It’s Offical Now: Samsung has finally unveiled the Galaxy Note 8 at its glitzy Unpacked event in New York. The phablet has undoubtedly been one of the most awaited releases in not only Samsung’s history, but indeed the entire mobile industry. This is mainly due to the fact that the Galaxy Note 7 was such a monumental disaster for Samsung, owing to its propensity to explode rather dramatically.

Galaxy Note 8 launches

So all eyes were on the conference in America’s most notable city, as Samsung finally took the rapper off the next generation Galaxy Note 8. Samsung’s president of mobile communications DJ Koh began the unveiling process by apologising once more for the fiasco now associated with the Galaxy Note 7. But Koh was ready to move on and discuss the Galaxy Note 8, with a raft of new features and functionality planned for this major release.

Samsung Galaxy Note 8 Blue
Image: Samsung / Flickr

Samsung’s presentation initially focused on the dual-cameras and S Pen included. This latter peripheral has been strongly linked with some amazing new features in the Galaxy Note 8 generation, so immediately the audience was tantalized by this prospect.

Display

Senior vice president of product strategy Justin Denison then informed us that Galaxy Note 8 consumers will be able to watch movies on a cinematic screen. The wraparound display included in the device was heavily pushed by Samsung, with the 6.3-inch screen that had been strongly mooted indeed emerging.

Denison described this display as “large and immersive”, while the 18.5:9 aspect ratio from the Galaxy S8 has been retained as well. Samsung was reticent to reveal the precise screen resolution of the Galaxy Note 8 at this juncture, but it did describe the screen as a Quad HD+ display. This obviously rules out the possibility that the Galaxy Note 8 will embrace 4K resolution, and it is therefore likely to retain the 1,440 x 2,960 pixels (~570 ppi pixel density) of the Galaxy S8.

Camera

Samsung’s director of product strategy, Suzanne De Silva then arrived to teach us how to “create with the Note 8”. This began with the excellent new camera that Samsung has included in the Galaxy Note 8, which few assembled were surprised to learn was based on a dual-lens specification.

De Silva noted that Samsung has worked hard to improve low light performance by introducing dual-pixel sensors. The Quick Launch feature will also enable users to capture pictures more quickly than in previous generations, while water resistance will improve the underwater shooting capabilities of the smartphone.

The Samsung executive stated that “two separate back cameras that work together to capture your experiences like never before,” as she strongly promoted the dual-lens feature. A wide angle lens will be accompanied by a telephoto lens with 2x optical zoom. “The Note 8 is the first smartphone ever to have optical image stabilization in both cameras,” De Silva suggested.

Both videos and photos will benefit from this new optical image stabilization system, and the opinion of the delegates assembled at the Unpacked event was that this was rather impressive. A nifty Dual Capture feature will also enable the smartphone to capture images with both the telephoto and wide angle lens simultaneously.

S Pen stylus

De Silva then moved on to the S Pen, which features a fine tip and improve the pressure sensitivity. Live Messages has been created for the Galaxy Note 8 generation, which will enable Samsung users to draw animated sketches and then send them automatically to friends. This is a pleasing feature, which was demonstrated ably on stage, even if it is somewhat niche.

Another new feature was also demoed, with the Screen Off Memo function enabling users to capture notes rapidly, when there isn’t a pen or pencil readily available. Overall, the S Pen included some interesting functionality, although some of the more advanced features that were rumored in the media ahead of the event were conspicuous by their absence.

Bixby assistant

Jon Wong then appeared in order to tell the audience about Bixby. The personal assistant will now collaborate with Spotify, enabling Galaxy Note 8 users to play music at their very command. The Google Assistant will also turn the phone to Do Not Disturb mode and activate its blue light filter, simply by being told “goodnight”.

Samsung was also keen to push the new Food Photo mode, which is intended to enable keen diners to capture images of dishes in restaurants via a simple command.

