A new flagship rises from the ashes.
Samsung’s Galaxy Note 8 has been the subject of countless rumors, but now that the August 23 launch is upon us, there's now seems to be more agreement around features, specs and design, as well as price. Assuming Samsung has learned its lesson from the burning hot Galaxy Note 7, this sequel should be one to watch.
We've heard reports that Samsung is planning to offer a fully redesigned Galaxy Note 8, complete with a look and feel nearly identical to that of the popular Galaxy S8 and Galaxy S8+. But the Note 8 should stand out with a bigger screen, improved S Pen and new dual-lens camera. There's also some potential bad news, too.
Credit: Concept Creator/YouTube
There’s been some debate over the exact screen size in the Galaxy Note 8, with some reports pegging it at 6.3 inches and others saying it’ll top out at 6.4 inches. The latest reports, however, say that the handset’s display will measure 6.3 inches, making it a bit larger than the Galaxy S8+’s 6.2-inch screen. Assuming the Note 8 has small bezels like the Infinity Display on the S8+, it should be fairly easy to use with one hand.
A last-minute rumor from Phone Arena says the Note 8's screen might also be pressure-sensitive, but we don't buy it.
Credit: Mushin Auckburaully/DBS Designing
The First Dual-Lens Camera from Samsung
Arguably the biggest update to the Galaxy Note 8 will be its dual-lens camera. Unlike Apple, OnePlus, and countless others that have dual-lens cameras, Samsung has stubbornly stuck to single-lens options. That’s going to change with the Galaxy Note 8, according to several reports. The best proof of all came from Samsung itself, which recently unveiled a dual-lens sensor at Mobile World Congress Shanghai.
The latest reports say the camera will feature a 2x zoom, but earlier rumors said it could be a 3x zoom.
Snapdragon 835 or 836?
The Snapdragon 835 chip inside the Galaxy S8 is plenty fast, but some reports point to Samsung working with Qualcomm on a new Snapdragon 836 processor that would come with faster processing power and better battery efficiency. And it would be ready in time for the Galaxy Note 8’s release later this summer.
A Decidedly Galaxy S8 Look and Feel
If all the renderings and schematics are true, the Galaxy Note 8 will take all of its design cues from the Galaxy S8. That means the device will come with a big screen that curves on both sides. It’ll also eliminate the physical home button and instead use a virtual home button built into the operating system. And like the Galaxy S8, it will likely have a physical fingerprint sensor rather than one baked into the screen.
Credit: Concept Creator/YouTube
Where Will the Fingerprint Sensor Be?
That, of course brings us to another question: where exactly will the Galaxy Note 8’s fingerprint sensor be located? Some schematics and related reports say Samsung will place the sensor in a convenient location under the rear-facing camera. That would allow you to access it more conveniently than you would the Galaxy S8 sensor, and not worry about smudging the camera.
However, a more recent report from a Galaxy Note 8 case maker says Samsung will place the fingerprint sensor directly next to the rear-facing camera lenses. Let’s hope that’s not true.
Bring On the Safer Battery
We all know the history and the problems with the Galaxy Note 7. So, will the Galaxy Note 8 have a safer battery? Samsung certainly hopes so. And it’s planning to use all of its new battery-safety policies, including human inspection and more, to deliver safer batteries in its upcoming handset. According to reports, the battery itself will be a 3,300mAh pack and should deliver all-day battery life.
Can Bixby Voice Get the Job Done?
The Galaxy Note 8 is expected to be the second device from Samsung to come with Bixby support. But the big question is whether it will be able to take advantage of Bixby Voice.
Bixby Voice has been widely panned by users who say it doesn’t work and doesn’t do a good job of understanding voice commands. Some reports have said Samsung doesn’t have enough foreign language experts to get it to work properly. Still, it’s reportedly coming to the Galaxy Note 8, and one can only hope that it will get better between now and then.
Credit: Weibo via Android Headlines
A New and Improved S Pen
The Samsung S Pen stylus is critical to the Galaxy Note experience, and will remain so with the Galaxy Note 8. However, there’s talk that the S Pen will deliver a bit more accuracy than last year’s model, and should be more reliable, allowing for a better overall screen-writing experience. Additionally, the S Pen could add new features, including the ability to translate currencies and full sentences, according to Android Headlines.
An Awfully Big Price Tag
The Galaxy Note 8 won’t be a cheap device. After all, it’ll come with many of the same features as the $850 Galaxy S8+, plus a few others. Some reports have pegged the Galaxy Note 8’s price at around $900, but it’s possible it could climb even higher, depending on whether there are different versions.
Credit: Weibo/@Universelc on Twitter