Tablets Guide

Samsung Galaxy Note 8.0 (16GB, Wi-Fi + LTE) review

Samsung Galaxy Note 8.0 - The 8-Inch Diary

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Launch SRP S$788

Overall rating 7.5/10
Design:
7.5
Features:
8
User-Friendliness:
8
Performance:
7.5
Value:
7
THE GOOD
Accurate stylus with good app support
Decent display, but not Full HD
THE BAD
UI and pre-installed apps take up a lot of internal storage space
Uninspired design and all-plastic build
Average battery life
Quite expensive


Performance Benchmarks, Battery Life & Conclusion

Performance Benchmarks

The Note 8.0 is powered by a powerful quad-core 1.6 GHz Cortex-A9 processor and includes 2GB RAM. This gives it a higher clock speed than all of its competitors, including the newer 2013 ASUS Google Nexus 7.

Quadrant

Quadrant is an Android OS benchmark that evaluates a device's CPU, memory, I/O and 3D graphics performance.

The Note 8.0 lived up to its fast clock speed, outgunning the Google Nexus 7 with an impressive score of 6813.


3DMark 2013

Originally developed as a PC benchmarking tool, 3DMark is now expanded to support multiple platforms including Android OS. The Ice Storm benchmark is designed for smartphones, mobile devices and ARM architecture computers.

For an in-depth understanding of 3DMark for Android, do head over to our article, "3DMark - Android Device GPU Performance Review." In a nutshell, 3DMark consists of two test sections:

3DMark Ice Storm is an OpenGL ES 2.0 benchmark test that uses fixed off-screen rendering at 720p then scales the output to fit the native display resolution of your device. Ice Storm includes two graphics tests designed to stress the GPU performance of your device and a physics test to stress its CPU performance.

3DMark Ice Storm Extreme raises the off-screen rendering resolution to 1080p and uses higher quality textures and post-processing effects to create a more demanding load for the latest smartphones and tablets.

The Note 8.0 didn't perform as well here, being easily beaten by the Nexus 7, suggesting that its Mali 400 GPU is no match for the Nexus 7's Adreno 330. Having said that, it still outperformed the older ASUS Fonepad and Apple iPad Mini.


SunSpider Javascript

SunSpider Javascript measures the browsing performance of a device. It not only takes into consideration the underlying hardware performance, but also assesses how optimized a particular platform is at delivering a high-speed web browsing experience.

The Note 8.0 performed better here, scoring slightly better than the Nexus 7. In actual usage, browsing performance and interface navigation was smooth and lag free - like most other devices.


Camera

Tablets aren't really known for their cameras and the Note 8.0 is no different. Samsung has thrown in a 5-megapixel shooter, but doesn't include an LED flash, which somewhat limits its abilities. Nevertheless, let's take a look at the sample picture.

 

Battery Life 

Our standard battery test for tablets includes the following parameters:

• Looping a 720p video with screen brightness and volume at 100%
• Wi-Fi and Bluetooth connectivity turned on
• Constant data streaming through email and Twitter

With a 4600mAh capacity battery, the Galaxy Note 8.0 has a larger battery capacity than most of its rivals. However, in our battery life benchmark it was only average, lasting just six hours. While it's on par with the Nexus 7, take note that it has a much smaller capacity battery and it has to power a Full HD display.

Power consumption was quite high, however, with its 1280 x 800 pixel resolution display and only average volume speakers, we're not sure what would be draining so much battery. 

Subsequently, it also fared worse than the other comparison tablets on our portability index.

 

Conclusion

All things considered, the Galaxy Note 8.0 isn't a bad tablet; it just isn't impressive enough in any area to warrant its premium price tag. The all plastic build and uninspired design are a bit disappointing for a device of this price. Similarly, while the 8-inch display was bright, viewing angles weren't fantastic, and clarity could have been better too - it is also clearly surpassed by the much cheaper Google Nexus 7 (2013). We were also concerned by the lack of available storage space, with only 8GB of the advertised 16GB available for use, fresh out of the box.

The only real advantage the Note 8.0 holds over its competitors is its S Pen stylus. The stylus itself is thoughtfully designed and accurate and Samsung has included plenty of extra utility and apps to make the best use of it. But are you prepared to pay this much more for a stylus? That depends on your personal usage, but if you think you'll only be using it occasionally, there are probably better ways to spend your money.