The Galaxy Note 8 is probably one of the most hyped smartphones of 2017, perhaps even surpassing the Galaxy S8 series with the amount of gossip, rumours, leaks, and general feverish anticipation around the phablet. Probably the only comparable phone in this regard is one that's set to arrive very soon indeed, the Apple iPhone 8. Apple's 10th anniversary iPhone will be launched in September around the same time the Galaxy Note 8 is set to hit store shelves; it's already on pre-order, but won't land with bricks-and-mortar sellers until September 15.
As well as Apple's iPhone 8 to contend with (and the iPhone 7s and iPhone 7s Plus), the Galaxy Note 8 is entering quite a competetive market. HTC has the HTC U11, OnePlus has the OnePlus 5, and LG is soon to launch the LG V30. Then there's both the Google Pixel 2 and Pixel XL 2 coming in October, and on top of that you've got the Huawei Mate 10 (and Huawei Mate 10 Pro) launching in the same month. Plus we've got the Nokia 8 and Essential Phone PH-1 just launched, and a possible Nokia 9 on the horizon (and a OnePlus 5T if you believe the rumours).
So...lots of stuff to fend off!
On lauch day, Samsung unveiled the Galaxy Note 8 in four colours options Midnight Black, Maple Gold, Orchid Grey, and Deep Sea Blue. However, not every colour has been available in every region, with most places only getting a choice of two.
One of the new and more appealing choices - Deep Sea Blue - has been the hardest to track down, only being limited to a few select territories. Most of the European market was limited to a choice of just black or gold.
The price is €999 and pre-orders will be shipped on October 26. Naturally it's not a massive leap to think that other European countries will get the blue colour choice soon as well. This cloud does have a somewhat dark lining, however, as at the same time Samsung has now confirmed that it has no plans to release the Orchid Grey colour option in the European market.
Samsung has said it expects the Galaxy Note 8 to sell better than the Galaxy Note 5. The Investorreports that the firm's mobile chief, Koh Dong-jin, predicts sales to exceed 11 million units; previously the Galaxy Note 5 sold 11 million units. Even if it meets that expectation, it is a much smaller figure than Samsung's ambition with the Galaxy S8 - the aim is allegedly 48 million units, although it's already believed to have passed 10 million and has sold 15% more units than the Galaxy S7 for the same sales period in 2016.
And 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, has the power of focused marketing - the company's ads are ALL over TV in the UK, for example - 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.
Head past the break to page 2 for all the pre-launch rumours
Samsung Galaxy Note 8 Release Date CONFIRMED
After months and months and months of speculation, leaks, and conjecture the day is finally here. Later on tonight, Samsung will unveil the Samsung Galaxy Note 8.
The handset is expected to pick up where the Galaxy Note 7 left off, though hopefully without the exploding, and add in plenty of new technology that is not present on the Galaxy S8.
The most prominent of which is Samsung's new dual-lens camera, which was meant to land on the Galaxy S8 but was sidelined in favour of making the Galaxy Note 8 more attractive at launch.
ETNEWS is reporting, citing a network representative, that the Samsung Galaxy Note 8 will get a release date in Korea on September 15, following the handset's announcement on August 23.
"According to experts," notes Android Police, "sales will be very strong, as this is virtually the first new Galaxy Note in two years. On a somewhat related note, the LG V30 may also be released on September 15th, despite its unveiling being said to occur about a week after Samsung's August 23rd date."
According to a leaked promotional flyer, the Samsung Galaxy Note 8 will be available in Italy from September 14, suggesting it may have similar availability in the rest of mainland Europe. The info also shows the Samsung DeX accessory will be offered as a freebie bundled-in on pre-orders.
This is likely bad news for LG, but Samsung will almost certainly want to get the Galaxy Note 8 out before the arrival of Apple's iPhone 8 and iPhone 7s.
Analysts are confident about the Galaxy Note 8, as noted above, but these same analysts are positively frothing at the mouth about the iPhone 8, which is, essentially, the first, proper new iPhone we've had since 2014's iPhone 6 update.
And the last time Apple did a big, ground-up redesign of its iPhone, the results were very impressive, indeed.
The handset, which is expected to be the most potent handset Samsung has ever built, will pick up where the Galaxy S8 left off, adding in more power, more specs and, overall, better performance.
This is why Note releases are always so tantalising; they're basically a Galaxy S phones on steroids.
