MWC 2013 – Samsung Galaxy Note 8.0 review round-up

Here's what a bunch of hands (including ours) made of Samsung's gargantuan phone. Or 8in tablet, if you prefer

The newly unveiled Samsung Galaxy Note 8.0 is Samsung's answer to the iPad Mini. With an 8in screen, S Pen and 3G – which lets you make calls – it's technically the biggest phone in the world. Here's what Stuff – and the rest of the tech world – made of it in the flesh at Mobile World Congress in Barcelona.

Stuff's very own Paddy Smith thinks that "the S Pen comes into its own with the Galaxy Note 8.0's 8in screen, while previous 10.1in and 'phablet' versions feel more finger friendly". Sliding out the S Pen with a satisfying click fires up the stylus friendly interface, which is "fluid and simple with lots of intuitive interface tweaks including an app sidebar". With no lag or graphics juddering to be found (with Virtua Tennis posing no threat), Paddy also found the Note 8.0 to be light enough for one-handed use. A handy trait for those looking for a tablet-cum-ebook reader.

The Verge's Dan Seirfert found that "the Multiview features that lets you use two apps at the same time is greatly improved over the Note 10.1, and the browser was speedy and responsive even with a slow internet connection". He did, however, think that while the Note 8.0 matches the iPad Mini in some features, it doesn't come close to touching its camera.

Sascha Segan from PC Mag bit the bullet and tried holding the Note 8.0 (which can make calls) up to his head. Verdict? "It was silly". We don't think he'll be getting many arguments against that sentiment.

CNET editor Erik Franklin praised the Galaxy Note 8.0's "simple, elegant design with really smooth edges and corners" but finished off by stating that it's difficult to have a concrete opinion without a price tag.

Rik Henderson from Pocket Lint found that despite the Galaxy Note 8.0's press pictures, it's far from a beefcake in the flesh. He likened it to holding a Galaxy Note 2, but "without being able to wrap your entire hand around it comfortably". The screen was also found to be "as vibrant as a summer day in a field of daisies" and was impressed with the screen despite its fairly low ppi.

We'll bring you the Galaxy Note 8.0 pricing info as and when we get it, so stay tuned.

Check out all our Mobile World Congress 2013 coverage

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