Other specs

Elsewhere, the Galaxy Note 8 will run off the Snapdragon 835 processor in the United States. It includes a pretty sizeable 6GM of RAM memory. Partially pleasing is the fact that Samsung has included new storage models. However, it seems that these won’t be available, at least initially, in the US. But there will be 128GB and 256GB versions introduced in international markets.

The Galaxy Note 8 also features a micro SD card slot, as expected, it is IP68 water and dust-resistant, and supports fast wireless charging. The smartphone will be available from September 15, with pre-orders beginning in a few days. And the damage? Samsung declined to reveal the US price at Unpacked, but based on information that did emerge, it looks likely that the phablet will launch at around $949.

Galaxy Note 8 specs sheet
Image: Samsung

All previous rumors and updates on Galaxy Note 8:

UPDATE 08-22-2017: As the clock continues to take down to the release of the Galaxy Note 8, ValueWalk has all the latest news and rumors about this phablet contender.

Unpacked in New York will finally reveal one of the most important hardware releases in the history of the smartphone. The Galaxy Note 8 will be expected to reinvigorate a product line seriously damaged by the exploding Galaxy Note 7. Technology watchers all over the world will be observing this event very closely, as we finally find out precisely what the Korean corporation has in mind for its flagship phablet.

Leaked image

With Samsung having seemingly accidentally revealed an image of the next generation device on its website, many believe that the key features of this handset have already been made clear. Initially spotted by some keen tweeters, the new device appears to include a massive Infinity display that pretty much dominates the front panel of the device.

Galaxy Note 8 Leaked
Image source: Samsung

This is hardly a surprise following the release of the Galaxy S8 earlier this year, with the wraparound screen from that particular smartphone set to migrate to the Galaxy Note 8. This design will enable Samsung to increase the size of display included in the Galaxy Note 8, while keeping the device relatively compact. This means that the expected size for the Infinity screen is 6.3-inches.

Home button gone

Another revelation of this image is the notion that the Galaxy Note 8 will not feature a Home button. This has been predicted in many quarters, with Apple also expected to remove this common feature from the iPhone 8 this year. The reverse panel of the device in the image also featured a rear-mounted fingerprint scanner, so this physical feature is expected to be retained from the Galaxy S8 as well.

Elsewhere, the S Pen stylus was also clearly visible, while it seems that the Galaxy Note 8 will feature 64GB of storage once more. While Samsung hasn’t confirmed the inclusion of microSD, this is widely anticipated considering its enthusiasm for this technology in previous releases.

Other sources have suggested that Samsung could introduce new storage quantities, with 128GB and 256GB versions linked with the Galaxy Note 8 range. It seems more likely on balance that Samsung will retain its previous policy of releasing just one Galaxy Note unit.

Dual-camera

It is also widely anticipated that the Galaxy Note 8 will feature a dual-lens camera. Indeed, legendary analyst Ming-Chi Kuo has suggested that the photographic capabilities of the Galaxy Note 8 will far exceed those of the existing iPhone 7 Plus. What sort of response Apple will have in this department with the iPhone 8 range remains to be seen.

One interesting aspect of the dual-camera included in the Galaxy Note 8 is its ability to bring depth of field effects to the Samsung phablet for the first time. This can be considered a direct response to the corporation’s great rival Apple, as the iPhone 7 has benefited from this feature over the last 12 months.

While the design of the Galaxy Note 8 will be rather similar to the existing Galaxy S8 Plus, there are also some key differences to note. The display corners of this phablet are less rounded than the previous Galaxy S8 release, while the shorter, steep slope on the sides of the smartphone are also tangible in the leaked image. Most observers agree, though, that the design of the Infinity display is rather similar to the existing Galaxy S8 Plus, despite being marginally larger.

4K resolution debate

While many Samsung fans are still doubtless hoping that the Galaxy Note 8 benefits from the first 4K resolution screen in the history of the Samsung products, this looks increasingly unlikely. The Korean manufacturer is instead expected to arm the Galaxy Note 8 with the same Quad HD exceeding resolution that was included in the Galaxy S8 release.

