What you need to know about the Samsung Galaxy Note 8What you need to know about the Samsung Galaxy Note 8The Samsung Galaxy Note 8 release date is probably not that far away, but will the phone be any good – and will it explode? In this article, I’ll cover:
What’s the latest Galaxy Note 8 news?
What is the Galaxy Note 8 release date?
What’s new about the Galaxy Note 8 design and specs?
Will the Galaxy Note 8 be safe?
What’s the Galaxy Note 8 price likely to be?
Should you wait for the Galaxy Note 8?
(Update: August 13, 2017): Samsung’s Galaxy Note 8 has seemingly been benchmarked using the Geekbench app, which appears to have confirmed the presence of a Snapdragon 835 chip and 6GB of RAM. Read on to find out more.
Samsung’s Galaxy Note 7 met an untimely end in late 2017, recalled over battery issues that caused some phones to explode. So the pressure is on for Samsung to get this year’s Note phone just right. The good news is that if Samsung’s new Galaxy S8 is anything to go by, we’re expecting the Galaxy Note 8 to be awesome.
MPU 1 (Desktop / Tablet)Samsung has already confirmed that there will be a Note 8 handset, so the branding isn’t being killed off after last year’s phone fire debacle. Unfortunately, we still haven’t seen enough leaks to have firm details about specs or pricing. That said, there’s plenty to chew over in terms of educated guesswork, so read on for our predictions about Samsung’s next phablet.Galaxy Note 8 News: The latest news and rumoursHere’s a rundown of the latest Galaxy Note 8 news, in chronological order:
January 4, 2017 – Note reportedly lives on: A Business Korea report cited a source as saying that Samsung would be releasing a Note series device in 2017.
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Best iPhone SE deals: The best pay monthly contracts in August 2017Best iPhone SE deals: The best pay monthly…TrustedReviewsbyJanuary 23, 2017 – Note 8 existence confirmed: Speaking to CNet, Samsung Mobile chief DJ Koh said that we would see a “better, safer and very innovative Note 8” later this year.
March 7, 2017 – Note 8 codename revealed? A report from Sammobile suggested that the codename for the Galaxy Note 8 is “great”, and will ship under the model number SM-N950F.
April 9, 2017 – Note 8 image leaked? Android Headlines posted an image sourced from China that appears to depict the Galaxy Note 8 – although we can’t verify the snap.
August 8, 2017 – Emperor Edition? Prolific leaker Roland Quandt has posted an image to Twitter that suggests a 256GB ‘Emperor Edition’ Galaxy Note 8 may be available in South Korea.Galaxy Note 8 release date: When does it come out?Predicting release dates is always tricky, so let’s start with what we know for certain. Here’s a history of Galaxy Note launches, for reference:
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Your email addressYour email address:Sign upShow More Samsung Galaxy Note – Announced Oct 27, 2011 | Released Oct 29, 2011Samsung Galaxy Note 2 – Announced Aug 29, 2012 | Released Sep 26, 2012Samsung Galaxy Note 3 – Announced Sep 4, 2013 | Released Sep 25, 2013Samsung Galaxy Note 4 – Announced Sep 3, 2014 | Released Oct 17, 2014Samsung Galaxy Note 5 – Announced Aug 13, 2015 | Released Aug 21, 2015Samsung Galaxy Note 7 – Announced Aug 2, 2016 | Released Aug 19, 2016
It now seems that this trend is set to continue, as Samsung has announced a Galaxy Unpacked press conference, which is set to take place on August 23.
The event will be held at the Park Avenue Armoury in New York City, with proceedings expected to begin at 11am EST (4pm BST). This means Samsung probably won’t be announcing the new Galaxy
Note phone at Berlin’s IFA tradeshow, as was previously expected.
In the invitation sent to press, Samsung wrote: “On August 23, Samsung Electronics will reveal the latest member of the Galaxy family with the ultimate multitasking device for those who want to do bigger things with their phone.”
MPU 3 (Desktop / Tablet)It continued: “This highly anticipated addition to the Galaxy roster was specifically designed for people who move through barriers to do more of what matters to them.”
Of course, Samsung hasn’t explicitly confirmed that the Galaxy Note 8 will be launching at this event, but it looks almost certain given what we’ve seen from the company in years gone by.
We’ve also seen a release date leak from South Korea’s ET News, which claims that the phone will go on sale – in the Korean market, at least – on September 15, around three weeks after the phone is expected to debut at Galaxy Unpacked.
Galaxy Note 8 Design: What’s new?Samsung has used previous Galaxy Note handsets to test out new design concepts. In fact, we first saw Samsung’s curved ‘Edge’-style display on a Note phone, and it’s now a staple of the core Galaxy S series.
MPU 4 (Desktop / Tablet)However, the most likely scenario will be that we’ll see a repeat of the new Galaxy S7 design for the Galaxy Note 8. This is quite a drastic departure from the Galaxy Note 7 aesthetic, but the response to the new design has been positive so far, so we’re hopeful Samsung will keep it up.
