When the Samsung Galaxy Note 8.0 was announced in Barcelona yesterday, it didn’t come as a surprise. We had already heard about the unveiling from Samsung’s JK Shin, but it’s 100 percent official now.

The new entrant to Samsung’s Note family brings with it a 8-inch TFT LCD with a not-so-spectacular 1280 x 800 display. It is powered by an Exynos 4 Quad processor clocked at 1.6GHz coupled with 2GB of RAM. The good news is this thing runs Android 4.1.2 Jelly Bean  out of the box, though with Samsung’s TouchWiz / Nature UX on top.

Naturally, a Note device comes with an S Pen and the Note 8.0’s stylus has the usual suite of pen-optimised apps. Speaking of which, Samsung has updated the pen to work on the capacitive buttons sitting alongside the physical home button, so users don't have to make a transition from pen to finger when using the device.

The Galaxy Note 8.0 comes with an updated S-Pen

It makes the whole thing look like an over-sized Galaxy Note2. Astonishingly, you can actually use this as your primary phone as it has voice-calling functionality out of the box. Yes, that’s right. Besides the Wi-Fi connectivity option, the SIM slot has HSPA+ support for data and voice. The body is a familiar Samsung piece of design made out of plastic and has a glossy coating and round edges like most of Samsung’s recent smartphones.

On the back of the Note 8.0 is a 5 megapixel autofocus camera, which is capable of 1080p video recording. The front has a 1.3 megapixel camera, which should be sufficient for voice calls.

Samsung has partnered with Peel to bring a Smart Remote app to the Note 8.0. This is the company’s attempt to get a piece of the home entertainment market. The phablet has an infrared blaster on the right edge and Samsung has baked in a visual programming guide with remote control functions on the tab. Another feature that Samsung spoke about was “reading mode”, which adjusts the brightness and contrast of the LCD to make running through your e-book collection a more comfortable experience.

At 338 grams, the Note 8.0 is in the same ballpark as the iPad mini, and Samsung claims users won’t feel the strain on their wrists even with one-handed use. The phablet’s back is non-removable and covers a 4600mAh battery. MicroSD for expansion and the micro-SIM slots have been placed under flaps on the left edge.

Details on pricing and regional release dates are still to be announced, but potential buyers will have two storage options – 16GB and 32GB – to choose from.

Here is a quick look at the key specs of the Note 8.0 once again:

  • 8-inch TFT LCD with a 1280 x 800 resolution and a pixel density of 189 ppi
  • HSPA, Class 12 GPRS/EDGE
  • Wi-Fi 802.11 a/b/g/n, dual-band, Wi-Fi Direc, Wi-Fi hotspot
  • Bluetooth 4.0 with A2DP
  • Micro USB 2.0 with MHL-support and USB Host
  • A-GPS support and GLONASS
  • 5 megapixel primary camera with 1.3 megapixel front-facing camera
  • 16/32GB internal storage with microSD card expandable up to 64GB

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