The Best Mods for the Galaxy Note 8

The Best Mods for the Galaxy Note 8

It goes without saying that the Galaxy Note 8, the newest in Samsung’s long-running device lineup, is one of the best smartphones on the market — especially if you’ve got a thing for styluses. The whopping 6.3-inch phablet sports a capable Qualcomm Snapdragon 835 processor paired with 6GB of RAM, dual 12MP rear cameras, and a 3,300mAh battery that supports both Qi wireless charging and Samsung’s Adaptive Fast Charging tech. The undoubted highlight is Samsung’s S Pen stylus, of course, which can access app shortcuts, translate highlighted text, and even compose memos when the Galaxy Note 8’s screen is switched off. But it’s not to be outdone by Bixby, Samsung’s artificially intelligent assistant that identifies objects in photos (via Bixby Vision), serves up contextually relevant information depending on your location and the time of day, and switches off smart home appliances with a simple voice command.

The Galaxy Note 8’s stock firmware barely scratches the surface of what the flagship’s hardware can do, though. The best mods for the Galaxy Note 8 make Samsung’s phablet even better; a few simple tweaks unlock the Galaxy Note 8’s maximum video framerate, for example, and enable stereo sound on the phablet’s front-facing speakers. Other modifications add Pixel 2 Active Edge-like squeeze gestures to the Galaxy Note 8, and allow you to remap the hardware Bixby button to any app or setting you’d like.

If you’re wondering which Galaxy S8 mods are worth your time, you’ve come to the right place. These are the best mods for the Samsung Galaxy Note 8.

By Kyle Wiggers


Best Galaxy Note 8 Camera Mod: Zero Camera Mod w/ QHD @ 60fps + HDR Recording

Zero Camera Mod, the passion project of XDA Senior Member zeroprobe, isn’t exclusive to the Galaxy Note 8. It’s a custom camera app that’s available for a growing range of devices, including the Galaxy S7Galaxy S7 EdgeGalaxy S8, and the Nexus 5. But the Zero Camera Mod for the Galaxy Note 8 unlocks features that aren’t available in the phone’s stock firmware.

One of the headliners is video recording up to QHD (2560×1440) resolution at 60 frames per second (fps) on Exynos Note 8 models, which makes a noticeable difference in image clarity. Other goodies include 4K high dynamic range (HDR) recording at QHD, autofocus tracking, increased bitrates, advanced shutter speed settings, enhanced JPG quality, and more.

So, ready to get shooting? Here’s how to install the Zero Camera Mod for the Galaxy Note 8:

Although Zero Camera Mod supports both the Qualcomm Snapdragon-touting Galaxy Note 8 and the Samsung Exynos Galaxy Note 8, installing it requires root access (and Magisk, if you opt for the app). If you aren’t rooted, check out our Snapdragon Note 8 and Exynos Note 8 rooting guides to get started.

Install Zero Camera Mod with TWRP:

  1. On the Galaxy Note 8, download the Zero Camera Mod ZIP file from this XDA forum thread.

  2. Reboot the phone. Press and hold the Volume up, Bixby, and Power buttons at the same time until you see the Samsung logo, then the TWRP logo.

  3. Flash the ZIP file you downloaded earlier by tapping Install, browsing to the directory where you saved Zero Camera Mod, and selecting it.

Alternatively, you can grab the Camera Mod S8 app from the Google Play Store.


Best Galaxy Note 8 Always-On Display Mod: Custom Themes

Custom Always-On Display backgrounds for the Galaxy Note 8.

Samsung’s Always-On Display mode, which debuted with the Galaxy S7 and improved on the Galaxy Note 8, leverages the unique properties of organic light-emitting diode (OLED) screens to show notifications energy efficiently. Only the pixels necessary to render the text and icons power on; the rest of the screen remains dim.

The Note 8’s stock firmware allows you to customize Always-On Display somewhat, offering six different clock styles to choose from and a quiet mode that hides notifications for a set period of time. But if you’re chomping at the bit for more, XDA Senior Member Mr.Ash.Man‘s mods add additional layers of customization. Once installed, they allow you to swap out the fonts for the Always-On Display’s clock, remove the date and battery indicators, and even add a custom background image.

