The Samsung Galaxy Note 7 was an absolute disaster, but that’s doesn’t mean the Galaxy Note 8 will be. Samsung has officially confirmed that it will not get rid of the Note 8 line, and there’s a very strong chance we could see the Samsung Galaxy Note 8 launch before the end of 2017. According to SamMobile, the Galaxy Note 8 is internally code-named “Great,” and bears the model number SM-N950F.
But what will the Samsung Galaxy Note 8 bring? Here’s everything we have heard about the device so far.
The Galaxy S8 is one of the best looking smartphones you can buy, and Samsung’s design team is likely to be working hard to make the Note 8 equally as attractive. There are two designs which are making the rounds in the world of smartphone rumors. The most recently leaked version shows a less curvy, flatter, and thicker design than some may be expecting. A 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.
The company, which makes wraps for smartphones, is likely to be well-positioned to get the inside scoop on a new model’s design; but may also be working off leaked schematics, on the chance they’re genuine. In other words, this doesn’t make the render anything other than a rumor, like all the others. 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. For the most part, it fits with previous leaks, although some leaked data indicated the camera array would be set vertically.
It’s not the only possible design. Other leaks show a Galaxy Note 8 with a design closer to the Galaxy S8. A front panel of what’s said to be the Note 8 leaked in July by Slashleaks, shows a thinner bezel above the screen than other leaks, and a curvier body.
It’s reminiscent of other leaks, including one from April 2017. The image showed a device resembling a larger Galaxy S8 Plus featuring seemingly sharper rounded corners and slightly slimmer top and bottom bezels, along with an S-Pen by its side. The phone, seen in the photo below, is displaying Bixby software. If you look closely, there is an S-Pen icon near the bottom and what appears to be a transparent UI pullout on the right side of the screen, near one of the hardware buttons.
The image showed a device resembling a larger Galaxy S8 Plus featuring seemingly sharper rounded corners and slightly slimmer top and bottom bezels, along with an S-Pen by its side. The phone, seen in the photo above, is displaying Bixby software. If you look closely, there is an S-Pen icon near the bottom and what appears to be a transparent UI pullout on the right side of the screen, near one of the hardware buttons.
Previously, a video released showed what was claimed to be the Galaxy Note 8’s front glass cover. The panel falls in line with expectations that the Note 8 will feature a design very similar to the Galaxy S8’s, but will be larger. Just like the Galaxy S8, it appears to be curved on both sides, and the cutout for the display matches that smartphone’s wider 18:5:9 aspect ratio.
Before this, rumors described the phone as having a 6.3-inch AMOLED screen with an 18:5:9 aspect ratio, and would not house the fingerprint sensor. The report, from VentureBeat, claimed the Note 8 will continue the Galaxy S8’s placement of the scanner beside a dual-lens camera on the rear of the device, next to a heart rate monitor and flash
Earlier rumors pertaining to the Galaxy Note 8’s fingerprint sensor claimed the device would not have one embedded in the display. According to the report, which comes from Android Headlines, there are technological issues surrounding screen brightness and an embedded fingerprint sensor. The new rumor does fall in line with previous leaks that we’ve seen — which show a fingerprint sensor on the back of the phone.
Schematics said to be of the Galaxy Note 8, shared by Slashleaks, show a different rear panel design from other recent rumors, but the end cap design is consistent.
Release and price
While it was possible that Samsung was going to end the Note line altogether in favor of something else, after the very public problems with the Note 7, Samsung’s mobile chief D.J. Koh officially confirmed that the Note line would continue with a Samsung Galaxy Note 8.
The Galaxy Note has traditionally been Samsung’s big release for the second half of the year, and rumors suggest 2017 and the Galaxy Note 8 won’t break away from that. This has always seen the Note 8 go head-to-head with Apple’s new phones, and this year, Apple may reveal the iPhone 7S and the iPhone X around September, meaning it needs a major product launch to capture attention.
The announcement and release date are both still being finalized, according to local South Korean source The Bell. An early September date seems to be most likely, but the company is supposedly considering a slightly earlier date during the second half of August.
