Twelve months ago, I was incredibly excited about the Samsung Galaxy Note 7 launching in Ireland. I definitely didn’t predict the well-known events that followed and was devasted that I would never own a Note 7. Thankfully, my wait is over and instead of ditching the tainted Note range, Samsung has just officially announced the latest in the lineage. Plenty of news about the uber-flagship smartphone has leaked until now, but here are the details Samsung has confirmed for the Samsung Galaxy Note 8 in Ireland along with the best spots to buy it.
Meet The Samsung Galaxy Note 8
Over the past few years, shoppers have become frustrated with every smartphone on the market slowly morphing into one and the same. Thankfully, Samsung always offers something a little different with their Note range. Here’s why the Samsung Galaxy Note 8 is going to be my next smartphone.
The Note 8 Has A Dual Camera
I was recently blown away by Sony’s camera in their Xperia XZ Premium. I have a feeling that this might top it. On the rear, you’ll find dual 12MP cameras, a first for Samsung. This is taking following the lead of Apple who introduced this with the iPhone 7, but a similar feature we first saw on HTC and Huawei phones years ago.
The reason for dual lens is, as you might expect, image quality. First, this setup lets you refocus photos after you’ve taken them. Letting in more light also means you’ll grab better shots in low-light conditions. Most important is the optical image stabilisation that you get with this setup. I can’t wait to test this out and see what kind of shots the Note 8 camera can capture.
If Samsung’s promo video is anything to go by, the camera will also be able to steal the soul from a Thai woman selling fruit from a boat, freezing them for eternity:
Crikey. What a beauty. Taking massive leads from the Galaxy S8, the Note 8 also departs from a physical home button. This, combined with an almost bezel-free, 6.3-inch infinity is visually stunning. With such close design parallels to the Galaxy S8, can we also expect the Note 8 to be ridiculously fragile? Time will tell. Hopefully, not for me.
One piece of good news is that the phone is once again water resistant and actually, along with the phone, the S Pen is also resistant to H20.
The Note 8’s S Pen
The S Pen has been the stand out feature of the Note range for years. The S Pen is a really smart stylus that pairs up with the Note 8, but doesn’t need to be charged. Despite an apparent lack of electrical power needed, Samsung’s S Pen gives your mobile experience a real turbo boost. If you’ve never used one of these Samsung styluses in the past, you might well be asking what the point is. Well, the point is finer than ever as the S Pen is the most pen-like stylus Samsung has brought to the Note range yet.
Samsung’s S Pen will let you take notes without unlocking your Note 8, quickly translate text and, of course, handwrite messages. Perhaps most importantly, the Note 8’s S Pen will feature all the clicky goodness that we should have had with the Note 7.
The Note 8’s Software
Software makes it sound boring but in truth, this is where the coolest stuff happens. Samsung’s Bixby is one such cool thing. Voice search is growing at a phenomenal rate worldwide. While us Irish are a little self-conscious about talking to smart devices, this will become the norm. That’s why you’ll find us on Amazon’s Echo Dot. Bixby is Samsung’s answer to Apple’s Siri as they hope to steer people away from Android’s native Google Assistant. Seriously, there are that many voice assistants the smartphone world right now.
Knox, Samsung’s security software will feature again. While not very sexy stuff, Knox has one massive benefit. If for some reason, you find yourself using two Snapchat accounts, Knox will help you switch between the two accounts easily. It’ll also prevent personal files being exposed and all that good stuff.
On the topic of security, another nice software feature will be retina scanning to unlock your phone. I’m particularly hopefully this works well because the unlock button is the only design flaw with the Note 8. It’s in a mad position altogether even if the Sony Xperia XZ Premium’s button positioning has me spoiled now.
Your Freebies For Joining The Party Early
I’ll need to pick up a new Gear VR because the Note 8 is USB-C which means it would work with my older Gear VR. You also don’t get one free, which would suck except for what you do get free. An S Pen. Only joking. If you pre-order, you’ll be able to redeem a Samsung DeX for free.
The whole idea being the Note 8 is to do more with your smartphone. DeX turns your Note 8 into a portable desktop PC. Normally, the dock that powers all of this would set you back around €100. Once you redeem this in time from Samsung’s dedicated website, DeX won’t cost you a cent.
What Is The Note 8 Launch Date In Ireland?
This is the part I hate. The waiting for a phone to launch. The Note 8 will launch in Ireland on Friday, 15 September.
