At Tech Advisor we review hundreds of phones every year in our quest to find a phone that doesn’t compromise - in any area. A five-star smartphone and current champion of our best big phones chart, the Samsung Galaxy Note 8 delivers on every front for demanding users. It can even transform into a powerful and supremely portable PC, connecting to a screen, keyboard and mouse via a lightweight dock.
Phones like this don’t come cheap when you buy them on a contract, but SIM-free they become a real, viable option. Buying SIM-free also means you can choose a tariff that includes only the minutes, texts and data you will use, and you won’t be tied to that handset and carrier for the next two years.
|Samsung Galaxy Note 8||SIM-free at John Lewis||Typical Contract Plan|
|Monthly cost||£10 (av. SIM-free plan)||£49|
|Total price over two-year lifespan||£1,109||£1,235|
|View at John Lewis|
Do bigger things with Galaxy Note 8
When you need to juggle multiple tasks the ability to interact with two apps onscreen and log in with both work and personal accounts is desirable - moreover when the screen on which you’re working is bigger and of better quality than anything else.
Samsung’s 6.3in Infinity Display towers over its rivals, its curved edges and minimal screen bezels giving you more space to get stuff done, without heavily impacting the overall size of the phone. Super AMOLED tech promises punchy colours, rich contrast and - paired with the Quad-HD+ resolution - superb clarity.
With the Note 8’s screen always-on, just pop out the enhanced S Pen stylus to scribble down a note. You can draw Live Messages, translate text, glance at apps and calendar appointments, magnify text, and annotate web pages or even Instagram Stories. Who has the time to type?
With some powerful hardware working behind the scenes time should be the least of your worries: the Note 8 houses a fast graphics chip, a generous 6GB of memory, expandable storage and a top-of-the-range octa-core 10nm processor that’s significantly faster and more efficient than last year’s 14nm chips, which translates to great savings on battery life.
In testing we recorded faster general processing-speed scores than anything that has ever passed through our lab. And in graphics tests all those extra pixels couldn’t hold back the Note 8.
Performance is equally good from the dual-camera, a professional setup with twin 12-megapixel wide-angle and telephoto lenses and a first for Samsung flagship phones. The Note 8 has excellent low-light performance, and with 2x optical zoom and OIS on each lens it keeps its primary focus clear: taking great photos. You can shoot beautiful masterpieces and pose for selfies, adjust the focus or capture a scene from every angle.
Bixby is more than just another smart virtual assistant, conforming to your every whim and, unlike its competitors, accepting image input as well as voice and text.
The Note 8 can even transform into a powerful desktop PC with the optional Samsung DeX docking station - adding two USB ports, Ethernet, HDMI and a cooling fan, and allowing you to hook up a second screen, keyboard and mouse.
How and where to buy Note 8
It’s much cheaper to buy the handset SIM-free and then find the best monthly deal than it is to sign up for an expensive two-year contract.
Never knowingly undersold, John Lewis continually checks and compares prices against high-street competitors, even during sales, so you don’t have to.