This doesn’t appear to be just another leaked picture. It could be the first official Galaxy Note 8 photo you are looking at. The image comes from notoriously accurate tipster Evan Blass, so there is little chance of it being inaccurate or fake. And it’s not some render created by third-party accessories manufacturers. Ben Sin of Forbes makes a strong argument why this is an official Galaxy Note 8 photo that Blass might have obtained from a senior executive at Samsung.

Official Galaxy Note 8 Photo
Image Credit: Evan Blass (@evleaks) / Twitter (screenshot)

An official Galaxy Note 8 photo

Amid the whirlwind of leaks and rumors, Blass posted a picture of a Galaxy Note 8 in Midnight Black color option. Samsung already offers the Galaxy S8 in Midnight Black, so this color will not be a huge surprise. The picture shows a phone with a giant edge-to-edge Infinity display. The Note 8 is said to feature a 6.3-inch Super AMOLED screen with an 18.5:9 aspect ratio.

The top bezel houses the earpiece, front-facing camera, iris scanner, and other sensors. You can see the power button on the right, and the volume rockers and Bixby button on the left side. The back panel isn’t visible in the photo. The Note 8 is expected to sport a horizontally arranged dual camera system on the rear panel to challenge the iPhone 8.

The phone’s overall appearance looks similar to the Galaxy S8 and S8 Plus. Responding to a Twitter user, Blass revealed that there will also be a Deep Sea Blue color option. Forbes contributor Ben Sin argues that this is an official Galaxy Note 8 photo rather than a leaked image. Samsung wants to build hype around the device as the Note 8 unveiling inches closer.

Most leaked images come out of China, and are almost always taken in bad lighting. The photo Blass posted on Twitter appears to be a social media publicity campaign by Samsung’s PR department ahead of the August 23 Unpacked event. The Korean company likely game out an official Galaxy Note 8 photo to an influential journalist to get fans excited. Samsung’s press invite teaser includes the outline of a smartphone with an Infinity display and an S Pen stylus along with the tagline “Do bigger things.”

Upcoming phablet gets FCC certification

Just weeks before its unveiling, the Galaxy Note 8 has received certification from the Federal Communications Commission (FCC). The FCC certified four variants of the device with model numbers SM-N950U, SM-N950U1, SM-N950XU, and the SM-N950W. The SM-N950U is said to be the base unit. The phablet will support both the CDMA and GSM networks in the US. The Note 8 will reportedly be compatible with LTE band 66.

The rumor mill claims the Note 8 will launch with 6GB RAM and three storage options: 64GB, 128GB, and 256GB. It will also have a microSD card slot for further storage expansion. The device is said to pack a 3300mAh battery, and run Android 7.1.1 Nougat upon launch. The Note 8 will be powered by Qualcomm’s octa-core Snapdragon 835 or Samsung’s own Exynos 8835 processor, depending on the market.

A Samsung executive recently said that the Note 8 would offer richer multimedia functionalities. The Note phablets with their S Pen stylus and large display have always focused on multimedia and multitasking. The device is also rumored to have an IP68 rating for water-resistance. Other features include fast-charging and wireless charging capabilities.

Note 8 dual camera features revealed

The Note 8’s most important new feature will be the rear dual camera system. There have been a lot of leaks about the phone’s camera capabilities. Noted analyst Ming-Chi Kuo says it will include a 13-megapixel wide-angle lens and a 12-megapixel telephoto lens. Samsung Electro-Mechanics, which will be supplying the dual camera sensors for the Note 8, has revealed details of its camera sensor.

The Note 8 dual camera will be able to achieve 3x optical zoom through a feature called “Smart Zoom.” By comparison, the iPhone 7 Plus offers only 2x optical zoom. The Note 8 camera will also have a feature called “Refocus” to measure the depth of field to take pictures with artificially blurred backgrounds. The phablet is also said to offer an improved low-light photography experience.

Other features included in the Note 8 dual camera are Perspective View and Background effect. They will allow users to blur certain aspects of a photo even after it has been clicked, and edit pictures to make them more appealing. Ming-Chi Kuo is confident that the Note 8 dual camera setup will be far superior to the iPhone 7 Plus. We will find out within a few weeks.

Galaxy Note 8 to restore the Note’s brand image

Samsung will unveil the phablet in New York on August 23rd. The event will kick off at 11 a.m. Eastern Time at the Park Avenue Armory. The rumor mill claims the Note 8 will go on sale soon after the announcement. A Samsung document leaked from the company’s Australian website indicates that pre-orders in Australia will begin on August 25, just a couple of days after the unveiling.

It has fueled speculations that pre-orders in other regions such as Europe, the US, and China could also begin on the same day. Word in the rumor mill is that the Note 8 will be Samsung’s first smartphone to cost more than $1,000. Recent reports claim it will be priced above 1,000 euros in European markets.

Galaxy Note fans and industry watcher will be closely monitoring the Note 8 rollout. Hopefully, its battery won’t explode in the hands of users like Galaxy Note 7. Samsung has introduced an 8-point battery safety program to prevent a Note 7-like disaster. After what happened to the Note 7, Samsung is under pressure to bring out a flawless successor to the Note 7.