Samsung's Galaxy Note 8 Launch CONFIRMED: August 23 @ €999
Thursday - 13/07/2017 14:18
We knew it was coming, but it’s always good to hear it direct from the horse’s mouth
A report from reliable tipster Evan Blass (@evleaks) claimed the Galaxy Note 8 would be launched in late September - some time during the second half of the month. The news directly contradicted previous reports we catalogued further below, but being @evleaks there was good reason to believe this information trumped what came before...at the time.
The info was attributed to "an individual briefed on the company's plans," according to Blass writing for Venturebeat. He also adds that it will be the most expensive Samsung phone to date with an unlocked RRP of €999 inside Europe; to put that in some kind of perspective, the Galaxy S8 and Galaxy S8+, which were the most expensive Samsung flagships so far, cost €799 and €899 in the same market.
However, following reports that Samsung Galaxy S8 sales are already slowing down, Samsung is allegedly brining the Galaxy Note 8 launch forward, back into August again in-line with previous rumours. According to Korean source The Bell, Samsung will launch the Note 8 on August 23, which is earlier than the previous rumoured August date. Does this indicate the Galaxy S8 is not only not selling as well as was hoped at this stage in the year, but is in pretty dire trouble? Who knows, but either way, a mid August launch is what's occuring now. Once again, the event will be branded as Samsung Unpacked, and it will take place in New York, US.
Previous reports indicated Samsung was planning to launch the Galaxy Note 8 on August 26 at a dedicated event in New York. The word came via SamMobile and Naver.com, which stated that this specific date comes from the mouth of an unnamed Samsung official.
This would have made the Note 8 the third handset from the series in a row to not launch at its previously traditional slot at the IFA expo, which takes place in September in Berlin, Germany. Last time Samsung launched there was the Galaxy Note 4. Since then it has hosted its own independent events; both the Galaxy Note 5 and Galaxy Note 7 (the Galaxy Note 6 was skipped entirely) launched at dedicated events in New York.
The word of a mid-August launch came via The Bell, which is a news website from Samsung's home nation of South Korea; local news sources tend to have their finger on the Samsung pulse in the region, and although we'd suggest taking things with a grain of salt, it remains a fairly believable report.
We know Samsung is keen to get the Galaxy Note 8 out before the iPhone 8, so a mid-August release sounds about right, as it gives Samsung a free run at the market for a good month or two.
The latter part of 2017 will be INSANELY competitive with releases from Apple, Samsung, Nokia and OnePlus all competing for your hard-earned bucks. Expect HUGE marketing campaigns from Samsung and Apple, alongside a big push from OnePlus online.
We have seen plenty of leaks about the iPhone 8, so come September there shouldn’t be too many surprises. What Apple has created, though, is suitably impressive and should easily win over a lot of floating voters.
The iPhone 8 will be the first time Apple has changed the core design of its iPhone since 2014. This is a big deal for Apple fans and the phone space at large, because new iPhone designs ALWAYS drive massive sales. Just look at what happened with the iPhone 6.
Couple this with big updates to the camera, CPU technology, internal spec and overall performance and you’re looking at one hell of an update. The A11 chipset that will power the iPhone 8 is now in production and should be a market-leader once it land inside the iPhone 8.
Samsung definitely has its work cut out for it in this regard. No doubt the company will be spending big bucks advertising the Galaxy Note 8 and Galaxy S8 once the iPhone 8 drops. But even with this it is difficult to see how Samsung could out-sell Apple in 2017/18, when analysts are predicting 100+ million sales of the iPhone 8 before the close of 2017.
Back at the beginning of the year, sources suggested Samsung was being careful with this year’s Note release – lest we forget what happened with the Note 7 – but it now seems as if Samsung is happy with the phone and is confident that it won’t blow up.
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What you waiting for?
According to a new report, the Samsung Galaxy Note 8 will come in both 64GB and 128GB onboard storage flavours, with microSD support for up to an additional 256GB.
