Two of the interesting smartphone releases due for the coming months are the Galaxy Note 8 and Google Pixel 2. Google is hoping to establish itself as a significant player in the mobile niche, while Samsung must look to recover from the disastrous exploding Galaxy Note 7. While the appearance of the tenth anniversary iPhone 8 will also pose challenges for both developers.

concept creator
Image Credit: Ivo Maric / Concept Creator / YouTube video (screenshot)

Galaxy Note 8: Big screen

And the latest reports on the Galaxy Note 8 suggest that the phablet will feature a bigger screen than this year’s Galaxy S8. Whispers from close to the Samsung supply chain in East Asia indicate that the consumer electronics giant is ready to fit the next generation mobile with a 6.4-inch infinity display.

After the Galaxy S8 included a wraparound display, and with rumors that Apple will include such a screen in the iPhone 8, it is clear that the industry is heading generally in this direction. And it now also seems likely that the front panel of the Galaxy Note 8 will be dominated by significant screen real estate, while the handset may even be more compact than previous releases.

As confirmation of this notion, a video posted by Twitter user @mmddj_china seems to reveal the glass-fronted panel from the upcoming Galaxy Note 8. This device is almost completely free of bezels, with extremely narrow bordering above and below the opening for the display.

This is an interesting development, as @mmddj_china is a prominent leaker who has been correct in the past on various tech issues. The glass panel included in the video is also an interesting indication of the direction that Samsung may take. And it will be interesting to see how this stacks up against the design of the Apple iPhone 8.

Dual-lens camera

Recent reports have also suggested that the Galaxy Note 8 will feature a dual-lens rear camera, with the fingerprint scanner in the device being moved and integrated into the display. This will be made possible by the screen-dominated design, while it is also anticipated that both Samsung and Apple will eliminate Home buttons from their devices before the end of the calendar year.

Smartphone insider Ming Chi-Kuo has already indicated his belief that the 3x optical zoom camera featuring six element lenses will be the most important new feature in the next-generation Samsung handset, making the photographic capabilities of the Samsung snapper much better than those of the existing iPhone 7 Plus. There have also been suggestions that Samsung will update the user interface included in the Galaxy Note 8 in order to make it more intuitive and user-friendly.

Google Pixel 2
Image Credit: Concept Creator / YouTube video (screenshot)

Google Pixel 2 details emerge

Meanwhile, more details have emerged regarding the second-generation Google smartphone. The Google Pixel 2 can be considered more of a mid-range device, with the screen of the handset significantly smaller than the Galaxy Note range, or even the iPhone 7 Plus. Google evidently believes that the premium smartphone niche is hugely crowded, and thus is aiming for an entirely different market.

Geekbench has posted solid details on the Google Pixel 2 cover, with the general consensus of opinion being that the mega-corporation is currently working on three handsets to comprise this range. It is thought that the device tested by Geekbench will be the largest in the series.

Specs from the testing process indicate that the Google Pixel 2 will utilize a CPU described as a “Qualcomm @ 1.90 GHz, 1 processor 8 cores”. This points to the Snapdragon 835 that was used previously in the United States model of the Samsung Galaxy S8. 4GB of RAM will also power the device, while the handset in question was running the O generation of Android, which is due for release later this year, widely tipped to be branded as Android Oreo. The device tested by Geekbench also scored 1,804 in single-core testing and 6,248 in multi-core.

Google has yet to confirm the existence of the Pixel 2, but reports have indicated that the new smartphone has three internal codenames at the corporation; namely, Muskie, Walleye and Taimen; one of which refers to the expected Pixel XL 2. There is little concrete information on precisely how these models will differ, and only one version of the Google Pixel 2 turned up on Geekbench. But the general consensus is that there will be variance in size and memory in particular.

Wraparound display

There is some debate over whether or not the Google Pixel 2 will include a wraparound display. This is obviously becoming a popular trend in the industry, but with the Pixel 2 essentially intended to be an affordable device, it is questionable whether Google will be able to include such a display while keeping the price down.

And the price tag of the Google Pixel 2 is certainly expected to be affordable, with a possible $650 launch price being linked with the smartphone in the United States. Considering that the iPhone 8 may retail at a price tag in excess of $1,000, this means that many consumers on a budget may be tempted by the Google handset.

Camera improvements

However, despite the affordable price tag of the Google Pixel 2, it is still anticipated that Google will make significant improvements to this handset. In particular, camera upgrades are expected, with some reports suggesting that the snapper included in this smartphone will be superior to the existing iPhone 7 camera.

Google Assistant

Meanwhile, Google has also been working on improving its assistant software with the intention of rivalling the existing Siri and Bixby. In future editions, Google Assistant will enable users to analyse the surrounding world with the assistance of the camera included in Google devices.

Google refers to this technology as Google Lens, and there are obvious similarities between this new innovation and the Google Glass hardware that proved to be somewhat unsuccessful for the corporation. Thus, for example, Google Lens users can see restaurant ratings by pointing their phones at a storefront, along with many other titbits of information.

With this new technology likely to be included in the Google Pixel 2, this promises to be an innovative and intriguing smartphone release.