Samsung’s Note8

Samsung unveiled its Galaxy Note8 smartphone, positioning the oversized handset as the ideal choice for those who want to do bigger things. The new Android-powered device’s larger Infinity Display features nearly bezel-less full-frontal glass and an edge-to-edge screen. The Note8 comes with an improved S Pen that will allow users to communicate in what the company described as more “personal ways.” The Galaxy Note8 is both water- and dust-resistant, and it supports fast wireless charging. Under the hood, it features 6 GB of RAM, an Octa Core 2.36-GHz Quad + 1.7-GHz Quad 10nm processor, 65 GB of storage, and expandable memory.  Although the handset is built around a 6.3-inch Quad HD+ Super OMOLED screen with a truly wide 18.5:9 aspect ratio, it still can be considered a true “handset,” as it can fit in most users’ hands reasonably well. The S Pen allows users to send handwritten notes and even create animated GIF files from videos. Samsung has touted this functionality as a true step up from traditional text messaging. The S Pen is more than a stylus, as it features a 0.7mm tip that is far more precise that the styluses that were used with Palm and other devices a decade ago. It also is truly connected to the device. It has 4,096 levels of pressure, and thus can respond to the touch of the pen tip more accurately. It has eraser functionality as well.  Another touted improvement in the Galaxy Note8 is its Always On Display, which allows users to receive and read notifications without unlocking the device. Preordering for the Galaxy Note8 began on Thursday. It will be available from major carriers, or as an unlocked version. The unlocked handset will retail for US$929.

Dual Cameras

Among its feature highlights are the Galaxy Note8 rear cameras as in plural. It is the first handset to feature two 12-MP rear cameras with Optical Image Stabilization (OIS). These cameras offer both wide-angle and telephoto lenses, which give users greater control of the depth of field. Users can adjust the bokeh effect in preview mode, as well as after a photo is taken. The wide-angle lens has a Dual Pixel sensor with rapid autofocus functionality, capturing sharp images in low-light conditions. The camera further offers a Dual Capture mode: Both cameras are utilized to take two photos simultaneously one a close-up using the telephoto lens, and the other a wide-angle shot of the same subject. In addition to the dual rear cameras, the Galaxy Note8 has an 8-MP Smart Auto Focus front-facing camera that can be used for video chats as well as selfies.