The Galaxy Note 8.0: A quick Hands-on

Last night, we got a little time with the latest member of Samsung’s Note family, the Note 8.0. It’s a handy little device that’s meant to take the place of quite a few thing we use on a daily basis. It’s a notebook, a planner, a calendar, an ebook reader and a portable media device on top of its features as a mobile phone. It gains additional functionality thanks to its included S-Pen. After a quick intro, the units were handed out. The devices had already been released from their cardboard packaging, so we can’t really do a full unboxing for you, but we can give you a quick run-through of some of the useful functions of the device, but first, the specs:


  • 2G: GSM 850 / 900 / 1800 / 1900
  • 3G: HSDPA 850 / 900 / 1900 / 2100
  • Micro-SIM
  • Dimensions: 210.8 x 135.9 x 8 mm (8.30 x 5.35 x 0.31 in)
  • Weight: 338 g
  • Screen: TFT capacitive touchscreen, 16M colors, 800 x 1280 pixels, 8.0 inches (~189 ppi pixel density)
  • Storage: GB storage, Expandable via microSD
  • CPU: 1.6GHz, Dual-core Cortex-A9
  • GPU: Mali-400MP
  • Memory: 2GB
  • Camera: 5 MP, 2592х1944 pixels, autofocus, Secondary: 1.3MP
  • OS: Android v4.1.2 (Jelly Bean)
  • GPS: Yes, with A-GPS support and GLONASS
  • Battery: Non-removable Li-Ion 4600 mAh battery

It’s a pretty capable device under the hood, and it showed when we were using it. The whole experience was buttery-smooth and did not have the slightest hint of stutter, even as we were doing some heavy multitasking involving video playback. This 8-incher is very comfortable and has a very familiar feel in the hand. It really is the right size for a tablet, in my opinion, offering the best balance between portability and screen real estate.

The screen is a crisp TFT, with a pixel density of 189 DPI, which might not be HD-quality, but still retains plenty of sharpness and vividness. There were a few videos on the device already, so we were able to give video watching a shot, and we were generally quite pleased with the results.

The Note 8.0 comes with a lot of the same software features as the previous Note devices, and it has to be said that multi-window interface is so much more useful on a large screen. You also have the ability to take digital clippings of anything you see on-screen thanks to the pen, and handwriting recognition to boot.

The biggest feature of the Note is the included S-Pen. It brings a whole level of functionality that isn’t usually available on other mini-sized tablets.

You get enhanced scheduling abilities thanks to aNote and the Note’s calendar app,

The ability to annotate and highlight ebooks


use symbols as commands to activate searches, send messages or search the ‘net


hover the pen over content to see subfolders and other stories



Take impressively artsy photos via the Paper Cam app


and annotate photos like you would a traditional photo print.


It also gives you a few unique connectivity options thanks to WiFi direct abilities that make synchronized sharing photos, videos and even presentations easier than crowding around a single device.

This is just the surface of what you can do with the Galaxy Note 8.0. We don’t have a unit of our own just yet, so we can’t give you the full lab experience, but stay tuned. We’ll have more for you once we do!



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