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It was all but a sure thing that Samsung would take the covers off the newest addition to the Galaxy Note family this week at Mobile World Congress in Barcelona. Which is why we’re excited to see that as of this evening they’ve done exactly that. Samsung unwrapped the Galaxy Note 10.1 this time last year so it’s fitting that their unveiling yet another addition to the Note lineup with a new 8″ model. The new Galaxy Note 8.0 will sit firmly in the Note lineup against the 5.5″ Note II and larger 10.1″ Galaxy Note. For some, 7″ tablets are just a tad small and 10″ tablets a little too large which makes it fitting that Samsung would introduce a model that sits comfortably in-between.
Ultimately, Samsung won’t knock your socks off with the spec sheet as the Note 8.0 features a 1280 x 800 display, quad-core Exynos processor clocked at 1.6GHz, 2GB of RAM, 5 megapixel rear camera, 1.2 megapixel front-facing camera and 16GB or 32GB internal memory with microSD expansion. The Note 8.0 is packed into a 7.95mm body weighing in at 338grams and its available in the very same glossy plastic body Samsung fans either love or hate. However, early hands on reports show terrific performance, especially inside the web browser — an app notoriously hung up by underpowered hardware.
The Note 8.0 is equipped with Android 4.1.2 Jelly Bean and adds a number of new features and apps including a bump in the S Pen hover feature to work with third-party apps. A new version of Android will ship first with the Note 8.0 and allow you to hover over your Flipboard tiles and see a brief preview of headlines. Perhaps one of the more minor additions will also be one of the most notable as Samsung has equipped the Note 8.0 with an integrated earpiece, microphone and phone app.
The Multiview feature that has helped make the Note II so popular is on board along with a brand new Android version of the Awesome Note app that has been wildly successful on iOS. Another first for the Note class will be the option to use the S Pen to control the capacitive menu/back buttons.
“The GALAXY Note 8.0 breaths fresh life into the category as it delivers the perfect fusion of portability and everyday productivity – the result is a pioneering, pocket-sized solution that enhances and enriches our everyday lives, whether at work or play,” said JK Shin, Samsung’s Mobile Communication President.
Samsung plans to launch the Note 8.0 around the world sometime in the second quarter of this year. The company is planning on Wi-Fi, HSPA+ and LTE models, but has not yet announced US carrier availability. The real question here is whether Samsung packed enough under the hood and enough software features to entice users to choose this over the Nexus 7? Let’s just say for a moment that the Note 8.0 arrives on T-Mobile, anyone interested?