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Samsung Galaxy Note 8.0 review

Samsung's Galaxy Note 8.0 has an 8in 1280x800 screen

The Samsung Galaxy Note 8.0 is a decent tablet, but it's unlikely to win over buyers with its plasticky build and expensive price tag.


Samsung's S Pen is good, great performance, plenty of storage, multitasking features are well executed


Poor design, lacklustre screen, phone addition is pointless on such a large device

Overall Rating:

3 Star Rating: Recommended

Price: £350

Manufacturer: Samsung

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. 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.

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. However we found the device far too large to be used as a phone, even with an earpiece or headphones connected, and struggled to get phone connectivity when we did put our SIM in, so went on to test the device as we would a tablet. 

Samsung Galaxy Note 8 design

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, we did drop the device a couple of times and it came away completely unscathed.

One thing we do like about the plastic casing 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

Processor: 1.7GHz quad-core Exynos processor
Display: 8in 1280x800 IPS LCD touchscreen
Storage: 16/32GB internal storage, microSD up to 64GB
Camera: 5MP rear, 1.9MP front camera
Connectivity: 2G, 3G, WiFi
Operating system: Android 4.1.2 Jelly Bean
Dimensions: 211x136x8mm
Weight: 338g

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Carly Page

Carly Page joined The INQUIRER as News Editor in April 2012. Before becoming a full-time geek, Carly studied Journalism at the University of Lincoln, and dabbled in the music journalism industry. Carly's main coverage areas include mobile devices, mobile software, telecoms, mobile operators, social networks and anything Breaking Bad related.

View Carly's Google+ profile


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