The Note 7 was, by all accounts, a disaster. But the Note 8 is expected return Samsung's Galaxy flagship phablet line to greatness. Among other exciting new features, it's expected to be the first Samsung phone to feature a dual-camera, and it could get around customer's frustration with the Galaxy S8's rear fingerprint scanner with a new design. Also see: Samsung Pay is now available in the UK!
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When is the Galaxy Note 8 release date?
Samsung Galaxy Note 8 UK release date: August 2017 (TBC)
Traditionally Samsung has unveiled a new Galaxy Note flagship every year at the IFA tradeshow, which takes place in early September. For the past two years it has announced its new Galaxy Note early in August to get out ahead of the new iPhone, which is always revealed mid-September.
The most likely release date is August 2017.
There were whispers to suggest Samsung would be dropping its Note family, but dropping its second annual flagship launch could have an enormous impact on Samsung's profit margins.
Fortunately the company has now confirmed that the Note 8 will exist, and that it will in Korea offer Note 7 buyers 50 percent discounts if they upgrade to the Galaxy S8 or Galaxy Note 8.
“I will bring back a better, safer and very innovative Note 8,” Samsung's mobile chief, DJ Koh, has recently told CNET.
In its most recent quarterly financial report Samsung confirmed that a second flagship would help it maintain profitability in the second half of 2017.
This Galaxy Note 8 is not to be confused with the Galaxy Note 8.0 tablet from back in 2013.
What are the rumoured specifications?
The Galaxy S8 launched at an Unpacked event on 29 March and went on sale on 28 April. It competes with the Galaxy Note family on size: with a 5.8in screen as standard and 6.2in on the Galaxy S8+, the Note 7's 5.7in screen is comparatively small.
We'd expect Samsung to make the same design changes in the Note 8 in response, which means we'll see a larger, taller, pressure-sensitive screen, possibly with the fingerprint scanner moved to the rear and the home button gone altogether. Early reports suggest we'll see a 6.3in 18.5:9 display fitted to the Note 8. See also: Best phone 2017.
And that's exactly what we see in this first photo alleged to be the Galaxy Note 8 (via):
However, many a critic has complained about the positioning of the rear fingerprint scanner on the Galaxy S8, and it's possible that the Note 8 will put an end to this by placing the fingerprint scanner under the screen. A now removed video from TechNavi showed a dummy model with such a setup. The tech was rumoured to make its way to the Galaxy S8, but reportedly wasn't ready in time.
You can also expect it, as usual, to be faster than the Galaxy S8. The Galaxy Note 8 will have to pull out all the stops to help people forget about the debacle that was the Note 7. Also see: Best smartphones and best Android phones
The Note family is best known for its large, high-resolution screen and S Pen stylus support. Rumours say it could get an upgrade and integrate a new speaker. According to Patently Mobile, in September 2016 a patent was published by the US Patent & Trademark Office for the new stylus.
It says: "When the pen is being stored in the Galaxy Note body, the speaker, which is in the pen shaft, carries sound through the pen and exists at the top of the pen via a new speaker. When the pen is removed for the Note device the sound simply travels from the internal speaker through the pen shaft opening."
We would expect the Note 8 to come with a Quad-HD+ or even 4K SuperAMOLED display, and there is increasing talk that it could get the latter, making the Note 8 Samsung's first 4K smartphone. With the Galaxy S8 and Galaxy S8 Plus display size increases to 5.7in and 6.2in respectively - in part due to much slimmer bezels - it's likely that the Note's traditional 5.7in display will also be increased to around 6.2in.
It’s likely to be under 8mm thick, waterproof, and be the first Samsung phone to feature dual cameras. We're expecting to see one 12Mp wide-angle lens, and a second 13Mp telephoto lens, complete with OIS and 3x optical zoom. Leakster Ming-Chi Kuo says it should be superior to that found in the iPhone 7 Plus.
Add to that a high-capacity (circa-3500mAh) battery with adaptive fast charging, fast wireless charging and USB-C support.
It will run Android 7.0 Nougat, with an update to Android O within a few months of its release. Samsung’s usual sensors - the heart-rate scanner, fingerprint scanner and iris scanner - should all be present, though with the fingerprint scanner now moved to the rear and the home button gone entirely.
In terms of core hardware we know that the Note series is traditionally a slightly more powerful version of the S series that is released earlier that year, though the Galaxy S8 is already a hugely powerful phone. The S8 comes with the Qualcomm Snapdragon 835 and 4GB of RAM. Expect the Note 8 to come with a minimum 6GB of RAM and 64GB of storage.
Samsung has announced that it will be acquiring car audio maker Harman for $8bn with its eyes firmly on the connected car market. However, the brand is best known by consumers for its Harman Kardon audio label, which could spell very nice things for the upcoming Galaxy Note 8, as it has for the Galaxy S8.
Samsung says it will utilise Harman's audio brands, which also include the likes of AKG and JBL, to "deliver enhanced customer benefits and elevate user experiences across Samsung's complete portfolio of consumer and professional products and systems". (Via Android Central.)
One thing we can pretty much guarantee is that the Note 8 will feature the same software as the Galaxy S8, which means Android Nougat, TouchWiz, and the brand-new Bixby AI assistant. Also see: What is Bixby?
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