Samsung Galaxy Note 8: News and rumors

Samsung Galaxy Note 8: News and rumors

Forget that the Galaxy Note 7 was an absolute disaster. Samsung is hard at work on a replacement for the popular phablet — as well as a Galaxy S9 smartphone. Samsung has officially confirmed that it will not get rid of the Note brand, and now we have new information on when in 2017 the Samsung Galaxy Note 8 will launch.

But what will the Samsung Galaxy Note 8 bring? A better stylus? A sharper screen? A faster processor? We’ll officially find out on August 23, when Samsung will hold an Unpacked launch event in New York. In the meantime, here’s everything we’ve heard about the device so far.

Design

The Galaxy S8 is one of the best-looking smartphones you can buy, and among the best smartphones you can buy; Samsung’s design team is likely working hard to make the Note 8 equally attractive. With only a few weeks left before the Galaxy Note 8 launch, photos of the device continue to leak.

A good look at the Galaxy Note 8’s front panel and stylus, in a very fetching blue color, was published by phone leaker @evleaks on Twitter. The press-style shot gives us an excellent look at the Note 8’s large, almost borderless screen, and the device’s oblong shape. The color, apparently named deep sea blue, looks great, although we can only see it on the stylus and top edge. Samsung released the Galaxy Note 7 in a shade called coral blue, which was equally as attractive.

Galaxy Note 8 Blue

Images leaked by MyEverydayTech were less flattering, but did supposedly show the real device. The post has since been removed from its website but not before the images were picked up by other sites including Slashleaks.

The Galaxy Note 8 promises to be a blockier device than the Galaxy S8, based on the pictures of the phone and the S Pen stylus below, which come from noted phone leaker @evleaks on Twitter. It’s hard to judge the final design from static images, however, and in real life the Note 8 may turn out more attractive than we initially thought.

In a recent tweet, Roland Quandt of WinFuture claimed the Samsung Galaxy Note 8 will not only ship in black but also orchid gray and a new, deep blue color, likely the deep sea blue subsequently leaked. Another @evleaks tweet also shows a model in gold. Case manufacturer GhostTek has also been behind several leaked renders. A Galaxy Note 8 clad in a red GhostTek case may be in the orchid gray color scheme, which looks like a muted silver, and was leaked to Forbes. On the back of the rendered phone is a dual-lens camera, the flash unit, and a fingerprint sensor in the same position as on the Galaxy S8.

Before this, GhostTek leaked a render of the Galaxy Note 8 without a case, but in the black color, to BGR.

What’s interesting is how the design seen in the GhostTek render is an amalgamation of the two design rumors we’d seen previously. It retains the raised camera section and layout on the rear, and a chunkier design than the Galaxy S8, but does have more rounded corners and sides than the less attractive renders seen before. For example, in a blockier render apparently based on 3D CAD drawing dimensions obtained from the factory was leaked by BGR, and a very similar-looking design was then tweeted by Slickwraps CEO Jonathan Endicott.

Another render, again said to be based on leaked CAD schematics and dimensions, was created by OnLeaks and 91Mobiles to show what the phone may look like, and is similar to the above design.

On the back is a camera bump with a dual-lens cam, a flash, and a fingerprint scanner inside. The base of the phone shows a 3.5mm headphone jack, and a storage slot for Samsung’s S Pen stylus, along with a USB Type-C charging port.

Camera

For the Galaxy S8, Samsung did not upgrade the camera much from the Galaxy S7; but it may be saving itself for the Note 8, and almost all rumors point to a dual-camera setup. We received various reports on how the design could shake out, with the latest coming from Korean publication ETNews.

According to the report, which comes based on information from unnamed sources within the industry, the Galaxy Note 8 will feature one 12-megapixel, dual-pixel sensor and another 13-megapixel one. The dual-pixel technology should make for faster and more precise focusing. The cameras will reportedly combine for two-times optical zoom, as well as a “portrait” mode that separates the subject from the background, similar to what the iPhone 7 Plus and other devices with two lenses are able to achieve.

This mostly falls in line with prior rumors. Venture Beat previously reported the cameras are rated at 12 megapixels each and that both will sport optical image stabilization. One is expected to be an f/1.7 wide-angle lens, while the other could be an f/2.4 telephoto lens. Moving to the front, an 8-megapixel camera is rumored, featuring autofocus and an f/1.7 aperture.

KGI Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo, better known for his insights into Apple’s future plans, speculated the Note 8 will have the dual-camera setup in April. At the time, he claimed the phone would have 12-megapixel and 13-megapixel sensors, the second providing a 3× optical zoom function. He also mentioned dual optical image stabilization, and a six-piece lens construction.

Samsung intends to beat the iPhone 7 Plus with the Note 8’s dual-lens camera, according to Kuo, and match the camera likely to be featured on the iPhone 8.

