The Samsung Galaxy Note 8 release date WILL happen in 2017. Here we detail the Galaxy Note 8's rumoured specs, hardware and release date
The Samsung Galaxy Note 7 is as dead as 2016. But Samsung will return in 2017 with a follow-up device that, finger's crossed, will not explode.
Samsung is now taking the precaution of sourcing its battery cells from a new supplier; reports state the firm will bring in fellow Korean OEM LG, or at least its subsidiary, LG Chem, to produce battery cells for the Galaxy Note 8. As far as we are aware, LG hasn't produced an exploding battery smartphone to date, so this SHOULD mean the Galaxy Note 8 will be a safe device for consumers.
New word has emerged following the Galaxy S8 launch suggesting that Samsung is already hard at work on the Galaxy S9 for 2018. This is not too surprising given how the industry works.
The news comes via Korean publication The Bell, which cites unnamed inside industry tipsters who allege that Samsung has been working on the new display panel for the Galaxy S9 since March this year. If this is true, it means Samsung is six months ahead of the schedule it had in place for the Galaxy S8 in 2016.
The report goes on to add that systems Samsung has put in place following the Galaxy Note 7 "explosiongate" debacle have streamlined its development processes. This greater efficiency is thought to be the cause of Samsung being able to have the Galaxy S9 already on the drawing board.
"Since late last month, a display team for the S9 has started the development work with aims to supply samples from mid-April. About a month after the display, other key parts such as modules are expected to be developed in phases," said one of the sources.
However, of REAL interest right now is that this tip-off also brings us word of the Galaxy Note 8. Allegedly it will feature the largest Samsung smartphone display to date at 6.32in. What's more, although the feature was rumoured for the Galaxy S8 and did not appear on launch, the Galaxy Note 8 will apparently feature a fingerprint sensor embedded under the display glass.
The Galaxy Note 8's dual-camera hardware will be better than the equivalent dual-snapper on current-gen iPhone 7 Plus. This is according to the latest research note from Ming-chi Kuo, the prominent analyst from KGI Securities who has a reputation for being accurate regarding Apple rumours.
In the note, Kuo said the dual-camera on the Note 8 will be "the most important upgrade" for the handset. It's believed it will feature a 13MP wide-angle lens, as well as a 12MP telephoto lens, both will feature optical image stabilisation (OIS) and 6-element lenses, and the setup will be capable of 3x optical zoom. Kuo also reaffirmed existing rumoured specs including a 6.4in QHD+ Super AMOLED display, and either Exynos 8995 or Qualcomm Snapdragon 835 processing hardware.
Samsung also appears to have once again confirmed the Galaxy Note 8 in comments made as part of the firm's most recent financial report. In its financial results published for Q1 2017, Samsung suggests that there will be a lot of competition to contend with during the rest of the year to come. Part of its strategy for dealing with this is to release another flagship to keep profits high...
"The company will strive to maintain profitability through robust sales of the Galaxy S8 and S8+ and the launch of a new flagship smartphone in the second half," it said.
While the Galaxy Note 8 isn't mentioned by name, it is really the only other brand Samsung has that could accurately be described as a flagship.
UPDATE: Samsung Galaxy S8 and Galaxy S8 Plus Get OFFICIAL
The Samsung Galaxy S8 and Galaxy S8 Plus are now both official. After months of leaks and speculation, the Galaxy S8 is officially here. And just as the leaks suggested, it is one hell of an update.
The handsets' themselves are stunning to behold. They're beautiful slabs of technology that are ALL display on the front. In the hand they feel lightweight, premium and beautifully executed. Samsung has outdone itself in this regard. Even compared to the awesome Note 7 and Galaxy S7.
Here's a quick breakdown of the specs for both the Galaxy S8 and Galaxy S8 Plus:
Samsung Galaxy S8 Specs:
Body: 148.9 x 68.1 x 8.0mm, 152g
Screen: 5.8" Super AMOLED, 1,440 x 2960px resolution (586ppi)
The whole Galaxy Note 7 debacle has been an unpleasant thing to watch; we like Samsung's products, we like the Galaxy Note series, so to see the whole thing fall apart at the seams isn't exactly great. However, one of the more distressing aspects of the whole crisis was the idea of the lasting impact on Samsung; whether or not Samsung could recover from such a massive PR disaster and how badly it might affect the firm's earnings - make no mistake, this is the kind of thing that can put a permanent dent in a company's reputation and cash flow if not handled properly.
Samsung has now concluded its investigations into what was wrong with the Galaxy Note 7's battery, officially ending months of speculation.
