Earlier today, Samsung finally unveiled when their newest Note-branded device, the Galaxy Note 8.0, will land here in the United States. For anyone who’s been looking forward to the device that was originally announced back at Mobile World Congress in February, hopefully waiting until April 11 won’t be too much of an issue.
As far as specifications go, there’s nothing too surprising here. The 8-inch display has a resolution of 1280x800, and features S Pen support. Inside, there’s a 1.6GHz quad-core processor, with a 5MP camera on the back, and a 1.3 megapixel camera on the front. There’s 2GB of RAM and 16GB of built-in storage. The battery measures in at a whopping 4,600mAh, and the tablet will be running Android 4.1 Jelly Bean out of the box. And yes, Samsung’s TouchWiz user interface will be there, for better or worse.
There wasn’t any mention of different color variants, so it looks like you’ll be able to pick it up only in white. As far as retailers go, Samsung is doing their best to make it as widely available as possible: Amazon, Best Buy, Best Buy Mobile, Staples, Newegg, plus a few more in there for good measure. Basically, you should be able to find the newest Note tablet where you shop, which should help Samsung move some product.
So, let’s just get to the part where there’s been plenty of conversation: The price. At the end of February, I wrote a piece about how I planned on buying the Galaxy Note 8.0, and that based on features I had been using in the Galaxy Note II, I was fully expecting on keeping the tablet. Once I got my hands on it. I made the stipulation that it would depend on the pricing of the tablet, as these types of things should depend on the pricing of a device.
Now that we know how much the Galaxy Note 8.0 costs, I watched my Twitter feed to see how folks were reacting to it. I was happy to see that a lot of people were noting the features you get in a Note product from Samsung. Those same folks were quick to point out that we should be willing to pay for good features, so that companies keep making good features.
But, there were just as many tweets focusing on how high they thought the price tag is, too. At $399, it puts it $50 higher than Apple’s iPad Mini. Moreover, though, it puts it well over the price tag for Google’s and ASUS’s Nexus 7, which starts at $199. Keep in mind that all these tablets have 16GB of storage, and their own specific set of specifications, at these particular price points.
I saw people suggest that Samsung’s choice of plastic for their devices, in this case the Galaxy Note 8.0, means that their devices shouldn’t warrant a premium price tag. After all, if your device doesn’t feel or look like a premium device, why are you paying a premium price tag? Indeed, this is an argument that we’ve seen with a lot of Samsung-branded devices, especially their smartphones over the years. But, as our own Chase Bonar has put it, what’s wrong with plastic devices?
As long as the features make up for the physical build, you should feel like you’re spending your hard earned money on something that will effectively give you a nice return. And let’s face it, that’s exactly what Samsung has been aiming to do: Shove as many software features into their devices as they can, so that even if you aren’t a huge fan of the plastic build, you are happy with the software that you have to interact with every single day.
And, based on my extensive time with the Galaxy Note II and how quickly I fell in love with the features, even if I’m not a huge fan of TouchWiz UI, I know that the Galaxy Note 8.0’s features will work perfectly well for me, too. Especially with the larger display. That’s why I’m okay with the $399 price tag, plastic build and all.
What do you think of Samsung’s pricing point for the Galaxy Note 8.0? Do you think it’s the right way to go? Or do you think they should have marked it down? And, if so, by how much? $349? $249? Where do you think they should have priced their eight-inch Note device? Let me know!