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Samsung Galaxy Note 8.0 review

Pricey tablet will struggle to compete with its affordable rivals
Wed May 29 2013, 16:20

Product Samsung Galaxy Note 8.0
Website Samsung
Specifications 8in 1280x800 IPS LCD touchscreen display, quad-core 1.6GHz Exynos processor, 2GB RAM, 16GB or 32GB internal storage expandable via microSD card, HSDPA connectivity, 802.11a/b/g/n/ WiFi, Bluetooth 4.0, 5MP rear-facing camera, 1.3MP front-facing camera, Android 4.1.2 Jelly Bean mobile operating system, 4,600mAh battery, 211x136x8mm, 338g
Price From £349


KOREAN HARDWARE MAKER Samsung announced the Galaxy Note 8.0 at this year's Mobile World Congress (MWC) to a sea of journalists with their heads in their hands as they uttered the words, "it also makes phone calls".

Designed, much like the Asus Fonepad, for those who don't want a separate phone and tablet, the Galaxy Note 8.0 is, essentially, both. As you might have guessed, we found the device far too large to be used as a phone, even with an earpiece or headphones connected, so went on to test the device as we would a tablet.

However, with its high price compared to its main rivals, the aforementioned Asus Fonepad and Google Nexus 7, we're not fully convinced that the device can compete.

Design
The Samsung Galaxy Note 8.0 is essentially a larger version of the Samsung Galaxy S4, a trait that bizarrely makes the device feel more like a phone than a tablet. Good news for Samsung, given that the Note 8.0 is designed to be used as both.

Samsung Galaxy Note 8 design

However, as you'll know if you've read our Samsung Galaxy S4 review, we weren't too keen on the design of Samsung's latest flagship smartphone, nor are we bowled over by the look and feel of the Galaxy Note 8.0. Unsurprisingly, this is mainly due to the device's plastic casing, which feels just as cheap as it does on the Galaxy S4 and can make the device a nightmare for picking up glare. Compared to the £180 Asus Fonepad and Google Nexus 7, the Galaxy Note 8.0 feels much cheaper.

As well as not looking very good, the Galaxy Note 8.0's plastic casing doesn't feel very rugged, as the device creaks when pulled in opposite directions. Having said that though, we did drop the device a couple of times and it came away completely unscathed.

One thing we do like about the plastic casing, though, is its size. Whereas the iPad can cause our arms to ache over long periods of use, the Galaxy Note 8.0 weighs just 338g. However, that's not to say the device will fit into your pocket or handbag easily, and we found the device far too large to use as a phone.

In terms of connectivity and ports, potential buyers will probably be pleased to hear that Samsung has opted not to use its proprietary charging port, and has equipped the device with a microUSB port instead. There's a standby switch and volume rocker on the right hand side of the device, a microSD slot on the left hand side, and a hidden Samsung S Pen on its rear.

Next: Screen, performance

 

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