On the Samsung Galaxy Note 8 – day 3

Galaxy Note 8I’d contemplated before that it’s possible I don’t need root any more beyond wanting to play with a very few apps that come along. With the HTC 10 I’d gotten ticked off at the bloatware by day three and rooted it to remove it. However it turned out that you don’t have to root to remove bloatware as we’ve written about.

Understand when reading below this is the writing of a guy who has been on HTC products exclusively since 2010 at least (mean I rooted hundreds of Galaxy Tabs, but that was a batch operation.)

I have not had a chance to sit down and experience the Samsung ecoverse yet as I’ve been trying to get the 46 apps that didn’t sync data set back up while contending with a bunch of pre installed bloatware.

Basically take nothing below as an insult. It’s just an HTC root guy with a ton of apps at day 3.

Sprint’s apps are phone herpes

Upon getting the Sprint Samsung Galaxy Note 8 (2017 edition,) I was dumbstruck at how everything on there is attempting to sell me stuff. I wasn’t sure at first where Sprint’s bloatware ended and Samsung’s began, but I’ve got a feeling that most of this comes from Sprint.

After removing via Android’s App Manager Amazon’s suite of products, I went to town and uninstalled the advertising apps (that put other service’s icons on screen,) and anything I didn’t particularly like. My assumption is that most of the products that you can uninstall via App Manager came from Sprint as they’re not system apps.

Lookout Antivirus kept popping up and was a system app. I uninstalled that via package manager.

As of day 3 I’m still being assailed by ads/notifications for visual voicemail (Sprint,) Caller ID subscription (Sprint,) and a few Samsung apps that I don’t know whether to be annoyed with yet but will let you know if I hate them soon enough.

I mean, I’m absolutely aghast at the level of garbage on the Sprint Samsung Galaxy Note. It’s like the popup advertisement of phones.

I don’t think it’s Samsung’s fault, at least not yet. Sprint’s decided you get to pay them to be advertised to. Maybe I’ll think it’s Samsung’s fault when I get a chance to settle in, which would have been the case by now but I have so much setup left to do for my work apps it’s unreal.

The camera is tricky (coming from HTC)

I’m posting all the pictures in large mode at the end of the article. You’re welcome for this unbroken badly written block of text.

Quick note – every picture here was taken on the Note 8 in maximum resolution. It was then resized for WordPress. These are not what the phone produces, more what the phone produces and then image resizer produces and then what WordPress produces when making a smaller image to display in a blog post.

I’ve had occasion to try and burst mode some photos, that’s tapping like a madman and hoping during this my kid will smile and look at me. Sometimes this worked. Sometimes it’ll pause for no reason and there’ll be a long delay. Perhaps this is something I’ve got set, I’ll try and verify shortly.

Normal lighting looks great. Low lighting so so. Zoom meh. Basically it’s producing images like the HTC 10, which I was happy with. Dual camera make nice out of focus shots. I haven’t really played enough with this camera yet to find complaints other than that sometimes I can’t burst and I don’t know why.

There were a couple of shots I cannot figure out what happened where my youngest is white and red without much color gradient. My guess is that in these the focus was on the oldest in the back and software did something to blur out the foreground. Not crying foul, just mentioning it’s something I’m learning.

The sounds

I hate the default sounds. It’s a personal preference but I feel HTC had better. That said, I can swap out when I get a minute.

The speaker… not impressed so far. Not a diss, it’s an ok speaker, but the HTC M8-10 sort of set the standard for me by which all others will be judged.

Headphone jack, not tested it yet.


The Bixby button is vexing. I’ve gotten used to right side of phone vol up, vol down, power. Here it’s left side of phone vol up, vol down, bixby. The power is on the other side of the phone. This makes for taking screenshots a lot easier though.

Bixby seems to be having trouble dictating what I say. I’m having to speak utterly American to get it to understand me. This isn’t a huge deal as I sort of am a native, but it’s not great at day 3. Google’s assistant and voice typing when I use it are fine. Then again, maybe google knows me.

I do dig the push to Bixby, hold to keep talking. It avoids getting cut off like when Google thinks you’re done because you can’t mentally find the word.


The Note 8 has a few ways to unlock. One is iris recognition where it shines an infrared light into your eyeholes and uses the camera to see if you’re you. Another is a fingerprint scanner placed right next to the camera lenses so you’ll smudge them. There’s also a Bixby voice unlock, your OK Google unlock if you set it, on body detection, trusted places, pin, pattern, etc.

You’ll have to set up something if you want to use Android or Samsung Pay.

I don’t hate the swipe screen after that, but it’s kind of annoying to unlock via one of the above methods, then tap the screen and swipe. Maybe I’ve done something wrong. Read about that when I have time.

Infinity display

This brings me about 8% more joy. I don’t know how to describe it. I like it.

Navigation buttons

Hidable rearrangeable on-screen navigation buttons are different from my haptic standards. The only complaint I have is there’s a button to dock that you can double tap to change modes from auto hide to sticky and I’d like to be able to change where that button is.

Holy hell this this is $1000

This I did not know. Well then, alrighty I’m going to need to see some wow soon.

Pictures (click to embiggen)

Samsung Galaxy Note 8 (2017) pictures

Image slightly overexposed, rotated 90 degrees counterclockwise for unknown reasons when uploaded.

Samsung Galaxy Note 8 (2017) pictures

Perfect shot – also shows up in right alignment but rotated 90 degrees (although this one I fixed)

Samsung Galaxy Note 8 (2017) pictures

This cat is not dead

Samsung Galaxy Note 8 (2017) pictures

I’m not joking, he’s not dead, just sleeping out front.

2017 10 10 17.08.12 - for some reason we don't have an alt tag here

Foreground focus, weird brightly lit but overcast day

Samsung Galaxy Note 8 (2017) pictures

Background focus with foreground washing out.

Samsung Galaxy Note 8 (2017) pictures

Zoomed in macro attempt capturing death spider. Was pretty blocky.

Samsung Galaxy Note 8 (2017) pictures

Rainy day.

More to come

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Paul E King

Paul King started with GoodAndEVO in 2011, which merged with Pocketables, and as of 2018 he's evidently the owner. He lives in Nashville, works at a film production company, is married with two kids. Facebook | Twitter | Donate | More posts by Paul | Subscribe to Paul's posts

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