Samsung Galaxy Note 8.0

Score

Sections

Pros

  • Stylus works well
  • Thin and light
  • Pretty powerful

Cons

  • Imperfect build and feel
  • Expensive
  • No camera flash

Key Features

  • Review Price: £339.00
  • Quad-core 1.6GHz Exynos 4412 CPU
  • 2GB RAM
  • 8-inch 1,280 x 800 pixel PLS screen
  • 16/32GB internal memory, expandable
  • Android 4.1.2 with TouchWiz

What is the Samsung Galaxy Note 8.0?

Samsung is infamous for making tablets and phones in just about every size. But the Samsung Galaxy Note 8.0 is one that makes sense. With an 8-inch screen it’s the size of a large notepad, it comes with a stylus that turns it into a handy digital notepad and tablet in one. But does it do enough to justify its £350 price tag?

SEE ALSO: All the latest on the Samsung Galaxy S5

Samsung Galaxy Note 8.0 9

Galaxy Note 8.0 – Video Review

Galaxy Note 8.0 – Design

One of the most-criticised elements of the top-end Galaxy devices, such as the Galaxy S4, is the ‘plastic-fantastic’ design. The Galaxy Note 8.0 is no exception thanks to its white plastic rear, and it doesn’t feel fancy. Not at all.

The back is non-removable, so you have no access to the battery, and there is a tiny bit of give to some parts of the back panel. Part of the left side clicks disconcertingly when put under pressure, too. In other words, it has all the disadvantages of a unibody design, like the iPad mini or HTC One, without the sturdy, quality feel. Some might even say it feels ‘toy-like’.

It’s not all doom and gloom, however. One benefit is the cheerily curvy profile the plastic design allows, and at 338g and 8mm thick the Galaxy Note 8.0 is the kind of tablet you can hold comfortably in one hand without complaint.

Likewise, while the thick bezel is a departure from slimmer rivals, it makes the Galaxy Note 8.0 easier to hold – a useful thing considering the ‘digital notepad’ focus.
Samsung Galaxy Note 8.0 14

There’s even space for stereo speakers, which are impressively loud even if the actual sound is a little forced and lacking fidelity.

Galaxy Note 8.0 – Screen

The Samsung Galaxy Note 8.0 has (yes, you guessed it) an 8-inch screen. It’s a PLS display, similar to the IPS kind used in Apple’s iPads, and most higher-end tablets. Samsung Galaxy Note 8.0 34

If this was a cheaper tablet, the Galaxy Note 8.0’s display would seem pretty good. Contrast, colour and top brightness are all commendable, with rich images that have none of that washed-out quality that afflicts lower-quality screens.

However, it’s still left seemingly distinctly last-gen because of one crucial aspect – resolution. It has a 1,280 x 800 pixel display, the same resolution seen in the smaller, much cheaper Google Nexus 7.
Samsung Galaxy Note 8.0 5
This means the Samsung Galaxy Note 8.0 pixel density is 189ppi. That’s much better than we put up with the first generations of iPads and Android tablets, but now that we’re used to seeing ultra-high resolution screens in tablets, it’s far too easy to notice the pixelated edges of characters.

This is a good screen, but it doesn’t feel like a current one – something that will become all the more apparent once Apple reveals the iPad mini 2 later this year.  Given the Galaxy Note 8.0 costs only slightly less than a full-size, retina iPad, which has a gorgeous screen, this is a big problem.

Galaxy Note 8.0 – Software

The Samsung Galaxy Note 8.0 runs a customised version of Android version 4.1.2, which is not the latest version of the OS and is about to become even more behind-the-times thanks to the upcoming release of Android Key Lime Pie.
Samsung Galaxy Note 8.0 30
The software differences are muted a little by the Samsung unifying TouchWiz interface that sits on top, though. This is a feature-rich custom skin, but is not the best-looking one around. Its colourful and cheery visual style can look a little cheap, which doesn’t help the Note 8.0’s claim as a serious device when the body feels a little toy-like too.

