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Samsung Galaxy Note 8 review, 7 months later: A great phone that nobody should buy anymore

Our Verdict

Original review score: 4Price: $849Bottom line: Samsung's Note line continues to be the company's dominant phone in terms of mind share, if not market share. Excellent hardware is filled with top-end specs and all sorts of hardware features that you desire, and the icing on the cake is the super-powerful S Pen stylus. There are a few quirks in the software and with the fingerprint sensor, but you can look past those to get an amazingly capable phone. The only question is whether you want to spend extra over the better Galaxy S9+ just to get the S Pen.

For

  • Best screen available today
  • Very good camera
  • S Pen is a truly unique feature
  • Great set hardware features
  • Top-end specs

Against

  • Software can be overwhelming
  • Battery life not good enough for the size
  • Fingerprint sensor is tough to reach
  • Doesn't offer the same value as the Galaxy S9+

The Galaxy S9+ gets all of the focus right now, but we must remember Samsung has another big flagship that was hot stuff just a couple months ago: the Galaxy Note 8. I wrote my review of the Note 8 just over 7 months ago, and since using a couple other big-name flagships and Samsung's latest, I've come back to the Note 8 to see how it stands with some age and a fresh software update to Oreo.

Samsung's tick-tock release strategy spacing out the Galaxy S and Galaxy Note lines every year always puts each one in an odd predicament every six months, but in this case it's extremely pronounced. With the Galaxy S9+ on the scene, the Note 8 has effectively zero addressable market now — here's why.

Samsung Galaxy Note 8

Lots to like

Samsung Galaxy Note 8 What I still love

Look, this is a $950 phone that came out just over half a year ago — it's still going to feel fresh, modern and capable. And the Note 8 absolutely does. Partially due to the Galaxy S9 launching with a relatively unchanged design language, you don't feel like you're missing out on anything in that respect with the Note 8 — it's sleek, simple and beautiful. It's also surprisingly robust: mine just recently survived a nasty 4-foot drop onto tile with nothing more than a scuff in the frame's paint.

It shouldn't be surprising that the Note 8's hardware is still great. And the display is top-notch.

It also still has a headphone jack, which instantly keeps it relevant to so many people, and also has some fan favorites like wireless charging and an SD card slot. Outside of signing the odd PDF I come across or annotating a screenshot I really haven't been able to work the S Pen into my Note 8 usage, and I think stylus importance as a whole is regularly overestimated, but of course this is still the absolute best stylus experience on any phone if you need it. Samsung knows it has a certain set of users who will buy each and every Note because they're tied to the stylus workflow — I just question how big that market is.

The Note 8's screen is still amazing and a core strength of this phone. I've never found a situation in which it wasn't bright enough to get the job done, and it even manages to get dim enough to not be bothersome at night (with some help from the blue light filter). Not that I expected any, but I don't see any sort of screen defects like dead pixels, banding, discoloration or burn-in. It's all great, and this is still a top-of-the-industry display.

But that's all old news. We know the Note 8's hardware is great. The big change Note 8 owners have experienced is the update to Android Oreo. Note 8 owners didn't have to endure a full year before their update like Galaxy S8 owners did, but it still took a while. My expectations were tempered entirely by using the Galaxy S9+, so I knew what to expect — and thankfully, the experience of using a Note 8 on Oreo is near-identical to that of the GS9+.

Oreo is good, and I haven't experienced bugs or slowdowns like so many previous Samsung updates.

This isn't a dramatic departure from Nougat, especially considering the Note 8 already had some features not found on the GS8 series, but this still feels modern and is of course the newest software Samsung has to offer. It has all of the same shortcomings of duplicate apps and mountains of settings, but we expected that. Oreo didn't bring any changes to the S Pen experience, which honestly doesn't feel like it needs anything changed just for the sake of change, nor did it add some of the superfluous GS9 features like AR Emoji, but I see no huge loss there.

Performance is still great after the Oreo update, and my Note 8 hasn't fallen back into its pattern of odd slowdowns and general jankiness that I found a couple months in. Samsung's updates are particularly notorious for dramatically changing performance and arriving with bugs, and so far that hasn't been the case here.

In daily use you'd be hard-pressed to find an area where the Galaxy Note 8 was slower than the Galaxy S9+, though perhaps you'd notice small changes in load times and multitasking if you set the two side-by-side for some synthetic testing. I certainly never felt like I was missing out on something when using the Note 8 on Oreo, and happily kept using it even though I could've bailed back to the Galaxy S9+ at any moment.

The GS9+ bests the Note 8's camera overall, but this is still a great pair of shooters.

The Note 8's cameras may not be top-of-the-line anymore since Samsung really stepped up its game with the Galaxy S9+, but it the older phone still deserves credit for the high overall quality. Extreme low-light shots won't match the GS9+, but daylight shots, mixed lighting scenes and zoom photos are indistinguishable to my eyes — though it's worth noting the Oreo update didn't seem to make any improvement on Live Focus portrait shots. Looking at the great photos I've taken with this phone, this is still one of the better cameras available today, even if it's been bested by Samsung's latest.

Galaxy Note 8 on wireless charger

A couple things faded

Samsung Galaxy Note 8 What I don't like

7 months in, there isn't too much to complain about with the Galaxy Note 8. Using the Galaxy S9+ the past few weeks has made it even clearer that I can't stand the fingerprint sensor placement on the Note 8. It's just downright too hard to reach, and useless for the notification swipe-down gesture. And that extra bit of screen size and its slightly blocky shape make it just that much tougher to handle and use in one hand compared to the latest Galaxy S. But these are things I found after a week of using it.

The Note 8 was never a strong battery performer, but Oreo added an extra question mark.

