With Samsung having released the Galaxy S8 and Galaxy S8 Plus, the Korean corporation is now turning its immediate attention to the Galaxy Note 8. And the first possible sighting of this phablet has already arrived, with new images of this next generation device emerging.
Galaxy Note 8 Leaked photos
The apparent leaked pictures of the Note 8 suggest that the phablet will very much take its cue from the existing Galaxy S8. Seriously slimmed down bezels are central to its new design, while curved edges and the removal of the physical Home button are also apparent.
Bixby is also set to feature in the Galaxy Note 8, after Samsung introduced the new personal assistant when the Galaxy S8 was released. This is still very much an embryonic piece of software, but by the time that the Galaxy Note 8 emerges it should be established as a critical aspect of the Samsung portfolio.
Samsung unquestionably faces a massive challenge with the Galaxy Note 8, and although the Korean corporation will attempt to pretend that the current climate is business as usual, the reality is that 2017 is far from a normal year. Samsung must recover from the disaster of the exploding Galaxy Note 7, and demonstrate with the Galaxy Note 8 that it is once more able to deliver a top-notch phablet.
The other problem that Samsung has with the Galaxy Note 8 is that the existing Galaxy S8 already has very much the appearance of a phablet. With the large, wraparound display included in the Galaxy S8, the handset is certainly larger than a smartphone-sized device. This means that the next generation of Galaxy Note handsets must deliver something particularly distinct in order to distinguish themselves from the existing Galaxy S8.
While Samsung has already achieved this to some extent with the inclusion of the S Pen stylus, this may not be enough in the forthcoming generation. Admittedly, there have already been reports that the S Pen in the Galaxy Note 8 will feature a unique speaker system, but Samsung must surely also pack other new innovations into the armory of the Galaxy Note 8.
Central to the new features will surely be an increased display, with early reports indicating that a 6.2-inch screen may be included. Considering the size of this display, and the fact that the Galaxy S8 featured an improved resolution compared to previous releases, it is also reasonable to suggest that the Galaxy Note 8 may be the first 4K resolution mobile from the Korean manufacturer.
Samsung may also make several models of the Galaxy Note 8 available to consumers, as the Korean corporation attempts to deliver a flexible device range. While Samsung always faces strong competition from Apple, one advantage that it has over the Californian company is that it has experience in handling multiple device releases in a single generation. This could stand Samsung in good stead for the release of the Galaxy Note 8, with analysts already suggesting that they could be as many as three models of the phablet.
Meanwhile, a new concept of the Galaxy Note 8 provides an intriguing insight into how the device may turn out. Designer Benjamin Geskin expects the handsets to very much resemble the existing Galaxy S8, although some of the specs included in this conception of how the Galaxy Note 8 will turn out differ from analyst predictions.
In particular, Benjamin believes that the Galaxy Note 8 will have a massive 6.4-inch display, which even exceeds the predictions of the Samsung-following community. This 18:9 ratio screen will also feature 4K resolution, while a fingerprint scanner will be included.
Benjamin believes that the Galaxy Note 8 will also feature a dual-camera setup, with stereo speakers included in order to provide excellent sound quality. Another notable aspect of the design is its sheer slimness, which has led some analysts to question how Samsung would fit an S Pen into this distinctive design.
The existence of the Galaxy S8 Plus plus further complicates the job of Samsung with the Galaxy Note 8, as this phablet version of the Galaxy S series is notable for a massive 6.2-inch screen. Even the 6.4-inch display envisaged for the Galaxy Note 8 would not be that much larger than the existing S8 Plus screen, leading many to wonder how Samsung will be able to differentiate its phablet from what would already appear to be a pretty sizeable phablet in the S8 Plus.
Samsung must also contest with an increasingly complex smartphone marketplace. While Apple has been the dominant player in the high-end of the mobile niche, other newer companies are challenging in the more affordable end of the market. Samsung thus finds itself in the difficult position of both struggling to compete with Apple on an even footing, and not wishing to diminish its position as a quality brand by directly competing with bargain basement Android alternatives.
Nonetheless, these new contenders have been steadily eating into its market share in East Asia in particular, which is obviously a key markets for Samsung considering its Korean heritage. Apple has steadily established itself as a particularly important brand in China, and Samsung must clearly do more in 2017 to demonstrate that it is still a company of choice in its Asian home.
Curved screen success
One big plus point for the consumer electronics giant is that Samsung has established its curved screen technology as a defining aspect of the smartphone market. Already the corporation abandoned flatscreen mobiles with the Galaxy S8 range, and the success of the curved aspect of its smartphone releases has hugely influenced the direction of the industry.
But while Samsung has been the only major player with curved screen devices available – although other companies have released them as well – it is believed that Apple will produce its first ever curved screen mobile with the iPhone 8 generation this year. This will provide another challenge for Samsung, as the uniqueness of the Galaxy range dissipates, once Apple has a curved screen variant available.
It all adds up to an intriguing year in the mobile niche, and one in which Samsung hopes that the Galaxy Note 8 can compete favorably.