The Samsung Galaxy Note 8 arrived in my life late yesterday morning, I’ve had a chance to play with the device and start setting it up. While a full review is likely around 2 weeks away, I try to share my first impressions of a review device fairly quickly so here we go.

The first thing that really struck me when I opened the box was the dazzling white bezel around the screen. Whether this is a good thing or a bad thing is a matter of personal opinion. I’m personally not a fan of light coloured devices, I’ve had bad experiences with white phones in the past and have been hesitant about them ever since.

It’s a very distinct look and the Galaxy Note 8 has a distinctly Samsung flavor about it. The second thing was how light the device is, being notably larger than my ever faithful Nexus 7 I guess I expected it to be notably heavier too; it’s not, in fact it feels ever so slightly lighter. It really is a lovely looking device and would look the part in the arsenal of any travelling business man’s case for quickly checking emails, reading on planes or pretty much anything that you could accomplish without the need for a keyboard.

The Specs

The device itself is nothing ground breaking or special by current standards, but it’s in the right area:

  • 1.6Ghz Quad-Core processor
  • 2GB Ram
  • 5MP rear facing, 1.3MP front facing camera’s
  • All the connecticity you’d expect; wifi, bluetooth, GPS etc.
  • 8″ 1280 x 800 LCD Screen
  • Massive 4600mAh battery

For a tablet it’s nothing earth shattering, does it evince a complacent “they’ll buy it because it’s a Galaxy device” attitude from Samsung. It hits the mark with regard to current market expectations on spec.

Hardware and Aesthetics

The hardware is really nice, in the usual Samsung way it has their own look and feel about it, so if you’re a lover of Samsung you’ll love this tablet. From a pure device review perspective, it not only looks good but it feels good too. It’s a great device that gets noticed when you whip it out. It’s a surprisingly slender device for an 8″ screen and so far has really impressed me with it’s look and feel. I have a painfully cute image to put in perspective how sleek and slender the device actually is. Due to my own complacency and lack of forethought as to how mobile my 8 month old daughter actually is, I left it (I thought) out of arms reach and discovered to my horror a short time later that it was in fact attainable to her level of mobility.

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The OS performance is impressive, very impressive! It’s snappy and responsive to touch as well as being easy on the eye when displaying HD videos via DLNA streaming or YouTube. The voice recognition is quite impressive and very accurate, I’m even using it right now to write this article with children in the house, Sesame Street on the television and other ambient noise. While it’s still early days with the device for me and no doubt in the coming couple of weeks I’ll find some annoyances, at this stage based on my first impressions of the Galaxy Note 8 I’d be happy to recommend it to “every day” users. Whether or not I’d recommend it to power users or serious tech heads remains to be seen.

Are you in the market for a new tablet? Let us know what you want from your tablet in the comments below and we’ll try to address questions in the upcoming review of the Samsung Galaxy Note 8.

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Piers McCarney

Funnily enough, I wondered why there was a string of grammatical peculiarity running through this article; the voice recognition bit explained that!
Nice first impressions and adorable pic of your kid.
Surprised that they insist on sticking with that screen resolution in tablets around this size (the relatively low res on the GNote10.1 shocked me)! How is it that we get 1080 on phones and not on mid-size tablets?

Geoff Fieldew

The picture of your gorgeous daughter is a ripper mate. She has geek cred already!

vijay alapati

i’m having samsung 7.7, happy even though it is running ICS (Just heard that jellybean was released in for ASIA for 7.7…waiting to port the build on the my 7.7). So not a gd upgrade for me.


I only like to refer to Apple when it comes to design these days. I can deal with the plastic. But after the mini, the slim bezel design really sticks to me. I dont own one, or any Apple device. But I just wish the note were slimmer in width. If only by a small amount. I actually love how it looks. And it is nice to hold. It makes me think the plastic design would make it maybe hard to accomplish a slimmer bezel. The only other thing that makes me refrain from buying is I’m holding out for… Read more »


Having played with the Note 8 a few times, the bezel width works well for making it easy to hold the device in portrait with a thumb on the side bezel and fingers supporting the back, while writing with the other hand and resting the palm edge on the screen, just like one would do if writing on a hard-backed paper notebook. It rejects palms very well. This way of using it is much easier than holding it by the sides with stretched hand, which would lead to a lot of handstrain very quickly. Of course, if one is not… Read more »

Sean Royce

It’s your cute kid again! Thanks for the review mate.