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My 5 Burning Questions After The Samsung Note 8 Launch Event!

After watching the Samsung Unbox event for the Note 8, there were questions that burned in my mind that it took me some time to actually formulate those questions into words and then put it together for you guys. Samsung to me for better or worst is the company who makes everybody better.

They have the budget and the balls to try new things and in turn makes every other manufacturer step up to try to outdo them, mimic them, or flat out copy them.

They have the budget and the balls to try new things and in turn makes every other manufacturer step up to try to outdo them, mimic them, or flat out copy them. In the end, we the customer win because now there are a plethora of great products on the market and the choices are now overwhelming. One does not need to spend thousands of dollars to get a great product, you simply need to understand your needs and open your eyes to what is happening within the market. That being said, here are the 5 questions that I had before and after the Note 8 event.


1) Are people buying a good device or buying a Samsung?

The Note 8 is packed with the latest and greatest, all the bells & wells, everything, even the kitchen sink. Dual cameras (check), dual OIS sensors (check), latest CPU (check), amazing display (check), stylus (check), dual Sim (check), tons of storage (check), battery that does not explode (jury is out) you get the idea. Watching the event, checking out the millions of reviews on the product, the consensus is that the device is pretty much an S8+ with a stylus, a little more squared off in the body, with dual cameras.

The S8+ is a great phone and currently, one of the best, so you’re all but guaranteed to be getting another great offering from Samsung. The question I have, however, is are people looking and saying hey…for $1000usd, this device is the best thing since sliced bread, I got to have it or are people simply going to buy this device because it is a Samsung device? My take on it is this, it is hard to be loyal to smartphone brands as there are so many devices on the market with a wide variety of purposes and price tags. 1-year HTC might make the best device for you, the next may come from ZTE.

Just because you see Samsung ads everywhere does not mean they have the best device for you. Solely buying this device because the Samsung name is on the back will definitely cost a pretty penny but this device may not be the device that fits you and your needs the best. If you are grabbing the Note 8, make sure it checks all the right boxes for you.


Samsung Note 8


2) Is price a factor when purchasing a smartphone anymore?

So far the cheapest I have seen the Note 8 for is $8550ttd which works out to be $1270usd. Let that price tag sink in for a bit. I am all for quality, a great device, etc…but will I ever be prepared to spend $8550 a smartphone? Probably not and it has nothing to do with whether I could afford it or not. Simply put, smartphones have gotten so good that you don’t need to spend this type of money on a phone, Oneplus has proved this year in and year out.

The fact that phones like the Xiaomi Mi 6, Oneplus 5, ZTE Nubia Z17, are even in the conversation of best phones, right up there with the Samsung S8 is already a win for consumers.  When the legendary camera company R.E.D announced their first smartphone, the world cringed as they could only imagine the price tag given the price tags for their cameras. One quick trip to their website and you will see that you can grab the Hydrogen One for a measly $1195usd/$8100ttd.

Now that price does not seem to bad, does it? If the highlight for the Note 8 is the camera, I am absolutely positive the Hydrogen One with its holographic screen will produce much better quality pictures than the Note 8 will ever dream of taking. Everyone at the event was talking about the high price tag and in the US/Canada, they will be able to get massive deals due to their contracts and incentives that we won’t be privy to here in Trinidad and the Caribbean.

If the Note 8 did enough to convince you to part with your hard earned money, great? If the price is no factor for you and you want the latest and greatest, this won’t seem like a bad purchase. If price, value to performance matters to you, this may be a different conversation altogether.


Samsung Note 8 Trinidad


3) What is having a very good smartphone camera worth to you?

Once again, companies like Xiaomi, ZTE, Oneplus, Oppo, Huawei, have proved that you can have bleeding edge tech and not pay a car loan deposit for the device. No they may not have Dual OIS Sensors (yet) but their cameras have shown that they are in the conversations with the top cameras which is more than good enough for me, especially when recommending a good phone and since most people taking pix on a smartphone only use them for social media, one must consider how much a camera is worth to them on a smartphone.

Considering that all of the social media platforms condense the picture quality when uploading, where else do smartphone pictures end up? The gallery on your smartphone? Streaming to your TV to show family and friends? The driving force behind prices these days the camera. The ZTE Axon 7 proved you can have a 2k AMOLED display for less than $400usd, so it really comes down to the camera.

Ask yourself this question, are you planning to print these pictures and create photo albums with them? If not, there are a TON of great smartphones with good quality cameras, if you are making printed photo albums, then go right ahead and step your game up with the Note 8.


Samsung Note 8


4) Is the Samsung S8+ a better buy than the Note 8?

The launch of the Note 8 did one thing for the market I am sure a lot of people are happy about…drop the cost of the already expensive S8+. 1 quick trip to and you will see that an S8+ is $720usd/$4900ttd (before customs).

Since the Note 8 is about 95% S8+, if you don’t mind not having the 2nd camera sensor and the s-pen, you will have pretty much everything else in the S8+. The Note 8 also has a much smaller battery and older charging tech (Qualcomm 2.0) vs the bigger battery in the S8+.  To me, it’s a much better deal than spending the money on a Note 8. Ultimately, the choice is yours.

To me, it’s a much better deal than spending the money on a Note 8. Ultimately, the choice is yours.


Samsung Note 8


5) Did the Note 8 live up to the hype?

Hmm, this is always a tough question regarding these hyped devices. The avg user takes pictures, plays games, uses social media, and pretty much any decent phone can handle these tasks. Most innovations past performance can usually always fall under the gimmick category these days. I am usually more impressed with the cheaper devices doing a lot more for the price tag than I am with the devices costing $1000usd and packing in every feature known to man.

For high prices, we always feel like the new smartphone needs to re-invent the wheel for what they are charging, and more often than not, they don’t and that’s where the let down begins. I think our expectations get as high as the price tag, and then we are left a bit underwhelmed. The Note 8 is not anything new that is not already out currently, you can find most of what it packs in the S8+.

Does it mean it is a bad phone? No, it’s a very good device, I have always been a fan of the Note series and owned all except for the Note 5 and the cursed Note Sev…It’s taboo to say the name now lol. I think Note 8 did not live up to the expectations, but I really just think we are expecting so much, especially from Samsung. If you have an S8 or S8+, is this an upgrade?

No, but I don’t think it’s meant to be. It’s a whole new category of phone geared towards the media and the business consumer who is looking to get more productivity out of a smartphone.


The Samsung Note 8 knows exactly who this device is for and If you are one of those ideal clients that need all of what it has to offer and don’t mind the price tag, go for it. Is the device still worth it once we have to add the shipping, customs fees, etc when it lands in our respective island? To me, Not a CHANCE! As always though, everyone needs to determine if this device is worth it for themselves.

So what do you guys think, will you be grabbing a Samsung Note 8? Let us know in the comments below.



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Keron Mcleish

Keron McLeish is the owner of Droid Island and has over 10+ years of international experience working for some of the biggest brands in mobile such as Apple, Telus, and Rogers. He is located in Trinidad and Tobago and is a trusted mobile expert in the region. In his off time, he can be found shooting airballs on the basketball court or eating a bake and shark on the beach.

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