Samsung is set to unveil the Galaxy Note 8 later this year, undoubtedly one of the most important device releases in the history of the company. Galaxy Note handsets are always significant for Samsung, but the disastrous exploding Galaxy Note 7 means that the release of its successor is particularly critical if Samsung is to successfully reinvigorate this series.

Samsung Galaxy Note 8 vs Galaxy Note 7
Image Credit: Concept Creator / YouTube video (screenshot)

The Galaxy Note range is known for featuring some of the most outstanding specs in the industry, and 2017 should be no exception to this rule. However, there is reason for Samsung to be slightly cautious with the Galaxy Note 8 release in order to ensure its stability. Certainly in the battery department, the cause of the difficulties with its predecessor, Samsung is expected to reign in its desire to produce the market-leading phablet, and instead opt for safety first.

Leaked video

There has been a good deal of speculation regarding this forthcoming phablet, but leaked video footage and still images have recently provided a particular insight into the makeup of this handset. And the first takeaway from these sources is that the suggestion of a much larger Galaxy Note 8 device seems to be accurate.

SamMobile has sourced the images in question, which certainly adds credibility to them. The images indicate that the strongly rumored 6.3-inch display panel looks likely to come to fruition. This would mean that the screen in the Galaxy Note 8 is 0.6-inches larger than the previous iteration of the series. Hopefully it will also refrain from exploding!

It seems as well that the increased display size will not impact on the directions of the smartphone itself, with Samsung utilizing a similar wraparound technology to the Galaxy S8 in order to ensure that this remains a relatively compact phablet. The new design will ensure that Samsung can squeeze a much larger curved OLED display with an 18.5:9 aspect ratio into an appealing visage.

This will mean that the shape of the Galaxy Note 8 is tall but slim, while the bezels around the edge of the smartphone will be particularly miniscule. Samsung will very much follow the example of its flagship Galaxy S8, which has a 6.2-inch display, yet cannot be considered unwieldy or excessively large.

Galaxy Note 8 fingerprint sensor

Another feature implied by the leaked images has also prompted whisperings for some time, and now seems ready to finally arrive in a Samsung handset. It was suggested that the Galaxy S8 would feature a fingerprint scanner embedded under its display glass, but this proved too difficult to implement. Certainly this must be a logistical challenge, but it now seems that the Galaxy Note 8 will indeed feature this technology, which is also been linked with the forthcoming iPhone 8 as wells.

When the Galaxy S8 was released, Samsung was forced to locate the scanner on the rear panel next to the camera. But no such unit is visible in these images of the Galaxy Note 8, implying that the fingerprint scanner will indeed be placed under the display glass. Samsung could also have opted for retina or face scanning technology, but this seems less likely than instead relocating the fingerprint unit.

It is also believed that the Galaxy Note 8 will feature a dual-camera, a feature that has also been strongly rumored previously. There was also a prototype version of the Galaxy S8 that included a dual-lens snapper, but this technology never appeared in the finished product. With Apple also expected to implement a dual-camera in the forthcoming iPhone 8 there is an onus on Samsung to deliver similar functionality.

KGI Security’s infamous Apple insider Ming-Chi Kuo has been turning his attention to the Android sphere in recent weeks, and Kuo has already spoken out on the Galaxy Note 8. The analyst believes that the dual-camera in this handset will feature a 3x optical zoom, with six element lenses ensuring that this camera will be “the most important upgrade” of the Galaxy Note 8 and “much better than that of iPhone 7 Plus”.

4K debate

One final aspect of the design of the Galaxy Note 8 that has prompted particular debate is the inclusion, or otherwise, of a 4K resolution display. This will obviously not make a huge amount of difference to the physical design of the Galaxy Note 8, but it is a potentially critical component of this smartphone.

There are compelling arguments for Samsung to include a 4K screen in its next generation phablet. Samsung has particularly specialized in outstanding screen technology in recent years, and its successes in the smartphone niche seem to have provoked Apple to switch its attention to OLED technology with the iPhone 8. And the reputation of the Korean corporation in this area has been cemented by Samsung establishing itself as the biggest seller of televisions in the world.

It would also be logical for Samsung to increase the resolution in the Galaxy Note 8 having already done so in the Galaxy S8, released earlier this year. While the Galaxy S8 is not a 4K resolution mobile, the 1,440 x 2,960 pixels that the device is capable of displaying represents an increase over the previous generation. With this resolution already approaching 4K, this means that to improve the resolution of the Galaxy Note 8 it really has very little room for manoeuvre without going 4K. And although the phablet includes an S Pen stylus, the distinction between this device and its Galaxy S8 cousin is increasingly negligible.

Conversely, there will definitely be difficult and technical challenges for Samsung to overcome if it is to include 4K resolution in this smartphone. Expense could also be an issue for the manufacturer, and the Korean company may very well conclude that 4K resolution offers minimal benefits for the Note 8, while potentially ramping up the price of production.

Certainly Samsung has something of a conundrum in terms of the display of the device, but it seems that the Korean consumer electronics giant is ready to significantly redesign the phablet overall.