Samsung Galaxy Note 8 vs Samsung Galaxy Note 2

Vs Paul Briden 10:06, 26 Feb 2013

Samsung has launched the Galaxy Note 8.0 as a medium sized tablet with S-Pen input, but is it better than the Galaxy Note 2 smartphone?

Samsung’s Galaxy Note 2 has been on the market for a little while now but is still a competitive handset choice which has proven popular with consumers.

It features a large 5.5-inch display, S-Pen stylus input, a quad-core processor and Android 4.1 Jelly Bean.

The Galaxy Note 8.0, announced at MWC 2013, follows the same design principles but expands things into a larger 8-inch tablet form factor, though unusually for a device this size still retains the call and text capability (a Wi-Fi only variant is also available, however).

Samsung Galaxy Note 2: Key specs and what’s hot

The two most immediate advantages of the Galaxy Note 2 are its sizeable, high-quality display and powerful quad-core processor.

It uses a 5.5-inch Super AMOLED touchscreen with digitiser support for the S-Pen stylus, along with a 1280x720 pixel resolution at 267 pixels-per-inch (ppi).

Visuals are, on the whole, quite crisp, and as a non-pentile OLED display it’s clearer than other screens we've seen from Samsung.

Brightness is not a strong suit of AMOLED although here it’s reasonably competent. Colour depth, dark tones and contrast are all great. Touch responsiveness is excellent and particularly so with the S-Pen, which delivers high levels of sensitivity, fluidity and accuracy previously unseen with stylus implementation.

The processor is Samsung’s own quad-core Exynos 4412 chip based on ARM Cortex-A9 architecture and clocked at 1.6GHz with a Mali-400MP quad-core graphics processing unit (GPU). The device is also well-stocked when it comes to RAM, with 2GB helping things tick over smoothly.

Storage includes Samsung’s typically generous array of 16GB, 32GB and 64GB options, while each supports high-capacity microSD cards up to 64GB.

Android 4.1 Jelly Bean is a key pulling point as the platform has now evolved into a refined and comprehensive suite of software.

There are now more than 700,000 apps on Google Play for the Galaxy Note 2 to make use of and the operating system runs smoothly, features latency optimisation tweaks for better responsiveness, is more stable and has some fluid and intuitive multitasking controls. The menu layout is also easy-to-use and logical.

Other highlights include the Google Now search engine, voice control and notifications system, an application which seems to consistently surprise users with its eerie behaviour before becoming an invaluable companion.

Additional handset hot-spots include the 8-megpixel primary camera, which is identical to the Galaxy S3 flagship setup and delivers decent quality images and videos, and the sizeable 3,100mAh battery which ensures the Galaxy Note 2 just keeps on going where other phones falter.

Samsung Galaxy Note 8.0: Key specs and what’s hot

The Galaxy Note 8.0 is pretty much a blown-up Galaxy Note 2, so most of the highlights we mentioned in the previous section apply here too.

However, while we will make more detailed points about the external design and build quality of both devices in the next section, it’s well worth mentioning here that although on paper the Galaxy Note 8.0 weighs more than the Galaxy Note 2 smartphone, it feels much more manageable in terms of weight distribution and it’s also the thinner of the two devices.

The processor and RAM setup is exactly the same as its smaller counterpart and provides a similarly slick experience on Android 4.1 Jelly Bean, which in turn has all the same perks in terms of smoothness of operation and app choice.

It should be noted the Galaxy Note 8.0 only has options for 16GB or 32GB of onboard storage but each retains the same microSD support for high-cap cards up to 64GB.

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