Although it may be a minor disappointment that Samsung is still reluctant to embrace 4K resolution just yet, the decision will still put the ball firmly in Apple’s court. No iPhone device has currently offered more than full HD resolution, meaning that there will be pressure on the Californian corporation to deliver at least one Quad HD handset in 2017.

A powerful Qualcomm MSM8998 Snapdragon 835 processor will also be included in the Galaxy Note 8 in the United States market, with the octa-core architecture of the Galaxy Note 7 expected to be retained. There will also be 6GB of native LPDDR4 RAM fitted as standard, adding up to an extremely powerful package for this flagship phablet.

IP68 dust and water-resistance is also anticipated for this next generation mobile, as Samsung looks to ensure that the Galaxy Note 8 is as durable as possible. Speaking of durability, the Korean manufacturer has also been extremely keen to emphasize the great lengths it has gone to to ensure that there will be no repeat of the Galaxy Note 7 fiasco.

Eight-point process

Central to this process has been the introduction of a new eight-point testing procedure, intended to weed out any problems with the battery pack included well before any Galaxy Note 8 units begin exploding. With this in mind, Samsung is expected to include a smaller 3,300 mAh battery in the Galaxy Note 8, ensuring that the problems of the last generation are not repeated.

Running Android 7.1 Nougat out of the box, the Galaxy Note 8 will also pack in an 8-megapixel front-facing camera, while improvements to the voice assistant Bixby have also been anticipated. There is certainly room for improvement with this AI program, and Samsung has reportedly been beavering away behind-the-scenes in order to ensure that it impresses more this time out.

This all hints at a very exciting Galaxy Note 8 release, and it is just hours from now that Samsung will confirm its existence and all the final details.

UPDATE 07-28-2017: Ahead of the release of the Galaxy Note 8, the latest earnings for the Samsung corporation are rather promising. The net profit of the Korean company reached 11.05 trillion South Korean won over the last quarter (approximately $10 billion). The Wall Street Journal notes that this represents a 90 per cent increase in just 12 months, with the hotly anticipated Note 8 still to come.

Samsung Galaxy Note 8 Concept
Concept by ValueWalk

Sales improvement

According to Samsung, “the Galaxy S8 and S8+ have outsold the Galaxy S7 series in almost all regions,” with the S8+ accounting for over 50 per cent of sales of the S8 series. Samsung is also coining in the money with component sales, with both memory and display units proving particularly popular. Samsung has achieved massive financial gain in its memory business via SSD and DRAM sales, while display panel growth has also been demonstrated thanks to huge demand for OLED panels.

In this respect, the forthcoming iPhone 8 may be as important for Samsung as Apple, with the Californian corporation switching to OLED technology this time round. Samsung is likely to be the component supplier for the iPhone range in this department, and this will obviously be hugely lucrative for the Korean manufacturer.

Samsung caution

Samsung’s Unpacked event will occur on 23 August, at which it is strongly expected that the Galaxy Note 8 will emerge. Yet despite the strong financial position of the company, official statements from Samsung indicate that the hierarchy of the company is still wary of the threat posed by the tenth generation iPhone 8.

“In the second half, demand for smartphones and tablets is forecast to increase as the market enters a period of strong seasonality,” Samsung noted in a blog post. “However, competition is expected to intensify as new smartphone models are released by competitors.”

Confirming that the Galaxy Note 8 will be launched in the third quarter of 2017, Samsung also stated in the blog that its next-generation phablet will be particularly impressive. “In response, Samsung will launch a new Galaxy Note with enhanced performance and features, to maintain the strong sales momentum of its premium smartphones, together with the Galaxy S8 and S8+,” the company asserted.

Yet despite the positive signs associated with the performance of Samsung, the Korean corporation believes that its sales and revenue may flatline in the fourth quarter of 2017. “Looking into the third quarter, revenue and profit are expected to decline QoQ due to increased marketing expenses associated with the launch of the new Galaxy Note and the reduced launching effect of the Galaxy S8 and S8+,” Samsung stated.

