Is the Galaxy Note 8 worth $400?Molly Wood and Jeff Cannata test out the Galaxy Note 8 on the road. Find out if the Watch On feature is a favorite. Or, if the software and user experience is worth the price.
-So, now that we're well underway, it's time to start our road test of the Samsung Galaxy Note 8. -We're in a luxury RV. What better place to enjoy some media with a nice compact little tablet device. -Oh, a portable little chubby 8-inch tablet. We have the stylus. I loaded mine up with some movies,-- -Yeah. -like A Movie and some TV, my Kindle app just to kind of-- and as usual, with these road tests, we're gonna try to evaluate the design, features, and usability. -What's your first impression? -So, it's not a one-handed tablet. It's too hard to hold like this and it's just a tiny bit too big to comfortably type with two hands. -The plastic, to me, is a real benefit. I'm able to hold on to it. It really has a great first impression when you pick it up and hold it. -I don't understand the raised camera. It seems odd when you wanna set it down. I feel like I'm always setting it on the most sensitive part of the back. I'm worried about scratching the lens and hurting the camera. The stylus integration is really slick, and when you pull it out, you get both a tactile feedback and an audio feedback that you've removed the stylus. -I think that the pen, although it's nicely designed, doesn't seem that useful. -I feel like the stylus is kind of unnecessary. -There's nowhere to rest your hand 'cause if you rest your hand right here, you're start doing things. -Oh, welcome to the world of being left-handed, Molly. Some of us have had to deal with that our entire lives. Thank you, Galaxy Note 8. -Yeah. -Bridging the gap. -This Galaxy Note 8 is perfect. Their Samsung TV is all over this coach and this has that WatchON app. So, in theory, I should be able to fire this up and it means that you can share video between the tablet and the television and the phone and that is super nice. I would like to watch that. A remote control setup is required, which I already tried. I can't get the WatchON app to work. I can't get it to control that TV and it might be because so many other things are trying to control the TV. Turn on--I'm not saying this wouldn't be magic if it works. It's just annoying that it doesn't 'cause it's supposed to be magic. And it requires a Samsung account and then once you set that up, I was supposed to get a verification e-mail that would let me enter the code to keep using the WatchON app and I never got the e-mail. -One of my favorite things about the Galaxy Note 8 is that, right out of the box, it comes loaded with some really cool apps. I really like the fact that Dropbox is integrated. You've got Flipboard which is really nice. Another one of my favorite features, especially as an old school PC guy and somebody who's had to deal with not having it on the iPad is that I can use this just like a hard drive. It's got a nice little button that lets me go to my files and then I'm looking at file folders that I can just drag and drop files in when I plug it into my computer. If I drop something into the video folder, the video player knows to look there. Everything is quick, easy, and painless. I like that a lot. -This ought to be a full-featured device because it's running Android Jelly Bean, although with Samsung's TouchWiz interface on top, it is plenty fast. I mean, you're definitely gonna get as much performance as you need for surfing. It does everything that a full-pledged Android phone would do and then some stuff that a tablet does too. So, it's not lacking the features department at all. In terms of usability, I mean the Galaxy Note 8 is an Android device, so anyone who's been using Android should know how to use it. I wished that it were stock Android. The TouchWiz interface is very good, but the problem is if you get used to Vanilla Android, there are differences about it that will annoy you and it makes me kind of wish I had just a plain Jelly Bean if that's what you're used to. -I love playing video on this machine especially since I can just pop the video that I'm playing into a smaller window and keep browsing the internet or checking my e-mail while the video plays in a small window. It moves quick. It's snappy. It feels great. -Video quality is okay. It's 1280x800 resolution which, even though that's better than the iPad Mini, it's still not great. Ooh, the Calendar app is nice. -I love the Calendar app. You can just swipe to the left from the home screen and your Calendar is right there, and it's so easy to read and then if you wanna edit it, you can either use the stylus or the touchpad. I love to like circling the date that it actually is. -I know. -It's great. -And then the color coding all shows up, it makes me look like really organized. What the hell? So, I actually had rented a movie that I downloaded and I've been sitting here trying to start them, trying to watch them. So, this one says expires in 30 days and I got it like eight hours ago and-- but when I tried to play it, it says the rental period has expired. This is totally a waste of my time. I paid for that. Oh, my God. I hate that. I don't know that I could necessarily blame the tablet, but Google services are not working. Oh, you know what we should do? -What's that? -We should see where we are. -So, it's got-- obviously got Google Maps on here, but it also has its own Navigation app. -Oh, let's compare. -I am on the Navigation app. -Okay. I'm gonna try Maps. Oh, I found we're on the Barstow Freeway. I haven't put in Las Vegas yet, so let me do that. Las Vegas, Nevada, navigate, getting driving directions. Oh, look at this. -Very nice. -I know. I've got like I love. This is like a screen-size benefit like I have the directions on one side and then the actual map on the other. -That's great. -That's not bad. -You can see how far away we are now? Only 65 miles away, under an hour left to get to Vegas. Vegas, baby, Vegas. And then if I go show the map, it goes-- and now, we're into sort of turn-by-turn navigations. -Okay. Look. Yours is like kind of better. -The sound effects provided by me, but-- -He's making me jealous. I want mine to do that. So, the Note 8, we had a pretty good time with that on the road trip. -Yeah. -Yeah. -It's a fun device. I just wished it wasn't so expensive. -I know. That's the problem because, then, if something goes wrong like Google Play, I can't excuse it because it's $400, even more than an iPad Mini. That's just that-- The price is the killer. -Yeah. I like $269 or even $299. -Yeah. -I would say this would be a "buy, no questions asked" 'cause it's a lot of fun. There's a lot of fun little features. -But it's $399. So, for me, it's a "do not buy." -Yeah. If money isn't an issue for you, you can find a lot of fun here, but if it is, I have to agree. -Yeah, sorry.