The Galaxy Note 8 is probably Samsung’s best phone of the year, and you can read our thorough Galaxy Note 8 review right here to see why. That said, the phone should not even exist anymore, at least not until Samsung is ready to do some more innovating.
Why would I argue that Samsung’s best phone should not be made? Because, right now, the Galaxy Note 8 is basically a bigger Galaxy S8 version. The Galaxy S and Galaxy Note design and features are converging to the point where there’s no excuse buying the phablet.
The Galaxy S8 is already a huge phone, and the Plus model is even bigger. Disregarding the S Pen stylus that’s been a hallmark of the Note line since its introduction, the Note 8 only has one feature that’s not available on the Galaxy S8, the dual camera.
Samsung did want to ship a dual camera on the Galaxy S8 this year, and it made such prototypes. But it ultimately chose not to do it, and wait another six months to pack it inside the Galaxy Note 8.
Is this what Galaxy S and Galaxy Note fans are in for right now? Will the future Notes only bring out one major new feature compared to the same-year Galaxy S? Next year, rumors say that the Note 9 will have a fingerprint sensor under the screen, while the Galaxy S9’s sensor is still on the back.
Yes, the stylus will always be a differentiator between the Note and S lines. I’m not trying to minimize the importance of the S Pen and its features. The stylus and the specialized software are useful and have many fans. But wouldn’t they also work on the Galaxy S8, even if the phone can’t also house the stylus like the Note 8 does?
And let’s not forget that Samsung did not fix or improve other glaring Galaxy S8 features with the Note 8, including the face and iris unlocks that can be hacked and offer a messy overall experience.
If the Galaxy Note is supposed to become a Galaxy S copy with little differences, then why not just incorporate the stylus into the Galaxy S+ version and be done with it? Yes, I know, it’s all about the bottom line and competing against the new iPhones that arrive each fall.
That said, the Note may still have a great future, as long as Samsung finds ways to make it great again.