Samsung Galaxy Note8 Has Features, Performance to Win Back Buyers

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Samsung Galaxy Note8 Has Features, Performance to Win Back Buyers

Samsung Galaxy Note8 hits stores Sept. 15, but will buyers flock to it? The South Korean electronics maker has to be at least a little concerned. The Note8’s predecessor, the Note7, was prohibited from commercial airline flights and eventually recalled after multiple reports of battery fires. But unless Samsung's new commitment to battery safety suffered a major setback after the Spring release of the Galaxy S8, the Note8 is unlikely to share the same fate. With battery reliability no longer an issue, Samsung is relying on a slick design, alluring looks and premium components to win back buyers. Read on to learn if the Note8 has what it takes to be a hit.

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It Has a Premium Look and Feel

The Galaxy Note8 is a stunner, particularly when its 6.3-inch AMOLED screen is displaying content. It's boxier than the Galaxy S8, but it has a more professional look overall. The  has a reassuring heft and is easy to hold.

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Snapdragon 835 Chip Gives It Speedy Performance

The home screen instantly springs to life and animations are smooth and apps run without a hitch, thanks to the Qualcomm Snapdragon 835 processor. That brisk performance extends to split-screen apps with no hint of slowdown and without draining the battery quickly.

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The Handy S Pen Style Tracks More Smoothly

The included S Pen is the Note series' signature feature. With the Note8, the stylus tracks more smoothly and accurately than before. It also now allows users to take notes directly on the Always On display without having to open a notetaking app. It may not make owners want to ditch their Moleskine notebooks, but it's a handy, time-saving feature.

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There's Plenty of Data Storage Capacity

Buying the 64GB version ($929.99) of the Note8 isn't a compromise. Why pay more for the 128GB and 256GB versions when storage space can be expanded by using an inexpensive Micro SD card?

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But the Bixby Digital Assistant Is Half-Baked

Bixby, the Note8's built-in virtual assistant, is still a work in progress. It can handle easy requests such as reporting the weather fairly well and its product recognition capabilities show promise, but Bixby needs to mature. Luckily, since the Note8 is an Android phone, users have a built-in backup: Google Now.

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The Dual Rear Camera a Sharp

The dual, 12-megapixel cameras on the back of the Note8 take crisp, detailed photos and feature modes such as Live Focus, which keeps subjects in focus while producing a blurry background effect, similar to the iPhone's Portrait Mode.

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The AMOLED Screen Is Made for Showing Off Photos

Even mundane shots taken during a walk around the neighborhood look stunning on the Note8's screen. But the AMOLED display, with its 2,960 pixels-by-1,440 pixels resolution, also makes emails and websites look great.

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The Note 8 Displays HDR Video Content, Too

The Galaxy Note8 is one of only four smartphones officially supported by Netflix’s HDR (high dynamic range) video streaming service. Even when displaying run-of-the-mill, non-HDR content, the Note8's screen is a major improvement over the typical airplane seatback display.

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The Audio Jack Lives

While other vendors are removing the 3.5mm audio jack from their smartphones, the Note8 bucks the trend. It also helps that Samsung includes some nice AKG earphones in the box.

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What the Alexa, Cortana Link Up Means for Virtual Assistant Users

In a surprising example of collaboration between two keen cloud computing rivals, Amazon and Microsoft have will enable their respective virtual assistants, Alexa and Cortana, to communicate with each other.
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