Price tag

It is generally believed that the Galaxy Note 8 will be the most expensive smartphone that Samsung has ever produced. Both the Apple iPhone 8 and Samsung phablet are expected to retail at a price tag in excess of $1,000, with a new report once again confirming this figure. SamMobile, quoting an OSEN report, suggests that the Western marketplace will receive a Galaxy Note 8 unit priced at around $1,100.

There will be significant improvements in the makeup of the Galaxy Note 8 in order to justify this price tag. But the display of the unit will not be massively superior to the Galaxy S8+, being only marginally larger than its previous phablet release, and also probably not embracing 4K resolution. It is generally believed that the Galaxy Note 8 will feature the same screen resolution as the Galaxy S8 generation; perhaps a slightly disappointing decision considering that Samsung has been linked with embracing 4K resolution for some time.

Camera improvements

But the dual-camera hardware included in the phablet will be a significant improvement on the iPhone 7 Plus, according to Ming-chi Kuo. The prominent analyst from KGI Securities suggest that Apple will have to play catch-up with the iPhone 8 in order to match the photographic capabilities of the Samsung phablet. Kuo even named the camera as the most important upgrade for the Galaxy Note 8, indicating that Samsung will particularly focus on this aspect of the smartphone.

This will mean that the Galaxy Note 8 sports a 13-megapixel wide-angle lens, coupled with a 12-megapixel telephoto lens. These two units coupled will ensure that the Galaxy Note 8 is both an outstanding and flexible photography performer. It is also expected that a superb optical image stabilization system will be included, while a 6-element lenses have also been linked with the phablet.

The camera will also be capable of 3x optical zoom, making this the most powerful camera system that Samsung has ever included in a mobile device. Kuo also notes that the Galaxy Note 8 will include either Exynos 8995 or Qualcomm Snapdragon 835 processing hardware.

New renders

Meanwhile, a new set of renders displaying the front panel of the Galaxy Note 8 have been leaked via Twitter. And the notable Chinese Twitter tipster @UniverseIce states that the images are indeed legitimate, seeming to be promotional material for the Asian marketplace.

With the front fascia of the units being black, this has even led to some speculation that only the back panel colours of the Galaxy Note 8 will vary. This suggestion very much ties in with the Apple iPhone 8, with reports having suggested that this smartphone may only be available in a black finish.

However, the latest reports suggest that Samsung has abandoned the idea of including the fingerprint scanner under the display glass of the smartphone. Korean publication News1 quoted an official from Samsung who stated that the company had encountered logistical difficulties. “We made every effort to install a display-integrated fingerprint sensor on Galaxy Note 8, but we decided not to install it on this strategic phone due to various technical limitations such as security,” the unnamed individual explained.

UPDATE 07-07-2017: The release date of the critical Galaxy Note 8 is drawing nearer, and this means that more information is seeping out regarding this next generation phablet. Samsung needs to deliver an outstanding Galaxy Note 8 release in order to reinvigorate the brand after the fiasco of the exploding Galaxy Note 7, and it seems that in order to do this, the concept will be pricier than many people imagined.

Price

Reports this week indicate that the Galaxy Note 8 may be another smartphone that retails in excess of $1,000. This price tag has already been linked with the iPhone 8, and it seems that Apple’s Korean rival will also produce a mobile priced in excess of this psychologically important landmark in 2017.

Samsung Galaxy Note 8 Camera
Image Credit: Tùng Hà / Facebook.com

A senior official from Samsung spoke to the Korean publication Osen and confirmed this suggestion. “I know that it is about $1,000 to $1,100 depending on the country of origin,” this prominent individual stated.

Although this is nowhere near being fully confirmed, the news may come as something of a surprise to market analysts. It was generally believed that Samsung would need to produce an affordable phablet with the Galaxy Note 8 generation, considering that the disaster that was the Galaxy Note 7 seriously dented the image of the device range.

Camera

It is widely anticipated that the Galaxy Note 8 will feature a dual-camera on the rear of the device. There hasn’t been too much word on precisely what features will be included in this snapper, but it is believed that there will be a particular focus on delivering improved shooting in darker conditions. There isn’t likely to be much of a spec and megapixel boost with the Galaxy Note 8 generation, though, as Samsung focuses on other functionality in order to improve the photographic capabilities of the device.

