Samsung’s latest flagship Galaxy Note 8 will go on sale this Friday in key markets. The company started accepting pre-orders just a day after the Unpacked event on August 23. Many were expecting the phablet to receive a lukewarm response considering it is the successor to the Galaxy Note 7. Turn out, the Galaxy Note 8 pre-order numbers far exceed the expectations.
Note 8 pre-order numbers ‘very encouraging’
Samsung’s mobile chief DJ Koh told media on Tuesday that the Note 8 pre-orders were the highest ever among the Note phablets. It will help the Korean company finally put the Note 7 debacle behind it. The strong Galaxy Note 8 pre-order numbers suggest that Samsung is well-positioned to compete with Apple’s 10th anniversary iPhone. It is also expected to outperform Google’s upcoming Pixel 2 in terms of sales.
Koh said the Note 8 pre-orders in the first five days were 2.5x higher than the Note 7 last year. The Note 7 fiasco had tarnished Samsung’s reputation and cost it billions of dollars. Several industry experts suggested that Samsung should kill the Note line. Koh said the company decided to retain the brand after a survey of 5,000 customers revealed that 85% were still loyal to the brand.
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According to Koh, the Note 8 received 395,000 pre-orders on the very first day. The pre-orders jumped to 650,000 units over five days, which is 2.5x the Note 7 pre-orders in the same period a year ago. The numbers have been “very encouraging,” he said. The Note 7 fiasco has failed to discourage fans from buying its successor. IDC analyst Bryan Ma said the Galaxy S8 success showed that Samsung “had gotten past the Note 7 incident,” but the success of Note 8 will further drive the point home.
Galaxy Note 8 pre-order numbers boosted by pent-up demand
SK Securities analyst Kim Young-woo expects the Galaxy Note 8 to sell at least 10 million units this year. The analyst believes there is “some pent-up demand” for the Note 8. Until now, the Note fans who love the stylus and larger screen had the two years old Galaxy Note 5 as the only choice. Last month, MobileFun reported that accessories sales for the Note 8 were 30% higher than for the Note 7.
The Galaxy Note 8 has been priced at $930, which makes it more expensive than Samsung’s other premium phones. However, the Korean company was offering some freebies to attract pre-order customers. Samsung was giving away a free Gear 360 camera or a combination of a wireless charger convertible and a 128GB microSD card to pre-order customers. The company is also giving a discount to customers who had purchased the Galaxy Note 7.
Last year, citing data from telecom carriers, Korean media had claimed that the Galaxy Note 7 had received 200,000 pre-orders in the first two days in the country. By the end of the pre-order period, the Note 7 pre-orders had surged to 400,000 units.
Galaxy Note 8 specs
The Galaxy Note line accounts for less than 10% of Samsung’s smartphone sales. But the company uses the Note phones to test new features before adding them to the Galaxy S line. Samsung first added the curved OLED display to the Note phone. The Note 8 is its first smartphone to feature a dual camera system. The Galaxy Note 8 has a 12-megapixel wide-angle and a 12MP telephoto lens on the back, both of which support OIS.
The Note 8 comes with an S Pen stylus, Bixby AI assistant, IP68-rating for water-resistance, and wireless charging technology. The phone sports a 6.3-inch QHD+ Super AMOLED display with minimal bezels. It is powered by Samsung’s Exynos 8895 chipset (EMEA version) or Snapdragon 835 (North American version). The device offers 6GB RAm and 64GB of base internal storage. There is also a microSD card slot if you want to further expand the storage.
Samsung has added a fingerprint scanner, an iris scanner, and facial recognition for security. The phablet supports Samsung Pay right out of the box. The Note 8 runs Android Nougat, though Samsung is expected to roll out an Android Oreo update in the near future. Samsung has included a 3300mAh non-removable battery with fast charging support. The Note 8 battery is smaller than the Galaxy S8 Plus’s 3500mAh.
Note 8 vs iPhone X and Google Pixel 2
The Galaxy Note 8 is getting a head start over its biggest competitors iPhone X and Google Pixel 2. The iPhone X, set to be unveiled today, will have a starting price of nearly $1,000. Apple’s 10th anniversary iPhone is rumored to be in short supply during the first few weeks, which could benefit the Note 8. Samsung’s phablet will already be sitting on the store shelves before the iPhone X goes on sale.
The Google Pixel 2 will be an Android phone, and will cater to the premium segment. However, it won’t arrive until mid-October at the earliest. Noted tipster Evan Blass claims the device will be unveiled on October 5th. According to the rumor mill, it will run the same Snapdragon 835 chipset that powers the Note 8. The Pixel 2 is said to have a single camera on the back. Its biggest advantage over the Note 8 will be the pure Android Oreo experience.