Samsung unveils Galaxy Note 8, priced at Rs 67,900
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Good smartphones are getting cheaper and cheap smartphones are becoming better, but the latest offering from Samsung, the Galaxy Note 8, is everything good and nothing cheap. The flagship Galaxy Note 8 is priced at Rs 67,900 with a Rs 4,000 cashback offer for buyers using HDFC Bank credit cards. Samsung Galaxy Note 8 is undoubtedly a premium phone with the best available technology of 2017.

What is interesting is the launch timing. The Galaxy Note 8 India launch event was perfectly aligned with the iPhone X and iPhone 8 global launch.

The phone is available in two colours, Classic Midnight Black and Maple Gold and is up for pre-bookings Tuesday onward. Samsung is confident of the large-screen phone's market in India, which garnered over 72,000 pre-bookings in a day, and has been able to fetch over 2.5 lakh registrations on Amazon India and the official Samsung website. With the pre-booked devices, Samsung is giving away a free wireless charging dock and a one-time screen replacement.

The shipment of the Galaxy Note 8 starts on September 21.

Note 8 Features

One of the key highlights of the Samsung Galaxy Note 8 is a 12-megapixel dual rear camera setup with optical image stabilisation for both cameras. One camera has a telephoto lens for ‘bokeh’ effect photos and one camera supports a wide angle lens for ultra wide angle shots. Note 8 is the only phone in the market that features a stylus called S Pen. The Galaxy Note 8 has an edge-to-edge ‘Infinity Display’ which is borrowed from the Samsung Galaxy S8 and S8 plus. The IP68-certification on Note 8 provides basic protection against dust and water, meaning one can drop it in the sink without any worry. The phone has dual-NANO SIM card tray and has an expandable storage of up to 256GB. The smartphone is running on Android 7.1.1 Nougat with an expected upgrade to Android 8.0 Oreo later this year.

The breathtaking feature of the device is the huge and crisp 6.3-inch QHD+ (1440x2960 pixels) Super AMOLED display. The global variant of Note 8 is powered by Qualcomm SnapDragon 835 SoC but the Indian variant is expected to rock the Samsung’s homemade Exynos octa-core SoC, which is coupled with 6GB of LPDDR4 RAM. Samsung has not commented on what chipset will power the Indian variant. The device does have a fingerprint scanner on the back but the placement of the scanner is such that reaching the fingerprint scanner can take some effort. The glass body of Note 8 allows for wireless charging but is definitely a fingerprint magnet.

Bixby Conundrum

Samsung has avoided all the major competition in the personal assistant arena with Google Now, Windows’ Cortana and Apple’s Siri and has been very keen on promoting their personal assistant app called Bixby. Though Bixby has been developed in Bangalore but it isn’t available in India as of now. But Samsung has confirmed that all the Galaxy Note 8 and Galaxy S8 and S8 plus users in India will get Bixby within next few weeks. And Samsung has confidently said that it has optimised Bixby to understand Indian accents.

Past experiences

Samsung faced a lot of flak for the battery explosion in Galaxy Note 7. With Galaxy Note 8, Samsung has affirmed users that a lot of safety tests and industry standard 8-point battery test have been done to avoid any mishap. Given the ergonomics of the device, a 3300mAh battery seems a bit too low for the big boy Note 8.

anirban.halder@mydigitalfc.com