Samsung Galaxy Note 8.0 review

Has Samsung gone mad with so many different sized tablets and phones?

Samsung Galaxy Note 8.0 review
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Samsung has created a very worthy device here. The Note 8.0 may not be able to put 'phone' or 'tablet' solely on its birth certificate (remember, the cellular version will allow calls), but in using the Wi-Fi model under the tablet moniker, we can see Samsung has created a machine that puts up a fight and does the job well.

Some elements - like the infared blaster - give the Note 8.0 a bit of an edge compared to the likes of the iPad Mini and the Nexus 7. It's a genuinely useful addition, rather than just a gimmick. And of course, there is the S-Pen which is great once you know what you're doing.

We liked

The Galaxy Note 8.0 is a light, highly portable device and there's no denying that its display is far better than that of the main competition, the iPad Mini.

It also gives great viewing angles on top of that enhanced ppi density. It's solidly built, with expandable memory and the S-Pen has clearly been enhanced to make this a major selling point.

We love the IR blaster, the media capabilities are top notch and like the Samsung Galaxy S3, all the power of Android is one offer, plus the TouchWiz UI works nicely on top of it all. Love it or hate it, at least it's simple to use.

We disliked

It's not the most attractive of tablets with that pointlessly large bezel - and some of the gesture controls are too gimmicky for our liking..

While we like the IR blaster, it could have been a bit stronger. And some bits just feel like they've been added on for the sake of it - like the camera, which is mediocre at best.

Final verdict

Samsung has created a good device here. But is good enough? Sadly, we don't think so. The bar is a lot higher these days.This is a device that does what it does well, but doesn't wow us in too many ways.

It's obvious that Samsung and Google are fighting for your custom from the sheer number of options and the way they sit side-by-side out of the box. Like two parents smiling in front of the kids, as they wrestle for custody in court.

And what's with that price? There's no way of dressing this up - the iPad Mini has a bigger following and the only thing that would drive consumers to a Samsung Galaxy Note 8.0 instead (those who don't care much about technology, before you accuse us of being Apple fanboys) would probably be a lower price. So why make it hideously more expensive?

It's a good device. But there are better out there for the money, and with an arguably better design as well. However, for those that like the S Pen as a tool, it's a great offering, albeit not really worth the extra cash for most.

A scaled up Samsung Galaxy Note 2 it may be, but there are a lot of positives on offer thanks to that larger screen. Now excuse us, we're off to try out a Galaxy Mega...