If you’re a fan of those big smartphones which are often referred to as phablets, 2017 could be your year! Before the Christmas break, there had only been hearsay regarding the Galaxy Note 8, but now there’s some exciting news which seems to confirm that it will indeed launch this year.
Galaxy Note 8 on the way?
With all of the troubles of 2016 firmly placed behind it, it seems as though Samsung has a busy 2017 ahead of it. Rumors of it launching three top-of-the-line handsets in 2017 have not subsided, and now we have heard rumors about the Galaxy S8 and possibly the S8 Edge launching in April. According to Business Korea, those phones could be followed by a Note 8 launch in the second half of the year.
Apparently, the site was approached by one of Samsung’s partners, who said: “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.”
Why a 4K display?
A 4K resolution on a phablet is unlikely to look any different than a QHD display. However, 4K isn’t for everyday use; in fact, it has one single purpose. That is to greatly heighten the mobile virtual reality experience, bringing crystal clear clarity to the eyes, and that is possible because the use of 4K will not be noticeable until a user dons a headset and places the screen close to their eyes.
Additionally, it is being said that Samsung will pair the Galaxy Note 8 with a new Gear VR, which, according to Business Korea, would make it the most advanced mobile VR experience available.
Some information about the resolution technology within the 4K panel has leaked, but not much. For now, all we know is that it will be 3,840x 2,160, which, compared to the S8’s expected resolution at 2,560 x 1,440, would be a huge leap.
In late 2016, the first rumors about Samsung’s next-generation virtual assistant emerged. Possibly called Bixby, this AI assistant is expected to come with a raft of features, if you believe the hype. The rumored features would make it superior to the likes of Siri, Cortana, and Google Now and include the ability to order food, book a restaurant table, order tickets and more. However, what is more interesting is its much talked-about ability to work with third-party apps. This alone would make it a highly versatile assistant which could capture the interest of consumers.
Another rumor centers around a huge leap in camera technology, of which nothing much is known. However, according to MobySmartCat, a 30MP sensor is expected; if true, it would dwarf the 12MP on the Note 7.
No Home button
Again, this is another rumor with little substance, but it is worth sharing, considering the implications. If the Galaxy Note 8 does appear with no Home button, it would mean that its screen could stretch edge to edge, and like the rumored iPhone 8, more functionality could be embedded into the display. We’re not sure if Samsung would do this, but it has been found guilty of copying Apple’s designs in the past, so it’s possible.
Dual-screen foldable display
If you follow mobile technology news, you may remember Samsung’s own concept video a number of years ago. It showed off a prototype for a handset with a foldable display. However, seven years or more later, no consumer technology of that kind exists.
So as you can imagine, when rumors appear suggesting that the Galaxy Note 8 will have this technology, we are more than a little skeptical about it, but the rumors have persisted, and now many are a little excited about the possibility. These foldable displays will supposedly be on the front and rear of the handset. However, Samsung is said to be taking a cautious approach with this design and thus is only planning to produce a small number initially to gauge the response.
Snapdragon 830 CPU and 6GB of RAM
As the requirements placed on top-of-the-line smartphones have become greater, so has the need for more power. So with a 4K display, VR and possibly even an updated iris scanner, the Galaxy Note 8 needs serious grunt.
All of this may mean that Samsung will opt for the next top-of-the-line Snapdragon CPU, which is the 830. It will deliver 3.2Ghz of processing power and be produced using a 10-nanometer manufacturing process, meaning that not only will it be powerful, but it will also be energy efficient and emit less heat than previous generations.
As for RAM, many of the rumored Android handsets for this year seem to be packing 6GB, which is quite a lot and is likely to be what is required to run a 5.7-inch, 4K dual displayed, smartphone with an iris scanner and its own AI assistant.
Whatever Samsung plans to do with the Galaxy Note 8, it has to put the Note 7 fiasco behind it and regain lost consumers. If it does not continue to address what will inevitably be consumer concerns about its handsets and their reliability, it won’t matter how spectacularly impressive the Note 8 is. People just won’t take the risk.