The only issue I have with the Note 8 that has changed since I first reviewed it is the battery life, which has taken a downward trend since being updated to Oreo. To be clear my battery life wasn't exactly fantastic before, just merely average — but since grabbing Oreo to my U.S. unlocked model, I've had a couple days with very basic usage and under 3 hours of "screen on" time that hit 5% battery in under 12 hours. On Oreo, I'm good for roughly 16-17 hours of usage now no matter what I really do throughout the course of the charge. Anything even slightly intense, like hopping into Android Auto for 20 minutes or streaming video, takes a big chunk out of the battery.

Could this be fixed in a future update? Maybe, but don't hold your breath.

On one hand it's not uncommon for new updates to flip some bits incorrectly and cause odd battery drain, but this also isn't exclusive to my phone. Chatter on Twitter, in our forums and on Reddit points to many Note 8 owners that are seeing battery life drop-offs after the update, all pointing to high "Android System" use as the culprit. There are theories about how to "fix" this, but I'm skeptical considering that my Galaxy S9+ battery life, with a larger battery and the same Oreo software, is also pretty weak. Suffering from the same bug? Perhaps. But it's just as likely that this is just what a modern Samsung phone with Oreo gets out of a battery of this size.

Surprisingly, the glass back of my Note 8 has held up far better than my Galaxy S8's has — albeit with months less of use, and more time spent in a case. But it definitely isn't in mint condition, and as I continue to use it I simply watch its glossy exterior pick up cosmetic damage. Watching these shiny phones gradually pick up scratches with use is just part of the deal now — the best you can say is the Note 8's body hasn't aged any worse than expected.

Samsung Galaxy Note 8 and Galaxy S9+

No longer the best

Samsung Galaxy Note 8 7 months later

The Note 8, with the new Oreo software on board, is a really good phone that feels modern and worth the money even in April 2018. The latest software hasn't slowed down like Nougat did for me, the hardware still looks and feels great, the screen is fantastic, and the cameras are very capable. The only things that really haven't aged well on the Note 8 are the fingerprint sensor placement and the battery life — complaints we had from Day 1.

The Galaxy S9+ is the best Samsung phone available — only serious stylus users should consider a Note 8.

But the Note 8 doesn't exist in a vacuum, even in Samsung's own lineup. And because of that, I can't come up with any reason why you'd buy the Note 8 today. For as solid and modern as it feels, there isn't anything the Note 8 does better than the Galaxy S9+, save for the exclusive S Pen — and yet, the GS9+ is less expensive and has its own set of improvements and better features. The Note 8 is still $960 from Verizon (opens in new tab), $960 from Sprint, $950 from AT&T (opens in new tab) and $870 from T-Mobile (opens in new tab). That's too much in a world where the Galaxy S9+ is $50 to $100 less.

4 out of 5

Anyone who has had a Note 8 for months can still feel proud of it. In the past 7 months, the smartphone world hasn't advanced beyond it. It feels fast, modern, powerful, feature-packed and capable. But for anyone looking to buy a big, expensive smartphone today, the Galaxy S9+ is Samsung's sole front-runner — and unless you know you need a stylus, there's no reason to buy the Note 8.

See at Amazon (opens in new tab)

Andrew was an Executive Editor, U.S. at Android Central between 2012 and 2020.

