UPDATE 01/03/2017

The latest news on the Galaxy Note 8 suggests that we may have a while to wait for this hotly anticipated phablet. Earlier reports on the Samsung mobile suggested that the handset could be released in the middle of this year, but new rumors indicate that the Korean corporation will be in no hurry to release the sequel to the failed Galaxy Note 7.

Instead, reports from Korea indicate that the Galaxy Note 8 may hit the stores at around the same time that Apple releases the iPhone 8. This would mean an approximate September release date for arguably the most important device in the history of Samsung. It is obviously vital for the company to restore the reputation of its Note branding after the disastrous explosions suffered by the Galaxy Note 7. It is also believed that Samsung will enable Galaxy Note 7 owners to exchange handsets for either the Galaxy S8 or Galaxy Note 8 in the foreseeable future.

Reports have also recently focused on the new features that Samsung will include in the Galaxy Note 8. It is particularly believed that the Galaxy Note 8 will feature a foldable display; a technology that Samsung showed off several years ago. It seems that this prototype technology is now ready for a real-world release, and that the Galaxy Note 8 could be the first mobile to benefit from it.

Samsung has also been working on advanced artificial intelligence, and recent rumors have particularly focused on this capability of the Galaxy Note 8. This could still debut with the Galaxy S8 in the next couple of months, but Samsung has traditionally saved its major innovations and spec increases for the Galaxy Note series, and it seems likely that this will continue with the Galaxy Note 8. Thus, Bixby (powered by Viv’s intelligence) will also be added to rival iPhone’s Siri.

SamMobile has also reported that the Galaxy Note 8 will finally introduce Samsung users to 4K resolution. This has been linked with mobiles from the Korean Corporation for some time, but it is suggested that the Galaxy Note 8 will finally benefit from this increasingly mainstream display technology. This will particularly benefit virtual reality functions within the smartphone, with reports from Korea suggesting that this will be a significant focus of the Note 8.

Samsung is also expected to increase the RAM memory in the device to 6GB, while internal storage will also be at least double. An upgraded S-Pen with speakers is likely, while Samsung is also reportedly in conversation with LG over new batteries for the phablet.

The Korean company has also been involved in investigations regarding the Galaxy Note 7 explosions, and releases from this process are expected imminently. The investigations were conducted by US-based safety organization UL and the Korean Agency for Technology and Standards, with assistance from the Korea Testing Laboratory. Samsung will doubtless use the information from this enquiry in the production of the Galaxy Note 8.

Despite the disastrous recalling of the Galaxy Note 7, Samsung is moving full speed ahead with the sequel to its exploding phablet. A new report from Business Korea indicates that Samsung has already firmly decided not to ditch the Galaxy Note branding, despite some internal prevarication on the subject.

Galaxy note 8 and Galaxy S8
Image Source: ReleaseDatePortal

The Korean publication quoted an unnamed official from the electronics giant, who suggested that the Galaxy Note 7 had proved extremely popular before its unusual reliability problems. Indeed, this had been in very much the trend for the Galaxy Note range over the last few years, with the phablet held in high esteem by consumers and the critical community alike. This has prompted Samsung to retain the Galaxy Note branding, and it now seems a racing certainty that the Galaxy Note 8 will indeed hit the stores this year.

Galaxy Note 8 – Virtual assistant

When it does so, it seems likely that the Galaxy Note 8 will benefit from the same virtual assistant expected to debut in the Galaxy S8. Bixby has been developed by Viv Labs – the startup company formed by the creators of voice assistant Siri – which was purchased by Samsung some months ago.

Viv Labs CEO Dag Kittlaus has outlined the intention of Samsung to become a significant market player in software and services, and this will apparently center around artificial intelligence. Kittlaus also specifically mentioned Samsung Pay, while there is also expected to be a virtual reality focus to the Galaxy Note 8 when it is released.

USB Type-C

It seems odd to say it, but USB Type-C was a niche technology relatively recently, but is now considered a near certainty for the next generation of the Galaxy Note range. The connection tech was already included in the Galaxy Note 7; unfortunately this smartphone decided to spontaneously combust!

But analysts believe that there will be no particular difficulties in including USB Type-C in the next generation Galaxy Note 8, and this would be logical considering recent product releases from Samsung. In particular, It is notable that the Galaxy Gear VR headset also supports USB Type-C, and Samsung will obviously want to make sure that its flagship phablet is compatible with this proprietary virtual reality system.

Dual-edge curved screen

Samsung has already manufactured mobile devices with curved screens, and the Galaxy Note 8 was notable for its curved display. But this phablet only had curved features on the right side of the device, and analysts are suggesting that Samsung may move on from this design with the Galaxy Note 8.

It is indicated by those close to the Samsung supply chain that the Korean corporation may opt for a dual-edged curved display when the Galaxy Note 8 is unveiled. This has proved to be a success in previous device releases in the Galaxy S range, and is becoming something of a trademark for the consumer electronics giant. Furthermore, Apple is being linked with a curved display for the iPhone 8, and this may be a wraparound screen if patent information is to be believed.

This will put pressure on Samsung to produce something similar, and there is no doubt that the mega-corporation will have its nose to the ground monitoring Apple activities.

Expandable storage

Samsung will also probably ensure that the Galaxy Note 8 is a particularly flexible performer by including expandable storage options in the phablet. This could be delivered via micro SD functionality, but what is certain is that the Korean manufacturer it needs to up its game in this department.

Indeed, the Galaxy Note 7 already acknowledged this by offering storage up to 256GB; on par with the iPhone 7. Considering that the latest Android smartphones can support expandable storage up to 1TB, the Galaxy Note 8 should deliver something similar, at the very least doubling the storage included In the Galaxy Note 7.

Iris scanner

Another feature included in the Galaxy Note 7 for the first time was iris scanning to beef up security. It seems entirely likely this will be retained for the Galaxy Note 8, as it is an excellent option for authentication. Smartphone theft is an increasingly prevalent problem, and it is one that all the major mobiel manufacturers are responding to seriously.

IP68 and IP67 certification

It is noticeable that the majority of premium mobiles available on the contemporary market are IP68 certified. The International Protection marking, a standard outlined by the International Electrotechnical Commission, denotes the resistance of consumer electronics to dust, dirt and sand. IP67 certification is a similar rating given for water resistance.

The likelihood is that both the Galaxy Note 8 and its attendant S-Pen stylus will be IP68 and IP67 certified, meaning that the phablet from Samsung will be a durable device. What this effectively means in practical terms is that it will be possible to submerge the Note 8 in water 5-feet in depth for 30 minutes. This obviously makes it possible to utilize the device in swimming settings.

Blue Coral

In its brief lifecycle, the Galaxy Note 7 was offered in Blue Coral. This created quite a splash with fans of the phablet range, and it seems extremely likely that this will be retained for the Galaxy Note 8, alongside gold and silver options.

Release date

Despite some rumors suggesting that Samsung could be tempted to rush the Galaxy Note 8 to recover from the debacle of last year, the smart money is on this phablet releasing in the second half of 2017. The Galaxy S8 will will release early this year, clearing the way for the Galaxy Note 8 to hit the stores well ahead of the iPhone 8 from Apple.

Price

Finally, although we are a long way away from receiving official confirmation of pricing from Samsung, it seems extremely likely that the consumer electronics behemoth will be forced to freeze the price of the Galaxy Note 8 as a goodwill gesture to consumers.