You can't really talk about the Galaxy Note 8 without mentioning the Galaxy Note 7 and its disastrous recall. Normally, this type of situation would be, as Larry David says, a go-home-stain (on a company's reputation). But it wasn't.
Samsung, through the power of focussed marketing, the company's ads are ALL over TV in the UK, and a couple of very solid releases in the form of the Galaxy S8 and Galaxy S8+ is once again flying high, with record sales and huge profits for Q1 and Q2 of 2017.
Samsung basically hit the ground running in 2017 and it looks as if the company will maintain this pace throughout the back end of the year, with the launch and imminent release of the Galaxy Note 8, a phone that packs in the largest display of any phone on the market right now.
Personally, I have always been a bigger fan of Samsung's Note series than its Galaxy S one; the company seems to always do more cool stuff with its Note phones and, because they come slightly later in the year, they're usually better equipped phones than their Galaxy S counterparts.
The Samsung Galaxy Note 8 is no exception to this rule.
The Samsung Galaxy Note 8 has now officially launched at the firm's Samsung Unpacked event in New York. As we were expecting, the torrent of leaks in the months leading up to this point means there are no real surprises, and much of what we saw trickled out ahead of time has turned out to be true.
Here's the official line via Samsung:
"We appreciate the relentless passion of the Note community. They've been a constant inspiration to us and we designed the new Note for them," said DJ Koh, president of Mobile Communications Business, Samsung Electronics. "From the Infinity Display to the enhanced S Pen and a powerful Dual Camera, the Galaxy Note8 lets people do things they never thought were possible."
And the Galaxy Note 8's main selling points:
Water and Dust Resistance: Four years ago, Samsung introduced the first Galaxy device with water resistance. And today, you can take your Note almost anywhere you want with water and dust resistance (IP685) on the device and the S Pen. You can write even when the display is wet.
Fast Wireless Charging: Two years ago, Samsung introduced the first Galaxy device with wireless charging. The Galaxy Note8 supports the most advanced wireless charging capabilities yet, so you can get a quick, convenient charge6 without having to mess around with ports or wires.
Security: The Galaxy Note8 offers a choice of biometric authentication options—including iris and fingerprint scanning. Samsung Knox7 provides defense-grade security at the hardware and software layers and with Secure Folder, keeps your personal and professional data separate.
Powerful Performance: With 6GB RAM, a 10nm processor, and expandable memory (up to 256GB), you have the power you need to browse, stream, play games, and multitask.
Innovative Mobile Experiences: Samsung DeX enables a desktop experience, powered by your phone. You can keep your files on your device, conduct work on the go, and use Samsung DeX when you need an even bigger screen. The Galaxy Note8 includes Bixby8, a smarter way to use your phone; it learns from you, improves over time, and helps you get more done.
Here's a breakdown of the Samsung Galaxy Note 8's specs:
"Samsung's launch of the Note 8 underlines its current confidence. It's a testament to Samsung's stubbornness and determination that the launch of the Note 8 cements its position as the leading Android smartphone maker drawing a clear line under the Note 7 problems," said Ben Wood, Chief of Research, CCS Insight.
He added: "The Note 8 joins the well-received S8 and S8+ arguably giving Samsung the best high-tier Android line-up of any manufacturer. The fact Samsung was prepared to continue using the Note brand shows its belief that there is significant pent up demand for another top-of-the-line flagship device alongside the rest of its smartphone portfolio."
The handset sports a 6.3in Super AMOLED Infinity Display with an 18.5:9 aspect ratio in an edge-to-edge configuration (complete with curved edges); it's essentially very similar to the Galaxy S8+ but 0.1in bigger. However, this does give a bigger screen real-estate for the S-Pen to work with, for the first time ever.
As expected, it's also a QHD+ display resolution, but it also packs Mobile HDR Premium support like the Galaxy S8 series, meaning it is HD TV quality, and it has Samsung's now-standard Always-On functionality too. Samsung's multi-tasking features have returned, including split-screen multitasking which will even let you run the same app twice if you wish.
The handset itself is IP68 water and dust resistant, but so too is the S-Pen stylus. Internal specs include the expected 10nm Exynos 8895 or Qualcomm Snapdragon 835 octa-core CPUs depending on region (again just like the Galaxy S8 series) as well as 6GB of RAM. It carries Android 7.1 Nougat and the Bixby AI assistant, and the phone is compatible with the latest Gear VR and DeX accessories from Samsung.
Unlike many rival devices, Samsung has preserved the 3.5mm headphone jack, and like the Galaxy S8 this benefits from AKG-branded audio hardware.
And also as predicted, there are big changes on the rear of the phone in the form of its camera array - it's now got a dual-sensor camera. Both sensors are 12MP, one a telephoto lens with an f/2.4 aperture and the other a regular lens with an f/1.7 aperture. Crucially, however, this is the first dual-sensor camera on the market with both sensors using optical image stabilisation (OIS). This also enables a new Live Focus feature with selective blur either during or post capture.
The battery is rated at 3,300mAh and supports both wireless charging and fast wired charging via Type-C USB. Pre-orders are live as of August 24 with regular sales beginning on September 15. The RRP is £869 and you can choose between Midnight Black or Maple Gold colours.