Rumors about the Galaxy Note 8, the successor to the much-maligned and explosive Note 7 are already going around. All Samsung would have to do is switch the battery to create something better, but that’s not what these rumors are about. Let’s take a look at what 2017 may bring.
A new battery is important
Right now Samsung is reeling from the disaster that is the Note 7, and I hope it’s learned from it. Personally, I love the Galaxy Note series of handsets; I had the original and the 3rd. However, if I were to consider the Galaxy Note 8, I would need convincing that the battery problem is over.
So the first thing Samsung should do is focus on what caused the Note 7 battery problems and fix it quickly.
A redesigned S-Pen
Apart from being the first phablet, the Note range is synonymous with the S-Pen. Just like its predecessors, the Galaxy Note 8 will probably carry one, but this one could be different. Unlike the traditional stylus, the S-Pen gives Note owners extra functionality not found even on other Samsung devices. On the Note 7, Samsung significantly improved its capabilities, and with the Galaxy Note 8, it intends to carry on innovating.
A patent supporting this rumor has been discovered; Samsung filed it in March The patent covers a redesigned S-Pen and shows that Samsung is considering adding a speaker to it. This rumor was first published by Patently Mobile and shows a speaker that will work differently depending on where the stylus is. For example, when the S-Pen is docked, sound will come from the bottom. Alternatively, when in use, sound will come from the body.
Having a speaker in the S-Pen probably means the removal of a speaker and speaker grill from the device. Why would Samsung do this? One reason could be to free up space withing the Galaxy Note 8’s body. While this is pure speculation, Samsung could fill the space with an improved battery, a pico projector or newer capabilities.
No 3.5mm headphone jack
In the past, Samsung has followed where Apple has led. So with the absence of a headphone jack on the iPhone 7 and 7 Plus, Samsung could follow suit. However, Samsung chose to mock Apple regarding the rumors surrounding its absence at the Galaxy Note 7 launch. So we will just have to wait and see. But this may not be the only thing Samsung decides to copy over to the Galaxy Note 8.
Zoom in and out
Another patent has been found which reveals that Samsung may change the UI of its camera app. This change is to enable new touch gestures and would allow a user to easily zoom in and out when taking a picture. Apparently this patent was filed on September 13, just a week after Apple unveiled the iPhone 7.
Why does Samsung want to incorporate a new way to zoom on the Galaxy Note 8? Right now, no one has an answer, but seeing as Samsung handsets can already zoom, there must be other unknown new features on the way.
Dual-lens camera setup
Could this be yet another idea taken from Apple? Fortunately for Samsung, the answer is no; other companies such as HTC have used this feature long before Apple. However, it’s possible that the zoom-in-and-out rumor featured above relates to this camera tech.
There seems to be a consensus building which talks about the Galaxy Note 8 with a 4K display. The evidence for such speculation apparently comes from a trade conference in California which Samsung attended. At the conference, Samsung demonstrated a 4K phone display, one which many think will be incorporated into the Note 8.
Why bother? I agree that the human eye can perceive little, if anything above 350ppi. However, because smartphones are small and we hold them to our faces, manufacturers believe as much detail as possible is required.
Imagine a smartphone with a 3GHz CPU; that’s what supposed to be coming with the Galaxy Note 8. It’s expected to feature an Exynos 8895 chip which consumes only 5 watts of power and is faster than the A10 Fusion chip in the iPhone 7.
Samsung has not officially released any information about the handset or this new Exynos chip; however, it’s possible we will see something at MWC 2017.
Galaxy Note 8 price and release date
It’s thought that depending on the storage options available, the Note 8 could be priced around $800 to $999. As for a release date, again Samsung has said nothing about this, but if we go on past launches, we could expect to see the handset somewhere between August and September 2017.
Whatever the date and price of Samsung’s next Note, it has already lost valuable ground to Apple. So with the next incarnation, it should embark on a massive PR campaign to repair its reputation.