Samsung Galaxy Note 8.0 tablet review

More than a year ago, Samsung introduced the wonderful Galaxy Tab 7.7. The then tablet had many advantages: a thin aluminum body, light weight, great design and one of the best screens at that time (even now it can be called that). But the tablet had a number of shortcomings that made its use not the most pleasant - we are, of course, talking about the mercilessly slowing down TouchWiz, and even updating to Android 4.0 did not solve this problem. Then, many with regret either put Tab 7.7 aside, or used it, but with less convenience, or reflashed it to custom firmware. In my opinion, the Note 8.0 presented at the exhibition is, among other things, exactly the successor to the once successful Tab 7.7.

We already had a first look at the device, but at the exhibition I could only cover its appearance in detail (which is why this section will be duplicated from a first look, but with high-quality photos).

Packages

  • Tablet
  • Combined charger
  • USB cable (part of charger)
  • Wired headset with remote control

Included with the tablet are excellent earplugs with a remote control, with which you can quickly switch the track, as well as change the volume level. Otherwise, the equipment is standard, nothing interesting.

Design, materials, controls, assembly

What many of us feared turned out to be true. Unfortunately, the Galaxy Note 8.0 turned out to be not a design evolution of the beautiful Tab 7.7, but a banal enlarged version of the Galaxy S3. Here you have plastic, gloss and other joys of life. I was immensely upset with the design of Note 8.0, how could THIS be done after Tab 7.7. But Samsung, apparently, has its own ideas about design, because if their flagship smartphone was made in a similar design, then it is not surprising that the tablet suffered the same fate.

In terms of controls, everything is simple: on the right are the volume rocker, the power button and the infrared port.

On the left you can see the plugs for microSIM and microSD.

We tested a version of the tablet without 3G, so there is no microSIM plug in this photo

At the bottom end there are two stereo speakers and a microUSB connector. Finally, Samsung changed their minds and switched to world standards instead of their own proprietary connectors. The location of the speakers is not the most convenient, sometimes you cover them with your hands, it’s a pity that they didn’t use the speakers on the front side, as in Note 10.1.

And only the 3.5 mm headphone jack was left on top.

Below the screen are a physical home button and touch-sensitive Menu and Back buttons.

In two weeks of use, I had no complaints about the assembly of Note 8.0. The tablet is perfectly assembled, nothing creaks, no backlash, there are also no problems with gaps. But with the materials, it's just a disaster: because of the glossy cover, the tablet strove to slip out of my hands, I think it's better to immediately "put" it in a case when buying.

Screen

The Galaxy Note 8.0 has an eight-inch display with a resolution of 1280x800 pixels. Matrix type - PLS-TFT. Supports "multi-touch" up to ten simultaneous touches, there is an automatic backlight adjustment. Protective coating - Gorilla Glass 2.

There's also a "Reading Mode" which is supposed to adapt the screen for a more comfortable reading experience, but in reality I didn't notice any change after turning it on/off.

I would like to talk about screen sizes separately, Note 8.0 is one of the few eight-inch tablets with a 16:9 aspect ratio. And this extra inch significantly affects the convenience! It's a little more comfortable to watch videos, it's a little more convenient to read books, you scroll through the feed a little less often, as more information is placed, all this creates a positive impression of the diagonal. Also, there are no on-screen buttons, so it's a clean eight-inch, something most tablets can't boast.

Dimensions

The scourge of all eight-inch tablets from B-brands is their thickness and weight. For some reason, all such models have a thickness of 10 mm and a weight of 430 grams. With such dimensions, no one needs them, since it is easier to take a 10 ”tablet. I believe that an eight-inch tablet should be slightly heavier and as thin and light as its seven-inch "colleagues". And apparently, Samsung and Apple have a similar opinion, because only their eight-inch devices are thin and light.

  • Galaxy Note 8.0 - 210.8x135.9x7.95 mm, weight 338 grams
  • iPad Mini - 200x134.7x7.2 mm, weight - 308 grams

Above, I have already talked about the convenience of eight inches compared to seven, but here I would like to show how insignificantly the dimensions of such tablets differ. On the left - Note 8.0, on the right - 3Q RC0722 (a typical representative of seven-inch tablets). As you can see, the differences are minimal, but that extra inch is very significant in use.

Operating system and add-ons from Samsung

The tablet runs Android 4.1.2 and uses Samsung's proprietary shell. Gradually, the company is bringing all its models "to a common denominator", which is TouchWiz UI 5.0, and Note 8.0 is no exception.

Desktop. The standard launcher TouchWiz is used as desktops. You could see the same launcher on the Galaxy S3, Note 2, Note 10.1, as well as a number of recent budget models. Also, it's important to note that Note 8.0 uses the phone version of the interface, which I personally like much more, although some people prefer the tablet version.

