I’d been in the market for a new phone for a few months ever since I finished paying off my Note4 in December. I was happy with it but it was showing it’s age. It was getting slow, the battery life wasn’t what it used to be and the work related apps were making it cumbersome in daily use. In absence of availability of the explosive (quite literally) Note7, my eyes turned towards the S8 or S8+. But my mobile provider had other ideas.
it went a little something like this:
Provider: Hello, we notice you recently paid off your phone and we’re wondering if you’d like an upgrade?
Me:Yes please. I’ve been looking over the S8, S8+ and Note8 but they’re all a bit expensive. I really like the Note4 although it’s showing its age.
Provider: Great! Maybe we can do you a deal. This is what the S8, S8+ and Note8 will cost.
Me: Yes, I see. But although I will be using it for business as well as personal use, I’m afraid that’s a little too expensive.
Provider: No problem. Here, have some loyalty discount.
Me: Wow, thank you. That sounds very nice but I’m afraid as a penniless writer, that’s still out of my budget even though I’m able to claim some money back on expenses. I like the sound of the S7 though. I’m sure it’s more than adequate for my needs.
Provider: hmm, let me talk to my manager (GOES AWAY, COMES BACK). How about this? We’ll even take away the up-front cost.
Me: That’ll do very nicely.
I’m not one for upgrading my phone “just because”. The phone I had before the Note4 was as good as useless. I couldn’t store much on it and I got it only because it came with a free Kindle Fire. But the Note4 was fabulous. I part with it reluctantly and I expect to still be using the Note8 (so long as it doesn’t die before then) way beyond the two years it will take me to pay off the device loan.
Why I’m Already Loving the Note8
Two days later, my sparkly new Samsung Galaxy Note8 arrived. So far, I’m really happy with it although I’m still getting to grips with some of the new features and functions added since the Note4 (my previous phone). The multi-window is, of course, one of the big draws of the Note series. It was present on the Note4; I didn’t use it a whole lot but it was a useful too to have.
I can do everything I want to do for personal and work but it’s lovely and fluid with intuitive controls and a much-improved camera. I’ve already been exploring my inner David Bailey with it. If anybody has seen recent uploads to my Instagram page, you’ll see some fantastic quality images. It’s taller but narrower than the Note4 and although about the same weight and volume, this narrow face makes it feel lighter and easier to handle. At the same time, the “Infinity Edge” (where the image rolls off the sides, makes it seem bigger. It’s Schrodinger’s Phablet – small and large at the same time. I’m sure that’s all just psychological though.
The Note8’s Top Features
- The stylus is here once again (yay!) although I perhaps didn’t get a lot of use out of this with the Note4. It was handy for grocery shopping list but as I don’t meet with clients, I never used it to take notes in consultation
- The always on screen isn’t exactly my favourite feature and I’ve already turned it off. I may turn it back on again, who knows?
- The security retinal scanner works much better than I thought it would. I used the finger scanner on the Note4 and it didn’t always work – if my finger was cold, the phone would tell me to dry it before scanning again. I had to get the angle perfect or it wouldn’t work. But the retinal scanner works more often than not. Sunlight seems to be its kryptonite though
- Image size variation on the camera from wide shot (the standard) to something more like a traditional film camera size – interesting if you like to have a decent camera on your phone (which I do). Oh and there is a floating shutter button which makes it handy for taking photos in awkward positions
Features I’ve Not Yet Used
- Bixby Vision: a tool for the camera to help you identify products to recommend to buy. Handy if you’re a bit of a shopaholic, but I’m not. I see potential uses but it’ll be a “meh” feature
- Live Messaging – but it looks fun with several potential uses. Work use? Perhaps not but you never know
- Live Focus – another camera feature, it blurs background images to improve foreground image quality
- Writing on the lock screen. In truth, I found out about this about 5 minutes before posting this article. I will use this though – of that I have no doubt