For a phone that has the added burden of making us forget about its predecessor, the Note 7, which had issues with the battery exploding, the Note 8 does seem to have a lot at stake. The edges are less rounded than on the Galaxy S8+, and the curved display merges into much flatter side spines too. There is the Gorilla Glass 5 layer at the front and back, which provides some assurance against rough use, but it also smudges easily, ruining the look.

The Infinity Display has been adopted by the Note 8 as well. This means there are only minimal bezels around the 6.3-inch display, with the 18.5:9 aspect ratio. The Super AMOLED display allows great colour richness and contrast too. You can switch between resolutions to save on battery life—the highest being WQHD+ (2,960x1,440), and HD+ (1,480x720) is the lowest. Netflix has already added the Note 8 to its list of devices that can stream and play back 4K HDR content. This is also the brightest smartphone screen of this size, rated at 1,200 nits—most high-end HDR televisions have around 1,000 nits of brightness, which puts the Note 8’s prowess in perspective.

The screen supports 4,000 pressure points, which means more accuracy for your handwritten scribbles and drawings using the S-Pen stylus. The S-Pen takes some time getting used to, but once you do, it becomes very easy to scribble notes, etc.

It has dual cameras: a 12-megapixel sensor (f1.7 aperture), and another 12-megapixel sensor that allows 2x optical zoom (f2.4 aperture). You will get detailed and vibrant photos, which are truly Instagram-worthy. However, some photos looked a bit soft, which indicates a fairly aggressive noise-reduction algorithm working in the background.

Samsung’s own Exynos 8895 chip based on the 10nm architecture is paired with 6 GB RAM. What you get is blazing-fast performance that puts it on a par with the Galaxy S8+ (it has 4 GB RAM, though). We noticed slight heating when really stressing the Note 8. What is surprising is the 3,300mAh battery (Galaxy S8+ has a 3,500mAh battery) despite a powerful processor and a very bright display, which means you will get through a day with relative ease, but no more.

While the Note 8 ticks off most boxes on a potential buyer’s checklist, the hefty price tag does bring the equally competent Galaxy S8+ (Rs60,900; Flipkart.com) into the picture. If you need the stylus, then go for the Note 8. If not, then the Galaxy S8+ offers a larger battery, the 6.2-inch display is fantastic and it is equally powerful too.

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