131 Comments
  • What a wimp. Can't think of any valid complaints, so you just make them up. My note 8 is working great. No issues whatsoever. Mmmmm, maybe user error. You're an idiot, that explains everything.
  • An idiot with an itty bitty little teeny tiny finger
  • Well to be fair, my note 8 is acting really strange regarding battery usage as well. It's a valid point. But it updated last weekend and I've seen other phones spending quite a while "settling into" a new software before, so I'm not alarmed yet.
  • Mine was acting up and I cleared the cache and it went away. I didnt read the whole article, and am assuming he did a cache clear, and possibly a factory reset before writing about poor battery. I like following him on twitter and generally is pretty sound of mind. After reading the conclusion of his article, I have to disagree. I like having a bigger screen no matter how marginal it is. This is in addition to the stylus. I do not care about the camera differences so that doesn't matter to me. Funny thing is before I even read this article my brother said he is getting a Note 8. I saw the deal on the S9+ they are having and he wasn't interested. Dunno. Note 8 is just something special.
  • Yup, that "Note" brand name still has draw for a lot of people. They think about that brand more than what's actually the better choice for the money.
  • Just because your Note 8 works fine doesn't mean his is, nor does it mean everyone else's is working without. Can't believe this is the world we live in when people get so butthurt over an article they resort to name calling, your parents must be proud!
  • Not related, but came here to rant about something else. Ever since the last software update to the Gear S2 watch, battery life has almost been halved. Seriously, like night and day. Wish i had never taken the update. Lags and niggles everywhere, almost unusable. /rant
  • I have same watch and phone. Factory reset your phone and watch. 1 hours times will save you so much more in the future. FDS fix almost any issues.
  • I noticed this too on my Gear S3. I used to push 78 hours between charges. Now I am LUCKY if I make it 50 hours. And the TIPS notification that doesn't seem to go away either. Like wtf Samsung?!
  • Supposedly there is an update that is coming to fix this. It has already been pushed to the unlocked versions according to Sammobile's website.
  • I now have to bring my charger to work for my Gear S2. I've noticed it too. It died yesterday an hour before I left work. I took it off the charger this morning at 7:15 am EST. It's 4 pm now and I have a quarter of battery life left. I've turn off always on display, lowered the brightness, turned off all connection except for bluetooth, and all sound is off. I've tried everything to extend battery life but nothing works. I think I have to buy a new watch.
  • I have the same watch and I haven't had problems with battery life. I leave AOD enabled, yet I still have about 35-40% left by the evening.
  • Was this wirtten by a S9 salesman or something....lol. The Note 8 is too big for you? Lol, then don't buy a big phone. Battery since Oreo is BETTER than previous OS for me. Fingerprint placement....yah, ill give you that one. But not nearly as dreading as you made it out to me. Seems like this article was a hit job in the Note 8....
  • Like all of his previous "reviews" of the Note 8
  • Why keep going back to the stylus if you don't use the stylus? I use it daily in car sales. Seven sales people, three of us have Note 8s. When I showed up, four s7+ users. As soon as the Note 8 hit three former Note 7 users flipped back to the Note series. All of us regretted giving up our Note 5s. I use the stylus to demonstrate connectivty apps to customers so my fat fingers aren't smudging while showing people how to use it. I take customers phone numbers, emails and names without carrying pen and paper. It's useful. S pen also just keeps my screen less smudged. So, yeah... I put up with lower battery life. No crap it's lower. How much internal space is the stick taking up? Note series always had lower battery life.
  • I can recall Note series had commendable battery life compared to the S series up to the Note 4.
    Once the Note 5 hit stores, not only the battery size decreased for the first time, it was also matched by the S series that started fitting a bigger vattery in a smaller body/display.
    I still love my Note8, though
  • Why is it a hit job? The Note 8 is still a great phone, as I say multiple times and ways here. Problem is the Galaxy S9+ is a better phone, and it's less expensive. The only thing the Note 8 has going for it over the GS9+ is the stylus, so if you don't need it there's no reason to buy this over a GS9+.
  • less expensive??? in all europe you find note in 880 euros and s9+ in 990 euros... is it worth 110 euros for similar phone that just has a slightly better low light pics and not a stylus even if u use it rare?
  • Seems kinda pointless. For a couple of years, Samsung has positioned the Note series as an S+ with the S-Pen as a differentiator. Everyone who feels the S-Pen as a gimmick will opt for the S9+ by definition.
  • Seems to me the fair comparison is last year's Note with last year's S+; besides the S-Pen, there is a slightly larger, brighter screen, two additional gigs of ram and dual camera. If rumors are true, the Note 9 will have a bump in screen size and more ram-we'll have to see what happens to the cameras.
  • The Note series appeal to business users ! Had the excellent Note 4 then a Samsung S8 now back to a Note 8! S8 S9 are only small upgrades! Hope Note 9 will be something far more!
  • The only reason why people shouldn't buy Note 8 is the upcoming Note 9.
  • I Agree 100%👍 Spot on.
  • exactly, Note 8 is still king until Note 9 are released
  • My battery life on my Note8 has been better since Oreo as well. But only people who need or really want the stylus should buy this phone at listed price 7 months later, which is the point of the article...
  • Whoever thinks the Note 8 isn't a beautiful & speedy all around great device is simply just looking for something to ***** about.
    If I put this comment in the wrong box, my apologies to the user who this box belongs to.
  • Ever since my GS8+ has been updated to Oreo my battery life has tanked as well. I have done 2 factory resets so far and for a few days or even a week the battery life is tolerable but it eventually goes straight to crap.
    I can go to sleep with 60% battery and wake up with 3% left. They did something wrong with the update because in 7 months of ownership I never once had this issue on Nougat, and I never had performed a factory reset.
  • That seems strange. I didn't notice any change on my GS8+, maybe slightly better battery. For example -yesterday I charged my phone to 90% at 2:30pm. I only had maybe 30 minutes screen on time after but the next morning at 6:30am I still had 73%. According to Accubat I typically lose around 0.7% per hour over night when every app is in deep sleep.
