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23 August 2017

6 reasons why iPhone owners might want to switch to the Galaxy Note 8

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A whole bunch of Samsung fans defected to the iPhone last year when the seemingly perfect Galaxy Note 7 literally started blowing up.

But Samsung’s back and ready to win them over with the new Galaxy Note 8. The biggest question surrounding the device is if the new phone is compelling enough to make you dump your iPhone. 

It’s a question only you can really answer, but there’s definitely more than enough drool-worthy features in the Note 8 to tempt most people.

We’re not going to run through all of the Note 8’s features in this post, but if you’re interested in that type of thing, you can read our hands-on story or watch our video for all of the intimate details. 

For now, we’re just going to focus on all the reasons you should pay attention to the Note 8 — even if you own an iPhone.

1. Better dual cameras

Image: Lili sams/mashable

The iPhone 7 Plus wasn’t the first phone to include dual cameras (that was HTC way back with the One M8), but it did popularize the hardware setup with “Portrait mode,” a shooting setting that blurs out the background and mimics the professional look from a DSLR camera. 

The Note 8 also has a pair of 12-megapixel cameras on the back — one wide angle and one 2x telephoto — but they both come with optical image stabilization (the iPhone 7 Plus only has stabalization for the non-telephoto lens) to combat shaky hands even at 10x digital zoom.

The “Live Focus” mode is essentially the same as “Portrait mode” with one big difference: You can adjust the intensity of the background blur using a slider in realtime or after you’ve taken the shot. Another way the Note 8’s dual cameras are better: It can take both a photo at 2x zoom with a blurred out background and a regular wide-angle photo. 

2. An incredible display

Image: LILI SAMS/MASHABLE

Samsung’s flagship phones come with best-in-class displays and the Note 8’s 6.3-inch Super AMOLED display is no different. It’s extremely bright, the blacks are super dark and the colors are nice and saturated so that they really pop.

But what really makes the display better than the iPhone’s is that it’s HDR (High Dynamic Range) ready. HDR content looks even more engrossing with higher contrast, wider dynamic range, deeper blacks, and whiter whites. To put it simply: everything looks more vibrant.

3. There’s a stylus

Image: LILI SAMS/MASHABLE

I know, I know — lulz, there’s a stylus. But styluses are hot again. Why else would the Apple Pencil exist if Microsoft and Samsung were wrong about styluses this whole time? 

The Note 8 has the same sweet “S Pen” from the Note 7. It pops out with a click, supports 4,096 levels of pressure, and the 0.7mm tip allows for some ridiculously precise doodling. Oh, and it also works underwater, too. Furthermore, the S Pen supports full sentence translations when it’s used to select text.

Your finger’s still the best way to interface with your phone, but sometimes a stylus is better — like for drawing and writing.

4. It’s got FAST wireless charging

Image: LILI SAMS/MASHABLE

Rumor has it this year’s new iPhone will finally come with built-in wireless charging. But big whoop! Samsung’s been doing wireless charging for years and it’s basically perfected it on the Note 8.

Compared to other phones with wireless charging, Samsung’s are the only ones that are as fast to charge wirelessly as with cable. With fast wireless charging, the Note 8 can charge from 0 to 49 percent in 30 minutes. 

5. There’s expandable storage

Image: LILI SAMS/MASHABLE

Like wireless charging, Samsung’s phones have had expandable storage for years. The Note 8 comes with 64GB of storage, but you can easily expand that to 320GB with a 256 microSD card.

The best thing about a memory card slot is 1) microSD cards are cheap and 2) you aren’t forced to pay a boatload more for storage upfront, especially if you won’t need it.

That said, it’s always good to have more storage now that we’re all shooting more high-resolution photos and 4K videos.

6. It probably won’t explode

Image: lance ulanoff/MASHABLE

Things would’ve been so different if the Note 7 never blew up. Samsung promised to build phones with safer batteries and it did. The Galaxy S8 and S8+ come with new batteries that are put through an 8-point battery safety inspection.

Some testers have tried puncturing the S8’s battery only to discover that it doesn’t catch on fire. That’s good news, because the Note 8’s battery (and all future Samsung phone batteries, for that matter) must pass the same rigorous safety check. In other words, the Note 8 shouldn’t explode, which is great because you won’t have to worry about going to sleep and it burning your house down.

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