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Opinion: The Galaxy Note8 is the beginning of the end of the Note - at least as we knew it

The Galaxy Note8 is, by all accounts, a perfectly competent high-end smartphone from a trusted smartphone brand. Samsung will sell millions of Note8s to Note fans the world over, which will amass Samsung a not-inconsequential pile of money, having made the whole enterprise ostensibly worthwhile. But behind a muted-to-mildly-positive critical reception and a sound business case lies a pretty inescapable truth: the Galaxy Note just doesn't make very much sense anymore.

Product overlap plus

The Galaxy S8+, released alongside the S8 earlier this year, offers a screen that is just a tenth of an inch smaller than the Note8's, a battery with 200mAh more capacity, and a basically comparable software experience.

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You'll get a free Gear 360 or 128GB microSD card and wireless charging pad with your Note8 - if you order in time

As part of today's Galaxy Note8 announcement, Samsung confirmed it would be offering yet another set of early adopters freebies for those who choose to pick up the company's latest phone. US customers will be given the choice of either a free Gear 360 camera or a 128GB microSD and a fast wireless charging pad.

The catch, as you might have figured, is you'll have to pick one up relatively soon. The offer is valid for all Note8s purchased in the US between August 24th and September 24th.

The second-gen Gear 360 was announced back in May and retails for around $229.

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The Galaxy Note8 is official: 6.3" display, 6GB RAM, dual rear cameras, pre-orders starting on Aug. 24th

Samsung has finally unveiled the Galaxy Note8, revealing the (rather heavily-leaked) device at its Unpacked event in New York City today. You won't be surprised to know that it comes with little in the way of surprises. It's basically a bigger Galaxy S8+ with a stylus and dual cameras.

The Note8 is something of a chance for Samsung to make things up to fans of the Note series, after the Note7 was forced off shelves because of defective batteries that led to the smartphone catching fire. Knowing that Note fans were deprived of a generation of hardware, Samsung is likely eager to capitalize on the eagerness of said fanatics to finally upgrade.

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Galaxy Note 8 specifications, pricing, release date, pre-orders, and more (US)

Samsung has made the Galaxy Note8 official, and if you're looking for an easy-to-digest roundup of information about Samsung's latest high-end smartphone, we've concentrated it for you here. Below, you'll find specifications, release date information, helpful links, and more.

Dates and availability: Pre-order, release date, carriers, retailers

Samsung has announced that pre-orders for the Galaxy Note8 will begin on August 24th. Pre-order dates may vary by carrier or retailer, but most will probably start then.

AT&T, Verizon, Sprint, T-mobile, U.S. Cellular, Cricket, C Spire, Straight Talk, and Xfinity Mobile will all be stocking the Note8. Retail availability for these providers in physical stores will begin on September 15th, though pre-orders may ship before this date (as often occurs).

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Galaxy Note8 hands-on: A flagship that feels a bit like a footnote

After spending some time with the new Note, I can tell you it is exactly the phone we would all expect Samsung to build using the Galaxy S8 and S8+ as a starting point. It is the most undifferentiated Note device relative to its S siblings yet, and predictable to a fault. Were the Note7 disaster to never have happened, I have little doubt the Note8 would look just as it does today. Anyone spinning a comeback narrative here is probably seeing things that don't exist.

That's not to say there's something wrong with it. But it does make me wonder if there's much of a practical reason for the Note series to be a thing anymore.

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AT&T Galaxy S8 and S8+ receiving updates with navigation bar auto hide, August patch, and more

Most Galaxy S8 and S8+ variants are receiving updates every one to two months, and today, it's the AT&T versions' turn. This latest update for S8s on the Death Star carrier include "navigation bar auto hide," the August 2017 security patch, and quite a few more miscellaneous improvements.

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Samsung's Relúmĭno is a Gear VR powered aid for the visually impared

It was announced earlier in the year at MWC (Mobile World Congress) in Barcelona, and now Samsung's impressive Relúmĭno app has been officially launched. The C-Lab project is designed to help people with visual impairments enjoy the same activities as others, and it uses Samsung's Gear VR headset in conjunction with one of the company's newer Galaxy phones, such as the S7, S7 Edge, S8, or S8+.

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Snapdragon US Galaxy S8 and S8+ can now be rooted by all with SamPWND

It's pretty funny how Exynos-powered Samsung devices used to be considered less developer-friendly, but it's now their Snapdragon counterparts that are getting harder and harder to crack. This was the case with the Galaxy S7 and S7 edge last year, as well as the current Galaxy S8 and S8+. Some talented developers were able to get these locked-down Samsung phones rooted earlier this month. It's now available to the public, and it's (appropriately) called SamPWND.

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[Deal Alert] Samsung Gear 360 (1st gen) is just $99 on Amazon

Samsung's second 360-degree camera, the 2017 Gear 360, was released alongside the Galaxy S8. Naturally, the price for the original model started to drop from its $349 MSRP. Now you can get it for just $99 on Amazon, the lowest price we've seen yet.

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[Deal Alert] Samsung Galaxy Tab S3 is $489 ($110 off) with $20 Play Store credit at Woot

The Android tablet market mostly consists of sub-$100 models usually found at your local Walmart or Target. High-end Android tablets are few and far between, with one of them being the Samsung Galaxy Tab S3. Now you can buy it for $489 from Woot, a $110 savings over the $599 MSRP.

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