Where To Buy The Samsung Galaxy Note 8 In Ireland
Now that’s the big question. Who’ll give you the best deal on the Note 8? This is where you get the markers out and start drawing calculations on the windows of your gaff. Or, you could just leave it to us to do all the comparisons for you. Below, we’ll show you the cost of the Galaxy Note 8, but not just what you pay on day one. The total price includes the amount each network will charge you up-front, plus the total you pay per month multiplied by the number of months in your contract.
Buy The Samsung Galaxy Note 8 On Vodafone
Vodafone is probably Ireland’s most established network and are still just about in front of Three. They offer three plans for €40, €60 and €80, all of which are 24-month agreements. If you sign into Vodafone’s lowest plan, the Note 8 will set you back €1560 over two years. That figure includes a €599.99 payment on day one. Vodafone’s €60-a-month plan will cost you €399.99 up-front, totalling €1840 over two years. You’ll pay a grand total of €2120 over 24-months on Vodafone’s premium €80 per month plan but you will only pay €199.99 in the shop on day one.
You can find out what you get for your money over on Vodafone’s site, but it’s worth noting the two higher plans will give you either Spotify of Sky Sports Mobile.
Buy The Samsung Galaxy Note 8 On Three
Things should be a little more straight forward with Three, but they have included a special offer. Their lower plan will set you back €45 per month and €579 up front, costing you €1660 in total over 24-months. The special offer kicks in on Three top plan. For the first six months, you’ll pay €30 per month and €479 on day one in the shop. Over 24-months, that means Three’s top plan will set you back €1739.
On top of that discounted first six months, Three also give you three months access to Deezer.
Buy The Samsung Galaxy Note 8 On Meteor and eir
Meteor is the much-beloved provider has been merged into eir. You’ll pay €499 up front for the Note 8 on eir, with €55 per month over 24-months getting you unlimited calls and texts, with 15GB of data to boot. Over the full contract, you’ll fork out €1819 in total for the Note 8 on eir. There are special offers if you’re an existing eir broadband customer allowing you to bundle the lot into a single bill. Check out the eir website for more info if you’re an existing customer.
Buy The Samsung Galaxy Note 8 On iD Mobile
By the time you finish your contract with iD Mobile, there’s a fair chance the network will look very different. The Carphone Warehouse owned MVNO has announced they will be leaving the Irish market. A word of warning: don’t go signing up to iD thinking you’ll get a free phone. You’ll just be a customer of whoever swoops in and buys the network. We’ve already looked at who that might be, so now let’s look at your options to buy the Note 8 on iD Mobile.
First of all, iD is in a unique position to let you have a 12-month, 18-month or 24-month contract. You can also pick and choose your minutes, texts and data. We’ve picked out three examples showing you how much the Note 8 would cost you on iD.
First up is the plan iD is promoting. This will set you back €54 per month, €450 in the shop on day one and get you 10,000 minutes and texts along with 30GB of data. This is a 24-month plan costing a grand total of €1746 over two years.
Next up is a tidy little 18-month number offering 250 minutes and texts with 3GB of data. Again, you’ll fork out €450 on day one for the Note 8 and over a year and a half, you’ll pay €1302 on this plan including a monthly bill of just under €60. In 18-months time, you’ll be free to shop around again just in time for whatever Samsung has to offer with the Galaxy S10.
Finally, if you think you’d like to get the Samsung Galaxy Note 9 next year, you could grab a 12-month contract. As with the other plans, you’ll pay €450 on day one and you’ll be able to get 250 minutes and texts along with 3GB of data. This 12-month option will cost you a total of €1218 over the year with €64 coming out of your account every month on your bill.
Can You Buy The Samsung Galaxy Note 8 On Virgin Mobile or Tesco Mobile?
We’re sure you will be able to eventually, but right now we don’t have any pricing to share. Keep an eye out for updates to this post as we’ll be keeping it fresh with pricing as we get it.
Buy The Note 8 SIM Free In Ireland?
Hey big spender! To be honest, you’ve got the system licked haven’t you? Generally speaking, if you just buy the phone outright yourself and don’t get it on a contract, you’ll save over 24-months.
Littlewoods Ireland is a regular stockist of SIM free smartphones. You’ll pay a whopper €1,220 for the Note 8 when it launches. Clearly, that’s less than the other networks over 24-months, but remember you do have to add a plan. You can choose prepay or SIM only bill plans from here. If you spend €20 per month on your plan, your total cost over 24-months is €1710.
Right now, we’re tracking a few sites that normally stock new phones SIM free, so keep an eye on this post for updates or sign up to the Goos3DLetter below.