Travel Tech: Galaxy Note 8.0

Warning: I’m about to gush.


Here it is.

I’m a MAC girl. Big time. We have a couple of desktops, several laptops, a couple of iPhones, a few iPods and an iPad.  I didn’t just drink Steve Jobs’ Apple Kool-aid; I quadrupled the batch and sold it to all of my family and friends. When I first got the 24″ screen iMac that currently sits on my desk, this was what my joy looked like.




But in recent months my loyalty has been tested.

I’ve got an iPhone 4. The 4s didn’t tempt me to upgrade. Ish has a 5 and outside of a few little things I wasn’t that impressed then either.  I’ve been holding out for the next iteration in the hopes that the magic will come back.

And it was in this period of vulnerability –  between jeans and black t-shirt announcements from the makers of Apple products – that I was tempted by something new.

galaxy 8.0 note

Telus is showing off it’s new high-speed LTE services and sent me a Samsung Galaxy Note 8.O to test it out. No strings attached.  No requirement that I write this post. No request that I gush.

But I am gushing and writing. Why?

Because it is the first machine to get me to rethink my Apple loyalty.

To be fair my curiosity was first peaked on a recent trip to Hong Kong when I noticed that the majority of people I saw walking and typing in the tech-savvy city weren’t on i- devices – they were on Samsung ones. When I asked about it, my guide to everything in the city Rosanna Shun advised that people were tired of the i-hype and were finding greater satisfaction with the Samsung devices due to cost, app options and usability.

I still wasn’t sold. In fact, I bought i-covers, i-plugs and i-chargers for my entire family on that same trip.

Then last week, while I was exploring Costa Rica with the family I pulled out the Galaxy Note and began to play with it.

And within an hour – BAM – sold.

Here’s what I love most so far:

1. The size – This is actually what initially turned me off. “Who needs a device  this big to carry around?” asked old me rhetorically. And then I tried it out and realized the 8″ screen is actually a great size for doing the non-phone things I’ll use it  for most. (Reading, Writing, Photos) I read all 350+ pages of And the Mountains Echoed on screen and loved it. The eye recognition software means the screen won’t go dark when  I’m reading but will when I fall asleep in bed. Genius.

iphone vs galaxy

2. The S Pen -I can WRITE notes on the device in my handwriting and have it transfer into notes? Journalist’s dream. The ability to make lists without having to worry about a virtual keyboard? Yes please. I can write on pictures too? You’re killing me! During our  year away I often took pictures of things that I didn’t have the words to capture in the moment, now I can snap the photo and mark on them the few things I want to remember! LOVE.

3. Paper Artist – I have about 50,000 photos on my computer and various hard drives. I may need to change each and every one with this app. It allows me to do cool things with artsy turns and is an ” I’m playing but still being productive!” kind of tool. When I’m done I save the ones I love, trash the ones I don’t and send my artsy creations out for all the world to see.

Voila! I'm an artist!

Voila! I’m an artist!

You techy types will want to know that it has:

  • a 1.6Ghz Quad Core Processor
  • 16GB of memory, expandable up to 64GB
  • Android 4.1 JellyBean
  • SAFE Certified, making it secure enough to use for work

Also: There are many ways you can get your hands on one of these dandys. I’m sure any network provider will happily set you up. TELUS customers can take advantage of TELUS’ new Easy Tablet program which allows you to buy a tablet for a lower up-front cost and then pay off the difference on your monthly bill over a one or two-year term, interest-free.  TELUS offers the Note 8.0 for $99 up-front + $20/month over two years, or $339 up-front + $20/month for one year. You can also buy it outright for $579.


So, does this mean I’m ditching my Apple ways? Not entirely. I’m definitely over the iPad but I’m waiting to see what the next generation of phones (expected next month) will bring. What is certain is that I’ve opened my heart to Samsung and there is a serious crush going on. I’m signing up for a class or two to learn more about it, still testing out the phone and camera as well as some of the other features. I’m also entertaining the possibility that maybe I’m a little less MAC4Life than I thought. I’ll keep you posted. ;)

Are you an i-holic? An Android-maniac? What keeps you loyal?

Disclosure: This post was not sponsored by anyone. Like everything I write on this site, all opinions expressed are my own.

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{ 4 comments… add one }

Robin Suire August 12, 2013, 5:55 PM

I’m totally an i-holic, but the big time span between a lack of desire of upgrade my iphone 4s and not being crazy over the original iPad (my 3 year old uses it), i’ve been side-eyeing some of the Samsung products. I’m so hype about the new iPhone announcement slated for next month, but if it again leaves little to be desired, I may finally go to the dark side and look into the Samsung products.


Heather August 13, 2013, 2:08 PM

Yup. I feel the same way Robin. My kids LOVE the iPad but it has never appealed to me. If you do try this one I’d be curious to know what you think.


V August 12, 2013, 9:28 PM

I’m generally migrated to the iWorld — because of compatibility and the lack of support required (I’m the tech in the house and found that the family really just didn’t use the PCs to their capacity — I use a PC at work so completely comfortable on both). At this point, I really appreciate the integration between the iDevices we have so haven’t really explored outside … though I have to admit the Samsung Galaxy line has sparked my interest a few times. In the end, though, I just want my stuff to work and I don’t want to have to worry about security or compatibility …


Heather August 13, 2013, 2:09 PM

I hear you V. I’m smitten but I haven’t fully integrated it all yet. I’m hoping that the classes I’m setting up with Telus tech will help me fully explore the gadget.


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