There is no doubt that Samsung faces a massive challenge with the branding of the Galaxy Note 8, and indeed future Galaxy Note series releases. In the history of smartphone technology, the disastrous exploding Galaxy Note 7 will surely stand out as a particularly notable low point. There were even question marks regarding whether Samsung would even continue with the Galaxy Note range, considering the disastrous publicity that the Galaxy Note 7 garnered.
But the Galaxy Note 8 has now been officially confirmed by Samsung, with the device set to hit the stores in the second half of 2017. Despite the undoubted problems that Samsung will face, this decision makes obvious commercial sense for the consumer electronics giant, with the company having incurred massive financial losses from the failed and doomed Galaxy Note 7. Ultimately, the Galaxy was pretty much inevitable, but how can Samsung now resurrect the image of this mobile?
Recall handled well
Samsung has begun the process of improving its reputation by handling the recall of the Galaxy Note 7 in the most responsible and conscientious fashion possible. Samsung has issued two formal recalls of the device, and done everything possible to ensure that consumers diligently return the Galaxy Note 7 unit, even producing software updates that virtually brick the device. Samsung has already made it clear that it will offer free exchanges for Galaxy Note 7 users, with those affected by the spontaneous combustion of this handset able to upgrade for free in the future.
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The Korean corporation has also been investigating the cause of the explosion problem, and it seems to have rectified the situation satisfactorily. Samsung pinpointed the batteries included in the unit, and the process of creating a safer and more stable battery lineup for the Galaxy Note 8 is already underway. Samsung has reportedly been in negotiations with its Korean neighbor LG to provide the batteries for the Galaxy Note 8, and it obviously hopes that this will result in a considerably more reliable unit.
Samsung has also released detailed findings from their official investigation into the issue. We now know that the corporation hired three major independent companies to thoroughly investigate the issue, with each one being experts in the battery field. The details of these investigations have also been fully submitted to the public domain, indicating the commitment of Samsung to regain the trust of the general public. This is a very high level of transparency for a major corporations such as Samsung, and the Korean technology behemoth can be commended for this.
In order to ensure no repeat of the Galaxy Note 7 disaster, Samsung has also indicated that it will carry out an eight-point battery safety check every single time it produces smartphone. This will form a central pillar of the production process for the Galaxy Note 8, hopefully preventing any major problems from emerging in the future.
Another aspect of Samsung’s commitment to producing a safer Galaxy Note 7 has been a massive investment in battery technology. Samsung has already confirmed that it has invested $128 million into manufacturing safer batteries; a pretty sizeable chunk of money, even for such a giant as Samsung. While this will benefit all devices across the Samsung range, there is no doubt that the Galaxy Note 8 will be a major focus of this investment.
So safety will be a major focus of the Galaxy Note 8 and rightly so. But it seems reasonable to assert that Samsung will need to do far more than simply produce a safe mobile in order to resurrect the credibility of the Galaxy Note branding. This means that the next generation smartphone will require significant upgrades, even over a Galaxy Note 7 release that was very highly regarded.
Galaxy Note 8 – 4K resolution mooted
Thus, we can expect several new features in the next generation Galaxy Note 8, and two in particular will probably grab headlines as the release date nears. The first of these is the introduction of 4K resolution, something that the Korean corporation has threatened in its device range for quite some time.
This would be particularly valuable for Samsung for two reasons. Firstly, the Korean company has become increasingly associated with screen technology over the years, and there is something of an onus on a Samsung to embrace 4K in its mobile range sooner rather than later. This is particularly so considering that 4K is now becoming very much a mainstream technology, accelerated by the fact that the recent video games console, the PS4 Pro from Sony, delivers native 4K gaming.
Secondly, if Samsung wishes to seriously embrace virtual reality in the future, it is generally believed that it is essential for the company to deliver the highest screen resolution possible. Again, VR has gone mainstream over the last few months, with Oculus Rift gathering momentum and the first batch of PlayStation VR headsets selling out rapidly.
Samsung is also expected to include its new Bixby AI assistant, which could debut in the Galaxy S8. It would seem entirely natural for this to then migrate to the Galaxy Note 8, providing an entirely new feature for fans of Android devices. This software has been developed by Viv Labs, previously involved with Apple’s Siri, and it should be an exciting innovation in the Galaxy Note 8 phablet later this year.
Aside from this, we can also anticipate a range of spec upgrades, with Samsung likely to focus on improving the camera in the Galaxy Note 8 in particular. 6GB of RAM has been predicted in some quarters, while we can expect to see a larger battery and super-powerful octa-core processor.
While the Galaxy Note 7 was a massive disaster for the corporation, it is clear that steps are already being taken to recover from the ignominy of producing an unstable device. While the reputation of the Galaxy Note brand may have taken a severe beating, consumers may benefit in the long run with an outstanding Galaxy Note 8 release.