Display

Aside from the size of the screen, it is now widely believe that Samsung will not deliver 4K resolution in the forthcoming Galaxy Note 8 generation. This had been widely anticipated at one time, but it is now believed that the Korean company will instead deliver a device with the same resolution as the Galaxy S8. For the record, the Galaxy S8 is capable of dealing with 1,440 x 2,960 pixels, meaning that it exceeds quad HD resolution.

Memory

The Galaxy Note 8 has been linked with an impressive quantity of RAM memory, as Samsung attempts to ensure that this phablet contender performs as swiftly as possible. Thus, it is expected that the device will offer 50 per cent more than the Galaxy S8, with the smartphone being linked with 6GB of RAM memory.

Storage

This is perhaps one department where Samsung could improve, as previous Galaxy Note releases have offered rather paltry storage options. It is thus suggested that Galaxy Note 8 consumers will benefit from a new version of the smartphone featuring 128GB of native storage. With the pricing of the device already set to be hefty, it is thought that Samsung has decided against introducing a 256GB variant.

Meanwhile, there will also be a base model featuring 64GB of storage. In order to provide customers with flexibility in this department, Samsung is also expected to retain a micro SD card slot.

Battery

Undoubtedly a critical aspect of the Galaxy Note 8 will be the battery included. This is always an important aspect of any smartphone, but the battery in the Galaxy Note 7 was identified as the problematic component which caused the device to explode and catch fire.

It therefore goes without saying that Samsung must deliver a considerably more durable and reliable battery cell in the Galaxy Note 8 generation. This means that concerns about improving the quality and size of the battery must take a backseat. Samsung has already strongly promoted its new eight-step procedure intended to ensure that there is no repeat of the Galaxy Note 7 debacle in order to reassure consumers.

With this in mind, the Galaxy Note 8 will include a 3,300mAh battery, which is still a small increase over the last generation, and is highly likely to keep Samsung ahead of Apple in this department.

S Pen

A critical aspect of the Galaxy Note 8 will be the S Pen stylus that distinguishes the phablet from the Galaxy S8 Plus. It is believed that some unique features could be included in the S Pen this time out, with the peripheral being linked with a unique speaker system, and also vibration functionality.

Bixby

Finally, the Bixby personal assistant that debuted in the Galaxy S8 range is expected to migrate to the Galaxy Note 8, with improved functionality built in. Reports have suggested that Samsung has worked diligently to include voice features in the updated version of Bixby that will launch with the Galaxy Note 8.

UPDATE 06-01-2017: New leaked footage and images of the Galaxy Note 8 suggest that the next generation phablet will be significantly larger than previous previous releases in the series. There is no doubt that Samsung has a difficult job to restore the reputation of the Galaxy Note concept, following the fiasco related to the exploding Galaxy Note 7.

6.3-inch screen reported for Galaxy Note 8

SamMobile is responsible for the leak in question, with the publication having provided a significant amount of accurate information previously. Video and images published by the website purport to provide an indication of a 6.3-inch display panel for the Galaxy Note 8. This size, which will be 6-inches larger than the screen included in the Galaxy Note 7, has been strongly rumored previously.

This means that the Galaxy Note 8 would be the largest smartphone that Samsung has ever manufactured, at least in terms of display real estate. But it is unlikely to significantly impact on the size of the phone itself, with Samsung widely tipped to ensure that the Galaxy Note 8 features a wraparound display with minimal bezels.

Samsung Galaxy Note 8 Front
Image Source: Priceraja.com (screenshot)

The Infinity design that was previously utilized in the Galaxy S8 has proved particularly popular with both consumers and critics, and this means that the Korean corporation is ready to migrate the concept to other Samsung releases. Thus, we will likely see a large, curved OLED display included in the Galaxy Note 8, with an 18.5:9 aspect ratio. The smartphone will be slim but tall, with a particularly narrow border around its edges.