The Samsung Galaxy Note 8 will feature a new design, similar to the Galaxy S8's, only bigger, the company's S-Pen, plenty of new specs and features and a significant bump in battery life, potentially.
The Note 8 will be 0.1in bigger than the Samsung Galaxy S8+, making it the largest handset Samsung has ever built.
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.
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 has now released a teaser video featuring its "Do Bigger Things" slogan we've seen on other Galaxy Note 8 promotional material.
Samsung Galaxy Note 8 Release Date & Specs: Design
Another set of images has emerged, this time showing an alleged dummy unit which rocked up in China for a photoshoot (complete with cigarette butts) and then landed on Weibo; as per usual for this sort of thing, it's based on the schematics provided to case manufacturers so they can fit their products around the chassis accurately. Thus, even though it's non-functional, it serves as a pretty good indicator of what the final device will look like. The dual-camera, Infinity Display, and slightly more squared Galaxy S8-style design are all present and correct as per earlier leaks.
Some more new teaser images have leaked ahead of the Galaxy Note 8 launch, once again via @evleaks.
A new image has leaked of the Galaxy Note 8, however, this time it comes via reputable source @evleaks and appears to be the kind of image he is famed for; official press renders. There's not a lot to see from this simple, face on view of the phone in the basic Midnight Black colour option. However, we can see that the top and bottom bezels are equally sized; the handset has three physical keys on its sides for power, volume rocker, and the Bixby key; and it has no physical Home key on the front.
However, Blass quickly followed up with a second Tweet showing the phone from all sides, including the S-Pen stylus, in black and gold. This second image shows the phone's rear panel with the dual-camera and fingerprint scanner.
A set of renders showing the Galaxy Note 8's front fascia has leaked online via Twitter. Prominent Chinese Twitter tipster @UniverseIce claims these images are the real deal, and they do have a slightly official look to them, although they're clearly promotional material for the Asian market due to the language shown on screen. We can see that with all three images shown the front fascia is black, leading some to speculate that only the back panel colours may vary.
According to the word of a Samsung official, the Galaxy Note 8 will not, contrary to earlier rumours, feature a fingerprint scanner embedded under the display glass. Korean publication News1 ran the story quoting an unnamed official from inside Samsung, who said; "We made every effort to install a display-integrated fingerprint sensor on Galaxy Note 8, but we decided not to install it on this strategic phone due to various technical limitations such as security."
That means that, once again, just as with the Galaxy S8, an in-screen scanner was planned, but has been dropped due to Samsung being unable to implement it satisfactorily. That probably means we'll see a fingerprint scanner mounted on the rear, near the camera again, and indeed, a number of leaked images suggest this is the case.
While some users, including us, are fine with the placement of the Galaxy S8's scanner, many have also complained saying it's an awkward place to put it, as the scanner is asymetrically on one side of the camera lens.
We've heard before how the Galaxy Note 8 will pack a 6.3in display and now the rumour has been reiterated once again, however, there are some new details this time around. Allegedly, according to sources on Weibo, the Galaxy Note 8 will feature the same 18.5:9 screen ratio seen on the Galaxy S8 (and LG G6), a factor which will actually make the Galaxy Note 8 taller than its predecessors. The tipster also adds that it'll feature a dual-sensor camera on the back panel.
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.
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.
The Galaxy Note 8 may be the first handset to feature an upgraded version of the Qualcomm Snapdragon 835 - that is, the Snapdragon 836. This is interesting because Qualcomm is yet to announce the Snapdragon 836 SoC. The Galaxy S8, at least the US edition, already runs the Snapdragon 835, but it seems the Galaxy Note 8 will have a slight boost in performance from a newer, modified edition of the same chipset; it'll likely be similar to the differences between the Snapdragon 820 and 821 in 2016 handsets; noticable, worthwile, but not a MASSIVE change.
Allegedly the chip will be an octa-core 2.5GHz CPU, an improvement on the Snapdragon 835's 2.45 GHz octa-core setup. There will also be a 740MHz Adreno GPU built-in.
Reputable Twitter tipster @mmddj_china has posted new details claiming that although there will not be an 8GB RAM Galaxy Note 8 model, there will be both the previously reported 6GB RAM with 64GB storage and a higher tier 6GB RAM with 128GB storage.
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.
Not so long ago, Samsung ran a 0% finance offer across all of its products. Normally, I avoid finance like the plague; I'd much rather save and pay cash. That way, I can haggle down the price when buying in-store.