One of the advantages of the Note 8 front-facing camera is its bright F1.7 aperture lens. Usually, the front camera gets less attention than the rear camera. Having said that, we can see more phone manufacturers paying more attention to the front facing camera because of the ever growing selfie trend; people just love shooting selfies. Although Samsung didn't bring a dual-facing camera to the front (and I wish it did), it did make sure that it comes with some decent specs.
The Note8 features a 8MP 1/3.6"sensor size with 1.22 micron size pixels and an autofocus f/1.7 aperture lens. This is similar setup as the Galaxy S8 that also features a 8MP f/1.7 lens and I guess it's the same sensor used in both, although I wasn't able to verify that. The bad thing about this camera is that it uses a small sensor with small pixels. The good news is that the lens aperture compensates for that, at least to some degree. A large F1.7 ensures a high amount of light can reach the sensor thus promoting better low light performance. This ensures that you can take selfie pictures even at night without worrying too much about whether there is enough light to take a well exposed selfie picture. We usually see front cameras with f/2 to f/2.4 apertures, but it's a flagship smartphone, so the Samsung has to match user's expectations in that aspect.
I'm pretty sure Samsung hasn't opted for higher resolution because of the negative impact on low light performance and image quality. Furthermore, there is actually no need for higher resolution for the front camera, especially if it has negative implications on image quality.
The Samsung Galaxy Note 8 was designed to appeal to business users. You might think that the front camera might not play a significant role for its main target audience. However, we've already seen that the Note8 is one of Samsung's most popular smartphones, not just among businessmen, but among regular users who love its enhanced functionality, its advanced multi-tasking capabilities and the S Pen that accompanies it.
I personally think that there there isn't anything excited about this camera, but it will do its job well, take high-quality selfies. I also liked the Smart Auto Focus system that uses face tracking to make sure your face stay in focus. Have you have a need for something more advanced, you probably should be looking at phones like the Vivo V5 Plus and its dual front camera setup. There is also the Alcatel Flash which comes with both rear and front dual-lens cameras. Of course these phones are no match for the premium Note8 smartphone. Consumers who buy the Note8 don't do it only because of the camera, but because of the wide array of innovative and unique features that the 'Note' phone brand is known for since the beginning.