It is also increasingly expected that Samsung will integrate the fingerprint sensor in the Galaxy Note 8 within the display of the device. This had been planned for the Galaxy S8 series, but Samsung encountered technical difficulties which made it impossible.

Refurbished Note 7

This is something that Samsung would rather avoid after the Galaxy Note 7 debacle, although there is at least some prospect of salvation on the horizon. Reports have indicated that the company is almost ready to release some of the old Galaxy Note 7 units in a repackaged and refurbished form. However, the $620 pricetag may be prohibitive for some consumers, particularly with affordable competitors such as the OnePlus 5 soon to be available.

UPDATE 03-17-2017: An intriguing report this week suggests that Samsung may be imitating the iPhone range when the Galaxy Note 8 hits the stores. With Samsung having been involved in supplying components for the iPhone series, it is suggested that it has gained inspiration from this process and will ape one of the most distinctive iPhone 7 features.

OLED 3D Touch

Korean reports suggest that Samsung is working on a pressure-sensitive OLED touch display, and that this could debut in both the iPhone 8 and Galaxy Note 8. This 3D Touchscreen will incorporate the 3D Touch functionality that has been part of previous LCD generations, updating it for the contemporary marketplace.

Galaxy Note 8
1399156 / Pixabay

Samsung has reportedly already debuted this screen at the Mobile World Congress, although it was obviously not part of the public trade show. Samsung supposedly gave a behind closed doors demonstration of the potential of this device, and it is now believed that it could make its first appearance in the Galaxy Note 8, before being part of the iPhone 8 later this year. “The latest technology boasts higher sensitivity and a wider range of pressure-sensing levels compared to the previous one used in Huawei’s P9 in 2015,” a source close to the Apple supply chain commented.

However, it is not yet clear whether the new components will be ready in time for the Galaxy Note 8. While the technology is not quite in prototype state, it may not be prepared for mass consumption in time for the August and September release dates of the Galaxy Note 8 and iPhone 8 respectively.

But it is obvious that both Apple and Samsung would love to embrace this in the next generation of their devices, as the new feature will effectively replaced the virtual Home button. It has been widely reported that both Apple and Samsung are looking to phase out this frequent feature of mobiles this year, and this new technology could obviously play a major part in this process.

It would undoubtedly be a major filip for Samsung to include some form of pressure-sensitive technology in the Galaxy Note 8, as this was seen as a major innovation and selling point of the iPhone 7. it would also be an obvious way that Samsung could retain all the existing functionality of the Galaxy Note range while also removing the Home button.

Dual-camera coming

Elsewhere, it has been suggested this week that Samsung will include a dual-camera in the Galaxy Note 8. reports have focused on the Korean manufacturer updating its camera capabilities in an attempt to impress consumers ahead of what will effectively be a relaunch of the Galaxy Note series.

It is notable that Samsung recently unveiled its latest high-spec Exynos 8895 chipset, and this features provisions for supporting dual-camera technology. This suggests that the chip will feature in the Galaxy Note 8, and that the chipset will play a part in delivering dual-lens technology.

Leaks from close to the Samsung supply chain also suggest that the dual-camera technology that Samsung will include in the Galaxy Note 8 differs from some of the other examples already present in the marketplace. It is believed that the dual-sensor snapper that Samsung wishes to include in the Galaxy Note 8 features two differing sensors. The first of these is described as high-powered, while the other is low-powered. This suggests a similar setup to devices previously released by HTC.

Considering that the Galaxy Note 8 should also include a significantly more powerful chipset, it is fair to assert that the photographic capabilities of the next generation device will be a big improvement over even the doomed Galaxy Note 7. It is easy to forget now that this particular handset was the recipient of excellent reviews prior to its exploding demise.

Additionally, it is also known that the Exynos 8895 has the potential to support megapixel ratings of up to 28-megapixels for both rear and front sensors. Whether Samsung will take advantage of this remains to be seen, but it has led some pundits to speculate that the megapixel rating of the smartphone could be increased significantly over previous generations. Thus, the Korean corporation could inch up the camera in the Galaxy Note 8 to 16-megapixels, at least according to some reports.

