The Galaxy Note 8 is a milestone device when it comes to cameras, not least because it’s Samsung’s first ever handset with a dual-lens snapper. Here, we show you how to get the most out of its robust camera experience.
With such a powerful camera on-hand it makes total sense that you’d want to get to it quickly to grab a snap. Thankfully, the Note 8 offers up a myriad of ways to open up the camera so that you can get to shooting.
Firstly, a simple double-tap of the power button pushes you into the camera, whilst waking the screen up also reveals a swipeable camera app shortcut in the bottom right corner of the lock screen, and if pressing or swiping just sounds like too much effort, then you can just ask Bixby – either by long-pressing the Bixby button or using the ‘Hi, Bixby’ wake command and simply saying ‘open camera’.
These methods should all work from the off but if not, root around in the Note 8’s general settings menu or Bixby Settings respectively, to make sure your quick-launch options are dialled in correctly. It’s also worth noting that the first and third methods work whether the phone is locked or unlocked, making them super convenient.
Dive into the settings menu found within the Note 8’s camera app and you’ll find a little section marked ‘Shooting methods’. The three subsequent options include ‘Tap screen’ letting you fire off a snap by touching anywhere within the viewfinder when using the front camera, ‘Show palm’ which initiates a timer when the phone detects your open palm in-frame, and ‘Tap heart rate sensor’ which turns the phone’s optical heart rate sensor into an additional shutter button when snapping a selfie.
Back in the main camera settings, there are two other notable options: ‘Voice control’, which causes the Note 8 to snap a photo after hearing ‘Smile’, ‘Cheese’, ‘Capture’ or ‘Shoot’, or record video when you say “Record Video”, go figure.
There’s also the option of the floating camera button, which lets you place a movable on-screen shutter button anywhere within the viewfinder, which may prove especially useful if you find the standard shutter placement on the Note 8’s expansive 6.3-inch display trying.
Using Full View
You might notice that the viewfinder doesn’t fill the phone’s 18.5:9 aspect ratio screen by default but if you want to, the Full View button (between the camera switcher and the flash toggle) can change all that.
Just know that with Full View activated, you’re no longer taking 4:3 snaps at the Note 8’s native 12.2-megapixel resolution but rather a cropped 7.9-megapixel image in the screen’s native aspect ratio – useful for taking more cinematic-style snaps.
Dig around in the Note 8 camera’s settings and you’ll find the option for Motion Photo, flip it on and much like Apple’s Live Photos every snap you take will be accompanied by a short video with footage taken from the moment before you would have pressed the shutter button.
The option only appears within the Note 8’s native Gallery app and is activated by tapping the ‘Play Motion Photo’ button on any compatible image.
Rearranging stickers and masks
Like the S8 and S8+, the Note 8 also packs in a number of repositionable stamps and Snapchat-style motion-tracked stickers, so you can watermark your photos or turn yourself into a bow-wearing human-chihuahua hybrid because who wouldn’t enjoy embodying that terrifying concept?
If you prefer using stickers more than stamps or vice versa, you can easily reorder these fun overlays by navigating to the stickers mode and tapping the cog icon next to the various categories. On the subsequent ‘My Stickers’ screen, you can then rearrange the order of the sticker and stamp packs by tapping the ‘edit’ button in the corner and then using the grab handles to slide the options up or down.
Downloading additional camera modes
The Note 8 features a host of useful camera modes from the get-go, including manual control, food mode and slow motion video recording but you can add more to the experience by tapping on the ‘Download’ icon where you’ll be taken to the Samsung Galaxy Apps Store and presented with a range of new modes that you can append the camera experience for free.
You can pre-order the Galaxy Note 8 from O2 right now, from £63 per month on contract. Samsung’s mighty mobile can be picked up in Midnight Black or Maple Gold, with a selection of tariffs rising to 50GB of monthly data. You’ll enjoy free O2 WiFi and daily offers with the O2 Priority scheme.