This follows an earlier report from the Korea Herald, saying the Galaxy Note 8 may be unveiled in late August to prevent Apple from completely stealing the spotlight. The Bell adds that slowing Galaxy S8 sales may also prompt Samsung to bring the Note 8’s announcement forward. Both reports have been corroborated by another rumor, which claims the the device will launch in August at an event in New York. This comes from Reuters, and cites unnamed sources “familiar with the matter.”
This would line up with the reveals of previous Galaxy Note products. The Note 7 and 5 were also first shown in August at company events in New York, and earlier devices were presented on stage at the annual IFA tech show in September. It’s possible the show may see the Note line again this year. In a report from SamMobile cites internal sources as claiming that the phone will launch at IFA 2017.
It has never been a cheap phone, and if you consider the Galaxy S8 to be too expensive, then look away now. It’s possible the Galaxy Note 8 will retail for 1,000 euros, according to an industry source who shared their knowledge with VentureBeat, which puts it close to $900. Rumors suggest the phablet will be available in blue, black, and gold.
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. The latest rumor on the specs front concerning Samsung’s next-generation phablet is that the device will launch with an optional 128GB storage variant. The Galaxy Note 7 only came in a 64GB configuration, though that device featured a microSD slot for expandability. The Note 8 is expected to have one as well, and the news comes courtesy of Korean-language site Osen. The slot is said to support cards up to 256GB in size.
How about the processor? The Galaxy S8, released in April, utilized the 835 processor, while rumor has it the chipmaker will release a slightly improved version, the 836, that will be featured in flagships including the Note 8 hitting the market in the second half of 2017. International versions of the phone may use a Samsung-designed Exynos processor, as is common for Samsung.
Qualcomm took a similar approach last year with the 820 and 821, and a report from China’s IT Home by way of SamMobile suggests the Note 8 could benefit from the upgraded silicon. IT Home expects a modest bump in clock speed for the CPU in the 836, from the previous 2.45GHz to 2.5GHz, alongside a 740MHz GPU. The article mentions the Google Pixel 2 and LG V30 as two devices that may also receive the 836.
According to VentureBeat though, the Snapdragon 835 will be the chipset of choice for Samsung’s flagship phablet, with the company’s own Exynos 8895 silicon powering it in some territories. Both processors were used in the Galaxy S8 and S8 Plus, though the Note 8 will reportedly benefit from an extra 2GB of RAM compared to Samsung’s other high-end devices.
In terms of battery power, VentureBeat reports Samsung has chosen to play it safe this time around with a 3,300mAh unit. That’s a rather small amount for such a big phone, but understandable given the Note 7’s woes.
We know the Galaxy Note 8 will run Android, but which version, and with what other enhancements? 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, Samsung unveiled an accessory called the 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.
For the Galaxy S8, Samsung didn’t upgrade the camera much from the Galaxy S7; but it may be saving itself for the Note 8. All rumors point to a dual-camera setup for the Note 8. VentureBeat has reported the lenses are rated at 12 megapixels each, and both sport optical image stabilization. They’ll be situated horizontally, according to the latest rumors and video renders — which differs from the vertical orientation we observed in previous sketches.
KGI Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo, better known for his insights into Apple’s future plans, is also speculating the Note 8 will have the dual-camera setup many wanted to see on the Galaxy S8. He claims the phone will have 12-megapixel and 13-megapixel sensors, the second providing a 3.0x optical zoom function. That’s beyond Apple and Huawei’s 2.0x zoom mode. He also mentions 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 feature on the iPhone X. This suggests Samsung is planning a late 2017 launch for the Note 8, to take on the challenge from Apple’s iPhone 7S Plus and the rumored iPhone X special edition.
Prior to the Galaxy S8’s launch, we were hearing rumors that Bixby would also be a part of the Note 8 as well. Back in January, a report from Business Korea indicated Bixby would feature prominently in Samsung’s flagship phablet. The report also highlighted that Samsung was choosing to work on a successor to the Note 7 despite damage to the brand, which was later confirmed by Samsung itself.