Forbes also suggested this week that a dual-camera had been considered for the Galaxy S8 before Samsung shelved the idea. It is not known why this decision was taken, or whether there were technological or logistical problems. Another possibility is that Samsung wishes to distinguish the Galaxy Note range from the Galaxy S series by including a dual-camera.

But what has emerged from the Galaxy S8 generation is that Samsung has a prototype of a duall-camera module available. This means that adapting it for the Galaxy Note 8 generation should be feasible. And there is no doubt that the Galaxy Note 8 requires as many unique features as possible in order to stay relevant; Samsung already faces a challenge to restore the reputation of the brand after the Galaxy Note 7 disaster.

Third product range expected

Another interesting suggestion this week is that the Galaxy Note 8 may no longer be the most premium Samsung mobile release. Reports have focused on a potential third device release from the Korean manufacturer, featuring a luxurious design and quality beyond anything that Samsung has delivered so far.

Reports suggest that this prototype could be unveiled at some point this year, although it may not actually become available to the public until 2018. It is believed that Samsung also showed off this device at the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, with a private demonstration to a number of partners having apparently taken place.

The South Korean giant is attempting to prevent leaks at this time, but there are strong rumors already circulating that this is the foldable device that has been so strongly anticipated. Samsung initially debuted this prototype technology at a trade show in 2008, and one decade later it could finally be ready for the marketplace.

UPDATE 03-10-2017 (Previously Reported Rumors): As Samsung continues its preparation for the range of smartphones that the corporation will release in 2017, rumors this week suggest that the Galaxy Note 8 may be rather similar to the Galaxy S8 Plus. Samsung has yet to confirm either device, but it seems that the two phablet contenders will have a great deal in common.

Trickle down

Samsung is expected to include several new features in the forthcoming Galaxy S8 Plus, with the anticipation being that these will ultimately trickle down into a Galaxy Note 8 release later in 2017. In previous generations, the Galaxy Note has been more powerful than the Galaxy S series, with this contributing to the exalted reputation of the phablet range.

But after the Galaxy Note 7 fiasco, it seems that Samsung is reconsidering the way that it positions its major devices. Murmurings indicate that Samsung may release two phablet devices during its spring launch, with the larger of these two, the Galaxy S8 Plus, featuring a 6.2-inch display. This would make the scale of the handset similar to that of the Galaxy Note 7, which had 153.5 x 73.9 x 7.9 mm dimensions and a 3,500 mAh battery; the latter having already being linked with the forthcoming Galaxy S8 Plus.

S Pen stylus

However, one way that Samsung could differentiate between the two devices is with the inclusion of the S Pen stylus with the Galaxy Note 8. While this has been a staple of the Galaxy Note range for some years, the company is not expected to include a similar device with the Galaxy S8 Plus.

Indeed, the S Pen could very well be a major focus of both technology and marketing in the Galaxy Note 8 generation. An integrated speaker is expected when the S Pen for the Galaxy Note 8 emerges, with Samsung apparently working on some revolutionary features for this stylus.

But in other aspects, the Galaxy S8 Plus is expected to act as a testing ground for the Galaxy Note 8, with Samsung needing to produce a particularly stable device after the exploding Galaxy Note 7 was recalled. This will mean that there is a significant amount of design crossover between the Galaxy S8 Plus and Galaxy Note 8, with Samsung ensuring that features are tested in the real world before being integrated into the next generation phablet.

Slimmed down bezels

Early Galaxy S8 leaks have hinted at a device with extremely thin bezels and a virtually wraparound display, and it is expected that the Galaxy Note 8 will also reflect this ethos. This would suggest that the next generation phablet will be approximately the same size as the doomed Galaxy Note 7, but also incorporating a larger display.

