Samsung Galaxy Note 8 vs Samsung Galaxy Note 2

Vs Paul Briden 10:06, 26 Feb 2013

Points to consider: Practical use

While the specs are broadly comparable and should deliver a similar experience there are a few key differences which may dictate your decision.

The big advantage of the Note 2 over other smartphones is the massive screen, making it excellent for viewing multimedia and webpages. On the same line the Note 8.0’s even larger display makes it even more fit for this purpose.

The Galaxy Note 8.0’s display is an LCD with a 1280x800 pixel resolution, giving a lower pixel density of 189ppi and, side-by-side, the Galaxy Note 2’s screen is sharper.

The Galaxy Note 8.0’s LCD, however, ensures better brightness and outdoor use, as well as purer whites, while colours remain rich. Contrast is perhaps not quite as good as the Note 2’s but still competent.

With the Note 8.0 you do lose out on the opportunity for that higher-tier 64GB storage space and it has a 5-megapixel camera instead of the Note 2’s 8-megapixel snapper.

Also, the Note 8.0 has a larger 4,600mAh battery pack but we’re a little concerned this may not be enough of a boost.

The Note 2 generally gives excellent battery life from its 3,100mAh pack but certain tasks, most notably the use of the S-Pen stylus, drain it alarmingly quickly by comparison.

When you consider the Galaxy Note 8.0 must power a larger LCD display, be capable of making calls and may also have drain from S-Pen use you can see how such a small battery boost may not be enough, particularly when compared to other similarly sized tablets in its class.

As a final point we said we’d come back to the build quality. This is the same as with every other Samsung device – reasonably robust and solid in construction, but lacking the premium finish we’d like for this kind of price tag.

The glossy Samsung plastic still holds no appeal whatsoever and while we still find such devices usable it really tarnishes everything with a tacky cheapness that simply isn’t welcome.

The design language on both devices is, for the most part, the same. The only noticable difference is the Note 8.0's broader bezel but this is understandable to allow better grip on a larger device.


In principle, the idea of a Galaxy Note 8.0 device sitting between the Galaxy Note 2 and Galaxy Note 10.1 is fairly sound and it does seem like a well-executed product on the whole.

Having used a Galaxy Note 10.1 the Note 8.0 is infinitely more portable and usable than its larger cousin.

The calls thing seems a bit weird, but then, you don’t have to use it, or you could get the Wi-Fi only model and probably save yourself some cash in the process.

You can’t really go wrong with either device, but if you want something primarily as a phone the Galaxy Note 2 is the better option.

Meanwhile, if you want more from the larger display and the creativity elements of the Note brand the Galaxy Note 8.0 will likely offer more.

The concern over battery life is an important issue and we’ll be focusing on this closely in our full review.

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