Status bar. By default, it contains almost all the switches, but in the settings you can change their number and order. There is also a brightness adjustment slider. In addition, the ability to display the battery percentage as a percentage has finally appeared.

Browser. The browser in Note 8.0 is fast and functional. There is a built-in "Read Mode", when enabled, the page is converted into an easy-to-read format. The browser is fast and easy to use. There is also an automatic fit of text to the screen: for this, after zooming to the desired size, you just need to double-tap on the screen.

Keyboard. Let me remind you that Samsung abandoned the use of Swype in their products and began to install their own keyboards. The Note 8.0 uses the latest version of this keyboard. Swipe input is supported (like in Swype) and a quick change in the appearance of the keyboard with a pinch: you bring your fingers together and you are offered three types of layouts: compact, regular and split. I really like this keyboard, unlike Swype, it does not slow down the usual input by pressing, and in terms of the number of settings, it is almost as good as it. In the case of 8.0, it is most convenient to enter text in portrait orientation using the full keyboard.

Smart Remote. The program allows you to control almost any TV using the infrared port. The same application is installed in Note 10.1. First you select the TV brand, and then the program will try to turn it on / off, and if the settings fit, then you save them.

Calendar. The S Planner app familiar to other smartphones and tablets of the company is also preinstalled.

Dropbox. When you first log into your account, you are given 25 GB of space. However, if you have already received a seat from another device in the Galaxy line, then this time they will not give a seat.

Context pages. When you plug in your headphones or pull out the stylus, a separate desktop appears in front of you with shortcuts to the programs that you most often open while using the headphones or the stylus.

Dialer. The tablet allows you to make calls using a SIM card; for this, a proprietary application is preinstalled, which (finally!) has acquired Russian letters.

Multi view. The ability to work with two windows at the same time, to enable this function, you need to hold the "Back" button.

Samsung has been putting a lot of effort into improving the software lately, and I like these initiatives. Of course, I would like TouchWiz to be available to users in the form of separate applications presented in the "pure stock", but we probably will never wait for this. Nevertheless, Note 8.0 has a very convenient browser, keyboard, functional music and video players, as well as many unique settings, which cannot but rejoice.

Performance

This is the first compact tablet from Samsung to use their own quad-core Exynos processor (recall that such processors are installed in the Galaxy S3, Note 2, Note 10.1). Processor frequency - 1.6 GHz, graphics accelerator Mali-400MP, RAM - 2 GB, internal storage capacity - 16 GB (10 GB is available to the user, there will also be modifications with more memory), microSDHC memory cards are supported.

The tablet handles everything from web surfing to the heaviest games. Even top-end “toys”, such as NFS Most Wanted, do not slow down on it. Plus, most games are already compatible with this processor thanks to the popularity of the Galaxy S3/Note 2.

Among other things, I would like to note that Samsung has finally solved the problem with desktop lags, so do not worry that the situation with Tab 7.7 will repeat itself.

Offline work

The tablet has a non-removable 4600 mAh lithium-ion battery. Remembering the results of Tab 7.7, I assumed that Note 8.0 would not lose face, and I was partially right.

In reading mode (brightness 10%, airplane mode, automatic scrolling), the tablet lasted 13 hours and 40 minutes.

In HD video mode (brightness 100%, airplane mode), the charge lasted for 5 hours and 40 minutes.

Game mode (Defense Zone, brightness 50%) drained the tablet in about three hours.

In daily use (an hour of reading and half an hour of video at 50% brightness), the tablet lasted five days.

The results, in my opinion, are not bad, although the time of work in video mode was a little disappointing.

S Pen

Like the entire Note line, the 8.0 comes with a pen stylus or, as the company calls it, the S Pen. The pen is hidden in the lower right corner of the tablet. Traditionally, several applications are preinstalled to work with it.

When unlocking with the pen, a beautiful spilled ink effect appears in front of you.

S Note. Redesigned note taking program. Samsung has worked hard on this program, it has become very functional. When creating a note, you are offered to choose one of several note templates, I really liked the “recipe” template, it is beautifully made and original.

After choosing a template, you can start typing your note. At the top of the screen is the control panel. Through it, you can quickly add a picture or audio recording to a note.

Formulas. You can write a formula by hand and the tablet will recognize it perfectly. Moreover, it will show you the solution and plot the graph if it is a function. Awesome functionality, I don’t think many will need it, but its presence is definitely impressive. By the way, when the solution is displayed, the “multiple windows” mode is turned on - half of the screen is occupied by the notes service, and the other half is the open browser page with the solution.

The device recognizes handwriting well, including in Russian.

If you hold down the button on the pen and double-tap the screen, a window will open in front of you for quickly entering a note.

Also, using the device, you can cut a piece of the image from the screen, to do this, just hold the button on the pen and circle the desired element.

aNoteHD. If all the above programs and functions have been seen in one form or another before (in Note 2, Note 10.1), then this application is completely new. In fact, we have before us a multifunctional notebook-diary-calendar, where you can quickly enter and save the necessary information. The program is very beautiful, although it takes some getting used to.

