I’ve been doing a lot of reading and watching when it comes to the new Samsung Galaxy Note 8.0 that’s shown up over at MWC 2013, and I have to admit that I like what I see. The device looks to come in pretty standard Samsung form with the plastic backing, and it serves as an in-betweener device amongst the Galaxy Note II smartphone and the Galaxy Note 10.1-inch tablet. As an added bonus, on the international version of the Galaxy Note 8.0 you can actually make phone calls if you really wanted to as it features both an earpiece and a microphone for voice calls. Is it overkill, or is it the future of tablets?
I don’t really know what to think of that feature, honestly. I would never purchase a tablet with the intention of using it as a phone. I feel like holding that thing up to your ear would be a daunting task to begin with and not very comfortable, but I suppose in an emergency situation some people might be thankful to have such a feature. So while I wouldn’t purchase it with the intention of using it as a phone, I suppose having that feature available isn’t necessarily a bad thing.
Spec-wise, the Galaxy Note 8.0 is competitive with other tablets in its range and is no doubt going to be compared until our wits end with its main competition the Apple iPad Mini. The new 8-inch tablet from Samsung features a 1.6 GHz A9 quad-core processor and 2GB of RAM. The resolution is a little better than the Mini, offering a display of 1280x800 as oppose to Apple’s 1024x768 on the iPad Mini. Initially the Galaxy Note 8.0 will support HSPA+ speeds and of course WiFi, but plans for future models to feature LTE are in the works.
The camera on the Galaxy Note 8.0 matches the iPad Mini on the rear as they both feature 5-megapixel cameras, and as for the front there’s not much difference as the Note only offers .1 megapixel higher over the iPad Mini. While some may argue that an 8-megapixel would have been a better choice for the rear, I think that tablets aren’t seen as a main source for image-taking at this point in time so companies tend not to focus on that aspec. They’re not as convenient as phones are to use as cameras, but they should have a decent camera for those moments where you need a camera and don’t have one handy. For that, I think that 5-megapixels are plenty. I do, however, think they should have opted for a higher megapixel front-facing camera as tablets are ideal for video chatting, but it is what it is.
One thing I do like about many Android tablets, including The Galaxy Note 8.0, is while they might not offer as much storage as an iPad can right off the bat you do have a microSD slot for additional storage. I never thought I would ever need more than 16GB of memory (or 8GB for that matter) but the more memory I’m allotted the more spoiled I get and I find that I’m using up a lot more data than I thought I ever would. Expandable memory helps with that as I could purchase a 32GB microSD card for about half the price that it would cost to get the next tier of iPad. I’m not sure if that’s considered cheap or resourceful, but I prefer the latter.
I think overall the Galaxy Note line works better as a tablet – not to say everyone would agree with me, of course. All anyone has to do to debunk that is look at the sales and the popularity of the Galaxy Note 2. The Note 2 is doing very well for itself as a phablet and we can see that from our own Smartphone Rankings as it was reigning champ for several weeks over. I’ve been contemplating switching my Kindle Fire HD out for an iPad Mini, but I think I’m going to be sticking it out for the Galaxy Note 8.0 instead. I’ve mentioned several times over that I’d really like to get the Galaxy Note 2, but as a phone it’s just too big for me.
Readers, how do you feel about the Galaxy Note 8.0? Do you think the phone function is overkill? Do you prefer the tablet version of the Note over the phone, or does the phone suit you better? Let me know your thoughts in the comments!