This is not entirely surprising given that Samsung's last few Galaxy S and Galaxy Note flagships have come in the same storage options, however, the report does not detail where the different models will be available.
Although 128GB editions have been produced for the Galaxy S6 series, Galaxy Note 5, Galaxy Note 7, and Galaxy S8 series, but in every case the 128GB storage model has seen restricted distibution, initially just in China and South Korea, with the Galaxy S8 series expanding that to India as well.
The report comes from a local Korean news outlet which cites Samsung officials for the information. The sources add that the 128GB model will be priced between $1,000 and $1,100.
Samsung Galaxy Note 8 Specs:
6.3in 3840x2160 Super AMOLED curved display
S Pen support
Improved iris scanner
Screen embedded fingerprint scanner
Built-in 'Bixby' AI assistant
Qualcomm Snapdragon 835 chip, 6GB RAM
Vertical dual lens rear-facing camera
USB-C connectivity, 3.5mm headphone jack
Android 7.0 Nougat
64GB build-in storage, microSD expansion
Fast charging, wireless charging support
"There's no question that 2016 marked a memorable year for the smartphone industry in many ways," said Ryan Reith, program vice president with IDC's Worldwide Quarterly Mobile Device Trackers.
"This was a year that brought us the first down year for iPhone, yet Apple closed out the holiday quarter by surpassing Samsung for the top spot in the smartphone industry. We also witnessed year-over-year declines in some emerging regions like the Middle East and Latin America where high growth was expected. To round it all off, we now have a three horse race at the top of the market as Huawei cracked the double-digit share mark for the first time ever."
"Although Samsung announced that preorders for the Galaxy S8 and S8 Plus are up 30 per cent year on year, the absence of an alternative to Note 7 and the fierce competition in the basic smartphone segment are leading Samsung to continuously lose market share," said Mr Gupta of Gartner. "Sales of iPhones were flat, which led to a drop in market share year on year. Similar to Samsung, Apple is increasingly facing fierce competition from Chinese brands Oppo and Vivo, among others, and its performance in China is under attack."
“As for the year ahead,” said Samsung in a press release, “Samsung anticipates market demand in smartphones to slightly increase with solid replacement demand growth in the mid- to high-end segment.”
It added: “However, competition is expected to intensify with newly launched smartphones in the market. The company will aim to improve performance YoY by maximizing sales of the Galaxy S8 and S8+ and successfully launching a new flagship smartphone in the second half. In addition, the company will maintain profitability in the mid- to low-end segment.”
When will you be able to buy the Samsung Galaxy Note 8? Well, the second half of 2017 is kind of vague, but a release during October/November is currently mooted, though we have seen Note handsets released as early as September.
Samsung needs to figure out whether it wants the Note 8 to land before or after the iPhone 8. Historically, the Note series has always come before Apple’s annual iPhone launch. This is likely the smartest approach, as it ensures maximum attention on the phone at launch.
Samsung’s Q1 2017 earnings report has now dropped. The company is still behind Apple for market share, but is improving.
“Samsung was still gearing up for the launch of its new Galaxy S8 portfolio, but managed to get two models in the top five during Q1 2017,” said Linda Sui, Director at Strategy Analytics.
She added: “The Galaxy J3 captured 2 percent global smartphone marketshare and fourth place, while Galaxy J5 took 1 percent global share to become the world’s fifth most popular model. Samsung’s J3 and J5 are midrange devices that sell very well across Europe and Asia and they helped to offset Samsung’s troubles with the Note 7 battery fiasco in the quarter.”
The “new flagship smartphone”, in case you were wondering, is the Galaxy Note 8. Samsung acknowledged the handset earlier on in 2017 as well, saying it was working on making the Galaxy Note 8 a safer, more innovative release than its predecessor.
