video playing in a resizeable, moveable window while you do whatever else you want on the device.

Despite widespread scepticism from the tech press -- including me, I must confess -- Samsung has somehow persuaded people they need a stylus again, like it's 1997 or something. My colleague Andrew Hoyle was totally won over in his review of the Note 2, giving it a prestigious Editors' Choice award.

Previous Notes have been 5.3, 5.5 and 10.1 inches across, so the Note 8 is filling a gap. It'll compete with Apple's iPad mini and Google's Nexus 7 for the attention of people who want something bigger than a phone but smaller than a dinner plate, and its S Pen gives it another interesting feature.

The Samsung Galaxy Note 8 will almost certainly be officially unveiled at Mobile World Congress, the annual phone show that takes place in Barcelona at the end of February. CNET will be there en masse, and the Note 8 is top of our list of gadgets to look out for.

Are you psyched for this new Note? Would you buy it instead of an iPad mini or Nexus 7? Scribble a note down in the comments, or over on our handwritten Facebook page.

Image credit: Frandroid