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Samsung Galaxy Note 8: Outstanding premium device to take on new iPhones

 A two-year-long wait for Samsung Note lovers finally came to an end when the South Korean giant brought its premium flagship Galaxy Note 8 to India this month.

Set to give the newly-launched Apple iPhones a close fight when it comes to the Indian market, the Rs 67,900 Note 8 is undoubtedly the best device yet from Samsung.

Let's find out why Galaxy Note 8 is going to charm you.

Galaxy Note 8 has industry-first "Infinity Display". The 6.3-inch display with a resolution of 1440 x 2960 pixels delivered sharp and deep colours.

The edge-to-edge display with 18.5:9 aspect ratio offered maximum viewing area. You cannot ask for a better screen when it comes to watching movies, playing games or social media use.

The device with 6GB RAM and 64GB inbuilt storage (expandable up to 256GB) houses a 64-bit Exynos 8895 octa-core SoC (system on chip), handling heavy-graphics games with ease with "Vulkan API" support.

We tested the device with "Asphalt 8" and did not experience any problem with frame rate or face any lag. Testing it further, we opened several apps and then resumed gaming but found no performance issues.

When it comes to security, Note 8 comes with "iris scanner", FaceID (just like the "super premium" iPhone X), fingerprint scanner (that works awesomely), number lock and pattern lock.

All five options worked fine. However, the fingerprint lock turned out to be the most handy security option.

A powerful camera complemented the performance. Galaxy Note 8 comes with a rear dual camera set-up with dual OIS (Optical Image Stabilisation).

While one is a wide-angle 12MP Dual Pixel autofocus camera with an aperture of 1.7, the other is a "Telephoto" 12MP autofocus camera with an f-stop of 2.4. The system has 2X optical zoom and up to 10X digital zoom.

The photos in well-lit conditions exceeded our expectations. The "Bokeh" effect was impressive. You can also use the "Bixby Vision" to place or extract a text from a photo. For this, point the camera towards a subject and click.

The device will return with two options -- "Image" and "Text". Select "Image" if you want photos as subject. To extract text from the photo, select "Text".

The 8MP front shooter with f1.7 clicked beautiful photos even in low-light conditions.

Samsung has also made the "S-Pen" more powerful. You can now perform loads of work with "S-Pen" that supports 4,096 levels of pressure, with the tip having a 0.7mm diameter.

More pressure level means you can decide the thickness of the font by the "S-Pen" itself. Press harder on screen to get a bold font and write with less pressure to get a thinner text.

"S-Pen" has now been powered to write on Always On Display (AOD). You can now take notes on up to 100 pages.

The S-Pen also lets you make a 15-second animation to share on social media with its "Smart Select" feature.

Coming to AI assistant "Bixby", Samsung has now rolled out voice support for "Bixby" in India.

"Bixby will deliver a great experience to the users because, unlike other AI assistants, it can understand multi-layered commands. And I think that will be a very unique experience," Asim Warsi, Senior Vice President, Mobile Business, Samsung India, told IANS.

"Bixby" worked fine, at par with the Apple "Siri" and Google Assistant.

The 3,300mAh battery went from 0 per cent to 100 per cent in an hour and 43 minutes. The company is giving "AKG" earplugs with the device. The sound quality was outstanding.

What doesn't work?

The fingerprint scanner is placed a bit higher on the rear. The "Bixby" voice, which is still in its early days, can be better.

The "iris scanner" and FaceID were average when it came to unlocking the device in poorly-lit conditions.

Conclusion: Note 8 looks like a great device with Samsung getting the software and artificial intelligence piece right over there. At Rs 67,900, it is a perfect deal for Android lovers in the premium segment.

(Sourabh Kulesh can be contacted at sourabh.k@ians.in)