  • If the Note 9 brings all the updates from the S9+, it will once again be on top of the Samsung heap. While you can discount the .1" larger screen, you should not, and if the Note 9 is 6.4", then it will be the largest again, and I will upgrade to that. I use the S Pen quite a bit, so maybe that is why I prefer the Note to the S series. I ran my Note 4 until the Note 8 arrived, due to the Note 7's demise, but I really did not have any issues.
  • I agree about the screen but only if Samsung is able to fit that on the same or smaller footprint. Shave a couple mm like on the S series, add the enhancements from the S9+, at least a 3500mah battery, as well as an on-screen FPS and you have a winner
  • Battery is better not worse for me on oreo
    Heavy stylus user here.
    Felt like a weak article to push S9 sales
  • Screen is the bomb. Love it. But yes I agree - don't buy it now. Either go S9+ or wait for the Great Note 9. SPen or death? Then you're stuck paying a premium. She's a keeper baby.
  • I'm not paying a premium. I got my Note 8 for half price in a Sprint pre-order deal.
  • You just sacrificed at the carrier level.
  • I traded in my S7 edge and got 200$ for it. Dropped the price down to 670 on t-mobile.
  • You specifically point to the GS9+ as having a better low light camera, rather than saying the GS9 lineup. Does that mean the regular GS9 does not have a better low light camera?
  • No both the GS9 and S9+ have the same capabilities in low light. But considering we're talking about the Note 8 here, I specifically compare it to the larger GS9+ in a like-for-like size comparison.
  • Andrew clearly doesn't understand the market. As a Note 8 user, I wouldn't trade it for an S9+ even if it were a free trade. If you think the S9+ is a good replacement for a Note 8, then you're simply not a Note user.
  • The S9+ camera over exposes and all the shots turn out way too bright for my liking.
  • ??? There is nothing the Note 8 does better than the GS9+ other than the S Pen. I admit that's important to people, but if you take the S Pen out of the equation, considering that not everyone uses it, there's no reason to buy the Note 8 over the GS9+. The Note 8 has a slightly less powerful camera, slightly less powerful processor, slightly smaller battery ... I agree it's marginal, but this isn't controversial to point out the places where the GS9+ is clearly better. I'm also not telling anyone who already has a Note 8 to trade it for a GS9+. I say several times how great the Note 8 is on its own, and how Note 8 owners shouldn't feel bad about the phone they have — this is a recommendation for people who haven't yet purchased one.
  • I'm with you Andrew. I'm surprised at the amount of vitriol this post led to. I have an S8+ that is still a great phone and I love it but it wouldn't hurt my feelings if someone said the Note 8 or S9+ is newer and better because that's true.
  • Wow. That's all I can say. I'd take my note 5 back before I had to move to the s line of phones no matter how new they are.
  • The Oreo update went mostly well on my Note 8 but I did do a factory reset as I always do after a major update. That said I am having a problem with Google Maps on Android Auto with my 2017 Ford where the maps start to pixelate and change colors. It's frequent enough that I know it's related to the update.
  • Oreo broke two of my apps, Gallery Vault and SmartAppLock. I'm sure the authors will update them, but I've already switched to the built-in secure folder, which works better anyway.
  • I'm still a happy Note8 user. I have noticed reduced battery life, but it lasts a full day. I am one person solidly in love with the S-Pen. I use it regularly for note taking. I also use it to easily capture images.
  • "Using the Galaxy S9+ the past few weeks has made it even clearer that I can't stand the fingerprint sensor placement on the Note 8." Whine, whine, whine. I have never had a single problem (that means NOT ONE PROBLEM) with the fingerprint sensor placement. I put the phone in the belt holster with the top pointing down. When I take it out of the holster, my finger sits directly upon the fingerprint sensor, and I have never had a single problem (once again, that means NOT ONE PROBLEM).
  • Defend, defend, defend. Countering what you implicate as my anecdotal evidence with your own anecdotal evidence doesn't put you ahead here.
  • Wow. This has been my go to site for Android for years, but there are a couple "writers" on here that make it very difficult to take the site seriously.
  • This one is why I don't
  • Totally agree. Use to listen to the pod cast every week not so much the last year
  • If the Galaxy Series didn't come with a finger print sensor, water resistance, a great screen, facial recognition or any other feature you'd like to name, it'd still be classified as the"best" by the writers here. I come here to read the news that matters, but when I read articles like this, I'm reminded of how far this website is up Samsung's a$5. The Note was the best thing since sliced bread 7 months ago, not 7 years. Now you're saying people shouldn't buy it? Lol. The Note 8 isn't an S9+ competitor. Different strokes for different folks. This article shouldn't be a thing.
  • Sorry the way that we write doesn't jive with your feelings. We take pride in applying our years of experience in the Android world to provide level-headed reviews and analysis of products. Hope you stick around or come back some day.
  • Thanks for responding Andrew. I may have been a little harsh and maybe just missed the main point of the article. It really wasn't about my feelings. I disagree with a lot of articles and comments. It doesn't make them wrong, just different opinions. If the point of the article was that you shouldn't buy the Note 8 unless you want the S-Pen, I agree. That didn't seem to be the point to me. It seemed that the opinion was that "nobody" should buy the Note 8. I certainly do not agree with that. BTW, not going anywhere. I still visit daily.
  • Wow. I'm a Note 8 owner myself, but there's some serious fanboyism going on in these comments. What did the article say that was unfair? He said the Note 8 is still a fantastic device. Buy what would be the point of buying one now, unless you really want the S-Pen? Personally I don't see myself ever buying another smartphone without an S-Pen or equivalent device, but that's not a feature that most people are going to get a lot use out of. So for those people, what would be a compelling reason to pay more money for a Note 8 over an S9+? It's a perfectly valid point.
  • Well he said bad things against their phone. So of course people will call him names,make fun of him,say all the issues only he has. People don't want to hear opinions unless they are all positive.
  • Thanks Highlander77. Glad you agree :)
  • No issue with battery life and my phone is on Oreo. Finger scanner works well for me and finger goes to it very intuitively. I use the stylus regularly, like now while I type this comment. No issues with a great phone.
  • Very weak argument. Note 8 is awesome. Wow. What a crud article🙄
  • The site has been going the same route for the last 2 years