Note 8.0 introduced the ability to press the touch buttons with the pen (Note/Note 2 did not have this feature), Air View is also supported, for example, you can view information about a letter without opening it, but simply hovering over pen tip text.

Summarizing, the pen is an interesting accessory, and it's nice that Samsung equips their devices with additional software to work with it, but for most users this feature will be a "cool addition", but not the main reason for the purchase.

Video and reading

Standard video player supports most codecs (MPEG4, H.263, H.264, WMV, DivX, 1080p Full HD video @ 30fps) and video formats (mp4, mkv, avi). If subtitles are embedded in the video, the player will recognize them perfectly. There is also support for multiple audio tracks.

When it comes to reading, it's best to ignore the standard Books app right away and install something like Moon Reader. With a larger screen than 7-inch tablets and no on-screen buttons, the Note 8.0 packs more useful information, making it easier to read.

Camera

The tablet has a 5 MP main camera and a 1.9 MP front camera. Pictures from the rear camera are not amazing, it is only suitable for shooting text, macro, by the way, is also good, but this camera is not suitable for normal shooting.

Example of capturing text:

Shooting indoors:

Shooting outdoors:

Video recording is carried out in resolution up to 720p inclusive.

The front camera allows you to make Skype video calls, the image quality is standard for this kind of device.

Interfaces

Wi-Fi (b/g/n) – there are no complaints about the operation of the module, it picks up the signal perfectly even in “problem” places. In addition, such functions as Wi-Fi Direct and Wi-Fi router are available to you (distribution of mobile Internet via Wi-Fi, available only in the 3G version of the device).

Bluetooth 4.0 - all major profiles are supported, including A2DP.

GPS - cold start takes 13 seconds.

3G – in the 3G version, you can not only use mobile Internet, but also make calls from your tablet and send SMS.

Conclusion

The Galaxy Note 8.0 is priced at 18K for the 16 GB Wi-Fi version and 21K for the 16 GB Wi-Fi+3G version.

Let's start with the good stuff. Samsung managed to create an excellent tablet with many interesting software solutions. Separately pleased with the screen: bright, clear, with soft natural colors. The stylus is, though useless for many, but still a nice thing. On top of that, the Note 8.0 is a great size and weight for an 8-inch tablet.

And now the disadvantages: the first disappointment was, of course, the design of the tablet, or rather, its absence. I am genuinely upset that the ideas laid down in Tab 7.7 were not continued in Note 8.0. The second controversial point is glossy plastic. I am ready to understand and accept the fact that it is more profitable to create plastic devices with large supplies, but the fact that this material is slippery and you have a high chance of dropping the tablet from your hands, I cannot ignore. And finally, the third minus is the price. Note 8.0 costs 7k more than its closest competitor (Nexus 7), and although there are pluses, they do not justify this difference.

As a result, we have a good compact tablet, one of the best in the seven-eight-inch segment, but with a very high price, and this is its main drawback. With a decrease in the cost of Note 8.0 to at least 13 thousand for the Wi-Fi version and 16-17 thousand for 3G + Wi-Fi, you can consider buying it (for 16, I might even buy it for myself), but in the current situation, I I would, perhaps, recommend paying attention to the iPad Mini for this money, and if the issue of finance is fundamental, then look towards the Nexus 7.

Specifications Network HSPA+ 21Mbps 850/900/1900/2100 Processor A9 quad-core, 1.6GHz Display 8” WXGA (1280x800) PLS TFT OS Android 4.1.2 (Jellybean) Camera Rear: 5 MP Front: 1.3 MP Video Codecs: MPEG4, H.263, H.264, WMV, DivX, (1080p Full HD video @ 30fps) Audio Codecs: MP3, AAC, AAC+, eAAC+, WMA, AC3, FLAC3.5mm Ear Jack, Stereo Speaker Features S Pen - S Note, S Planner, Email with Handwriting Recognition - Quick Command, Easy Clip, Photo Note, Paper Artist Air View Popup Note, Popup Video Shape Match, Formula Match, Idea Sketch Samsung AllShare Play Samsung AllShare Cast ( WiFi Display) – Mirroring & Extension Samsung AllShare Framework Content, features and services Samsung Apps Samsung Kies /Samsung Kies Air Samsung TouchWiz / Samsung L!ve Panel Samsung Hub - Game Hub - Learning Hub / Readers Hub / Music Hub / Video Hub / Media Hub (US only) Samsung ChatOn mobile communication service (version 2.0) Smart Sta y, Direct Call Page Buddy/ Tag Buddy/ Word Buddy Google Search, Google Maps, Gmail, Google Latitude Google Play Store, Google Play Books, Google Play Movies Google Plus, YouTube, Google Talk, Google Places, Google Navigation, Google D< /p>