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Two Smartphone Kings – Pros & Cons For Real (Part II – Galaxy Note 8)

Yesterday we got into the 10 things we love the most (also 5 annoying stuff) on one of the two smartphone Kings, iPhone X. Today, we are giving you something exciting on the other King of the smartphone which is Samsung Galaxy Note 8 as well.

Ever since the debut of the original Note, Samsung Note series has been the biggest “NEXT BIG THING” every single year. Right, the S series are still the flagship lineups but the “NOTE” series has been the one lifted Samsung to the leading role of the smartphone space. The bold move (making the phone big to a level that everyone doubted its value of existence) paid off right away. Pundits criticized, consumers doubted, and also competitors taking bets on the down side of the move. Well… they were all wrong. The “Note” series was a success from the very start of its life. It had been a success until last years “flaming-gate” Note 7. Even after that, consumers still hold very strong loyalty to the brand since they know that it will only get better.



Even though the market still shows strong supports on the Note series, we believe that if the Note 7 debacle did NOT happen, Samsung might really successfully take a huge slice of the market share from Apple at least in the United States.


The Note 7 debacle pushed a lot of Samsung users (android users in general) to iOS (iPhone) … really a big opportunity turn around.



Galaxy Note 8

Loved Stuff

1) The Screen

You cannot deny this. The screen is the best on the market by a long distance. Although iPhone X has significantly lifted itself to a considerable level, the Note 8 still beats the iPhone X on this category by “A LOT” if you are really picky about the quality of the screen. It can really make you LOVE watching videos on Note 8 rather than on any other devices … sometimes… including big screen TVs.

2) The S Pen

We heard about a metaphor explanation of using the S Pen which is … “It’s like using your laptop with a mouse. Sure the trackpad works fine but using the mouse really moves you to another level of proficiency, accuracy, and productivity”.

Most of us won’t be using the S Pen often (some might not be using it at all); however, in some situations it really gives you the convenience you need the most at that moment (e.g., continuous screenshot on the contract that you signed or you need to sign). In some cases, it is a daily life saving tool. For instance, business professions might find the S Pen a must to get their jobs done in a highly productive manner.

3) The Fingerprint Sensor

We know that lots of people criticize this since Samsung puts the sensor on the back next to the cameras and people cried about that it easily smeared the camera lenses; however, this is way more easier to unlock your phone than using the Face ID on the iPhone X. It’s faster than the Face ID and more accurate. The failure rate is way lower than using the Face ID. Just put your fingerprint on it and within less one second, you are in.

4) Bixby

It’s really a two sides argument. One side loves it, the other … well… hates it. We thought it through and decided to put it on the positive impact spot. Why? Because it has its own use cases … and those use cases are pretty cool though.

If you have been following our articles, you know that we posted an article about it which is “How To Unlock Your Phone With Your Voice Only” 3 days ago. That’s right, you can set up your voice password to unlock your phone. It is pretty cool and, in some cases, it’s very useful though. For instance, when you are cooking with your hands full, you can ask your phone to do some tasks for you.

In addition, Bixby can control more apps than Google Assistant can since it’s a Samsung phone so Samsung get some more integrations of it. Get into the article we just mentioned to see what you can do with Bixby. You will be surprised that Bixby can be that helpful afterwards 🙂

5) Totally Hands-Free Phone on Almost Everything (Unlock your phone with every command)

Talking about the voice assistant, we won’t leave Google behind especially it’s on their grandiose operating system, Android. The Galaxy Note 8 has the feature that can really get you hyped up. It can naturally and intuitively make the lock/unlock screen situation dissipated to the background. Meaning that you won’t notice that it’s there. It also means that you don’t need to specifically unlock your in any means.

Once you set your voice up with Google Assistant, your phone will be able to be waken up by the keyword, “OK, Google”. Also, it will only be triggered by you. Your voice is your best password protected (lock and unlock) your phone from this point going forward. You can give it any commands any time with or without the screen locked/unlocked.

Wanna try it? With your Note 8 locked. Just say “OK, Google. Play NBA Top 10 from Youtube” then … boom … it’s there. Your Note 8 will intelligently unlock itself and get the Youtube app opened and search and play the latest “NBA Top 10” for you.



How to set up Google Assistant on Note 8

1) Long hold the virtual home button
2) Following the instruction to set it up



6) The Google Navigation Integrated With Google Assistant

It’s not going to get easier than this. Just say “OK, Google. Directions to (BLANK)”. The (BLANK) is the place you would like to go. Voila, Google will get the directions on its Google Maps, wake the navigation app up, and start the navigation for you.

Anytime in the journey to your set destination if you wanna change the set destination to somewhere else, just say “OK, Google. Directions to (the changed destination)”. Google’s navigation will automatically change the destination to the new one and start that journey for you without needing you do any physical (button touching) interactions.

How cool and awesome is that 🙂


7) The Paired Apps

You can use Samsung’s split screen feature to open 2 apps at the same time. On the Note 8, you are able to create a bundle to do so. Just use the “App Edge” to create your paired apps. Once it’s done, you can call them out by touch the paired app icon from the “App Edge”. It’s very convenient when you often watch Youtube videos and surfing the Internet at the same time.