  • Where, exactly, did I say that the Note 8 wasn't awesome?: "The Note 8, with the new Oreo software on board, is a really good phone that feels modern and worth the money even in April 2018. The latest software hasn't slowed down like Nougat did for me, the hardware still looks and feels great, the screen is fantastic, and the cameras are very capable." "Anyone who has had a Note 8 for months can still feel proud of it. In the past 7 months, the smartphone world hasn't advanced beyond it. It feels fast, modern, powerful, feature-packed and capable." This article completely doubled down on how good of a phone I think the Note 8 is. But it also needs to be put into context that the Galaxy S9+ now exists, and that's a better phone for less money.
  • I'm not sure what I just read.
    Problems with fingerprint sensor placement, OS lag, and battery issues pre or post update are not real things for millions of users world wide.
  • Great article. I've had my note since january and recently picked up the oreo update also. My battery life has been much better since I followed the steps on that reddit post. Pick up a package disabler and disable all the garbage. I've been averaging 5-6 hours of "screen on time" and over a day off the wireless charger. I also turned AOD off and set my GPS to battery saving. All these things took minutes to do and have a drastic change in how my phone performs and lasts. I get that the average person isn't gonna do all this but then again the average person isn't us phone nerds.
  • Glad that the Reddit post helped. I saw mixed results from the comments I read.
  • Note8 is my current device and I love it. But going forward I'll be using the S9+ until the Note 9 comes out in a few months. After trying the S9+ and it's fantastic dual stereo speaker setup, it's very hard to go back to my Note 8 terrible sounding tinny speaker. I'm willing to trade in the spen for a few months for amazing sound quality. I consume a lot of media and I don't like wearing earbuds all the time. If/when the Note 9 gets dual speakers, I'll be a happy camper. And please don't knock the akg tuned dual stereo system until you try it, it sounds a lot better that you think.
  • Just got my Note 8 last month (RIP Note 4 USB charging port), and its brilliant. The fingerprint works great and is easy to reach for me thanks to Sammy's Rugged Case. Batter life has been good too, averaging 5.5 to 6 hrs SoT.
  • I don't know what you try do with your phone but I think you're an idiot. I get over 6 hours screen time, even before Oreo. I get over 28 hours with normal use, at work, using Zello and a Bluetooth headset. This tops my S7 Edge by a long shot with a smaller battery! As for the stylus, I'm loving it, my first Note. I wanted the 7 but, well, I wasn't upgrade eligible when it came out. Note 8 has been great, use Nova and stop whining if you don't like TouchWiz!
  • "I don't know what you try do with your phone but I think you're an idiot." Now that's a great way to get me to respond to your comment.
  • In fairness, it worked :) Don't let the trolls bring you down.
  • Love my Note 8, review did say serious Note users should only get Note 8, lol. I like sPen and won't even consider any other phone without it. SPen with SwiftKey keyboard and Evernote is the best productivity combination for me. I've been doing some journaling also using the Journey app. Editing photos using the sPen with Lightroom is a killer! Moving the sliders around using the sPen is awesome and so much easier. I also can take notes at meetings discretely and professionally, imagine talking to client and taking notes with your phone would look unprofessional. With Evernote I no longer carry paper notebooks, everything is digital and the Note 8 makes it more efficient and fun. I can't imagine using a phone without a stylus/sPen. It will be just a regular phone like everything else out there, lol.
  • Note to self : ignore figure reviews by Andrew Martonik
  • Ignore most stuff from him
  • If someone "ignores" something that I write, but still shows up to comment, did they really ignore it? Hm.
  • Would love to hear any constructive criticism. Because I really don't see what's wrong with this article (obviously, I wrote it).
  • I love the Note 8. The screen is great. The battery is still great. I got it specifically because of the stylus which I frequently use. I also loved the Note 5. The article is slanted towards people who don't use the stylus.
  • It's not slanted toward anything. It makes it pretty black and white: if you love the stylus, the Note 8 is great and I bet the Note 9 will serve you well also; if you don't love the stylus, you're far better off getting the Galaxy S9+ and saving some money.
  • I've used an S device since the S3 until the S8 (except for the S4. I missed that one). I wanted the Note 7 but because of the battery thing, I wasn't able to get one. So I got the Note 8 when it came out. I'll never go back to an S device. The pen, even though the writer (A WRITER) doesn't find it important, it's very useful for me. I actually use it way more than I did in the past and it's helped me in more ways than 1 with work. Actually, I had an assignment to do over the weekend. Had I used my Mac, it would've taken me a total of 2 days to complete, as it did last month for a similar assignment. It took me 2 hours with my phone and it's only because I had the S pen. The screen off memo helps me remember things I would've long forgotten with out it and with the cold weather still lingering in NY, I can use my phone even with gloves on. I also edit photos using Lightroom and the S pen is much easier to use than my finger. I also don't need to carry around a pen and paper if I need to take notes. The S pen shouldn't be discounted because a few people with opinion pieces feel it doesn't fit in their lives. My Note 8 has made me a superstar at work and I'm sure I'm not the only person to say this.
  • Like your observation. I wonder if this WRITER tried the WRITING thing for real. It might change his life too! :)
  • I write 10-15,000 words a week for Android Central. I cannot use handwriting for this job. But also, if you were to read and comprehend this article, you'd see that I'm not saying the stylus isn't useful at all. I'm saying it's useful for less than 100% of people — which it is. And if you don't see value in the stylus, the GS9+ is a better phone. Pretty simple equation.
  • I'd love to replace my LG G6 with a Note8 or S9+ but not at current prices
  • I agree that the battery is draining somewhat faster, but that's not a huge issue. What is a huge issue (you said there weren't any bugs with the new Oreo update. Wrong!) is that they took away the ability to personalize notification sounds for SMS. That's SOOOO annoying! Now every text message has the same sound. There needs to be a fix for this ASAP.
