After all the rumors, leaked pictures and specs, it’s finally here. The Samsung Galaxy Note 8.0, one of the most expected devices from this year’s MWC in Barcelona was officially announced, ahead of the opening of the congress. According to TechRadar, the device was confirmed by Samsung, after an anonymous tipster, probably part of the set-up crew in Barcelona, took a picture of the Samsung stand, where the Note 8.0 was featured on the big screen. It slots in between the 5.5″ note II smartphone and the larger 10.1″ Note 10.1 tablet and yes, you can place phone calls on it.
At a first sight, it keeps the same line of design Samsung used us with, looking like a super-sized Galaxy S3 or Note II and still using the glossy plastic that dominates the rest of the company’s line. Pretty thin, at 7,95 mm and weighing only 338g, it’s just a bit heavier than its main competitor, the iPad mini.
The 8.0″ display is pretty impressive: TFT capacitive touchscreen, 16 million colors and a resolution of 800 x 1280 pixels with a density of 189 pixels per inch. The functionality of the S Pen has expanded, now being able to support control of the device capacitive hardware keys. Also, it has enabled the S Pen’s hover feature, in order to work with third party apps.
When it comes to the specs, the Note 8.0 seems to be a mid-ranged device, powered by a quad-core Exynos CPU, running at 1.6 GHz, paired with 2 GB of RAM. It comes with 16 or 32 GB of internal storage, with the possibility to expand this with up to 64 GB, using a microSD card. Still, it’s curious that it’s running Android 4.1.2 Jelly Bean, instead of the latest 4.2, but it has the latest version of Samsung’s TouchWiz software.
The Samsung Galaxy Note 8.0 is equipped with a 5 MP camera, able to shoot photos at a resolution of 2592 x 1944 pixels and record 1080p videos. Don’t get pretty enthusiastic about this, as one of this device’s biggest disappointments is the camera itself, with a slow focus and not so good images. A plus for the iPad mini in this case.
A special feature of the Note 8.0, which really caught my attention is the TV Discovery app, which allows you to control your TV and entertainment center through the tablet’s IR blaster. How cool is that? Finally, I can forget about all those remotes and control all my stuff using only one device.
Overall, the Galaxy Note 8.0 delivers a great experience, with an impressive performance. Compared to the Note 10.1, there are a lot of improvements which really make you reconsider your options if you’re thinking about buying a Samsung tablet. The Korean producer plans to launch the tablet by the end of 2013 second quarter, on a market dominated by the iPad mini and the Nexus 7. Will the S Pen equipped tablet stand out of the crowd and turn into another success for Samsung? It’s pretty hard to predict that right now.
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