As intrigue about the next generation of Apple and Samsung smartphones continues to build, the latest rumors suggest that the release schedules may be reversed this time round. Reports have indicated that Samsung is considering releasing its next generation Galaxy Note 8 ahead of the iPhone 8.

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

August release

Whispers from Korea suggest that Samsung is rethinking its design schedule for the Galaxy Note 8, as it believes this will be of commercial benefit to the phablet. The Korea Herald suggests that Samsung will unveil the Galaxy Note 8 ahead of a late August release date, in a policy that it describes as being “strategically ahead of the debut of the iPhone 8 in September”.

Continuing the revelations on this critical iteration of the Galaxy Note series, the Korea Herald suggests that the Galaxy Note 8 will benefit from a dual-lens camera located on the rear of the device. This will continue the photographic battle with Samsung’s great rival Apple, with the Californian corporation expected to include similar camera provisions in the iPhone 8.

Safety will clearly be a critical aspect of this mobile after the fiasco associated with the Galaxy Note 7, and Samsung has been working on this as well. The Korea Herald reports that Samsung has undergone a specifically designed safety program with the Galaxy Note 8, that will build on the eight-point process that it had already revealed for the Galaxy S8.

Galaxy S9 underway

Speaking of the Galaxy S series, Samsung has also reportedly begun work on this next generation Galaxy S9, well ahead of its usual schedule. Reports from close to the Samsung supply chain even suggest that the Galaxy Note 9 is already under development, even a few months before the Galaxy Note 8 has emerged.

There has been no official indication from Samsung regarding the Galaxy Note 8, so we will not know the release date of this device for some time. But Apple’s iPhone range has been released in September over the last few years, although reports have suggested that this device could be delayed due to problems with sourcing OLED display panels.

Galaxy Note 8 renders

Meanwhile, another Galaxy Note 8 leak from the mysterious PoyocoTech has provided further insight into the makeup of the device. This information must be shrouded in controversy to a certain extent, as the identity of this new Twitter account is currently unknown. But the rumors posted by PoyocoTech have certainly gained traction.

The Twitter leaker claims that the Galaxy Note 8 will feature an extremely similar design to the existing Galaxy S8, with a huge Infinity display included. The account also confirms the rumors regarding a dual-lens camera, also suggesting that the fingerprint sensor in the device will be embedded under the display.

PoyocoTech also asserts that Samsung will “attempt to perfect” the design by going for uniformly aligned ports on the bottom. And the Twitter user also suggests that the S Pen stylus will feature a build-in vibration motor, also providing support for Find My Mobile. There is no news on whether this means that the innovative speaker system that was linked with the S Pen previously will be included or not.

S8 resemblance

Elsewhere, a new render of the Galaxy Note 8 has also surfaced, although there is some debate over whether this is a concept design all the genuine article. Nonetheless, this image continues the theme of a strong resemblance between the Galaxy Note 8 and Galaxy S8, as the design is absolutely reminiscent of the flagship released earlier this year.

While it makes sense for Samsung to unify the design of its devices, in the ongoing battle of branding, the similarity between the Galaxy S8 and Galaxy Note 8 nonetheless poses conundrums for the manufacturer. It is becoming increasingly difficult for Samsung to distinguish between the two devices, even if the aforementioned S Pen stylus is one difference between the two.

The Galaxy S8 Plus is very much in the phablet bracket, and reports suggest that the Galaxy Note 8 will be only marginally larger. This does suggest that Samsung will have to pack the Galaxy Note 8 with some outstanding specs and features if it is to attract consumers to this more expensive phablet.

Meanwhile, the render confirms the notion of a dual-camera, with vertical alignment also noticeable in these images. Bezels are slimmed down to an absolute minimum, while the fingerprint scanner is conspicuous by its absence, suggesting that it has indeed been integrated into the display.

Volume up, volume down and Bixby buttons are located on the left-hand side of this rendered device, with the 3.5mm headphone jack retained on the bottom. A Type-C USB port is also included, while a combination of metal and glass comprises the design of the smartphone. While this may not be the final design of the forthcoming Note 8, it is likely to be rather close to its ultimate design.

iPhone 8 clues

If Samsung indeed intends to release the Galaxy Note 8 ahead of the iPhone 8, we already have a good idea what to expect from the Californian corporation’s flagship. Apple has been speaking out on some of its biggest software products at the Worldwide Developers Conference in San Jose, California. And some interesting information has given us a clue to the future direction of the iPhone 8.

In particular, Apple has shown off new augmented reality features that are compatible with the iPad, but it is presumed by many observers and analysts that these will appear in the iPhone 8 as well. This has been hotly linked with Apple’s most iconic product since its CEO, Tim Cook, explicitly spoke out in favour of AR.

The scene has certainly been set for a major battle between the two big players in the smartphone niche, and it will be intriguing to see what Apple and Samsung have in store for us with the Galaxy Note 8 and iPhone 8 when they indeed emerge.