The Note 8 “special opportunity” for Note 7 owners is no deal unless you’re crafty

I’m a longtime fan of the Samsung Note series of phones. I have owned every Note with the exception of the Note 4. The Note was an audacious concept — a giant monster with a tablet-like size and a built-in stylus. The first note had a 5.3" display back when most phones had 3.5" displays. The Note’s release spurred the invention of the term “phablet”, blending phone and tablet.

Back in the first four iterations of the line, the Note was a stand-out. It was bigger than the Galaxy S lines and included the S Pen stylus. It stood alone among the pack. However, after the Note 4, Samsung has brought the Galaxy S phones and the Note closer together, to the point where this year’s Galaxy S8 Plus and the Note 8 are nearly indistinguishable, especially as the Note line is now unavailable in any configuration other than with a curved-edge screen. How useful is a curved edge screen on a phone with a stylus? Do you write on notebooks with edges that curve away? This year’s Note 8 follows the S8’s lead in stealing screen space from the top and bottom bezels, leading to a 18.5:9 aspect ratio. And that feels a little bit like writing on…

Nice aspect ratio. Would you write on this can? It has curved edges too!

I digress. Despite the curved edges, I ponied up for the Note 7, which, aside from its tendency to explode, was a beautiful phone. Now we all know how that went. I had to return the phone a few weeks later as part of the recall. And despite my complaints about the Note 8 being too narrow, too tall, and with those same stupid curved edges, I am tempted. There is just something about the Note lineup I still like. Now Samsung, with the release of the Note 8, is now offering a “Special opportunity for former Note 7 owners” — a $425 discount!

When I first read that there’s a $425 discount for Note 7 owners, I thought, “Great! This is a nice gesture from the company to loyal Note owners who are interested in coming back to the brand after batterygate.” Until I read the fine print. You have to trade in your existing phone.

Most Note 7 owners who returned their phones went out and bought Galaxy S7s, Pixel XLs, or iPhone 7 Plus’s. Samsung is asking them to take a loss on those phones by trading them in, as the market value is WAY ABOVE $425 for them. Just check eBay. Same with the Pixel XL.

However, the $425 discount applies to a wide class of devices. So if you went back to an older phone, that $425 is looking pretty good. Or if you were so inclined to pick up an LG G4 for $90, you can turn that into a $425 credit pretty quick.

Which ones of these are not like the others?