For Samsung, 2016 will be the year which the pursuit of a thinner, faster and generally all-around better smartphone cost it dearly. The South Korean tech giant had to spend in the region of $5-billion to rectify its problems. And even then, their only recourse was to pull the Note 7 from the shelves and embark on a reputation-saving initiative. Now that the dust has settled and we’ve entered a new year, it looks as though a Galaxy Note 8 could rise from what was in some cases, quite literally the 7’s ashes. Apparently codenamed ‘Baikal’ this all new phablet will have state of the art features like its predecessor! Here’s everything you need to know.
The Galaxy Note 8
Just over three weeks ago Samsung held a press conference to confirm the reason for the Note 7’s demise. Additionally, the company’s mobile chief D.J. Koh also confirmed that the rumors were accurate, there would be a Note 8. Said to be internally codenamed ‘Baikal,’ which is a lake in southern Siberia the device is a closely guarded secret.
However, like all secrets, rumors do exist, some which may be true, and other which may not be. Of those rumors the juiciest center around a possible 4K display, Bixby AI assistant, and the supply of batteries from LG.
There have been rumors circling about Samsung incorporating 4K displays into its flagship handsets for a couple of years now. So, it’s no surprise that the Note 8 could be a recipient of such technology.
However, the problem with 4K panels is that the human eye struggles to determine a difference after say 2K. So such a high-resolution panel could be lost on some users! That being said, though, the current 4K rumors suggest Samsung understands that. And the purpose of 4K is to benefit those who want to use virtual reality.
It was long thought that Samsung’s AI-powered assistant was built using technology from the acquired Viv Labs. However, if a recent report by The Wall Street Journal is accurate, it has been developed from S Voice.
Apparently, Samsung’s people have been hard at work upgrading the assistant to be able to answer user voiced questions. But, many believe that S Voice is inferior and in need of replacing. As for whether it will appear on both the upcoming Galaxy S8 and later the Galaxy Note 8 that’s not known. However, rumors do suggest a physical hardware button will be incorporated for the AI.
Now that it’s clear, a thinner battery which didn’t leave enough space for the usual chemical processes to take place was at fault for the Note 7 demise. What will Samsung do? One rumor suggests it will turn to its South Korean rival LG. Apparently as late as December last year, it was in talks with LG Chem looking to strike a possible deal.
If true, this would be a surprising about turn by Samsung which in the past has used one of its subsidiaries for supplies. Does this mean just the Galaxy Note 8 will have an LG battery? No one knows for sure, however, with display resolution and power requirements increasing, we wouldn’t be surprised.
Two Exynos Chipset Variants
A recently leaked spec sheet shows details which seem to suggest Samsung is working on two Exynos chipset variants for the Galaxy Note 8. Each will have a different processor clock speeds and could offer many other alternatives.
As for detail, we’re afraid there isn’t any. However, a more powerful Exynos SoC will mean a more powerful GPU. All of which could tie in with the VR capabilities and 4K features.
As you’re probably aware, rumors about the handset’s launch date are numerous. So without any official word, please take the following with a pinch of salt!
Unless Samsung says’s differently, going by its own timetable. The Note 8 should release in August as did the Note 7 and the majority of those before it. However, many think, that due to such a terrible showing last time out. The next Note will be announced and maybe even released late this month or early next.
Now, if that is accurate, it could mean that Samsung will take to Mobile World Congress with more flagships than usual. However, we happen to think it’s probably a little too early for the Note!