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This week, iPhone 8 launches and Galaxy Note 8 ships

This week, iPhone 8 launches and Galaxy Note 8 shipsIf you are a lover of high-end phones, the next few days may be shaping up to be crucial decision time for you to replace your smartphone device, or graduate to one, as the case may be. On Tuesday, 12 September 2017, iPhone 8 – or whatever Apple decides to call its 10th anniversary iPhone product – is going to be launched; while, a few days later, on Friday 15 September 2017, Samsung Galaxy Note 8 will be made available for purchase in the stores at least in 40 countries worldwide. Not far behind; that is in early October time frame perhaps, Google Pixel is expected to be launched – if Google follows the now industry-superstitious practice of annual product launches.

Of the bunch, Galaxy Note 8 has got a lot to prove, to get people’s mind off of the disaster with Galaxy Note 7, which famously burst into flames unprovoked, after shipment, in numerous incidents all over the world. The failed product was later withdrawn from the market. Being the immediate successor to Galaxy Note 7, Galaxy Note 8 has to prove that the bursting phone incidence is after all a fleeting one that does not deserve to be remembered, and that Samsung is again on top of its game. In this connection, you can be sure that folks are going to laser-focus on the batteries for Note 8. This disposition may be quite independent of the fact that, after the fact, Samsung belatedly shipped Note 7 and 7 Plus. At any rate, Galaxy Note 8 has its work partially cut out for it, to right the disastrous wrong with Note 7.

Will Samsung Galaxy Note 8 be able to foot the bill and meet the great expectation? To be sure, Note 8 is believed to be the best so far for the Note series – since the product line started in 2011, with every feature that made previous Notes worth buying included in the new device; and further enhancing it with the new designs in Galaxy S8 and S8 Plus. Thus, in absolute terms, Note 8 is going to be a great product. However, compared to its predecessors S8 and S8 Plus, it represents and incremental improvement.

Not to Note 8’s credit, in a sense, is the fact it is very similar to the Galaxy S8 Plus released earlier this year. The main distinguishing differences are that Note 8 is a few millimeters larger in its overall external dimensions, while its 6.3-inch “phablet-signature” diagonal display dimension is really not that much larger than Galaxy S8 Plus’s 6.2-inch. The Note 8 also has 2GB of extra RAM over S8 Plus which has 4 GB. Perhaps a notable difference is the two rear 12-megapixel cameras in Note 8 compared to one in S8 Plus. In fact, Note 8 is the first Samsung smartphone device to come with two lenses on the rear, enabling the production of great quality pictures. Note that dual-lens cameras are already supported in a couple of Android smartphones – such as OnePlus 5 and the Nokia 8. The iPhone 8 which is being launched tomorrow will also come with dual-lens camera, thereby making this capability a new must-have in a smartphone. Regarding the batteries; curiously, Note 8 has a less capable battery (3300mAh) compared to S8 Plus (3500mAh).

Besides these differences, everything appears to be the same in Note 8 and S8 Plus; including the materials and build, which are nevertheless of great quality. The magnetic induction-based wireless charging technology; the speakers and the quality of calls are identical in the two products.

Please be advised that Note 8 is not cheap. In fact, it is going to be retailed for approximately $950 in the US; so that by the time it gets to you in Nigeria, the phone will cost over a thousand dollars to acquire. This is a major investment for a developing country. So, is Note 8 worth its price? This is certainly a Naira and Kobo question. To be able to part with this kind of cash for a phone, you better be doing well, with tens of thousands of dollars in your bank account balance. At any rate, you can save up to $200 if you opt for S8 Plus instead, if you are not gung-ho on dual-lens camera capabilities and the default 4 GB RAM does it for you. (You probably won’t miss the extra tenth of an inch difference in display size!)

However, if you are a “high baller,” so to speak, and your choice is between iPhone 8 and Note 8, then the considerations will be different. For me, because I make a lot international travels, the ability to unlock my phones and switch sim cards is quite important to me, which tends to make me prefer the Android-based Samsung products. However, every other person in my immediate family uses iPhone, for reasons I don’t quite comprehend besides the ability to Face Time. So, as you can see, it depends on personal preference, probably controlled by some “soft” factors.

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