MWC: First impressions – Samsung Galaxy Note 8.0

Allan Swann
February 25, 2013

I am sick of the endless permutations of Samsung’s tablet and phablet product lines.

Alongside every permutation of Galaxy Tab (7.0, 8.9, 10.1), we now have the Galaxy Note range heading in the same direction.  So I wasn’t really expecting much from Samsung’s latest, the Note 8.0.

At the risk of sounding like an old grump, I have to say Samsung have completely got it right.

The new form factor fits in the hand perfectly – it essentially looks and feels like the iPad Mini, minus the metal backing. So why the fuss? Because I finally get the ‘note’ features Samsung adds to its stylus focused Note line.

Yes you can do all the same stuff you did on your Note 2, or your Note 10.1, but the new screen, new stylus and – most importantly – newest software features added make for a great first impression.

Handwriting implementation and accuracy through S-Note is much better, and scribbling thoughts and notes into the device just seems to work a lot better than the Tab 2; which i always considered to be an oversized phone. The Note 8.0 feels like the right spot – closer to a tablet – a size better suited to doodling. Its nice and light, and – love it or hate it – it retains Samsung’s white plasticky body, so it does feel cheaper.

New features include the ability to draw on maps (i.e. a circle around a street you want to eat at a restaurant on) and with a few quick flicks, its pasted into an email ready for sending. The Stylus’ new button also means you can change line strength and colour (i.e. flick between red and green when marking a document up).  Other new features mean if you write ‘car’ into a document, S Note will pop up with some options (i.e. did you want to turn the word into text, or produce an actual image of a car), and its all done blazingly quick.

It does look like the Touchwiz interface still has a bit of bloat (too many silly apps) but I like where Samsung are taking the Note line – tablets, not phablets people!

What Mobile will of course give the Note 8.0 the full review once we get our hands on a review unit.

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