  • Thank you FitzNote! I was hoping somebody was going to report losing the ability to select different message tones. Many, many folks are reporting the same issue on a Samsung software site. The owners believe a new version of the Messages application removed that functionality. The last time I looked Samsung had yet to post a reply. I found a Google/Android site where many, many owners report the same issue. The posts by Google/Android moderators were not helpful to anyone.i don't want to buy a third-party application to restore this functionality. FWIW I have Messages ver. 4.4.11.1.
  • We've heard LOTS of complaints about the loss of individual SMS notifications. Hoping Samsung brings it back.
  • I was hesitating back in january when i changed my phone between this one and the Huawei mate10pro and i don't regret taking the Huawei one ! Fingerprint reader is placed perfectly and the cameras are just phenomenals !!
    I might consider changing my phone in october maybe getting the note 9 if it's appealing or the Pixel 3XL (i'll have to get it in Germany tho since it's not available in France) and the mate 20pro wich will have the p20 cameras with the new kirin 980 soc :3 Can't wait for Fall 2018 !!
  • The Note 8 should have been dead on arrival! Like the S8, it had the fingertip reader (= magnet for dirt) next to a camera lens (= needs to remain clean). Forget the 'hard to reach' issue. Such flawed design alone should have buried both of those devices! Advertising dollars count, huh. I can't even get past the junky design to worrying about battery life. Andrew, do not minimize the value of the stylus. I would suggest that Samsung is actually NOT maximizing its potential. Palm had a whole market built on that. I still miss writing efficiently and am not alone. May Steve Jobs rest in peace; however, despite all of humanity going over the cliff with him on that one, stubbing our fingers on glass to type will forever be an idiotic idea. Verbal input, a la Dragon, still remains very painful; I am a years-long sufferer. Samsung may have a great *stylus* but it offers a poor *writing experience*. Why on earth do they offer rounded edges on a writing device? You effectively 'lose' two 3/4cm strips on each side, to avoid pen slippage. Forget the nonsensical obsession with irrelevant aesthetics already. Ink provides a solid basis for differentiating the Note from the S devices. You can stick all of the same other feature thingamajigs in both lines. I am holding off for a Note 9 and am willing to pay the nosebleed dollars to have efficient digital ink with me all the time. For some reason, I expect I will head off to reMarkable instead. I am resisting buying one just yet in the desperate hope that the Note 9 will deliver.
  • I don't think anybody who uses the Note 8 and values the stylus will settle for an S9... They will wait for the Note 9.
  • I don't think they will either. And that's why I'm not at all advocating people leave the Note 8 for a Galaxy S9. This is more discussing moving to one or the other, and making the best decision to get the best phone for the least amount of money — and if you don't value the stylus, the GS9+ is better.
  • After going through the comments, I have to remind myself...
    I will not use the term butthurt.
    I will not use the term butthurt.
    I will not use the term butthurt.
  • I love my 8, and I'm really loving the Oreo update. I've not had any battery issues. In fact, I can't think of any issues at all. On the other hand, my wife bought the S8+ at the same time and her phone will sometimes fail to wake up and requires a "hard" boot. So far, I'll stick with the Note line as long as the quality remains and they continue making them.
  • I love my note 8. My boss just got his and loves it. He had the iPhone . Battery last me all day doing normal use with 50% left. Use the s pen all the time. Have no problem with the fingerprint scanner, but I have large hands. That's why I like the big screen. Had it now for 6 months and still looks great. To each there own I guess.
  • So, much for being open minded...
  • One might argue that the Note line shouldn't even exist at all. The S pen is a gimmick.
  • And one would be an idiot. If you know how to use it, it's literally irreplaceable.
  • I wonder if the world will ever see reviews of the Note series that are written by someone who actually understands how to use the S Pen functionality. I've never once read a review in which they mention things like extracting and digitizing text from jpegs, for example. Or knowledgebly discuss the differentiating points (or increasing lack of) between the Note and S series.
  • Exactly. I don't use one of these, but let me give you my review...
  • I want what your smoking. As of this article, the Note 8 is the best phone on the planet, period.
  • I think the issue here is that the writer has never really been the audience for the S-Pen. Otherwise he would know that there is no replacement for the Note8 yet, and it's blockiness / flatter design is one of its great differentiatir from the more curvey S line. It almost provides the old style flat screen, which provides more usable screen area.
  • I think the issue here is that people aren't reading and comprehending the article, and then making statements in the comment that don't align with what I wrote. But idk.
  • The S9 and S9+ are great phones that no one should buy. There, fixed it.
    Either get the best phone on the market, the Note 8, or wait for the Note 9 which will again, be the best phone on the market.
    I absolutely love this Note 8. Fast as ever, no battery issues at all. Good as the day I bought it. Will buy Note 9.
    AC loves to tell people to Not buy things. Bet they recommend that you Should buy the $900 pixel 2XL 6 months later. The S pen is a Must have for me.
  • But what if you don't want the S Pen? Really, it is possible. If you don't use the S Pen, there is no reason to buy the Note 8 when it's $50-100 more expensive than the Galaxy S9+, yet it's 6 months older with a few key specs that are lower.
  • I missed this point, in the article.
  • These articles are so pointless. "Looking back on a phone that's been out for 7-8 months" why? "The battery isn't as good after 7-8 months" isn't this normal?
    "The S9+ is better, buy that" obviously it's better, it's brand new.
  • Because every time we write a review, we get complaints that we don't revisit phones after they've been out for a while and are told that using a phone for a week or two isn't long enough to write a proper review. Also, people do buy phones after the first few weeks or month of availability. There's a reason why Samsung keeps selling the Note 8 and charging full retail for it 7 months later: people are still looking at this as a "new" phone and considering buying it — they want to know how the phone's worked over time, not just when it's brand new.
  • Agree Andrew. But the Note 8 "was" cheaper "online" from T-Mobile. That may have changed. Do a review of the Lenovo Phab2 Plus. Great phone and great value. But no Samsung.
