CNET First Look
Galaxy Note 8: The final wordThe good and bad of Samsung's most power-packed phone.
[MUSIC] The Galaxy Note 8 is Samsung's most feature pack phone. And it's first phone ever to have two cameras on the back. That plus the S-Pen Stylus tucked into the phone give power users a distinct advantage over phones like the Galaxy S8. But it's also Samsung's most expensive phone. Is it worth shelling out for this instead of the Galaxy S8 or S8 Plus, the LG V30, or the next iPhone or Google Pixel? Well, that's what we're here to find out, starting with these two cameras on the back. [MUSIC] The dual 12 megapixel camera setup snaps all of those fancy depth effect photos your friends have been doing on the iPhone 7 Plus, and you know what? On the whole, they're pretty good. As a bonus, you can adjust the blur intensity before you take a shot, or even after. [MUSIC] In addition to seeing your portrait, The Note 8 can also save a wide angle version of the same picture, so it's like getting two pics for the price of one. Both those camera lenses on the back have optical image stabilization, and that's gonna help keep your videos from shaking badly even if you're on the move, and for your selfies, there's an 8 megapixel camera on the front. [MUSIC] The other thing that makes the Note 8 stand out is the S Pen. I really like the convenience of having a stylus. For example, being able to quickly jot down wine tasting notes came in handy at the Half Moon Bay Wine & Cheese Company. The S pen will also easily open shortcuts from any app. Open quick note from any screen and then stash it away as a floating bubble that you can come back to later. You can even write up to 100 pages of notes from the lock screen and then pin it there so you can go back and read them without having to unlock your phone. [MUSIC] One of my favorite features is the new eraser function, which makes it [UNKNOWN] and easier to get rid of all your goofs. All the messy writing is gone. The [UNKNOWN] pen makes you write all over the screen, preview your photos, take screenshots of what you actually want to highlight and not the whole screen, and you also make animated gets from videos or from photos or messages you create yourself, and then share them with your friend [MUSIC] And the rest of the phone. The Note 8 gives you a bright, brilliant screen. There are shortcuts in the Edge menu to quickly call friends and open apps. In an enhanced split screen mode that can open two apps at once. There's the Bixby software that lets you control your phone with your voice You have wireless charging, a state of the art processor, and the phone is water resistant, even the S pen. What's not so good is the fingerprint reader placement which is all the way in the back and off to the side. You could also use the iris scanner on the front, but that doesn't always work on the first try either. Sometimes it's just faster to use a pattern or a PIN. Okay pause. What you're dying to ask is how's the battery? And is it going to explode like last year's Galaxy Note 7? To be honest with you, I don't know. But we do know that Samsung has it put through enhanced testing just like the Galaxy S8 and S8+ and there haven't been any incidences with those phones At least reported yet. I do know that the phone has gotten warm but not dangerously hot, and not hotter than any other phones, so fingers crossed. The Note 8 is certainly a great phone, but is it worth all that cash? Well, it depends. If you have a Note 5 or had to return your note 7, then yes. Splurge for the top of the line features and all the extras that only the S Pen can bring, but if you're not chomping at the bit to take artsy portraits, the cheaper S 8 phones have all the features without second camera and stylus. The Note8 can pretty much do it all. But unless you're planning to actually do it all, there are plenty of other top rate phones to choose from. [MUSIC]