Normally, Samsung’s Note releases tend to be more exciting than its Galaxy S reveals. And this year’s Galaxy Note 8 seems certain to carry on that tradition. Expect massive specs, a new design and likely some of the best imaging ever from its new camera tech.
Samsung Galaxy Note 8: Design
Two reliable news sources have simultaneously published brand new renders of the Galaxy Note 8 design, apparently based on factory CAD schematics.
BGR publshed an exclusive image "based on schematics that came directly from the factory tasked with building the new phone." The render depcits the rumoured dual-sensor camera array and shows off the baseplate of the handset with ports cut-outs for the S-Pen stylus, Type-C USB, 3.5mm headphone jack and a punched speaker grille.
A button and volume rocker are also visible on the side, however we don't know if the button is the power key or a Bixby key - the Note 8 is rumoured to have Bixby AI Assistant just like the Galaxy S8 series, and each Galaxy S8 model had a dedicated Bixby key to activate the assistant.
Importantly, the render shows us something that until now has remained elusive - the fingerprint scanner - which is depdicted here embedded next to the camera array, just like the Galaxy S8 series.
Previously it was believed Samsung would incorporate an in-screen scanner embedded under the display glass, but this no longer appears to be the case.
The other source emerging at the same time is @OnLeaks, in collaboration with 91mobiles. This is a 3D render also based on factory schematics, though in this case it's been made into a demo video by a talented artist.
As is usually the case, plucky designers keen for YouTube views and likes have begun designing renders of the Samsung Galaxy Note 8 based on what’s currently known about the handset and the direction Samsung intends on taking it in.
In the one included below, which was created by Concept Creator, the Galaxy Note 8 is imagined in all its glory with a stunning all-front display, ultra thin chassis and a dedicated dual-camera lens on the back.
And the best part about this concept? It’s probably pretty close to what Samsung will eventually unveil later on this year, as everything included in it has either been leaked or hinted at.
The image below could well be our first look at the Galaxy Note 8. It comes via SlashLeak and appears to show the new Galaxy Note 8, running Bixby alongside Samsung’s well known S-Pen.
The Galaxy Note 8 in this image shares more than a passing resemblance to the Galaxy S8. It has no Home key, an all-display front and what looks like an EDGE display on both sides.
And It Probably Will Have A 4K Display… Just Not ALL The Time
The idea of the Samsung Galaxy Note 8 featuring a 4K Ultra HD display is not new; that rumour has been doing the rounds for the best part of 12 months. And with the release of the Galaxy Note 8 just around the corner, talk of the handset’s new specs and features have now reached fever pitch.
The case of the Samsung Galaxy Note 8 featuring a 4K display is pretty straight forward as it goes: Samsung is betting big on VR in 2017, a 4K display will help in that department massively, as it will improve the overall quality of the image when viewing media inside a headset. Beyond this, a 4K display will allow it to get one over on its nearest rival, Apple.
Samsung was apparently considering a 4K display for the Galaxy S8, but decided to omit it at the last minute – apparently it wasn’t quite right, timing-wise. But the idea of 4L – and QHD – did inspire one of the Galaxy S8’s coolest features (the ability to toggle the display between QHD and 1080p).
And it is this latter point where things will pick up with the Galaxy Note 8; reports suggest the Galaxy Note 8 will be a 4K handset, though users will be able to switch between 4K and QHD (or, perhaps, 1080P), so they will use the 4K display when using the handset inside a GEAR VR headset and QHD when sending messages and browsing the web.
Word on the street suggests the Galaxy Note 8 will pack in a massive 6.4in display. This huge display will also be a 4K panel, making for two pretty significant changes over what came before.
Most phones stay well under the 6in threshold, however, Samsung, with its curved display tech, and all-front displays, likely believes it can cram a larger panel inside the same sized chassis (or thereabouts) as before.
It’ll be really hard to improve on the Galaxy S8, so expect Samsung to go BIG with a few, select USPs and marketing angles – 4K displays and insane amounts of RAM being the most notable.
