The Samsung Galaxy Note 8 is finally available in stores, marking the start of the Note brand’s comeback after last year’s recall disasters. It’s one of the most powerful phones on the market, but it’s also one of the more complicated ones. We compiled a short list of some of the first things you’ll want to do with your Galaxy Note 8 after taking it out of its box.
Set up the iris scanner or face recognition
Like every 2017 flagship (well, nine out of X, anyway), the Galaxy Note 8 has a speedy fingerprint sensor built in, but Samsung’s much-bemoaned placement of the fingerprint sensor near the cameras around back make it hard to reach for people with smaller hands.
Thankfully, you’re able to unlock your phone using the iris scanner instead, which is a great alternative in most scenarios (though it becomes less reliable in direct sunlight). You can also set up face recognition, though you can’t enable both iris and face verification simultaneously.
Adjust the screen resolution
At 1200 nits, the Galaxy Note 8 has one of the brightest displays we’ve ever seen, and it’s also incredibly sharp with a WQHD+ resolution (QHD with a few extra vertical pixels to accommodate the display’s 18.5:9 aspect ratio), but by default it scales down to 1080p. Most reason that the lower default resolution helps reduce battery drain, but in my experience there’s little to no detriment when running at full resolution, so you might as well get what you paid for with a quick jump into the phone’s display settings.
Enable fingerprint sensor gestures
The fingerprint sensor can be a bit difficult to access, but it’s still easier in most cases than trying to reach all the way up to the notification tray at the top of the 6.3″ display. To make this less of a chore, you can enable fingerprint sensor gestures, which allows you to swipe down on the fingerprint sensor from any screen to pull down your notifications, just like on a Google Pixel. It’s extremely convenient and I honestly think using the Note 8 would be much more difficult without this feature.
Activate Samsung Pay
Samsung Pay is another great feature that’s been around for a while on the company’s flagship Galaxy phones. Though most phones these days are compatible with Android Pay, Samsung’s service is the only one to offer MST card strip emulation, allowing it to be used at nearly any terminal — even ones that don’t typically accept mobile payments. You can also earn rewards points with Samsung Pay, some by just adding a card or making your first purchase.
Get to know the S Pen
Lastly, the S Pen has always been one of the biggest selling points of the Galaxy Note series, and the Note 8 is no exception. Like on the Note 7, you’re able to quickly jot down notes with Screen-Off Memo, and there’s a myriad of features accessible with the floating window that pops up whenever you remove the S Pen while the screen is on. It can also be used as a cursor when held above the display, and my personal favorite feature is being able to sign legal documents directly on the phone. It’s an incredibly powerful tool, and even though some Note owners leave the S Pen tucked in its silo at all times, it’s absolutely worth giving a shot.
Did you buy a Galaxy Note 8, or are you holding off for something else? Let us know in the comments below, and check back soon for our full review.
LEARN MORE ABOUT THE SAMSUNG GALAXY NOTE 8
- Friday 5: Getting started with and setting up the Galaxy Note 8 [Video]