Samsung has found itself in the awkward position of having to withdraw the Note 7 from sale early in its life, and it doesn’t take a genius to guess that this has harmed the company’s reputation. But what is the South Korean tech giant going to do about it? Will it release the much-rumored Galaxy S8, or will it revive the Note series and produce a super-powerful Galaxy Note 8?
Galaxy Note 8 rumored for 2017
It was thought that the fiasco surrounding the last Note meant that this popular phablet was doomed to be sidelined. Would it be in Samsung’s interest to move on without it? After all, the Note range has been a successful one in recent years. You only have to look at what the Note 7 offered to realize it was the most advanced smartphone on the market. Of course the fact that it exploded and emitted noxious gasses for some users did hold it back.
However, could Samsung be about to re-energize itself with the launch of the Galaxy Note 8? And could this handset be announced as early as January 2017 at CES 2017? Let’s have a look at what the rumors are saying.
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One piece of technology that has not been seen on another smartphone is an iris scanner. The Note 7 was the first and only handset to carry such technology, and it is likely that Samsung will feel it didn’t get a fair trial on the last Note. So could the Galaxy Note 8 benefit from it? There’s absolutely no reason why it shouldn’t, and to be honest, if this tech is not included, it would feel like a step back.
It seems as though every big handset manufacturer will be jumping on the 4K bandwagon in 2017. It would make the Galaxy Note 8’s display even more detailed and vibrant than that of its predecessors, but with the human eye only being able to see up to 326ppi, or pixels per inch, you wouldn’t be able to perceive the difference.
However, with this high-def technology becoming more and more mainstream, it’s just one more reason to justify high prices.
128GB minimum storage capacity
A while ago, Samsung made the mistake of removing the SD card slot from its S6 range. This lead to lower sales than expected, and that’s certainly something it cannot afford with a Galaxy Note 8.
Rumors are suggesting that it could remove the smaller 32GB and 64GB storage options for the next Note and instead start at 128GB. Also the SD card capacity could be increased to 1GB or beyond, which would be something Note owners have asked for.
With handsets like the iPhone 7 Plus and even the LG G5 having dual-lens setups, Samsung is considered by many to be lagging behind in this department. And while the Galaxy Note 8 is just rumor, it would seem that Samsung is working on upping its camera game.
Just last month a report by the Korean Herald suggested that a dual-lens camera was likely. It gave the reasoning behind this as being because Samsung changes its camera hardware each year. But it’s more likely that it needs to be competitive in every area with the Galaxy Note 8 because it needs to allay the fears of potential customers. After all, it’s aware that the explosive nature of the Note 7 has damaged trust.
As for the specifications of this dual-lens setup, nothing is clear. However, rumors are suggesting two rear 20MP sensors with attributes similar to those found on the iPhone 7 Plus.
Improved digital assistant
According to The Wall Street Journal, both the S8 and Galaxy Note 8 could get an improved digital assistant. This new assistant, according to the report, will rival the likes of Siri and the Google Assistant. Apparently, Samsung has been working on this AI for some time and intends it to be able to answer questions and help with the ordering of a taxi, ordering pizza and reserving tables at restaurants.
Possibly named Bixby, this AI virtual assistant is expected to combine conversational language and integrate with third-party apps and services. These abilities could also be accompanied by the ability to dictate voice messages and respond to voice queries on demand.
Right now you should take all of this information with a grain of salt. Samsung has not even acknowledged the possible existence of the Galaxy Note 8 yet. However, there are those who like to speculate on these matters, and so far the following has been rumored.
It’s thought that while the display could be bumped to 4K, its size will stay at 5.7 inches and have a pixel density somewhere in the region of 800ppi. In terms of RAM, the Note 7 had 4GB, and rumors suggest 6GB is a believable number for the Note 8. The chipset is again likely to be dependent on where you live, with Exynos and Snapdragon being possible choices; so far no one has dared to guess exactly what they are.
While everything above is based on pure speculation / rumors circulating online, the Galaxy Note 8 will remain a figment of people’s imaginations, and it is more likely that we will see the S8. But if Samsung is going to introduce a new phablet early in 2017, it has to win back trust, and that’s not going to be easy. It may even mean that it’s offered on some kind of trade-in-deal.