Release and price

The Galaxy Note has traditionally been Samsung’s big release for the second half of the year, and rumors suggest that in 2017 the Galaxy Note 8 won’t break away from that tradition. We have always seen the Note go head to head with Apple’s new phones, and this year, the company may reveal the Apple iPhone 7S and the Apple iPhone 8 around September — meaning Samsung needs a major product launch to capture attention.

Samsung confirmed it will hold a Galaxy Unpacked event on August 23 in New York City, and while it doesn’t explicitly mention the Galaxy Note 8, it’s almost certainly going to be the star of the show. There are references on the invitation to a big screen, an outline of a device with a large, borderless screen, and a stylus, leaving little doubt as to what we’ll see. Last year’s Note 7 event also took place at the end of August.

While we can expect to see the Galaxy Note 8 before the end of the month, the device’s actual release date is still the subject of rumor. A leak from South Korea lays out the possible time frame, saying pre-orders will begin on September 1 and continue through to September 10. After that, a series of special events will show the phone off, before the final release date on September 15. A report from Korea’s ETNews citing a representative from an unnamed local carrier had also said sales will begin on September 15. It’s not known if these dates will apply internationally.

Galaxy Note 8 Unveiling

The Galaxy Note 8 is internally code-named “Great,” according to SamMobile, and it bears the model number SM-N950F. In late July, devices using the model number SM-N950 visited the FCC for approval, ready for launch in the near future. The phones have different model number suffixes, indicating Samsung will launch an unlocked model plus other versions specifically for carriers.

When it arrives, how much will we have to pay for one? It has never been a cheap phone, and if you consider the Galaxy S8 too expensive, look away now. It’s possible the Galaxy Note 8 will retail for 1,000 euros, according to industry sources who shared their knowledge with VentureBeat, which puts it around $1,160.

Software

We know the Galaxy Note 8 will run Android, but which version, and with what other enhancements? Samsung will likely replicate the pressure sensitive screen feature introduced on the Galaxy S8, since the Galaxy Note 8 will not have a physical home button. Working in the same way as the S8, and the iPhone’s 3D Touch feature, it will act like a virtual home button and also reveal a shortcut menu, according to The Investor’s source.

According to some reports the device will launch with Android 7.1.1 Nougat — meaning it may not launch with the latest and greatest version, Android O, expected later in 2017. However, it may receive an update soon after it is released, according to GalaxyClub.

For the Galaxy S8, the consumer electronics giant unveiled an accessory called the Samsung DeX dock that allowed the device to function as a makeshift desktop computer when connected to a monitor. Unsurprisingly, that functionality should be making its way to the Note 8 as well, according to VentureBeat.

The Note 8’s other software enhancements come by way of new S-Pen features. Users will reportedly be able to pin notes written with the stylus to the display, and they’ll show even when the phone is in sleep mode. There’s also improved language translation and automatic currency conversion when using the pen. Split-window multitasking has also been made easier to use, VentureBeat reports.

Specs

There’s no question the Galaxy Note 8 will be powered by a top-of-the-line chipset, and come complete with plenty of other high-end specs and components. Rumors about the Note 8’s specs have been slow, at least compared to the many leaks about its design; but this changed at the beginning of August. We’ve now got an almost complete picture of the Note 8, based on existing information and a new report from VentureBeat.

It’s not going to be much larger than the Galaxy S8 Plus, with a 6.3-inch AMOLED screen showing 2,960 × 1,440 pixels, and the same 18.5:9 aspect ratio as the S8 models. Either a Samsung Exynos 8895 processor or the Qualcomm Snapdragon 835 will power the phone, with the latter available in the United States, plus 6GB of RAM, 64GB of internal storage space, and a MicroSD card slot. A 3,000mAh battery with fast charging will provide the energy.

These specifications fit with what we had been hearing already. A Note 8 “Emperor Edition,” was rumored with a hefty 6GB of RAM and 256GB of storage. Korean-language site Osen predicted the standard Galaxy Note 8 would have 128GB of storage, which may not be accurate, along with a MicroSD card slot to add another 256GB.

There has been talk of Samsung getting an updated version of the Snapdragon 835 processor for the Galaxy Note 8. Rumored to be called the Snapdragon 836, China’s IT Home expects a modest bump in clock speed in the 836, from the previous 2.45GHz to 2.5GHz, alongside a 740MHz GPU. The article mentions two other devices that may also receive the 836: the forthcoming Google Pixel 2 and LG V30 smartphones.

Opinion has changed about the battery. Previously, VentureBeat reported a 3,300mAh cell would be inside the Galaxy Note 8. The site’s estimate for the capacity has dropped to 3,000mAh since then. The battery was the ill-fated Galaxy Note 7’s downfall; but such a small capacity may struggle to adequately power such a large device.

Update: A new leaked picture shows the Galaxy Note 8 in a shade of blue.

Published at Wed, 16 Aug 2017 09:56:12 +0000

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