While the Galaxy S9 Plus is the latest and greatest from Samsung and only a few weeks away, there’s still something to be said for the Galaxy Note 8. As part of Samsung’s “phablet” line, the Galaxy Note 8 offers a large phone with a beautiful screen and a unique stylus that sets it apart from the majority of phones on the market. With the Galaxy S9 Plus coming on the market, is there still a reason to purchase the Galaxy Note 8? We certainly think so.
Right off the bat, it’s easy to see that the Galaxy S9 Plus has the advantage in several different ways. First, as part of the newest generation of Samsung phones, the Galaxy S9 has the advantage in that it features the latest in processor technology. In the United States, the S9 will ship with the Snapdragon 845 – the latest processor from Qualcomm that is the gold standard when it comes to smartphone performance. In Europe, the equally powerful Exynos 9810 Samsung chip will power the phone, bringing the Galaxy S9 Plus to unprecedented levels when it comes to speed and capabilities.
However, is a jump in power enough to set the Galaxy S9 Plus on a whole new level when compared to one of this generation’s most powerful phones?
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Just by looking at the specifications of each phone, it seems as if the Galaxy Note 8 falls behind. With the Snapdragon 835 vs the 845, it still falls behind despite also having 6GB of RAM. The Galaxy S9 Plus also features Gigabit LTE, which is a new addition in this generation of Samsung phones. In terms of storage, the Galaxy Note 8 also falls behind with only 64GB with the Galaxy S9 Plus having options ranging from 64GB to 256GB. While both devices are expandable via microSD, the higher base storage on the S9 Plus does give it a bit of an edge.
With the Galaxy S9 Plus, Samsung sought to massively improve upon their camera. With the tagline “The Camera. Reimagined,” it’s clear that the company’s goal from the get-go was to establish the device as the go-to model for those wanting premium performance when it comes time to take a photo. With two 12MP cameras – one telephoto lens with a fixed f/2.4 aperture, and one wide-angle lens that lets you switch between f/2.4 and f/1.5 aperture – the Galaxy S9 Plus has the chops to produce beautiful pictures regardless of the lighting conditions. The Galaxy Note 8 has two lenses as well, although the device has a slightly smaller aperture with the wide angle lens at f/1.7 and a telephoto f/2.4 lens. However, despite these lower specifications the Galaxy Note 8 has proven to take beautiful pictures. The fact remains that we haven’t had a chance to test out the Galaxy S9 Plus and really see what it’s capable of.
Another way in which the Galaxy S9 Plus stands out from the Galaxy Note 8 is battery life, with the S9 Plus having a 3500 mAh capacity while the Note 8 only features 3300. Practically speaking, this disparity may not really make any difference, as we have no idea how battery-hungry the Galaxy S9 Plus will be. It’s safe to say that both phones will last all day on a single charge, however, so you don’t have to worry about your phone dying in the middle of the day regardless of the device you ultimately decide upon.
This review may seem sort of one-sided, and in a way it is. The Galaxy S9 Plus represents a new generation of phones and has a new lineup of impressive specifications that set it apart from current models. However, with that said, there are a number of ways in which the phones are quite similar.
Although the Galaxy Note 8 is slightly bigger, both phones have a similar design and are roughly the same size. Both devices are also IP68 certified, meaning that they’re both dust proof and water resistant (up to a depth of 1.5 meters for up to 30 minutes). With how expensive high-end flagships have become, it’s nice to know that your investment won’t be ruined if you accidentally drop it in a puddle.
Both phones offer a variety of color options to allow you to choose the device that best suits your aesthetic. The S9 Plus will launch in Midnight Black, Coral Blue, and Lilac Purple, while the Note 8 is currently available in Midnight Black, Maple Gold, Orchid Grey, and Deep Sea Blue.
While we do feel that the Galaxy S9 Plus comes out on top, the Galaxy Note 8 is certainly a capable phone that may appeal to those who are looking for a tablet-esque smartphone complete with a stylus and bigger screen.
At the end of the day, you’ll likely be pleased with either device – although the Galaxy S9 Plus admittedly does pack a bigger punch.