8) App Directly Interactions

We know that Android phones are a bit complicated than the iPhone. For instance, on the iOS, it’s very simple and straightforward when talking about uninstall an app. Just simply click the app icon on your phone. When the icon starts wiggling and the “x” sign shown, click it and delete (uninstall) it. That’s all. However, on the android side, it hadn’t been that easy though until the Note 8.

Now you can just long press the app icon which you intend to uninstall and you can just delete (uninstall) it right from there. Of course, you can also get to other actions from there too. It’s an android phone so … lots of things you can do with the Note 8 of course.


9) Notification via fingerprint sensor or even better just by swiping down anywhere on the screen

Note 8 is a LONG phone so it’s really hard to use one hand to pull down the notifications unless you have super gigantic hands. Do you know that you can just use the fingerprint sensor to pull down the notifications? Just set it up and swipe down and up to get open and close the notifications.

Also, you can set it up to let you swipe down/up anywhere on the screen to open and close notifications as well.

How to set up fingerprint sensor to open/close notifications

1) Go to "Settings" (either get to the app draw to do it or pull down the notification bar and click the settings icon on the top right hand corner)
2) Search "Finger sensor gestures"
3) Enable it
How to set up swipe anywhere on the screen to open/close notifications

1) Go to Settings -> Display -> Home screen
2) Enable the "Quick-open notification panel"


10) Double-click power button to activate the camera

This is still the most convenient and fast way of getting your camera ready and take photos or videos. We know it’s been on Galaxy phones for a while but this is still one of the best and one of the beloved features ever on the Galaxy Note 8. The convenience really makes the difference.

Just use the iPhone X and Note 8 for a week (solely using one or the other in a week long period) to see how many photos and videos you take on each phone. We bet that you will get much much much more on the Note 8 than on the iPhone X since … it’s really that easy and you will just pull it out and start doing it without noticing it.

11) One hand mode

We found out that we actually use it quite often on various occasions. It’s pretty straightforward. After you set it up (there are two ways of doing it), you can easily trigger it and use it whenever you only has one hand available to use your Note 8.

How to set up one hand operation on Note 8

1) Go to Settings -> One-handed mode
2) Choose one of the two ways to trigger it
3) Enable it


Annoying things

1) The Media Volume (especially the headphone jack)

It’s a joke on Samsung here since most consumers really use smartphones on entertaining levels. By not caring about the media (sound) quality, it’s really bad.

The headphone jack volume is really bad. Even if you turn it all the way up (Samsung even show you the warning if you intend to turn the volume up), you can still hear your surroundings. For instance, working out in a gym… you just wanna listen to some musics or some podcasts or audio books but instead… you will hear a lot of gossips since the volume is just a HUGE FAILURE here.




You can use some volume booster apps to help on this but the quality of the sounds will be twisted though.

1) Volume Booster

2) Headphones Loud Volume Booster







Please do adjust your phone media volume to the minimum level before you first use the booster app.


You then can adjust the volume to the comfortable level. Be aware, when the volume is being boosted, the sound noise will be increased as well.



2) The Messages

We love the iOS interactions on the Message app. You can easily swipe left and delete any messages.

However, on the Note 8, you need to long press it to select it and click delete. It’s sort of annoying when you know that there is an easier and more clever way of doing so.

3) The App Switcher

There is no safeguard like the iPhone X has so … you will find yourself closing some apps that you aren’t intending to close pretty often though.

4) Gaming

Gaming is just incomparable with the iPhone X (with the iOS in general). We understand that iOS is a much better OS for the gaming. It’s not really Note 8 fault but … well… we are the end users so … we only care about the incarnation (the physical phones) not the soul (the operating system) in it. Therefore, the gaming part is on the minus spot here.

5) Samsung Pay (the way to trigger it)

The way to trigger Samsung Pay conveniently is to set it up a favorite card and then you can swipe from the very bottom up on the screen (with or without your phone locked) and it will trigger the Samsung Pay.

Since Note 8 is all gesture based, the swipe from bottom up has some settings bound already for a lot of users. If you are like us, we really have some more useful cases for that; therefore, we often trigger the Samsung Pay in the process. It’s up to a intolerable level to … finally… we just disable the Samsung Pay. Again, there is an easier way of doing so since Note 8 has one more physical button on the sides of the phone (Bixby button). The ideal solution is just to trigger the Samsung Pay by double-click the Bixby button (yes… similar as the Apple Pay on the iPhone X … just different buttons). That will be a great improvement on this feature alone 🙂



Galaxy Note 8 is also an fantastic phone… in fact, it’s a super phone for some power users in a way since it gives users much more power to do a variety of things such as customizing the phones. In the above case, users can modify the media sounds. And other things from trivial changes to entirely change the skin/theme/launchers to look and act like another totally different phone.

This article along with yesterday’s one are intended to give you some real goods and bads on both phones based on the real usages from the past couple of months. Hence, you will have an idea of choosing your daily driver when it comes to pick and choose your new lovely companion – smartphone.

Enjoy & Happy “Smartphoning”! 🙂