A word of warning about custom backgrounds: You’ll have to adhere to the guidelines in this XDA forum thread. Also, if you choose an especially colorful or white-dominated picture, you run the risk of burning an outline of it into your screen. Proceed with caution.

Here’s how to install the Always-On Display mod for the Galaxy Note 8:

  1. On the Galaxy Note 8, download the mods you’d like to apply. There are five to choose from:

    1. Custom Background Mod

    2. No Date & No Battery Mod

    3. No Date With Battery & No Battery With Date

    4. Clock Style #4 Font Mod

    5. Just Notifications (NoClock/Battery/Date)

  2. If you haven’t already, allow the installation of apps from unknown sources by heading to Settings > Lock screen & security and toggling Unknown sources.

  3. Head to the Downloads manager and select the APK files you downloaded earlier. Follow the on-screen instructions to install them

  4. To swap out one style for another, you’ll need to remove the mods you’ve applied. Pull up Settings > Apps and look for any application with the package name “com.samsung.android.app.aodservice.AODEditor”; uninstall them.


Best Galaxy Note 8 Navigation Keys Mod: Pixel Nav Keys

Pixel Nav Keys mod for the Galaxy Note 8.

If you’re not a fan of the Galaxy Note 8’s stylized home, back, and multitasking button, good news: there’s a mod for that. XDA Senior Member Tigerhoods cobbled together an APK that swaps out Samsung’s navigation keys for Google Pixel-esque alternatives. Better yet, it’s customizable. In the Settings > Apps > Navigation bar menu, you’ll see options for reordering the nav keys, changing the color of the navigation buttons or the background, and adjusting the Home button sensitivity.

Here’s how to install the Pixel Nav Keys mod for the Galaxy Note 8:

  1. On the Galaxy Note 8, download the APK in this XDA forum thread.

  2. If you haven’t already, allow the installation of apps from unknown sources by heading to Settings > Lock screen & security and toggling Unknown sources.

  3. Open the Downloads manager and tap on the file you downloaded earlier. Follow the on-screen instructions, tap Done, and that’s it — you’ll see the new nav keys immediately.

  4. To revert to the Note 8’s stock navigation keys, head to Settings > Apps, uninstall the app with the package name “com.android.systemui.product.res.overlay”, and restart the phone.


Best Galaxy Note 8 Audio Mod: Stereo Speakers

 

displays

Samsung’s Galaxy Note 8.

The Galaxy Note 8’s down-firing single speaker leaves a lot to be desired, but a simple software modification fixes that. XDA Senior Member ProtoDeVNan0‘s dual speaker mod taps the Note 8’s earpiece, treating it like a secondary speaker by changing a few values in the firmware’s mixer_paths.xml file. The end result is true stereo sound in games, music apps such as Google Play Music and Spotify, and video apps like YouTube and Netflix.

Here’s how to install the dual speaker mod for the Galaxy Note 8:

Note that the Note 8 dual speaker mod requires root access and a root-enabled file explorer. If you aren’t rooted, check out our Snapdragon Note 8 and Exynos Note 8 rooting guides to get started, and if you’re in need of a file explorer, we recommend giving ES File Explorer a go.

ES File Explorer File Manager
ES File Explorer File Manager
Developer: ES Global
Price: Free+
  1. On the Galaxy Note 8, download the modified mixer_paths.xml file from this XDA forums thread.

  2. Open a root-enabled file explorer and browse to the /system/etc directory.

  3. Paste and overwrite or replace the current mixer_paths.xml file with the modified one.

  4. Set the permissions to RW-R-R- or 0644 or 644.

  5. Reboot the phone and test a song, game, or video with stereo sound. You should hear two distinct audio channels — one from the Note 8’s earpiece and the other from its down-firing speaker.


