Ahead of Mobile World Congress, Samsung has officially confirmed the Samsung Galaxy Note 8.0, a mid-size Jelly Bean tablet set to take on the Apple iPad Mini.
Launching with Android 4.1 Jelly Bean, the Note 8.0 sits between the 5.5-inch Samsung Galaxy Note 2 and 10.1-inch Samsung Galaxy Note 10.1 in Samsung’s tablet range and includes a 1.6GHz A9 quad-core processor with 2GB RAM and large 4600 mAh battery.
In order to keep the price competitive, Samsung has made some compromises on the screen quality in comparison to its predecessors. The 8-inch screen uses LCD rather than AMOLED technology and the 1280×800/189 ppi rating means a drop in sharpness and clarity next to the Note 2 with 267ppi.
16GB and 32GB storage options will be available (expandable using a microSD card by up to 64GB,) along with WiFi and WiFi + 3G connectivity. A 5-megapixel rear-facing camera without flash and 1.3-megapixel secondary camera, round off a fairly average spec sheet.
What sets the Samsung Galaxy Note 8.0 apart from similar-sized devices like the Apple iPad Mini is its S-Pen, for drawing, annotating and sharing content using the integrated S Note suite. S-Pen capabilities include Handwriting-to-Text conversion, Shape Match, PopUp Video and Pen Detection, which suggests adapted menus when removed from its holder. Air View lets users preview content such as videos, emails, photos and appointments on S Planner by hovering over the screen and – for the first time – the S Pen can control the physical menu and back button
Simon Stanford from Samsung Electronics comments: “This year, we expect tablet growth to accelerate at the same fast pace we saw last year and are excited to be able to make the tablet experience accessible to a wider audience by adding to our existing portfolio of devices. The Galaxy Note was a completely new category of device when we launched the first one back in 2011, and it’s been extremely satisfying to watch it sell so well and grow in stature as our customers’ understanding of the category has grown.”
Making its debut on a Samsung Galaxy tablet is a customised version of Flipboard, which aggregates social networking and news feeds using the S-Pen’s hover features to preview headlines beneath the main screen. Awesome Note is also integrated and Smart Remote turns the Note 8.0 into a universal remote control. Multiple applications can also run simultaneously using the same screen space.
The Samsung Galaxy Note 8.0 is a logical move for Samsung, strengthening the Note range and appealing to people who want a mid-range Android tablet with S-Pen capabilities. We’re at Mobile World Congress this week, so we’ll bring you some hand-on photos and video of the Note 8.0 – we’re particularly keen to see it Samsung’s description of a ‘one-hand grip screen’ is accurate.
The Samsung Galaxy Note 8.0 is set to launch in Q2, pricing has yet to be confirmed, but we’d expect it to range from £250-£350.