Samsung’s new Galaxy Note 8 is finally here, and considering the events of last September many believed this day wouldn’t ever come. The Galaxy Note 7 was launched to great pomp and grandeur, and it was an amazing device till it started exploding within days of launch. Samsung couldn’t figure out what was wrong and it eventually had to recall and stop production of its flagship smartphone. But one year down the line, Samsung is back, arguably stronger than ever on the back of the Galaxy S8 which has wowed users around the world with its infinity display, design and powerful performance. The Galaxy Note 8 is a real thing and by all metrics one judges a smartphone it is amongst most stunning devices we have ever seen. That being said, even with this stunning new Note 8, the ghost of the Note 7 is still haunting this new device.
Why do we say that? Well, it is the size of the battery that’s telling. With its 3,300mAh battery the Galaxy Note 8 has a battery that’s smaller than the one on even the larger Galaxy S8+. Yes, this too on a phone which has a gargantuan 6.3-inch infinity display with a quad HD+ screen. Albeit a state of the art Super AMOLED one, however, one can also say that Samsung is too scared that it has adopted a conservative approach to the size of the battery which turned out to be the reason behind the explosions on the Galaxy Note 7.
Here’s the thing; battery life of a phone isn’t a zero sum game. It is a combination of multiple factors — antenna design, screen size, resolution and technology, processor type, thermal envelop of a device, software optimisation and most of all use case. That being said, in the case of the Galaxy Note 8, it has a top of the line processor which as power efficient it may be will still be somewhat of a battery guzzler. Its screen isn’t only huge, but ultra high resolution and bright which will also suck up more battery and considering the slender frame of the phone, it is likely pushing the limits of the thermal envelop of the device. A 3,300mAh battery is likely to be too less.
Last year, Samsung wanted to push the limits of the size of the battery it wanted to install in the Note 7 and it backfired in the most public and disastrous way possible. Chances are that’s why Samsung has taken such a conservative approach.
Samsung can argue that it had to have some space for the S-Pen on the Note 8 but that shouldn’t have been the case. By Samsung’s own admission the Note line is a productivity centered product which helps people do more work. Its a work horse, and a work horse which doesn’t have great battery life wouldn’t be a work horse. Now, we haven’t reviewed the phone yet and tested out its battery life, however, on paper this isn’t looking the best compromise.
Samsung, if anything, has over indexed on the other extreme which can only mean one thing - the ghost of the Note 7 is still haunting it which isn’t surprising and understandable but very unfortunate for the consumer as besides this, the Note 8 looks like an amazing smartphone.