  • ANDREW MARTONIK: All due respect? While your commentary is well-written, and some of your points are valid, I would submit you are simply not a mission-critical "Note-compatible" technologist. Any advanced user of Samsung's high-end smartphones knows intuitively buying a Note is a waste of money unless one is a serious user of the S-Pen. Clearly you're not. I do more with my pen every single day than most average phone users do with all the other combined features on their phones the entire time they own them. Besides the obvious (meaning what one learns from "RTFM") I'm a graphics professional and Photoshop user (25 years+). Since discovering "Photo Editor MG" I most often find myself going to my Note 8 before my PC. That particular app reigns supreme as a TRUE Photoshop replacement. With rare exception, there's nothing I can't do here as quickly or easily as on my 17.3" laptop workstation replacement and, in fact, much of it is far easier here due to the S-Pen's micro-accuracy combined with the app's capability to fully utilize the phone display's smooth and fast pinch-zoom gesture. As a second example: Have you ever used the S-Pen with the Smart Select utility to quickly capture and convert a block of text from an image or other read-only document into editable text placeable anywhere the phone accepts text input? I can do that on the fly in a literal fraction of the time it takes on the PC using either full Acrobat or any quality OCR program! These two major benefits alone are truly just the tip of the iceberg. I'm certain your contributions to the Android community are considerable and often of high value. I'd say not, however, in the evaluation of interactive stylus technology. Cheers!
  • I'm one of those who has has every Note since the Note 2. The stylus is something that I use 90% of the time. After returning the Note 7...that was hard to do.... I had the LG V20. Well, I pre-ordered the Note 8 and will buy the Note 9. No, a phone without a stylus is just not complete! It is an essential tool for me.
  • For me personally the fingerprint sensor on the Note 8 is in a perfect position.
    Note 8 can now be had a good bit cheaper than the S9+ so if that's not a good reason to buy Note 8 instead then what is, ok camera but it is still very good on the Note so for a lot of people it's not a deal breaker.
    Battery life....no complaints from me, i am getting 8 hour plus of SOT and it last all day no problem and I ONLY run high performance mode.
  • My battery is not great, 12 hours predicted. 2 hours on screen time. Exonos version.
  • Waaaa Waaa...mommy, someone wrote something bad about my best friend and phone...waaaa
  • If the Galaxy Series didn't come with a finger print sensor, water resistance, a great screen, facial recognition or any other feature you'd like to name, it'd still be classified as the"best" by the writers here. I come here to read the news that matters, but when I read articles like this, I'm reminded of how far this website is up Samsung's a$5. The Note was the best thing since sliced bread 7 months ago, not 7 years. Now you're saying people shouldn't buy it? Lol. The Note 8 isn't an S9+ competitor. Different strokes for different folks. This article shouldn't be a thing.
  • One person complains how AC is beholden to Google Pixels, the next someone complains about being up Samsung's rear end. Ain't nobody ever happy, I think it'd suck to be a writer here with all the whiners. It's just a phone folks.
  • It wasn't classified as "best". Andrew said the Pixel 2 was the best.
  • idk, your assertion that we love Samsung sure is in conflict with the other 80 comments telling me I'm an idiot for not understanding and valuing the Note 8 as The Best Phone In the World. ¯_(ツ)_/¯
  • I am a loyal Note customer.
    So much so, that when my Note 4 contract was finally up (during 7's recall), I waited for the 8. But its so expensive, its $40/mo compared to the Note4's $23. So Im still using the Note 4. At this point the 8 isnt worth it so I will wait for the 9. But I wont be willing to pay $40 for it either, so maybe my Note time is over. I love my 4. The mic broke so i cant make calls or record sound in videos and I have to externally charge alternating batteries because the port is broken... oh and it only reads my sd card off and on, but other than that its perfect so, i guess ill stay with the note 4 another year. Better that than $1000 phone.
    NOTE HEADPHONE JACKS are integral for people who make music on their phones. Even a microsecond Bluetooth lag makes music making impossible.
  • I got my note 8 for 670. Traded in my S7 Edge and got 200 for it. T-Mobile was running a promotion that dropped it to 870. Monthly payment is like 24 bucks. Just gotta keep checking for price drops and trade that dinosaur note 4 in.
  • I honestly think that Note 8 can compete very well with s9/s9+ despite the higher asking price. Note 8's camera for instance is surprisingly better in day light than s9/s9+, obviously s9 wins hands down in low light photography... but how often do you need to take low light photography?? & Note 8's performance in low light is not terrible. Secondly, The performance of Note 8 is also excellent despite the older processor...Have been using it since the last 5 months and haven't had any issues yet.. no issues with s9+ either... But it's the S-pen, which is the game changer, once you truly understand the productivity potential of the device, you cannot live without it.... & the screen of Note 8 is just outstanding... better than s9+... Call me crazy but even now I'll pick the Note 8 over S9/S9+
  • I have owned all but the Note 5 and they get better each time. This phone is well worth the price for the amount of production I get out of it. I use the stylus daily and use the phone a lot during the day for work. Can't imagine owning any other phone.
  • Wow, what an incredibly crappy article. Trash journalism. The title leads one to believe the Note 8 is inferior in many ways, when in reality it was only written as an obvious ply for views and reads. All this 'journalist' can argue is that the Note 8 has a slightly lower battery life than expected, and a slightly higher price tag. I will remember the name of this tech 'journalist' next time I read anythinf from Android central. Which is, ANDREW MARTONIK.
  • Andrew... I usually like your logic and reviews. However, you are so far off base with the Note 8 with your picky criticism, it's unbelievable coming from a quality guy like you. The FPS... you might be correct in this but this was pointed out BEFORE the main release. Btw... I never use it and use a four digit code. Battery life... 6-7 hours SOTbefore Oreo and 5-6 hours SOT after. Hard business use too. Finally, the camera. The Note 8's camera is incredible. Having trouble in low light? Use the flash! I've had no problems in low light. Best phone I've ever used in 24 years using cell phones!
  • If one shouldn't buy the Note 8, what should one, in the US, purchase if an onboard stylus is a must?
