Samsung unveiled the new Galaxy Note8 in Sydney on Tuesday. After an eventful 12 months the electronics brand is confident it's presenting the most impressive mobile phone (or phablet, if you prefer) on the market.
The first thing that stands out is the screen. It's a bigger Infinity Display than ever before at 6.3-inches (but you can still hold the device it in one hand), making it actually viable to multitask with the 'App Pair' function as a new feature of 'Multi Window'. Not a few feature, 'Multi Window' lets you -- you guessed it -- work in two windows at once, so you do cool things like look at maps while you're texting your mates to tell them you're running late.
Not noticeable immediately but certainly the coolest function is the in-built pen. It's called the 'S Pen' and it lives inside the handset -- you just push a discreet button to pop it out. From there you can draw on pics, scribble on stuff and write notes.
The pen combined with the 'Live Text' function means you can do cool things like take a screenshot of a map, draw a line to where someone needs to go and then send it to them -- it'll land on their end as a GIF so they can follow the line. We're sure it'll be used in more mischievous ways than that but we'll leave that to the imagination.
It's also ace for travel for two reasons. One is that when you come across a website in a foreign language, the 'S Pen Translate' feature lets you hover over text to translate not just individual words, but whole paragraphs in 71 languages. It also convert units and foreign currencies, so the days of spending $800 on a pair of shoes when you thought they were $80 are over.
The second reason is that the device is your computer in itself -- it's powerful enough to be your new PC and you can keep all your files on your device -- all you have to do is plug it into a monitor while it's in the dock and you're good to go.
The camera has a bunch of cool new features and they're saying it's the most powerful smartphone camera yet. It actually has two 12MP rear cameras with Optical Image Stabilisation (OIS) on both the wide-angle lens and the telephoto lens, making it better and getting sharp shots of moving things (kids, pets, lightening, fireworks -- you catch the drift).
'Live Focus' is another cool feature which lets you manually control the depth of field (which makes your pics look more profesh) both in preview mode and after you take the photo. There's also a wide option on the reverse camera so you can fit more people in your selfie -- someone should tell Ellen.
Four years ago Samsung introduced the first Galaxy device with water resistance and this handset has the same technology. While Samsung customers have come to expect that, it was no mean feat when you consider the fact that it has a detachable part in the S Pen. And yes, you can write even when the phone is wet.
It also has wireless charging, a feature that was introduced two years ago. The charging base doubles as a clock display so you don't need to fiddle with your phone to find out the time at 3am.
With regards to security you can choose from either iris or fingerprint scanning.
The Galaxy Note8 will be available in 'Midnight Black' and 'Maple Gold' from the 22nd of September for $1499.Suggest a correction