The Note series isn't dead and, despite the Note 7's demise, its successor is due to arrive this year. Rumors about the Note 8 say it will come with a 4K display and the new Bixby assistant, so let's hope the successor to the Note 7 lives up to its code name. The latest news is that a dummy device has been caught on video.
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Samsung Galaxy Note 8: release date
It seems like IFA's Executive Director Jens Heithecker wants to add some more glamour to Berlin's annual tech trade show. Speaking at a press conference in Lisbon, Portugal, the IFA Director stated that (the IFA) "would be a better place for Samsung to unveil the Samsung Galaxy Note 8".
He also stated that Samsung will have the largest presentation at this year's IFA, though that doesn't necessarily mean much as the IFA is a general technology trade fair and showcases a variety of products from vacuum cleaners to dishwashers.
Up until the release of the Galaxy Note 5, Samsung traditionally unveiled its newest phablet in Berlin just before the IFA opened. A shift in marketing strategy saw Samsung move its event a month earlier to August and switched the location to New York. It would be a surprising move to see Samsung unveil the Galaxy Note 8 at IFA - but I'm very skeptical that this will happen. Only time will tell.
A tweet from Evan Blass previously shed some light on what Samsung may be planning for its products in 2017. In his tweet, Blass referred to a smartphone that may be in the works with the model number SM-N950. Because the Note series has so far used the name scheme N9xx this is the first tangible indication we have seen that Samsung will not only be sticking with the Note series, but that it will release a Galaxy Note 8 this year.
Samsung Galaxy S8 models are indeed skipping SM-G94* model numbers, will ship as SM-G950 & SM-G955. Know what else is in the works? SM-N950.— Evan Blass (@evleaks) 9. November 2016
Previously, the Note devices were unveiled in August, so we might see the Galaxy Note 8 make an appearance in August 2017. This would allow Samsung quite a lot of time to ensure that their new model does not come with the same faults as the Galaxy Note 7.
As the Note 8 is currently under development, the manufacturer had to choose a code name. And, according to SamMobile, it is being called Great. This is contrary to a previous rumor that said the Note 8 would be called Baikal, after the Siberian Lake considered to the be the largest freshwater reserve on Earth. SamMobile also revealed that the model number of the international unlocked device would be SM-N950F, with the ending letter subject to change based on the market. This is consistent with the model number given by Evan Blass in the tweet mentioned above.
A source has told SamMobile that Samsung has started work on developing firmware for the international variant of the Galaxy Note 8. The build numbers are: N950FXXU0AQC6, N950FOXM0AQC6 and N950FXXU0AQC6.
Samsung Galaxy Note 8: display
According to a leak from CNbeta, the Note 8 will have a 4K 6.4-inch Super AMOLED display. The display will be a double-sided curved screen, with no physical buttons. The fingerprint scanner will thus be on the back like the Galaxy S8.
Samsung Galaxy Note 8: design
What was thought to be a Galaxy S8 prototype may actually be the Note 8. On Twitter, Russian blogger Eldar Murtazin shared two photos from a leaker called "KK" - and the device that is shown definitely isn't the S8. This one has a vertical dual camera on the back, and no visible fingerprint scanner. Samsung could incorporate Synaptics' under-glass fingerprint sensor in the Note 8, since it didn't do so in the Galaxy S8. Possibly due to time constraints, Samsung gave the S8 an awkwardly placed fingerprint scanner instead of an under-glass one. The Note 8 could be their chance to fix that, given that the device isn't expected until the second half of this year.
Таким был S8+, таким стал Note 8 pic.twitter.com/Q1Fk8tfMpt— Eldar Murtazin (@eldarmurtazin) April 16, 2017
In the leaked sketch below, there are two circles on the front of the phone at the top, which are likely a front camera and an iris scanner. At the bottom, we find a USB Type-C port, headphone jack, and S Pen slot.
A "dummy" device has been caught on video which is consistent with the leaks we've been seeing to date. First posted on Weibo, the Chinese blogging site, the video shows a black rectangle with several of the distinguishing features that have been revealed in the leaks, including the vertical dual camera with LED flash beneath it. Noticeably missing from the front and back of the device is any indication of a fingerprint scanner, adding more fuel to the rumor of a fingerprint scanner being placed under the display. Check out the video below.
It will be a few months before the Galaxy Note 8 is unveiled, but a YouTube channel called DBS DESIGNING has just released a concept video to keep our anticipation up. In the video below, you'll get to see a sleek, bezel-less design with curved edges and display corners. There's a mix of metal and glass, and the fingerprint scanner is better positioned than the Galaxy S8's was on the back of the device.
Samsung Galaxy Note 8: technical specs
The same CNbeta leak mentions that the Note 8 will likely have 6 GB of RAM, 256 GB of expandable internal storage and the same processor as the Galaxy S8: the Qualcomm Snapdragon 835 or Exynos 8895.
It would be safe to assume that the Note 8 will connect to the current or even upcoming Gear VR headset.
A report from Korea Herald says that Samsung may choose to use a dual camera setup similar to that of the Apple iPhone 7 Plus, which features a wide-angle and telephoto lens. If this proves to be true, the Samsung's top of the line phablet will be the company's first ever smartphone to come with a dual camera. There have been leaks in the past of Note 8 prototypes that feature a dual camera (see tweet above for a photo), so this is a possibility. Many other brands (such as Huawei and Oppo) have already released dual camera smartphones, so moving in this direction makes sense.
Reportedly, the wide-angle lens will have 12 MP, while the telephoto lens will have 13 MP and allow for 3x optical zoom. This setup will allow for a bokeh effect, which means the subject and background are distinct in the photo, and the background can be blurred for emphasis on the subject.
Samsung Galaxy Note 8: software
Other new rumors relate to the software innovations that the Galaxy Note 8 will be bringing. As mentioned above, the Note 8 might adopt an ultra-definition VR feature and have improved stylus functionality. Bixby, Samsung's rumored artificial intelligence feature that is also presumed to be on the Galaxy S8, could also be making its way to the Note 8.
Do you think that Samsung will continue the Note series? Or should Samsung replace the Note series with, for example, a foldable phablet? Join the discussion on Samsung’s future plans!