If Samsung manages to fit a 4K AMOLED panel inside the Galaxy Note 8 it will be a rather big deal, as no one – save for Sony – has managed to do this yet. Will Samsung’s upcoming Note 8 be the first Galaxy device to go 4K?
Here’s what Business Korea had to say on the matter: “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.”
But one thing is certain about the Galaxy Note 8: Samsung cannot just rehash the Galaxy S8 with S-Pen support. That simply will not do. In order to do battle with Apple’s iPhone 8, the Galaxy Note 8 will need to have many, unique USPs.
The Galaxy Note 8 will apparently have a 6.32in curved AMOLED display, making it larger than the Galaxy S8 Plus. The phone has also been linked with 6GB of RAM and Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 835, though it is 100% likely certain regions will get an Exynos-powered version.
Things like a curved, 4K AMOLED panel and a new, ultra-slim design will help, though not if it comes at the expense of battery life. Basically, Samsung has to push the boundaries without impinging on the outgoing handset’s performance.
How Will Galaxy Note 8 Beat Samsung Galaxy S8? - Camera
One area where the Samsung Galaxy Note 8 will surpass the Galaxy S8, however, is to do with imaging. The Note 8 will apparently feature Samsung’s new dual-camera lens system, a type of image capture that is already available on the LG G6, iPhone 7 and upcoming iPhone 8.
Samsung originally intended to have a dual-lens camera on the S8, however, certain design elements did not mix well, so the system had to be scrapped in favour of what the handset ended up shipping with (though, to be fair, it is still a very capable setup). The dual-lens camera will almost certainly appear inside the Galaxy Note 8, however, as Samsung already has a patent for it.
The Samsung Galaxy Note 8’s biggest new feature will be its dual-lens camera. This is according to analyst-in-the-know Ming-Chi Kuo, who says it will include 3x optical zoom, a 12MP wide-angle CIS supporting dual photodiode (2PD), 13MP telephoto CIS, dual 6P lenses and dual OIS.
Basically, Samsung’s going all out on this one. Kuo believes the Galaxy Note 8’s camera will be better than the one inside the iPhone 7 Plus. Beyond this, Kuo says the Galaxy S8 is selling A LOT better than previously expected; KGI Securities has increased its shipment predictions from between 40 million units and 45 million units to between 50 million and 55 million units.
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."
Samsung Galaxy Note 8: Specs
At time of writing, there currently aren't any other solid rumours about the Galaxy Note 8. However, there are some things which we can fairly confidently make an educated guess about. For example, Samsung is a bit of a creature of habit when it comes to its Galaxy S and Galaxy Note lines in terms of how much technology they share - specific and unique stand-out features aside. Case in point is the processor; Samsung's Galaxy Note series nearly always features the same CPU hardware as the corresponding Galaxy S flagship from the same year, and if it's not exactly the same, it's usually something like a slightly up-rated and tweaked version of it.
The Galaxy S8 series features a Qualcomm Snapdragon 835 in the North American market, while the international model has Samsung's own Exynos 8895. Both of these chips are manufactured by Samsung on the 10nm FinFET semiconductor architecture and they're both plenty capable of putting out some stunning performance. We don't see any reason why Samsung won't mimic this same setup for the Galaxy Note 8.
The bigger question hovers around how much RAM it might have. Samsung's last few flagship releases (including the Galaxy Note 7 and Galaxy S8) have seen the international and North American models with 4GB of RAM and 64GB of storage, while China would get an exclusive 6GB RAM and 128GB storage variant. Typically, the Galaxy Note 8, with its complex stylus input, massive display, and unique multitasking capabilities, has been the main playground where Samsung has experimented with larger RAM sizes. If we're going to see Samsung upgrade to a 6GB of RAM for outside of the Chinese release then the Galaxy Note 8 could well be it.
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.