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Android Circuit: Galaxy Note 8 Review, New Pixel 2 Leaks, Microsoft Loves Android Gaming – Forbes

Taking a look back at seven days of news and headlines across the world of Android, this week’s Android Circuit includes the first reviews of the Samsung Galaxy Note 8, the Note 8 fights the S8 and the J7 Plus, thoughts on the new Nokia 8, Samsung’s trip to the Gym, OnePlus going back to school, leaked details of the Pixel 2, and Microsoft supports Android gaming.

Android Circuit is here to remind you of a few of the many things that have happened around Android in the last week (and you can find the weekly Apple news digest here).

Reviewing The Galaxy Note 8

Following the launch of the Samsung Galaxy Note 8, the first ‘hands on’ reviews of the South Korean phablet are starting to come out. Gareth Beavis’ hands-on review is one such example as he highlights the increase in power, the beautiful screen, and the flexibility of the camera. But it still feels like a specialist device, not an all-rounder:

As mentioned, you’ll have to be a fan of Samsung’s phablets specifically to be drawn towards the Note 8 over the Galaxy S8 Plus, for instance, because despite having more power and a larger and sharper screen than anything Samsung has launched before, it’s got a smaller battery than the S8 Plus and is more expensive too.

More at TechRadar.

The Note 8’s Biggest Rival

Samsung’s portfolio is wide-ranging so part of the challenge for the Note 8 is to stand out not just against the competition, but its cousins. The Galaxy S8 is the obvious touch stone, as Forbes’ Gordon Kelly pits the two handsets against each other:

These are huge upgrades. The Galaxy S7 has a 5.1-inch display while the ill-fated Galaxy Note 7 has an already large 5.7-inch display. But the shift of both the Galaxy S8 and Galaxy Note 8 to a new slimmer, elongated 18.5:9 aspect ratio makes these phones a lot more manageable than they sound.

Comparing the two directly, the Galaxy Note 8 has the technical edge. It delivers a higher peak brightest and contrast ratio than the (still superlative Galaxy S8) but as the two currently deliver the gold and silver medal (the latter tied with the Galaxy S8 Plus) of the smartphone display world, owners will love both.

You can compare the models here.

Journalists and bloggers get a closer look at the Galaxy Note 8 smartphone and the Gear Fit2 Pro sports wrist band (Photo by Sean Gallup/Getty Images)

The Note 8’s Cheaper And More Attractive Brother

It’s not always about the Notes and the S machines, Samsung’s smartphone power comes from a wide portfolio that draws inspiration from the flagships. Consumers looking for phabelt sized smartphone at a more affordable price should get ready for a new J series handset, specifically the recently leaked J7 Plus. Ian Morris reports:

So the idea here is clearly that this is a reduced resolution screen without the “infinity display” of the Note 8 and S8. The rear cameras are a different setup too, this isn’t a device with an optical 2x zoom like the Note, instead, it’s got a much lower resolution second camera, presumably just to offer background defocus.

No matter what though, Samsung J series – and the excellent A series as well – offer truly great value. These are often phones that have much of the build quality of Samsung’s high-end offerings, but for a fraction of the price. And while there are compromises made, it seems like for the most part, they’re not in areas that would make the phone frustrating to use.

More from Ian and the J7 Plus here.

First Impressions Of The Nokia 8

The return of the Nokia name to the smartphone market continues to attract the romantics in the mobile world. HMD Global’s flagship handset, the Nokia 8, is the latest chapter of the story with its SnapDragon 835, 4GB of RAM, and a dual Zeis lens camera. Max Parker takes his first look at the handset.

The Nokia 8 is the first Nokia phone I’ve been excited about since HMD took over the name. The Nokia 3, 5 and 6 are all budget offerings that feel severely underpowered, but the Nokia 8 is an actual flagship with features to match.

If you’ve been longing for a Nokia flagship running Android since the Lumia, then this is as close as you will get.

More at Trusted Reviews, and I’ll have a closer look at the Nokia 8 later this week on Forbes.

Android Circuit: Galaxy Note 8 Review, New Pixel 2 Leaks, Microsoft Loves Android Gaming – Forbes

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