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 press renders, 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.
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|
|Display||6.3-inch SuperAMOLED Infinity Display
|Processor||Samsung Exynos 8895 or Qualcomm Snapdragon 835, depending on region|
|Storage||64 or 128GB
microSD card slot
|Rear cameras||12MP f/1.7 main lens with OIS
12MP f/2.4 telephoto lens with OIS
|Front camera||8MP f/1.7|
|Other features||Wireless charging, S Pen, Iris scanner, Rear fingerprint scanner, DeX support, water resistance|
|Dimensions||162.5 x 74.6 x 8.5 mm|
|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 up to 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
We now have a nice set of press renders of the Note 8 (from none other than @evleaks again), as well as a couple live shots that purport to show the phone. The renders seem legit, and give us a much clearer look at the phone compared to early renders that were based on CAD models.
We’re looking at a device that clearly borrows from the Galaxy S8+’s design, but in many ways the Note 7’s design as well. The corners are tighter, making the phone more rectangular overall, but the front and back glass still curve dramatically making the metal frame on the side narrow. The bezels are tiny, of course, and that has pushed the fingerprint sensor to th eback next to the new dual camera setup. Everything else looks normal — including the Bixby button on the left side, and the ports and S Pen silo on the bottom.
Beyond the renders, we also have a first live look at the Note 8 to help give us a better feel for how all of the hardware comes together and looks with a little bit of perspective. The phone looks quite narrow and tall, as you’d expect from a phone with a 6.3-inch display at an 18.5:9 aspect ratio. It also confirms that the renders were indeed accurate, even down to some minor details. This is the Galaxy Note 8.
Samsung has announced it’s holding one of its Unpacked events in New York City on August 23, and that will of course be where it announces the Note 8. The timing is interesting as it lands just one week before LG will unveil the V30, which is its hopeful competitor.
As for actual retail availability, we can expect pre-orders for the Note 8 to open up closely after the launch event, by the end of August at the absolute latest. Shipments and in-store availability should kick off in the first week of September.