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Samsung Announces the Galaxy Note 8

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In front of packed bleachers at New York City’s Park Avenue Armory, Samsung executives unveiled the brand’s newest flagship phablet to the world for the first time. The Note line is known for pushing the screen-size envelope, and the Android 7.1.1 Nougat-based Note 8 is no exception, sporting a 6.3" Super AMOLED screen that eclipses its short-lived predecessor by more than half an inch. That screen offers a QHD+ resolution of 2960 x 1440 for an 18.5:9 aspect ratio and carries over the Galaxy S8 and S8+’s Infinity Display, which wraps around the side of the device for a nearly bezel-less look.

The Note line’s other constant over the years has been the inclusion of the S Pen, a built-in stylus, and the Note 8’s has a finer tip and improved pressure sensitivity for better sketches and writing. The Live Messages function allows handwritten messages and photos marked up with drawings and annotations to be sent to friends across platforms, and Screen Off Memo gives users the ability to start writing without waking their device up. The S Pen also offers a translation function for foreign languages and can automatically convert currencies and units of measurement.

The Note 8 received a major camera upgrade, with two 12MP rear-facing cameras that work in concert to enable 2x optical zoom. The telephoto camera has an f/2.4 aperture, in contrast with the f/1.7 wide-angle camera. Both come with optical image stabilization for sharper photos and reduced video shake. Those two cameras also enable Live Focus, which lets users blur the background of their shot in real time to help subjects stand out.

Other highlights include improved DeX functionality, which turns the Note 8 into a pared-down desktop computer, programmable complex Quick Commands for the Bixby virtual assistant, and App Pair, which launches two apps in split-screen mode with a touch of the Edge Panel. All that functionality is powered by a 10nm 2.35GHz Snapdragon 835 octa-core processor and 6GB of RAM, with 64GB of storage that can be expanded using the microSD card slot. Despite a USB Type-C port for data transfer and charging its 3300mAh battery and a 3.5mm headphone jack, the Note 8 is water resistant in up to five feet for 30 minutes.

The Galaxy Note 8 will be available for pre-order soon in Midnight Black, Orchid Gray, Maple Gold, and Deep Sea Blue, and is expected to ship in mid-September. A pair of AKG earbuds is included.

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