Samsung Galaxy Note 8
The Galaxy Note 8 proved that Samsung could once again make a safe Note phone. Almost a year on, it's still an excellent device that lets you take portrait photos and use the stylus for writing, drawing and navigation. But Samsung is set to oust the Note 8 with the 2018 model. Rumor points to August 9 as the Galaxy Note 9 launch date (the 9 on 9, get it?), though we're still waiting for the official word. Even when the Note 9 does eventually come out, the Note 8 will likely still be a good option, especially if you're hoping for a stylus-toting phone that costs a little less. Samsung and retailers will almost certainly drop the Note 8's price after the Note 9 goes on sale. LG is also readying a more basic stylus lineup, the LG Stylus Q family of phones. Meanwhile, the Galaxy S9 and S9 Plus, which don't have the embedded stylus, are now on sale. Read the original Galaxy Note 8 review below. After testing it from San Francisco to Los Angeles and up to Lake Tahoe, I can confidently say that the Galaxy Note 8 is without a doubt Samsung's best, most feature-packed phone. But it's also deeply burdened. Does it scrub away the bad taste of last year's disastrous Note 7 double-recall? Is the battery safe? Does it offer enough over the cheaper Galaxy S8 and S8 Plus to make it worth the sky-high price? (See prices below.) Finally, we have answers. Samsung has amped up its safety testing and reduced the Note 8's battery size to avoid repeating last year's fatal battery mistake, though we won't know if it's truly safe until weeks have gone by without a reported incident. Buyers of the Galaxy Note 7 -- who had to relinquish their flame-prone phones -- and 2015's Galaxy Note 5 -- until now, the "best" Note phone you could buy -- will find the Note 8 to be the high-end handset they should have gotten last year, and then some. It largely merges the Note 7 with the S8 and S8 Plus. The upshot: It's really good, but feels rehashed instead of truly fresh. Samsung played it safe.
- The Galaxy Note 8 is still a terrific phone in 2018, with dual cameras and a boatload of stylus tricks. It's currently the most feature-rich Android phone you can buy.
- Expensive by any measure, the Note 8 has more features than most people will need. Samsung's portrait mode can be finicky. The poorly placed fingerprint reader repeats the Galaxy S8's worst design flaw.
- Great, powerful 0%