Samsung is still the world’s largest smartphone vendor, but last year’s Galaxy Note 7 debacle affected its brand appeal. The Note 7 was an excellent phone with many new features. However, faulty batteries forced Samsung to recall the device twice and eventually discontinue it. The Korean company bounced back with the Galaxy S8. The real challenge would be to revive the Note brand. If the rumors and supply chain leaks are to be believed, the new Galaxy Note 8 will be a device that would make consumers forget the Note 7 debacle. It will, in likelihood, revive the Note brand and re-establish Samsung’s supremacy.
Galaxy Note 8 only a month away
DJ Koh, the head of Samsung’s mobile business, recently said during a conference in Taiwan that the new Galaxy Note 8 would be unveiled in late August. He did not specify the unveiling date. Recent leaks suggest that the device would be unveiled on August 23 or August 26 at an Unpacked event in New York. The phablet would go on sale soon after the announcement.
Koh said the Note 8 would be rolled out in two phases. Key markets such as South Korea, China, the US, and the UK will get the handset in early September in the first phase. The second phase would kick off in October, when the phone would be made available worldwide. It is rumored to be Samsung’s most expensive flagship smartphone till date. If you are interested in buying the Note 8, be ready to shell out $900 or more.
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Galaxy Note 8 vs iPhone 8: Samsung has the advantage of early launch
The release schedule gives Samsung a major advantage over its arch-rival Apple. The Cupertino company is said to announce three new phones in September. Two of them, the iPhone 7S and 7S Plus, would be only minor upgrades over the current models. The third device, iPhone 8, would carry a major design overhaul and exciting new features. However, the iPhone 8 wouldn’t be available until October/November.
It means Apple will have the minor upgrades iPhone 7S and 7S Plus to compete against Samsung’s best smartphone in September and early October. In terms of specs, the iPhone 7S and 7S Plus would be no match to Galaxy Note 8, which would feature an edge-to-edge OLED display and wireless charging. Apple’s product that could challenge Note 8 would be a little late to the party. A large number of consumers are likely to buy the Note 8, iPhone 7S or 7S Plus rather than waiting for the iPhone 8.
Launching the Note 8 before iPhone 8 would allow Samsung to set the smartphone standard in the second half of this year. As Forbes contributor Ewan Spence points out, Apple will be “fighting back” with the iPhone 7S and 7S Plus rather than the iPhone 8. Samsung will be putting its device in the hands of consumers while Apple would be holding an event to discuss the iPhone 8.
New Galaxy Note 8 to be the most exciting Android phone
The brand new Galaxy Note 8 is said to feature a 6.3-inch Super AMOLED display with 2K resolution. The device would use Samsung’s proven and popular Infinity display with 18.5:9 aspect ratio. A report claimed earlier this week that Samsung had tweaked the Note 8 design right before the device entered production. It has made the bezels narrower than on the Galaxy S8. The corners have also become edgier.
The Galaxy S8’s Infinity display is excellent, but its graduated curves caused a notable distortion on the sides of the device. Edgier curves are expected to reduce distortion so that users can clearly see the elements on the sides. Even though there have been rumors about Samsung introducing smartphones with 4K displays, the Note 8 is likely to stick to 2K resolution.
The Note 8 would also feature a dual camera system on the back. It would consist of two 13-megapixel sensors supplied by Samsung Electro-Mechanics. KGI Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo has learned from his sources within the Asian supply chain that the Note 8 dual camera would be better than the iPhone 7 Plus. It is expected to match the iPhone 8 in terms of camera quality.
The phablet would be powered by 6GB RAM and an octa-core Snapdragon 835 processor. In some markets, the Note 8 would be sold with Samsung’s in-house Exynos 8895 chipset. It is rumored to offer 64GB and 128GB of internal storage, and a 3300mAh battery pack. Supply chain leaks suggest the Note 8 would retain the 3.5mm headphone jack and a USB Type-C port.
A similar looking, but more advanced stylus
Meanwhile, noted tipster SlashLeaks has obtained leaked images of the S Pen stylus that would accompany the Note 8. The images hint at no major changes in its design. It appears slightly larger than the stylus that shipped with the Note 7, though. Previous reports claim that the upcoming S Pen would offer expanded capabilities and support more pressure levels than its predecessor.
The new stylus would offer translation and currency conversion. The rumor mill claims the Note 8’s Always-On display would also support digital sticky notes. It means users will be able to draw on the new Galaxy Note 8’s screen using the stylus without having to unlock the device.