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Should I buy the new Samsung Galaxy Note 8? This is probably a question you are asking yourself right now.

Samsung unveiled the seventh edition of the Galaxy Note series yesterday and the phone is already available for pre-orders. As expected, the price of the phone is steep, starting at $720 on Sprint and all the way to $960 on Verizon. This is the base model of 64GB, which is the only one available in the U.S. so far. Other markets get two additional models of 128GB and 256GB.

If you are currently using the 2015 Samsung Galaxy Note 5, you must be eager to know what’s changed and what’s new on the Galaxy Note 8. These are what will make you tell whether it’s worth to make the switch or hang on to your aging model, whose contracts and financing plans are almost over after two years.

samsung galaxy note 5

It’s rare to find a Galaxy Note user who is okay with moving to any new phone, usually, they’d prefer to get another Note phone. The time is here and with the Galaxy Note 8, you have a phone that is a true upgrade over the Note 5. Read on.

What changed and what improved?

One main reason for upgrading to a new device is to enjoy new features and any other improvements they bring over the old device. In this regard, the new Samsung Galaxy Note 8 is a massive upgrade over the Note 5 in almost all aspects.

The design has changed drastically, moving from a flat screen Galaxy Note 5 to a curved screen Note 8. The display screen aspect ratio is also different, where you get an 18.5:9 aspect ratio, meaning the screen is taller than the Note 5. The Note 8 is also about 1cm taller and 14% bulkier than the Note 5, but the slightly narrower footprint ensures that you get a good grip of the handset.

Samsung Galaxy Note 8

Due to this change in size, the Samsung Galaxy Note 8 has more on the inside when compared to its counterpart. Compared to the Exynos 7340 used on the Note 5, the new Exynos 8895 is a massive upgrade in terms of both efficiency and performance. The 2015 model did not use a Snapdragon chipset due to the overheating issues of the Snapdragon 810, but this year’s Note 8 has a Snapdragon 835 variant that will be sold in the U.S. and China.

In terms of storage capacity, there are some changes and improvements as well. The Galaxy Note 8 has three variants, just like the Note 5, however, the storage sizes vary a little bit. Where the former’s start at 64GB all the way to 256GB, the latter’s start at 32GB and the high-end model has 128GB. Also, the Note 5 has no microSD card slot but the Note 8 brings back this feature, which can handle up to 256GB.

The Samsung Galaxy Note 8 also gets a bigger 6GB RAM, which is 2GB more than the Galaxy Note 5’s 4GB. There’s also a significant improvement in the battery size, where you get a 3300mAh unit on the former compared to the 3000mAh unit on the latter, however, both support fast charging technology, both wired and wireless. The difference here is that this charging takes place via a USB-C port on the Note 8 and a microUSB port on the Note 5.

Even though the Galaxy Note 5 was the first in the Note series to come with a unibody design, there was no IP68 dust and water resistance. This is a feature the Galaxy Note 8 has. You also get an iris scanner on the new phone, face detection and a rear-mounted fingerprint scanner, something many Sammy fans are still struggling to come to terms with.

Samsung Galaxy Note 8

In terms of photography, the new Samsung Galaxy Note 8 carries the day. It has a dual-lens setup on the back with 12MP sensors. The primary sensor has a lower resolution than the 16MP unit used on the Galaxy Note 5, but the lens is faster and has larger pixels, thus promising much better performance in low-light conditions. The second 12MP lens has a smaller aperture, but it adds OIS and optical zooming to the fold, allowing you to capture photos like a pro.

What hasn’t changed (much)?

Given that these two phones are from the same family of phones, they still have that one thing in common that binds them. The S Pen is this thing. Unsurprisingly, this stylus has remained more of the same since 2015. Of course, there are a few tweaks here and there, but you can’t classify them as a major upgrade. Furthermore, some of the software-related tweaks have made it to the Note 5 thanks to Nougat, the same OS that is powering the Samsung Galaxy Note 8 out of the box.

Even though Samsung Experience comes with a new version 8.5 on the Note 8, the changes are not that massive. What the Note 5 offers in terms of software is almost the same as the Note 8, but this won’t be the same next year after the latter gets an update to Android 8.0 Oreo, the latest OS in town.

Do you think these changes and improvements to the Samsung Galaxy Note 8 are worth ditching your Galaxy Note 5? Let us know in your comments below.

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