  • I just purchased my Galaxy Note 8 about 2 weeks ago and couldn't be happier. I can not find anything in the review/article to disagree with, pretty spot on. There are two things I would add. First, the main reason I bought this instead of the S9 Plus is because after being on the market for over half year the Galaxy Note 8 is cheaper than the Galaxy S9 Plus. Second, but what truly surprised me was the stylus. My previous phone was a Galaxy Note 4 with which I never, not one time, used the stylus. I bought it for the large nice screen, superior hardware and ability to add an SD Card. But watching my wife, who inherited my 4, use her stylus and love it; I tried it and love it. The ability to do "live messages", make personal GIFs and even make notes on the screen when it's asleep has made a stylus fan. So I will be a Note guy from here on out. I honestly was wanting to buy the S9 Plus, especially for the AR Emojis and smaller footprint with the same screen size. But I'm thankful the Note 8 was cheaper! Best smartphone I've ever had.
  • My Note 8 is still on the original release Nougat, no issues, battery life is fantastic (Exynos). Updating is always a gamble that can harm the battery life, aswell as breaking other things. Fingerprint sensor location is something I'm very ok with, as it's something I will never use, as it's no match for a password. (waiting for a scandal involving a chinese phone manufacturer passively collecting fingerprints even when it's not set up, similar to how Korea's LG got busted for scanning drives attached to a TV and sending file names back to LG). The price on them dropped very quickly, you can get them for under $1000 AU easy, looks like they may still be overpriced in USA. It doesn't have the notch. Cons: The chrome frame feels and looks horrible. The gold version looks bad all by itself, it's just reflective beige and should not be called gold, complete with flat beige toning inside the ports and on the S pen.
    Hopefully some scientists in Korea discover new colors, then Samsung learns of their existence and then finds a way to make future phones in those colors.
  • My old phone is awesome! Andrew is a mullet sporting nincompoop for suggesting that a newer and improved phone is a better deal than mine because it has upgraded features for less money!
  • The only reason the Note line exist separately from the S line is to compete mainly with the iPhone and other phones that are released at the end of the year. Otherwise, the note line should take the place of the Gakaxy S+ phones
  • The Note 8 is still an excellent phone, it was the ONE Samsung phone that tempted me.
  • Cant slate the Samsung phone because its good....oh ok ill put stupid **** to try and put people off it. Scan your index finger fingerprints and its NEVER EVER a problem, i know you have to hate on samsung on the podcast especially because anything other than a pixel isnt good enough but come on! You need to do better than that. The battery? well every phone can always do better on battery....but the note8s is fine for me. If you use a note you know buying a s9 isnt going to replace it.
    Only a note 9 can do that.
  • I love my S Pen. I use it nearly every time I pick up my phone. I haven't noticed any differences in performance with the update. Having had that problem with my S7e I'd immediately factory reset. That solved all of the problems I had from the update.
    I don't think I'll ever go back to the flagship series. The convenience of the pen has me hooked.
  • The only thing I absolutely hate about the Android 8 is how it occasionally forces me to use my password instead of the FPS or iris scanner. That should be an option that can be toggled by the user.
  • I have owned the Note 8 since last November. I'll say, I'm usually not a Samsung fan. Earlier Samsungs always had issues with things like sending and receiving texts, poor battery life, etc. I've had every Note since the Note 2. The Note 8 suffers from none of the old issues. It's been nothing but amazing. I also own an LG V30 and an S9+ my girlfriend gave me. I have found the Note 8 and V30 are pretty comparable on speeds and such. The S9+ is not quite as fast. I know it's got the 845 processor. I know it's newer. I know it's also slower, with worse battery life. And I own all 3. Truthfully, the V30 is really the best of the bunch. But poor LG, they just get pooped all over by folks. The S9+ seems like it's marketed to kids. AR stickers...please. I'm in my 40s. Give me refinement and elegance. But, I'm older, and that's just me. I also don't get how people buy a Note and don't use the stylus. Are you stupid??? Why buy it, in the first place?
  • From my own personal experience, I bought the Note 8 for its size. I have HUGE hands so the size thing wasn't a dealbreaker (I used to own a Sony Xperia Z Ultra, which, incidentally, was roughly the same size as this phone. Let us all bear in mind not every phone works for everyone, and there will always be something that will not be to everyone's liking. I have had various iterations of the Note lineup, and they have provided usage for me that the Apple lineup just couldn't provide me (mainly the SD card slot)....
  • I kinda agree owned one from launch till last month and sold it, not for software or battery issues but to be honest I hated the curved screen! didn’t work well for me with the pen and the fact I couldn’t protect it properly without paying a torture for a Whitestone screen protector etc I was a note loyalist owned 1st, 2nd and loved the note 4, we never had the note 5 in Europe and we all know what happened to the 7. Anyway Samsung need to make the Note series unique! bigger battery more like a power house like they used too! time and time I hear the comments that’s just a S8, S9 Plus with a pen and lets be honest it’s hard to argue no longer is there any real difference between both flagships. I’d love them to go back to a flat screen for the note series (but unlikely), bottom line if the note 9 is basically a S9 Plus with a pen then they’ve lost me as a customer until both these flagships become different.
  • I bought the Note 8 after having the Note 5 and had no issues or complaints. I bought the Note 8 at Christmas time in 2017 from Best Buy (I have Verizon) and again no complaints, until the battery completely died on vacation in mid-June 2018. When I tried to charge it, it would not charge, the screen was black... I took it back to Best Buy and Verizon on vacation and neither place could fix it. They both confirmed that is was "dead", I had insurance with Geek Squad at Best Buy and they replaced it (for the fee) with a refurbished phone. My new worked great until today, August 12 (less than two months), and the exact same thing has happened. My phone would not charge, again!!!!! It is very frustrating to pay so much money for a phone and it does not work... I use my phone daily for work, as well as all of the other features of a smart phone (calendar, music for work, internet...). I am on my third phone. I am still paying for the phone with Verizon, and I have now had the fee added to that. For a phone that will now cost me even more money, I would have hoped that I would not be on my third Note 8 in less than one year! Is this happening to anyone else? You definitely have a problem if the battery drains completely. Please do not tell me that I am not supposed to let a lithium battery drain completely!