More RAM doesn’t always mean greater performance. But when you are facing stiff competition in one of your biggest markets from competitors adding more of everything on their phones, you may have to join the race. Local Android vendors are giving Samsung a run for its money in China. So, the Korean company launched a special Galaxy S8 Plus earlier this year with 6GB RAM and 128GB of internal storage especially for the Chinese market. Other markets received a 4GB RAM variant of the device. A new report claims that Samsung is planning to launch a Galaxy Note 8 Emperor edition with a huge 8GB RAM later this year.

Samsung Galaxy Note 8 Emperor Edition
Image Source: Muhsin M. Belaal Auckburaully / DBS Designing / Behance.net

Galaxy Note 8 Emperor edition headed for China

According to a post on Chinese site Weibo, Samsung’s upcoming phablet will be available in two RAM variants. While the standard version is said to feature 6GB RAM, the Galaxy Note 8 Emperor edition will have 8GB RAM. The same source claims that the 2018 Galaxy Note 9 would pack a staggering 12GB RAM. If Samsung decides to stick to this pattern, it may launch the Galaxy S9 next year with 10GB RAM for the Chinese market.

At this point, 8GB, 10GB or 12GB RAM seems unnecessary. But it’s possible for Samsung to increase the RAM on its flagship phones, which would at least look good on the spec sheet and may help attract more buyers. Chinese smartphone maker ZTE has already launched a device called Nubia Z17 with an eye-popping 8GB RAM. Asus ZenFone AR is another Android phone to pack 8GB RAM.

Over the last few years, Samsung has been losing market share to local vendors such as Huawei, ZTE, Oppo, and OnePlus in China. The beefed up specs on its flagship phones are part of the company’s plan to woo buyers. Recently, Samsung appointed Kwon Kye-hyun as the new head of its Chinese operations to revive the smartphone business.

Note 8 to offer 256GB of internal storage

The Galaxy Note 8 Emperor edition could also sport 256GB of internal storage, according to a report from The Android Soul. Samsung recently started mass production of 256GB V-NAND memory chips that could be headed into the Note 8. The new 64-layer 3-bit 256GB V-NAND chips are better than the current 48-layer 3-bit 256GB V-NAND chips. They offer a data transfer speed of up to 1Gbps, and deliver 30% more productivity gain compared to the 48-layer chips.

Galaxy Note 8 front panel leaked

Numerous leaks have confirmed that the Galaxy Note 8 would sport the same Infinity display as the Galaxy S8 and S8 Plus. However, its display is said to have narrower angles compared to the S8. A video showing two front panels had surfaced on Vimeo temporarily. Folks at SlashLeaks were able to save the video before it was taken down. One of the panels has a cutout at the top for camera, ear speaker, and other sensors. It looks similar to Apple’s 10th anniversary iPhone 8 display.

Samsung might be testing more than one type of display panels for the Galaxy Note 8. A leaked image of the Note 8 front panel that appeared earlier this week showed no sign of a cutout near the top. It indicated that the top bezel would be 6.7mm thick, even slimmer than the Galaxy S8 Plus’ 7mm thickness. It means the Note 8 would have a screen-to-body ratio higher than the S8 Plus’ 84%.

Snapdragon 836 to debut with Galaxy Note 8

The Note 8 is said to be powered by Qualcomm Snapdragon 836 SoC, which would be a minor improvement over the current Snapdragon 835. Its clock speed would be 2.5GHz. Reports coming out of China claim the Note 8 could be the first handset to run the Snapdragon 836. Qualcomm would launch the new SoC for premium phones coming in the second half of the year including Google Pixel 2 and LG V30.

The Galaxy Note 8 is going to be the first Samsung flagship to sport a dual camera system on the back. KGI Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo predicts the Note 8 dual camera would be good enough to challenge Apple’s 10th anniversary iPhone 8. The analyst says it would consist of a 13MP telephoto lens and a 12MP wide-angle lens. It would offer 3x optical zoom, claims Kuo.

A recent report revealed that Samsung has opted to use in-house camera sensors for the Note 8 instead of relying on Sony. The current Galaxy S8 and S8 Plus use Sony’s IMX333 sensor. But the Note 8 would house two 13MP camera sensors supplied by Samsung Electro-Mechanics. That’s not surprising considering Samsung has been giving preference to in-house components in the last few years.

Fingerprint sensor on the front or back?

There is little clarification regarding the location of the fingerprint sensor. Most leaked photos and videos have shown no signs of a fingerprint sensor on the back panel, suggesting that the technology would be integrated into the display. However, a Samsung official recently told Naver that the electronics giant would not use the in-display fingerprint scanner because of “technical limitations such as security.”

Noted Twitter leaker Evan Blass has learned from inside sources that the Galaxy Note 8 carrying model number SM-N950F is internally code-named “Gr3at.” The code name indicates that Samsung may have something great to offer with the Note 8. Samsung has skipped the model number N940 because the number “4” is considered unlucky in many Asian cultures including South Korea.

Note 8 to have a ‘textured Bixby button’

The Note 8 specifications include a 6.3-inch edge-to-edge Infinity display with Quad HD resolution, a USB Type-C port, a 3.5mm headphone jack, a 3200mAH battery, and an S Pen stylus. The device would feature a “textured Bixby button” on the side to allow users to differentiate Bixby button from the volume down button. Earlier this week, the device appeared on the HTML5Test benchmark, which measures a phone’s browser performance.

The Galaxy Note 8 scored 488 out of 555 points on the benchmark, beating the iPhone 7 Plus’ score of 415 points by a huge distance. The benchmark data showed that the Note 8 would run Android 7.1.1 Nougat instead of the Android O, which is set to arrive later this year. The Note 8 is expected to be unveiled at or around the IFA trade show in Berlin. It is unclear at this point whether Samsung would hold a special event in China to unveil the Galaxy Note 8 Emperor edition.