4K display

Rumors this week have also suggested that the Galaxy S8 will benefit from a 4K resolution display, and if this is indeed the case it is an absolute certainty that we will see a 4K resolution screen as part of the Galaxy Note 8 spec list. There is no doubt that 4K resolution is becoming a bigger part of the mainstream technology landscape, and with Samsung having been so associated with screen technology it would be a natural move for the corporation to embrace 4K in 2017. Samsung has been the largest seller of television sets for some years, and thus the Korean company’s display technology is particularly lauded.

LineageOS

In other news this week, it has been announced that support for LineageOS has been stepped up for several devices. LineageOS is a free and open-source operating system for smartphones and tablet computers, based on the Android mobile platform, providing smartphone and tablet owners with an alternative to mainstream OS.

With LineageOS having migrated to the Galaxy S7, S7 Edge and Galaxy Note 8 tablet, it is expected that the operating system will be available for both the Galaxy S8 and Galaxy Note 8 when these two devices emerge. This will Provide purchasers of the two flagship Samsung phones with an additional operating system option this year.

Slim handset

Aside from the reliability of the Galaxy Note 8, it is obvious that the device must also deliver an impressive package in order to make consumers forget about the Note 7 debacle. While Apple has long since been fixated on ensuring that its device releases are particularly slim, it is suggested that Samsung will attempt to do something outstanding in this department with the Galaxy Note 8.

Recent reports have even indicated that the depth of this device may be less than 8mm, making this the slimmest phablet that Samsung has ever released. Considering that this will be coupled with a significant increase in the size of the device’s display, and one can see that there will be a sizeable design evolution with the Galaxy Note 8.

Wireless charging

Another interesting area related to the Galaxy Note 8 is the wireless charging capabilities of the handset. It is increasingly expected that Apple will introduce a revolutionary new wireless charging system when the iPhone 8 is released, and that this will enable users of the iconic device to charge the iPhone 8 from a distance of 15 feet. This has never been achieved in any other smartphone previously, and thus heaps pressure on Samsung to improve the wireless charging capabilities of the Galaxy Note series.

There hasn’t been a huge amount of information in the media about how the system in the Galaxy Note 8 will operate, but there have been rumors from close to the Samsung supply chain that the company is working on an ultra-fast form of wireless charging. This has been patented previously, and with Samsung always keen to match Apple in every smartphone department, it has plenty of time to implement this in order to ensure that the Note 8 can compete with the iPhone 8.

Core hardware

One can expect the Galaxy Note 8 to be hugely powerful in order to provide an outstanding virtual reality and graphics experience. And the latest hardware being linked with this device is the Exynos 8895M. When paired with 6GB of RAM, this will ensure that the Note 8 is arguably the most powerful phablet on the market.

UPDATE 03-08-2017: An interesting little news story that has been generating some amusement in tech circles this week has been the new codename for the Galaxy Note 8. According to SamMobile, this forthcoming phablet is known at Samsung as simply ‘Great’. This is setting the bar high for the next generation release, and some comedians might indeed suggest that it’s a good job that the previous release in the series wasn’t codenamed thus…

Samsung Galaxy Note 8
Pexels / Pixabay

Virtual reality

Business Korea has also been reporting on this possibility, suggesting that the device will be particularly compatible with the Gear virtual reality wearable device. The publication quoted an unnamed Samsung executive as saying that “Samsung will introduce 2K resolution displays in the Galaxy S8, but it will use 4K resolution displays in the Galaxy Note 8 to realize improved virtual reality functions. I heard that it will connect with new Gear VR wearable.”

Virtual reality is becoming an increasingly important part of the technology landscape, and companies such as Apple and Samsung are clearly attempting to acquire a slice of the VR pie. It is stated that Apple is more interested in augmented reality than Samsung, but both of these technology giants are clearly considering this sphere carefully.

Release date

The release date of the Galaxy Note 8 still remains up in the air, with the unveiling of the Galaxy S8 having been moved back compared to previous years. It is thus largely believed that the Galaxy Note 8 may arrive later than previous releases in the series, although an August date is still likely, considering that the iPhone 8 will hit the stores in September.

Galaxy Note 8 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.