Samsung published a 50-minute video detailing exactly what happened and what caused the handsets to overheat and explode, as well as humble apology for the issues it caused its customers.
"First of all, I deeply apologize to all of our customers, carriers, retail, and distribution partners. [...] We believe that, as a first step to regain your trust, it is important to provide you with a thorough understanding of the cause behind the Galaxy Note 7 incidents and to implement a comprehensive plan to take preventative measures."
The extent of the investigations was enormous; Samsung built a new building for the express purpose of a thorough investigation. It also commissioned three independent reports and had 700 of its own engineers hard at work on the case. The Note 8 is, therefore, 100% coming in 2017.
This is risky though, as Samsung's own research in its native South Korea has shown that a lot of people have lost trust in its Note brand.
Still, this hasn't stopped Samsung pressing on with a successor model for 2017, as well as a re-release of the Note 7 itself.
I know, I know – the Note 7 issue was bad. But I think Samsung can bounce back. The Samsung brand is immensely strong and while this issue was bad, Samsung did handle it well and has invested heavily in procedures that will ensure it never happens again.
Would I still buy a Note device? Hell yes. Lightening seldom strikes twice in the same spot, so I cannot see another Samsung phone exhibiting the same issues as the Note 7. Not unless someone inside Samsung was hell bent on sabotaging the company!
Samsung's Galaxy Note 8 also has a codename – BAIKAL. News of this codename surfaced on Twitter over the weekend and reports suggest Samsung might just be prepping a new, exclusive colour option for its upcoming Galaxy Note release.
However, there may be another codename. According to SamMobile, the Galaxy Note 8 is codenamed "GREAT".
"According to our sources, the Galaxy Note 8 is codenamed Great. You read that right. Great, and not Baikal as had been previously rumored. If that's not a big sign that Samsung is doing all it can to make the Galaxy Note 8 special, we're not sure what would be," said the report.
But the source also revealed a model number for the handset; SM-N950F. Now that number specifically refers to the international variant, as Samsung is known to put particular letters on the end denoting different regional models.
The Samsung Galaxy Note 8 is widely believed to be the first 4K handset from Samsung. Beyond this Samsung will focus on quality, especially in the battery department, and further refinements to the handset's performance and overall aesthetics.
The Galaxy Note 8, reports suggest, could be more expensive than its predecessors as well. All the new spec and hardware, as well as Samsung's losses in 2016 off of the back of the Galaxy Note 7 discontinuation, all point to a new premium price mark-up.
Apple's next-generation iPhone 8 Pro model will also be more expensive than anything that came before it. Multiple reports claim it could well be the first phone to cost more than $1000.
Samsung Galaxy Note 8 Release Date & Specs: Launch & Release Date
Latest rumours suggest the Samsung Galaxy Note 8 will get a release inside the second half of 2017.
This gives Samsung enough time to market and sell a bunch of Galaxy S8 handsets before it brings its next-generation Note, arguably the more interesting release, to market.
Samsung Galaxy Note 8 Release Date & Specs: Design
Speaking to press on the findings of the firm's investigation into the ill-fated Galaxy Note 7, Samsung's mobile chief Koh Dong-jin confirmed the company would continue to develop, produce, and sell Galaxy Note series smartphones and devices.
More directly, he said in an interview with CNET, "I will bring back a better, safer and very innovative Note 8."
Samsung's investigations for the Galaxy Note 7, including surveys with consumers, appear to have only deepened the firm's resolve to correct things and NOT to abandon the Galaxy Note brand.
"We found through the investigative process, we knew there are lots and lots of loyal Note customers," he said. Samsung US president, Tim Baxter, added that its surveys revealed a lot of Galaxy Note 4 and Galaxy Note 5 buyers are still waiting for a new Galaxy Note model to upgrade to.
"They made it clear, they want a Note," he said. For Koh, as well as wanting to earn back customers which have been lost, and to keep happy the ones who are still patiently waiting, there is the personal aspect in keeping the Galaxy Note brand alive - his team was largely responsible for co-developing the original signature S-Pen stylus with Wacom.
According to December 19 2016 reports out of Samsung's home nation of South Korea, the Galaxy Note 8, assuming that's its name, will use a battery cell sourced from fellow Korean firm LG. The word comes via The Investor, which claims that although things are not final, Samsung is in talks with LG Chem, LG's subsidiary company which, amongst other things, produced battery tech, with an eye to LG Chem not only providing the Galaxy Note 8 battery in 2017, but also for subsequent smartphone models from Samsung.
