Samsung just reported record revenues and profits for the June quarter. The company posted $12.37 billion in profits and $54 billion in revenues on the back of strong Galaxy S8 sales and an impressive performance of its components businesses. Samsung’s chip business alone generated more than $7 billion in profits. The Galaxy S8 has become a major success, but the shadow of the Note 7 disaster still looms on the Note line. Samsung aims to put the Note 7 fiasco behind it with the Galaxy Note 8 release.
All the Note 8 leaks and rumors will end on August 23
The Galaxy Note 7 was one of the best phones of 2016, until its batteries suddenly started exploding. The Korean electronics behemoth eventually killed the device after recalling it twice. While the splendid success of Galaxy S8 has eased the pressure on Samsung, the upcoming Galaxy Note 8 release has to go smoothly to fully restore consumers’ faith in the Note brand.
The Note 8 will be unveiled on August 23 in New York. The Korean juggernaut has sent out media invites for the Unpacked event. The invite teaser includes an outline of a phablet with an Infinity display and an S Pen stylus. It all but confirms that the Note 8 will be the star of the show. The company will start accepting pre-orders soon after the unveiling. In fact, recently leaked documents suggest that the Note 8 pre-orders in Australia will open on August 25th.
Find out what it means to do bigger things on 08.23.2017. pic.twitter.com/xsbqdP0QBM
— Samsung Mobile (@SamsungMobile) July 20, 2017
Samsung’s mobile unit head Dongjin Koh recently told the audience at a conference that the Note 8 release would take place in two phases. Samsung’s key markets such as South Korea, the US, and the UK will get the device in early September in the first phase. The phablet will be rolled out to other markets worldwide in early October, DJ Koh was quoted as saying.
Early Note 8 release to give Samsung a head start over Apple
An early launch timeline will give Samsung a 4-8 weeks head start over Apple’s 10th anniversary iPhone 8, which would launch in October at the earliest. It means during the crucial first few weeks of launch, the mighty Note 8 will be competing against the iPhone 7S and 7S Plus that will be only small improvements over the current models. Neither of these iPhones will be a real match to the Note 8.
However, Samsung does seem a little scared of the iPhone 8. The Korean company said during its earnings call that competition would intensify during the second half of the year. Competition from the new iPhones is one of the reasons Samsung expects its third-quarter revenues and profits to decline QoQ. The marketing expenses are likely to go up with the Galaxy Note 8 release.
Galaxy Note 8 to be one of the best phones of 2017
An early launch will make little difference to the Note 8’s success if it fails to excite customers or if it suffers from major technical issues. In the aftermath of the Note 7 debacle, Samsung introduced an eight-point battery safety program to ensure that its phones are safe. Supply chain leaks suggest that the Note 8 will be one of the best smartphones of this year.
The Note 8 is rumored to retain the Galaxy S8’s gorgeous Infinity display, which has an 18.5:9 aspect ratio. At 6.3 inches, the phone’s display will be slightly larger than both the Galaxy S8 and S8 Plus. According to Chinese leaker Ice Universe, the Note 8 will pack 6GB RAM and 64GB/128GB/256GB of internal storage. It will also include a microSD card slot to further expand the memory.
Galaxy Note8，6GB RAM，64/128/256GB ROM，No 8GB RAM.
— Ice universe (@UniverseIce) July 26, 2017
The Note 8 will be powered by Qualcomm’s octa-core Snapdragon 835 chipset, though the units sold in Asian markets are likely to run Samsung’s own Exynos 8895 processor. Other rumored features include an improved iris scanner, a rear-mounted fingerprint sensor, an S Pen stylus, USB Type-C port, 3.5mm headphone jack, a 3300mAh battery, fast charging capabilities, and wireless charging support. Just like Galaxy S8, the Note 8 will have a dedicated button for the Bixby AI assistant.
Dual camera to be one of the Note 8’s biggest selling points
The Note 8 will be Samsung’s first premium smartphone to sport a dual rear camera system. This isn’t a huge surprise considering most of the flagship smartphones released this year feature a dual camera setup. According to Ming-Chi Kuo of KGI Securities, the Note 8 dual camera includes a 12MP telephoto lens with dual 6P technology and 3x optical zoom, and a 13MP wide-angle lens with dual photodiode (2PD).
The dual camera system will enhance low-light photography, and allow users to create the artificial bokeh effect with blurred backgrounds. Kuo predicts the Note 8 rear camera will be superior to the iPhone 7 Plus. It remains to be seen how it would compare against the 10th anniversary iPhone 8, which will be the Note 8’s biggest competitor. According to Korean media, Samsung will launch its own AirPods-like wireless headphones alongside the Note 8.
The Galaxy Note 8 is rumored to have everything it needs to reaffirm the Note line’s brand appeal. It will be interesting to see how consumers respond to the true Note 7 successor.