5 things we love about the Samsung Galaxy Note 8 – and 3 we don't

Samsung's big phone is back and better than ever, but it's not for everyone

After last year's flaming debacle that was the Samsung Galaxy Note 7, we're pleased to confirm that the Galaxy Note 8 is here - and it's rather excellent.

And at least in our testing, we didn't run into any heat issues. Granted, it took some time for the problem to emerge last year, but we're hopeful that the Note 8 will survive for the long haul and reestablish Samsung's stylus-centric, super-sized smartphone line.

But the Galaxy Note 8 won't be for everyone. Much as we were impressed by this comeback device, it might just be too much handset for many people – not to mention too expensive, given how superfluous some of its perks might be to the average buyer.

We've already published a hands-on review and are waiting on the Indian launch, but if you're looking for a punchy, to-the-point overview of what's great and what's not-so-appealing about the Galaxy Note 8, read on.

5 things we love about the Galaxy Note 8…

1) That gorgeous design

Samsung's Galaxy S8 has been this year's no-doubt stunner, and the Galaxy Note 8 smartly continues its impeccable design approach. Like the S8, it cuts out a load of bezel from the front, with very little on the top and bottom and basically none on the sides, packing in a curved screen with rounded edges. It just pops in a way that more standard-looking phones do not.

But it's not a complete copy of the Galaxy S8 Plus: the Note 8's screen curves are less subtle and a bit sharper, providing just a hair more flat surface and giving the phone a boxier look. It's all business, essentially, which is good because…

2) The S Pen returns

With the demise of the Galaxy Note 7 came the demise of a top-tier smartphone with a stylus. Granted, the Note 5 remained on the market to compensate for the loss, but it was a generation behind, and it lacked many of the enhancements seen during the brief stretch that the Note 7 hung around.

But the Note 8 brings back the S Pen, and for anyone who relies on a smartphone for work purposes or other productivity or creative-minded needs, it's a helpful feature. It's super sensitive on the touch display, too, with 4096 levels of pressure recognised, and you can draw doodles, take notes, annotate images, and more.

3) Its screen is second to none

Aside from the slightly sharper curves, the 6.3in display of the Galaxy Note 8 isn't all that different from the 6.2in screen of the Galaxy S8 Plus – and really, it's not a far cry from the 5.8in screen of the standard Galaxy S8. And that's good news, because they're collectively the best smartphone screen in the world.

They're also super tall, packing an atypical 18.5:9 display ratio to give you a little more screen real estate without making it impossible to one-hand the device. And the panel itself is a beauty: it's an ultra-crisp Quad HD (2960x1440), Super AMOLED Infinity Display with mobile HDR capabilities, to boot. It's absolutely gorgeous, not to mention seriously huge here.

4) You get some extra photo perks

The Galaxy S8 didn't bother with a dual-camera setup on the back and it's still one of the best smartphone cameras on the market today. However, the Note 8 needed an extra perk, so it's taken the S8's excellent camera and gone one better.

Not only do you get the 12-megapixel, f/1.7 main sensor from the S8, but you also get another 12MP sensor (f/2.4) alongside it – and both pack optical image stabilisation. This lets you get crisp shots, variable 1x-2x zoom without losing detail, and trigger beautiful blurred-backdrop portrait and bokeh shots. And even your everyday snaps are sure to be vivid and sharp.

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