The report adds that a deal being reached is "likely". It would appear Samsung is attempting to branch out to other battery suppliers following the Galaxy Note 7 exploding battery debacle which causes the handset to be discontinued. The Note 7 used faulty batteries from Samsung's existing suppliers, its own Samsung SDI subsidiary and Chinese firm ATL; although it was the batteries from Samsung's own subsidiary which were explosive.
On January 3 2017, new details have emerged which claim the Galaxy Note 8 will feature a 4K display and Samsung's much-rumoured Bixby AI assistant, which is also pegged to be a main feature aboard the Galaxy S8 flagship due for launch much earlier in the year. The word comes via sources speaking to Business Korea, which also allege that more Galaxy Note 8 related info will come to light following Samsung's release of its investigative report into the Galaxy Note 7, due for publication later in January.
It cites an official from one of Samsung's partner companies: "Samsung will introduce 2K resolution displays in the Galaxy S8, but it will use 4K resolution displays in the Galaxy Note 8 to realize improved virtual reality (VR) functions. I heard that it will connect with new Gear VR wearable."
The report also notes that in January a Samsung official has once again confirmed the company's plans to release a Galaxy Note 8 device. It is expected in the second half of the year:
"The Galaxy Note 7 was very popular before user reports began circulating about devices that exploded or caught on fire while charging. As the phablet market, which was developed by Samsung Electronics, has been growing, the company will release the Note series this year again," said the spokesperson.
Like the Samsung Galaxy S8, which has leaked all over the shop in recent weeks, the Samsung Galaxy Note 8 WILL NOT feature a Home key. Instead, it will feature an all-display front that will allow Samsung to cram a bigger display panel inside the same sized chassis as last year's Galaxy Note 7.
The removal of the Home button makes the handset a lot more engaging to behold as well; it's just a slab of super high resolution display awesomeness.
There are usually plenty of crossover between the Galaxy S and Galaxy Note's overall design language. This is always a good thing because Samsung's design department has really come into its own in recent time, and the Galaxy S8 and Galaxy Note 8 will be no exception to this rule.
The Samsung Galaxy Note 8, true to form, will be one hell of a handset and the most recent rumours suggest Samsung will outfit the handset with a 4K display in order to maximise the Note 8's VR capabilities.
Other updates will likely include a refresh to the design, as the build of the handset is said to be one of the factors that contributed to issues with Galaxy Note 7, a bump in processing power, new dual-camera technology and likely more RAM.
Reports suggest Samsung has also revised and updated its S-Pen stylus as well but potentially the biggest new addition to the handset – and Samsung's phone ecosystem at large – is the company's new AI technology, known as Bixby.
Bixby was developed by the creators of Siri, a company called Viv Labs. Do not be fooled by the connection, however, as reports suggest Bixby will be A LOT more advanced than Siri.
Bixby is shaping up to be Samsung's answer to Amazon's Alexa and Google's Assistant, which are two of the smartest digital assistants on the planet right now.
Samsung Galaxy Note 8 Release Date & Specs: Camera
You may have noticed that dual-sensor camera designs were quite popular in 2016, appearing on a handful of phones, including the iPhone 7 Plus, LG G5, Huawei P9 family, and Huawei Mate 9, to name but a few that immediately spring to mind. Of course, the feature isn't that new, it's just the first year in which it's really taken off - HTC was first to market with the tech a while back but poor implementation meant it didn't cut the mustard for its first outing.
There have been plenty of rumours of pretty much every major manufacturer and their forthcoming premium devices packing dual-camera tech at some point or other. However, to date, although its Galaxy S and Galaxy Note series have been rumoured for dual-camera tech, so far Samsung hasn't jumped on the bandwagon.
That could be about to change though. While we should stress as always that mobile tech patents are filed all the time by major OEMs only to never materialise, word has emerged on January 3 2017 that Samsung has filed a patent for a dual-sensor camera.
The patent was picked up by sources in Korea, where it was filed.
"The diagrams in the 37-page document clearly states that Samsung is aiming to enhance the quality of both the background and objects in the foreground," reports GSMArena.
"The wide-angle lens scans for anything that is a moving object and if there's any, the second lens - the telephoto one tracks the image in real time and enables you to adjust zoom and other settings without losing focus."
It's tantalising to speculate that such tech might appear in the Samsung Galaxy S8, Galaxy X or Galaxy Note 8, although given that the Galaxy S8 is pegged to be arriving some time between March and May it seems unlikely there would be time to implement the new tech unless it's already been developed and, frankly, had it already been developed we'd expect to have seen leaks and other details much earlier. Still, it could be a viable candidate for the other two handsets, as these are both rumoured to be coming in the second half of 2017.