As this is an Android device, though, you’re free to customise the look of the system a fair bit, with widgets on the home screen, custom wallpapers and – taking it a step further – even third-party launcher apps that paste a new interface over TouchWiz.

TouchWiz does provide a few great features, too. Our favourite is Multi-Screen. This brings true multi-tasking to the Galaxy Note 8.0, letting you run two apps at the same time, on one screen. You simply drag the apps you want from a side-bar accessed (or hidden) by holding down on the ‘back’ soft key.
Samsung Galaxy Note 8.0 31
Other Samsung extras are of more questionable use – such as being able to take a screenshot by swiping the side of your palm from left to right on the screen, or pausing a media file by putting your whole palm on the screen. Some may like them, but they’re gimmicks – not a reason to buy the Samsung Galaxy Note 8.0.

More from TrustedReviews

LG Q8 finally brings the V20’s promise to Europe

Atari is now in the speaker business… and the hat business

Thinner Moto Z2 Force could come with a huge trade-off

HyperLoop One

Elon Musk’s Hyperloop gathering pace as NY-DC link gets ‘OK’

N64oid

Is this proof an N64 Classic will follow the SNES?

Agents of Mayhem preview

cats 17

Why you’ll want to download this OnePlus 5 update today

Golf rory

British Open Golf Live Stream: How to watch online for free

Call of Duty: Infinite Warfare for Xbox One down to under £9

Samsung Gear S3 finally gets Samsung Pay support in UK

Welcome to the all new Trusted Reviews

Netgear Arlo

Netgear Arlo Pro

Cat Amazon

Are you kitten me? Pet translation devices tipped for future smart homes

fire emblem warriors

Fire Emblem Warriors

pokken

Pokkén Tournament DX

TP-Link Smart Wi-Fi LED Bulb 5

TP-Link Smart Wi-Fi LED Bulb

Samsung Pay

Samsung Pay now lets you use your PayPal funds at the checkout

assassins creed origins

Ubisoft teases new games for Nintendo Switch, coming ‘quite soon’

amazon echo

Ask Vodafone: Mobile network’s first Amazon Alexa voice skill is revealed

Google Feed

The Google app’s new personalised feed might just drag you off Facebook

z2play 9

Moto Z2 Play

Mira Prism

For just $99 you can bring AR to the iPhone 7

Samsung Galaxy S8

Samsung Galaxy S9 displays may be the same, save one major new feature

movie theatre

The Netflix Effect: ‘Binge-watching’ is coming to movie theatres

Porsche MIssion E

Porsche’s latest electric car chargers put Tesla to shame

EE logo

EE’s new 20GB SIM-free deal is the best value tariff you’ll see all summer

Int-Ball

These are the first images from the ISS – as captured by a zero-gravity drone

iMac 21.5-inch 4K (2017)

LG V30 case

LG V30 design ‘confirmed’ ahead of IFA 2017 launch

iPhone 7 vs iPhone SE

Waiting for the iPhone SE 2? Sadly, it could be a one-and-done

Google Glass Enterprise

Google Glass 2 has arrived, sort of

Denon AH-C621R

Denon AH-C621R

BBC Proms

Get ready to listen to the BBC Proms like never before

Fender Newport Monterey Bluetooth speakers

Fender’s new Bluetooth speakers look just like tiny guitar amps

Garmin Vivosmart 3

Garmin Vivosmart 3

airplane

Is the laptop travel ban dead? Electronics restrictions lifted by TSA but UK fails to follow suit

KitSound Immerse

KitSound Immerse Wireless Headphones

Emojis

It’s World Emoji Day and Apple is showing off all of its newcomers

Porn Block

Privacy fears as UK plans age verification for porn sites

WhatsApp

New WhatsApp feature could give Apple’s iMessage a run for its money