Samsung will, in all likelihood, drop its plans for the Galaxy Note 8 optical fingerprint sensor. Last year, Samsung had invested in Synaptics to help integrated fingerprint sensor into the Galaxy S8 display, but things didn’t work out. Then fans began to expect that the fingerprint sensor would finally be embedded into the Galaxy Note 8 display, and they are likely to be disappointed again.

Samsung Galaxy Note 8 Optical Fingerprint Sensor
Image Credit: Concept Creator / YouTube video (screenshot)

Why Samsung is ditching the Galaxy Note 8 optical fingerprint sensor

Earlier this month, a Samsung executive told Naver on condition of anonymity that the company had decided against using an optical fingerprint sensor for the Note 8. The exec added that Samsung made “every effort” to embed the technology under the display. But the Galaxy Note 8 optical fingerprint sensor was suffering from “technical limitations such as security.” Other problems included low production yields.

Turns out, security and yield rates were not the only reason Samsung had to drop the Galaxy Note 8 optical fingerprint sensor. Chinese leaker Ice Universe said in a Weibo post that the problem is much bigger than just production yields. The leaker claims that the Galaxy Note 8 optical fingerprint sensor was causing a circular area where it was placed to appear significantly brighter than the rest of the display. It leaves a “ghosting effect” on the screen.

Galaxy Note 8 Fingerprint Sensor
Image Source: Ice Universe / Weibo.com (screenshot0

Meanwhile, The Investor has learned from multiple industry sources that Samsung has indeed given up on the Galaxy Note 8 optical fingerprint sensor. The in-display fingerprint scanner allows users to unlock their devices by placing their finger on the screen. Samsung had placed the feature on the back panel of Galaxy S8, next to the rear camera. Consumers criticized the move because they end up accidentally touching the camera lens.

The Investor said Samsung was having a hard time making the integrated circuit that was supposed to be placed under the display because of its “opaque color,” to read the user’s fingerprint. It doesn’t mean Samsung has given up on the technology altogether. The company continues to refine the solution, and it is now expected to debut with the Galaxy S9 next year. It is unclear whether the fingerprint sensor would be positioned on the Note 8.

Vivo to be the first vendor to launch phones with in-display fingerprint solution

Apple has also been working on an optical fingerprint sensor for its 10th anniversary iPhone 8. According to a Foxconn insider, the Cupertino company was also facing production and yield issues with the technology, but was unlikely to opt for a rear-mounted fingerprint scanner. Apple could delay the iPhone 8 launch by a few weeks to resolve the issue. Alternatively, Apple already owns the patent for a method to place the fingerprint sensor on the power button.

Neither Samsung nor Apple are going to be the first company to use the in-display fingerprint sensor. According to noted Chinese analyst Jiutang Pan, Vivo could be the first smartphone vendor to offer the technology with its upcoming flagship. Vivo recently released a video clip showing a user unlocking a device simply by touching its screen.

From the video, it was not clear whether users will be able to lock the device by touching only a specific area or any part of the display. Apple could be the first non-Chinese vendor to offer the technology, according to Jiutang Pan. Other Chinese smartphone makers such as Huawei and Xiaomi are also planning to launch phones with in-display fingerprint sensor.

Chinese model of Galaxy Note 8 to have 8GB RAM

Chinese vendors have been giving Samsung a tough competition in China and other emerging markets. They are increasingly packing their phones with more RAM, more storage, higher megapixel counts, and other features. That’s why Samsung was forced to launch a special Galaxy S8 Plus with 6GB RAM and 128GB storage for the Chinese market, while the rest of the world got a 4GB RAM variant.

A new report claims that Samsung is going to launch an Emperor edition of Galaxy Note 8 in China. It would feature 8GB RAM and 256GB of built-in storage. Other markets will reportedly get the device with 6GB RAM. The Weibo post even claims that the Galaxy S9 would pack 10GB RAM and Galaxy Note 9 would feature 12GB RAM. Chinese smartphone maker ZTE already offer Nubia Z17 with 8GB RAM.

Galaxy Note 8 code named ‘Gr3at’

Just a few days ago, the Galaxy Note 8 front panel leaked in a video. The leak confirmed that the phone would feature an edge-to-edge Infinity display. The Note 8 screen is said to be at 6.3-inch, slightly bigger than the Galaxy S8 Plus. However, it would have the same 18.5:9 aspect ratio as the Galaxy S8 and S8 Plus. Samsung is rumored to add a “textured Bixby button” to the Note 8 to let users differentiate it from the volume buttons.

According to reputed tipster Evan Blass, the Note 8 is code-named “Gr3at.” Previously, the phone was said to be internally known as “Great.” Blass said the device carries the model number SM-N950F rather than N940. Samsung skipped N940 because the number “4” is often associated with bad luck in the Korean culture. The code name indicates that Samsung has something truly impressive to offer with the Galaxy Note 8.

Galaxy Note 8 dual camera: A new sensor supplier

The Note 8 will be Samsung’s first smartphone to feature a dual camera system on the back. Leaked images suggest that the cameras will be arranged vertically. KGI Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo has told his clients that the Note 8 dual camera would be much better than the iPhone 7 Plus. Kuo says, in terms of camera capabilities, it will be on par with the 10th anniversary iPhone 8.

According to a Weibo post, Samsung will use in-house camera sensors for the Galaxy Note 8. The Galaxy S8 uses Sony’s IMX333 sensor. For Note 8, Samsung will be sourcing two 13MP sensors from its sister firm Samsung Electro-Mechanics. Over the last few years, the Korean electronics behemoth has been giving preference to components from the group companies.

Among other things, Samsung’s upcoming flagship would feature a 3.5mm headphone jack, a USB Type-C port, an S Pen stylus, and a 3200mAh battery. It would have an upgraded version of Samsung’s Bixby AI assistant, which the company rolled out with the Galaxy S8 line. Benchmark leaks have confirmed that the device would run Android 7.1.1 Nougat instead of Android O.

Galaxy Note 8 to be unveiled in the third week of August

The rumor mill expects the Galaxy Note 8 to be unveiled at a pre-IFA event in Berlin in late August. IFA executive director Jens Heithecker has also told media that the IFA show would be an ideal place for Samsung to show off its new phablet. However, Korean site The Bell claims that Samsung would hold an Unpacked event in mid-August to unveil the Note 8.

Chinese leaker Ice Universe said in a Weibo post that Samsung was planning to hold an Unpacked event in the third week of August, which means sometime between August 14 and August 20. The Note 8 would compete against the 10th anniversary iPhone, which is expected to hit the store shelves sometime in September or October.