Best Galaxy Note 8 Navigation Mod: SideSqueeze

Envious of the Google Pixel’s Active Edge and HTC U11‘s Edge Sense features, which let you assign app shortcuts and actions to the phones’ touch-sensitive bezels? Good news: there’s a Galaxy Note 8 mod that adds squeeze gestures to Samsung’s phablet. XDA Senior Member ffolkes developed an app that adds capacitive gestures to any water-sealed phone. It’s called SideSqueeze, and it analyzes data from the barometric sensor to detect your palm’s pressure.

SideSqueeze runs a lightweight algorithm that doesn’t impact battery life or performance and boasts features such as an adjustable pressure threshold, and configurable long squeeze gestures and actions. Some settings require a command to be run via the Android Developer Bridge (ADB), instructions for which can be found in SideSqueeze’s Help/FAQ tab. But for the most part, it’s plug-and-play.

Installation is easy: Download SideSqueeze from the Google Play Store. It’s free, but a premium version unlocks additional features.

SideSqueeze
SideSqueeze
Developer: Pocketdevelopers
Price: Free+

Best Galaxy Note 8 Bixby Mod: Bixby Button Remapper — bxActions

bxActions for the Galaxy Note 8.

If you don’t use Bixby, Samsung’s artificially intelligent assistant, the Galaxy Note 8’s Bixby button is a useless hunk of plastic hogging space on your phone’s bezel. Luckily, there’s an app that lets you assign it to the action, setting, or application of your choosing: bxActions.

bxActions, or Bixby Button Remapper, lets you modify the default behavior of the Note 8’s Bixby button. You can remap it to mute the phone, for example, or turn on a flashlight, and that’s just the tip of the iceberg. Other handy features include double- and long-press support, the ability to program different actions when the phone is locked or unlocked, and one-tap access to the Google Assistant. In all, bxActions has more than 30 preprogrammed actions to choose from.

To install bxActions, download it from the Play Store. Follow the on-screen instructions to get it up and running.

Bixby Button Remapper - bxActions
Bixby Button Remapper - bxActions
Developer: Jawomo
Price: Free+

Best Galaxy Note 8 Charging Mod: Deep Discharge Protection Tool

At launch, the Galaxy Note 8 had a deep discharge issue: when the phone’s charge level dipped below a certain threshold, it failed to boot up until after the battery was completely discharged. Samsung’s since attempted to remedy the bug with new firmware, and it’s been proactive in reaching out to affected owners. But some unlucky Galaxy Note 8 units still suffer from “deep discharge”. Luckily, there’s a fix.

XDA Recognized Developer dr.ketan‘s Deep Discharge Protection Tool, which doesn’t require root access, shuts devices down as soon as the battery percentage reaches 11 percent, preventing the bug from occurring. It optionally vibrates to alert you that the phone’s shutting down, and allows you to switch between three other shutdown thresholds: 5 percent, 7 percent, and 9 percent.

Here’s how to install the Deep Discharge Protection mod for the Galaxy Note 8:

  1. On the Galaxy Note 8, download the APK in this XDA forum thread.

  2. If you haven’t already, allow the installation of apps from unknown sources by heading to Settings > Lock screen & security and toggling Unknown sources.

  3. Open the Downloads manager and tap on the file you downloaded earlier. Follow the on-screen instructions, tap Done, and that’s it.


Best Galaxy Note 8 Notifications Mod: Energy Bar

Energy Bar mod for the Galaxy Note 8. (Source: jagan2)

The Galaxy Note 8’s Edge Panel takes full advantage of the phone’s curved screen, showing notifications, links to favorite contacts, and apps. But Energy Bar, a mod from XDA Recognized Developer jagan2, takes it to the next level.

Energy Bar is a pulsating battery indicator that puts a thin line at the top of the status bar that corresponds to the phone’s charge level. When your phone’s fully charged, for example, the line covers the width of the screen, and when the battery’s depleting, the line shrinks. It doesn’t put much load on the CPU, and it can be configured to hide on fullscreen content, change colors depending on the live battery level, and pulsate when a power source is plugged in.

On the Galaxy Note 8, Energy Bar runs the length of the curved screen — it’s a killer effect. All that’s required to get it up and running is the Energy Bar app from the Google Play Store.