Everything we know so far about the successor to Samsung's ill-fated Note 7.
Oh boy. It's time for a new Samsung Galaxy Note.
As you may remember, things didn't go too well for the last entry in the Note series. And although the Galaxy S8 has enjoyed strong sales and critical praise in the meantime, Samsung will remain under intense scrutiny as it looks to relaunch the tarnished Note brand. That's important for every market in which Samsung operates, but particularly so in Europe, which hasn't seen a new Note since 2014's Note 4.
So the next Note needs to be good, and it needs to not catch on fire. Beyond the obvious, the phone also needs to show us how the Note brand can coexist with the larger "Plus" variant of the Galaxy S series, if that's to continue.
So far, most of the reliable info points to Samsung playing it relatively safe this year. The design, based on CAD leaks, largely mirrors that of the Galaxy S8+. Rumors point to similar specs with a modest RAM and display size upgrade, and a modest battery capacity downgrade. In the absence of the long-rumored in-display fingerprint scanner, the most exciting feature this year is likely to be the new dual camera setup.
Let's dig into what we know so far about the Galaxy Note 8.
Samsung Galaxy Note 8 specs
The most reliable info available on the Note 8's internal hardware comes from VentureBeat's Evan Blass — aka @evleaks on Twitter — who has a good track record with this kind of thing.
|Operating System||Android 7.1.1|
|Processor||Samsung Exynos 8895 or Qualcomm Snapdragon 835 depending on region|
|Storage||64 or 128GB + microSD|
|Display||6.3-inch SuperAMOLED Infinity Display|
|Rear Cameras||Dual 12MP with OIS|
|Other features||Wireless charging, S Pen, Iris scanner, Rear fingerprint scanner, DeX support, water resistance|
|Colors||Black, blue, gold|
So the major spec changes from the Galaxy S8 include a larger 6.3-inch display, likely making the Note only slightly larger than the Galaxy S8+. The rumored 6GB of RAM should help the Note keep more apps in memory without reloading — an area where current Samsung phones don't exactly excel. Meanwhile, the option of 128GB of storage will make the Note an ideal phone for gamers and heavy app users who don't want to offload content to slower removable storage.
Aside from the S Pen, a new dual-camera setup with OIS could be the main reason to get excited about the Note 8.
The battery capacity — a mere 3300mAh, down from the 3500mAh of the S8+ — is likely a necessity because of the space taken up by the S Pen. Even though the Note 8 will be slightly larger than the S8+, there's less space for a battery inside the chassis.
As for the dual camera setup — a first for a Samsung phone, though a long-rumored feature — the 12-megapixel resolution suggests Samsung might use the image sensor from the Galaxy S8 in its new phone, at least in the primary camera. And the optically stabilized secondary camera, at one time rumored to boast 3X telephoto capabilities, could produce significantly more detailed zoomed shots than the iPhone 7 Plus or OnePlus 5, both of which lack OIS in their telephoto cameras.
Those are just the raw hardware specs we know (or think we know) so far. The Note 8 is sure to introduce new software tricks as well — expect new capabilities for the S Pen, and perhaps some small visual changes from Samsung Experience 8.1 as we know it on the Galaxy S8.
Samsung Galaxy Note 8 design + size
No convincing photographic leaks of the Galaxy S8 have appeared so far, and so the best we have to go on is this CAD render from Steve Hemmerstoffer (@onleaks on Twitter), which shows a Galaxy S8+-like design. This 3D image is based on the dimensions and specifications given to accessory makers, and shows a slightly boxier version of an S8+, with key hardware features like the S Pen, Bixby button and headphone jack.
It's tough to draw any firm conclusions from this early image, but what we can expect is a significantly chunkier camera bulge — and, as rumored, for the fingerprint scanner to retain its precarious placement to the right of the camera. Looks like fans hoping for that elusive in-display fingerprint sensor will have to wait for next year's Galaxy S9.
Samsung Galaxy Note 8 release date
Samsung has typically announced new Note handsets in August or early September. While the Note 5 and Note 7 arrived earlier in the month, the most recent rumors point to the Note 8 breaking cover right before the Berlin-based IFA trade show in late August, at an event in New York City.
August 26 was claimed as Note 8 launch day in one recent leak from Korea, which would see the Note 8 launching just ahead of the noisy IFA launch season. And while August 26 is later than the past couple of Note launches, it would still allow Samsung plenty of time to get devices on store shelves before the iPhone 8 launch a month or so later.
Confirmation of launch day should come in early August, when press invites for the Note 8 event should start going out.
*What are you looking forward to seeing in the Galaxy Note 8? Share your thoughts down in the comments, and join the discussion on the Android Central forums!
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