The Galaxy Note 8 will undoubtedly be a massive smartphone release for Samsung this year, as the corporation attempts to recover from the disastrous Galaxy Note 7. There have been few more dramatic stories in the technology niche than the exploding phablet released and ultimately recalled by the Korean corporation earlier this year, and it is obvious that the brand has been damaged significantly by this extraordinary event.
With this in mind, Samsung may be willing to take more chances than usual with the design of the Galaxy Note 8, in an attempt to attract consumers to the phablet once more. There had initially been speculation following the unstable nature of the Galaxy Note 7 that Samsung could abandon the series completely, but this idea now appears to have been shelved.
Galaxy Note 8 and S8 with Flexible displays
Instead, Samsung could release a new version of the Galaxy Note range earlier than usual next year. And the latest reports suggest that the Korean corporation will experiment with bendable and two-screen models when the Galaxy Note 8 hits the stores next year.
Korean tech site ET News quoted sources close to the company which suggest that Samsung will finally unveil the foldable, flexible technology it has had in its armory for some years. A prototype of this technology was originally unveiled at a trade show in 2008, and the Korean press seemingly believes that it will finally make its way into the Galaxy portfolio this year via the Note 8.
According to the Korean publication, there will be two models of the Galaxy Note 8 featuring flexible properties, with the first based around a bendable OLED screen, and the second somewhat resembling a tablet computer, with the ability to fold in half in the middle. This second model will feature screens on both the front and back of the unit, in what would be an extremely radical design should it come to fruition.
Samsung faces significant challenges in the smartphone marketplace, not least due to the fact that growth is receding significantly. Worldwide shipments of mobiles are expected to increase by less than 2 percent in the existing calendar year, and the marketplace is increasingly balkanized, with new companies eating into the affordable market share that Samsung has enjoyed in East Asia. The corporation will also be well aware that Apple is likely to be planning something special for the tenth anniversary of the iPhone range in 2017.
Although Samsung has previously released phones with some bendable aspects, the new devices being considered for the Galaxy Note 8 are a significant departure from the likes of the Galaxy Round and Galaxy Note Edge. This new concept sounds far more like the two-screen design released in a YouTube video by Samsung back in 2014. It seems that this new Galaxy Note 8 is an answer to other companies currently developing flexible displays, such as Lenovo, Oppo, and JDI.
Elsewhere, it is suggested that Samsung will abandon the Home button for the Galaxy Note 8, instead replacing it with a touch-sensitive operation. This could result in a larger display being included in the phablet, while Samsung could also possibly consider reducing the overall size of the unit. Again, Samsung is responding to market trends in considering this design decision, as it is expected that Apple will eliminate the Home button in the iPhone in forthcoming generations.
Dual-lens camera and powerful internals
There have been contrasting reports on the inclusion of a dual-lens camera in the Galaxy Note 8, but the smart money is that this will indeed be part of the makeup of this phablet. The Note 8 is also expected to benefit from an Exynos 8895 chipset and 4GB of RAM at the minimum, while higher estimates have tended towards 6GB.
Samsung is also expected to do something relatively radical with the S Pen stylus that has been such a popular aspect of the Galaxy Note range. A speaker could be included with the S Pen, which would make reading back notes on the Galaxy Note 8 more convenient.
Galaxy S8 taking shape
Elsewhere, as Samsung attempts to get over the commercial difficulties caused by the failure of the Galaxy Note 7, it is believed that the Galaxy S8 will launch early next year. This would fit in with the usual release schedule of the smartphone, but the Korean corporation may even push forward the release date following the explosion issue that the Note 7 suffered.
Again, Samsung is considering two models of the Galaxy S8 for 2017, with early indicators pointing to separate 5.1-inch and 5.5-inch models. There will also likely be an Edge version of the Galaxy S8, following the success of its curved screen variant in the last two generations. With the Galaxy Gear S3 smartwatch also now available, it is expected that there will be some collaboration with the Galaxy S8 as well.
Rumors on the Galaxy S8 also suggest that Samsung is tinkering with the idea of removing the headphone jack, following the decision of Apple to do this with the iPhone range. Instead, Samsung will utilize USB Type-C technology for music playback.
4K resolution and virtual reality
It also seems likely that either the Galaxy Note 8 or the Galaxy S8 will debut 4K resolution for Samsung. This is becoming an increasingly mainstream aspect of technology, and the Korean manufacturer has been linked with producing a 4K mobile for some time.
If Samsung does decide that 2017 is the time to introduce 4K resolution for the first time, it seems more likely that it will debut with the Galaxy Note 8, as has been the case with previous innovations. However, the need for Samsung to attract consumers to the company following the PR disaster that was the Galaxy Note 7 could entice the corporation to take a chance with the Galaxy S8 and includes 4K resolution in this flagship smartphone.
Virtual reality tie-ins are also likely to be promoted, as Samsung looks to get back on a stable footing with exciting mobile releases next year.