Technology

Galaxy Note 9 Camera Leak Points To Radical New Samsung Design

The latest leaks suggest that Samsung is working on an exciting Galaxy Note 9 camera. This information has been gleaned by patents filed by the Korean electronics giant, which indicates that the design of this device will be particularly ambitious.

Galaxy Note 9 camera
Image source: YouTube Video Screenshot

WIPO filing

Filed with the World Intellectual Property Organisation (WIPO) back in May, the patent that has come to light indicates that the Galaxy Note 9 camera will be embedded beneath its display. It is important to note that this, of course, refers to the front-facing camera, typically used for capturing selfies.

But it won’t only be the Galaxy Note 9 camera that is placed beneath the screen. The patent also suggests that the fingerprint scanner will be embedded; something that Samsung has been attempting to achieve for quite some time. Indeed, there were rumors that Apple also intended to deliver an embedded scanner with its iPhone releases, but this has proved impossible thus far.

However, it should be said in mitigation that we cannot be 100% certain that the device in question is the Galaxy Note 9. Slthough this seems a likely prospect, the handset depicted in the documentation can be described as a conceptual unit, with Samsung not specifically identifying it.

The embedding of physical features within the displays of smartphones is set to be a major feature of the 2018 marketplace. Vivo has already announced a similar solution at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas.

However, no manufacturer has released explicit plans to move the selfie camera, as this has posed significant logistical problems. Xiaomi has also tinkered with the idea, but the Galaxy Note 9 camera would definitely be a first if it is indeed embedded.

Galaxy Note 9 AI chip rumored

Aside from the Galaxy Note 9 camera, it is also rumored that Samsung will deliver a specialized artificial intelligence chip, which will be a neural processing unit. This would obviously deliver AI functionality in the Galaxy Note 9 release, providing similar features to the range of smart speakers that are now becoming widely available.

The AI chip should also be capable of machine learning applications, and will be unveiled for the first time at the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona. Although the Galaxy S9 will also launch at this industry event, it is being reported that Samsung intends the chip to be exclusively fitted in the Galaxy Note 9 generation. This will be a key way that the Korean company can distinguish its premium phablet from the S range flagship smartphone.

However, this is another report that is up in the air at the moment. A Samsung insider states that the company is still working on developing an artificial intelligence chip for servers. This would mean that the Korean multinational would end up competing with the likes of Nvidia. However, Samsung isn’t really involved with server products at present, meaning that the details are still to be finalized.

Performance data is still unclear at present as well, with the requirements of an artificial intelligence chip being far greater than those usually found in mobile devices. It also isn’t entirely clear who would manufacture the chip in question, with Samsung’s proprietary Exynos range unprepared for this task, and Qualcomm’s Snapdragon not really featuring an obvious candidate at present.

Nonetheless, if Samsung could pull off a convincing AI chip then it would compliment the embedded Galaxy Note 9 camera, and add up to a pretty exciting device. Samsung will certainly need to deliver something impressive, as the Galaxy Note range continues to recover its reputation after the Galaxy Note 7 exploding fiasco.

Supplier negotiations

In addition to the new Galaxy Note 9 camera, it is also reported that Samsung has entered into negotiations with suppliers. The Bell reports that one of the favored companies of the Korean electronics behemoth will “start providing components for a pilot production of the Galaxy Note 9” in Q1 of 2018.

This means that preparations are well under way for the release of the Galaxy Note 9, and could even imply that the device will appear sooner than usual. This would be somewhat surprising, but Samsung may be considering how difficult it is to find a suitable release window for any mobile product in the increasingly crowded marketplace.

Ahead of more solid information on the Note 9, mobile guru Benjamin Geskin has already produced his impression of how the next generation Samsung phablet may appear. The design takes into consideration early rumors regarding the Galaxy Note 9 camera, and other aspects of the smartphone.

Geskin’s imagining of the Galaxy Note 9 somewhat resembles the Note 8, with also certain similarities with the iPhone X. The 4K resolution display will particularly prick the interest of Android fans, with Geskin predicting that Samsung will finally break its 4K resolution virginity this year.

The concept image also included an embedded fingerprint scanner, suggesting that this will indeed be a major part of the Samsung phablet this year. If Samsung is able to deliver major innovations such as an embedded Galaxy Note 9 camera alongside 4K resolution and a state of the art artificial intelligence chip, then at the Galaxy Note 9 may compete favorably with the forthcoming iPhone 11 (or however Apple chooses to brand its sequel to the iPhone X).

Foldable handset

One final aspect of the Samsung product portfolio for 2018 that may further muddy the waters is the prospect that the consumer electronics giant will release a foldable smartphone. The hierarchy of the company has already explicitly confirmed this plan, and this means that the Galaxy Note 9 could ultimately benefit from this technology.

Admittedly, it is generally believed that the foldable smartphone will be dubbed the Galaxy X, and will be entirely separate from the Galaxy S and Galaxy Note releases. But this has not been confirmed by Samsung, and its approach to the innovative foldable device is yet to be revealed.

What does seem certain is that the Galaxy Note 9 camera will be outstanding, and that the selfie snapper could be embedded within the display of the device for the first time.