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Samsung Galaxy Note 8 tidbits: New Gear VR, free in-home support, camera samples & more

Yesterday saw the debut of Samsung’s latest flagship, the Galaxy Note 8. Following a successful launch with the Galaxy S8 earlier this year and the massive consequences of the Galaxy Note 7 last year, Samsung had a lot riding on this launch.

We’ve already given you the details on this launch as well as our first impressions, but now let’s take a look at some of the smaller details you might have missed…

The Note 8 is too big for the current Gear VR

Samsung makes a big deal out of its Gear VR headset, and for good reason. It’s a fantastic system that works well, but the current version actually doesn’t fit the Galaxy Note 8. To fix that and offer up its VR experience to Note 8 owners, Samsung is refreshing the Gear VR w/ Remote to fit this new phone.We actually got a brief sneak peek of this at Samsung’s event, and overall it’s the same headset, just slightly revised to make room for the bigger phone. Pricing is the same at $129.

Finally, a simultaneous unlocked launch

Samsung has been pretty good about launching fully unlocked versions of its past few phones in the US and worldwide, but those versions have traditionally launched well after the carrier variants. With the Galaxy S8 that gap was only a month or so, but Samsung isn’t holding back at all with the Note 8, launching it at the same time as carriers.

The unlocked version of the Note 8 won’t differ at all in terms of hardware or overall software, but it will lack any meddling from carriers. There will be no pre-loaded carrier apps and all system updates will be handled directly by Samsung. Pricing on this unlocked option lands at $929 and it will be available in Midnight Black or Orchid Grey through Samsung’s website.

What’s the price?

Samsung kept quiet during its event regarding the price of the Note 8, but now that pre-orders are live, we know how much this phone will cost, and it’s definitely not cheap.

As mentioned, the unlocked variant of the Galaxy Note 8 will ask for a hefty $929. With carriers, the pricing changes a bit between options, but is all in that same ballpark. Several sellers are also offering perks with your purchase.

Had a Note 7? Samsung will give you a massive discount on the Note 8

To help smooth things over after the Galaxy Note 7’s demise, Samsung is offering up a big deal for customers who previously owned that phone — up to $425 off of the cost of a Galaxy Note 8.

How does this work? Through Samsung’s website, past Note 7 owners can trade in their current phone (whatever that might be) to get the company’s latest. In many cases, Note 7 owners were forced to drop down to an S7 Edge or Note 5, so getting an instant trade to lower the cost of a Note 8 is a great option. If you qualify for the full $425, you’ll only be paying about $500 for the Note 8. To learn more about this offer and other trade-ins, check out our other post on the subject.

Samsung is offering 60 days of free in-home support

Any new phone can be overwhelming, and with all of the features packed into the Note, we’re glad to hear that Samsung is going to offer buyers 60 days of free support for their new phone. This comes as part of Samsung’s “Premium Care” service which generally costs $12 a month.

Through the startup “HelloTech,” Samsung is providing Note 8 owners with one on one, in person support for their device. HelloTech says that it will meet owners wherever it is convenient for the customer to provide support, whether that is at home or in a coffee shop. After that first 60 days is up, owners will still be able to pay $12 a month to continue that service.

The camera is looking pretty good

When it comes down to it there really isn’t all that much different in the Note 8 from the Galaxy S8, but one of the big ones is the dual-camera system. Dual-cameras are popping up in just about every smartphone at this point, so it was only a matter of time before Samsung introduced its own option. In the Note 8, we’ve got one telephoto and one wide-angle lens which are both optically stabilized. These cameras work with each other to enable things like “Live Focus” (aka Portrait Mode), as well as improved low light performance.

Our time with the demo was limited, but gave promise. Now, a large gallery of photos shot on the Note 8 show off what the new sensors are capable of.

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Ben is a writer and video producer for 9to5Google.

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