With the Galaxy S7, Samsung introduced what it’s calling an ‘Infinity Display’. This means that the front of the phone has redesigned, with the Home button moved to the back of the handset. The curved ‘Edge’-style edge-to-edge display is retained, but the top and bottom part of the bezel are much slimmer. The result is that most of the front of the phone is occupied by display, making for a very attractive handset.
Given the hype that Samsung has created around the ‘Infinity Display’ design, we’d be surprised if it was scrapped for the Galaxy Note 8.
Importantly, the ‘Infinity Display’ also means that much more screen can be packed into the same size body. For instance, the Galaxy S8+ is only marginally bigger than the Galaxy S7 Edge, but the screen size moved from 5.5 inches to 6.2 inches with the new phone. Considering that the Galaxy Note 7 used a 5.7-inch display, we’d expect to see similar screen size gains.
It’s also highly likely that Samsung will retain the IP68-certified waterproof design we’ve seen on both the Galaxy Note 7 and Galaxy S8. This means the phone has been tested underwater at depths of 1.5 metres for 30 minutes – and lived to tell the tale.
We’ve alaredy seen a few leaks, including one posted by Android Headlines and sourced from China – although we can’t verify its legitimacy:Galaxy Note 8 specs: What’s new?As I mentioned in the design, section, it’s likely that Samsung will increase the size of the display from the Note 7’s 5.7 inches. We’d expect something north of 6.2-inches, without seeing a significant body size increase thanks to the new ‘Infinity Display’ design.
But we’re also expecting to see a display resolution bump, in line with the Galaxy S8. The Galaxy Note 7 and Galaxy S7 both used Quad HD screens – that’s 2,560 x 1,440 pixels. But the Galaxy S8 saw a move to QHD+, which means you’re getting 2,960 x 1,440 pixels. Given that the Note 7 screen is expected to grow, it would be hugely surprising if the resolution wasn’t hiked up to QHD+.But there’s also a chance we may see an ever bigger bump, with a definite possibility of a 4K Ultra HD screen on the horizon. Earlier this year, the Korea Herald published a report about how Samsung was working on massively increasing the pixel density of its Gear VR virtual reality headset. The easiest way to do this would be to significantly ramp up the number of pixels in the Galaxy Note 8, which would then be docked into the headset as the screen.
While it’s clear that the advantages of a 4K phone at normal viewing distances aren’t worthwhile, upgrading to UHD for VR purposes is certainly useful. That’s because the phone is so close to your eyes that pixels become much more obvious. Also, because a VR headset requires images to bit split stereoscopically (i.e. into two parts), resolution is technically halved. So moving to a 4K screen with the Galaxy Note 8 would be an easy way for Samsung to boost the quality of its mobile VR experience.
So what else should we expect? Well it’s highly likely that the Galaxy Note 8 will retain the same processors used in the Galaxy S8. That means we’ll either get Samsung’s custom-built Exynos 8995 chipset, or Qualcomm’s similarly powerful Snapdragon 835 chip. Either way, you’ll be getting a chip built on Samsung’s highly efficient 10nm manufacturing process, which means it will be more powerful and less power-hungry.
But Samsung is always keen to pack the Galaxy Note devices out with bonus features. The last version had an iris scanner and an S-Pen stylus to boot, so we’d expect much the same from the Galaxy Note 8. Other features like NFC and a fingerprint scanner are effectively a given too. So what new features could Samsung add? It’s tough to say at this point, but we could see an increase to 6GB of RAM, or perhaps boosted storage – 128GB as standard, perhaps? Most rumours point two storage variants – 64GB and 128GB – so it’s certainly a possibility.Finally, it’s looking very likely that the Samsung Galaxy Note 8 will feature a dual camera module.Respected analyst Ming-Chi Kuo has tipped that the phone will include two lenses on the phablet, and called it “the most important upgrade” for the Note 8. It wouldn’t be a huge surprise, as the feature was even rumoured for the earlier Galaxy S8. We’ve already seen such a feature on the iPhone 7 Plus, the Huawei P10, and the LG G6, so Samsung is definitely going to be considering dual cameras at the very least.On the software front, it’s likely that the Galaxy Note 8 will launch before Google’s upcoming Android O operating system is widely available. Instead, we’d expect the Note 8 to carry the tried-and-tested Android 7.0 Nougat, with Samsung’s Bixby digital assistant loaded to boot.Galaxy Note 8 battery safety: Will it explode?No one can forget when Samsung recalled the Galaxy Note 7 twice last year after a battery issue caused some users’ phones to spontaneously catch fire. So whether you think it’s an overreaction or not, there will absolutely be some consumers who are concerned about the safety of Samsung’s Galaxy Note 8.
The good news is that the Galaxy Note 8 probably won’t explode; Samsung will be very keen to avoid any such gaffe a second year running, considering how financially damaging the Note 7 debacle turned out to be.In a bid to prevent fiery phones in 2017, Samsung has rolled out the new ‘8-Point Battery Safety Check’ scheme across its smartphone manufacturing process: “It involves putting our batteries through extreme testing, inside and out, followed by careful inspection by X-ray and the human eye to ensure highest quality.”
Samsung adds: “This program is our commitment to safer devices now and in the future.”