As expected, this week Samsung unveiled its two new flagships: the Galaxy S8 and S8 Plus. The South Korean manufacturer had a way to go to impress its fans after the Galaxy Note 7 fiasco last September. The release also begs another question: what innovations are left for the Galaxy Note 8 when it comes out next Fall?
This week, we've been all about the Galaxy S8 and S8+. This is not surprising since both devices have just been launched and their bezel-less design is particularly fascinating. With these two devices, Samsung obviously hopes the community at large will forget, or at least forgive, the mess that was the Galaxy Note 7. However, the world's number one mobile phone manufacturer doesn't seem to want to end its Note series and will continue to offer us high-end phablets. The only problem is that there are barely any differences left between the Samsung Note and S series, and it's difficult to guess what Samsung could do to surprise us next September.
A slim difference
The Galaxy S series has consistently been Samsung's high-end smartphone line. It's intended for a wide audience and is a true standard within the Android community, particularly in the face of Apple's iPhone.
For its part, the Note series, which is usually unveiled several months later (around August and September), has the mission of carrying the brand's flag on the phablet market. It's aimed towards a more professional audience, thanks largely to its S Pen and the features it offers. Note devices have always been marketed at a higher price, due to the size of the screens and the stylus.
The Note smartphones have always been marketed at a higher price
However, this year marks a break in the history of Samsung. With the new Galaxy S8 and S8+, it's clear for all to see that the differences between the S range and the Note range have been drastically reduced. One of the main differences is the size of the screen. The Galaxy Note 7 came with a screen that was smaller (5.7 inches) than the Galaxy S8 (5.8 inches)! Let's not even go into the Galaxy S8 Plus and its 6.2-inch screen, which dwarfs the Note series, making them look like compact smartphones.
For the moment, the S Pen is the only element that remains different between the two series. Unfortunately, this digital pen cannot be the only difference with the S series. Simply adding a stylus to the Galaxy S8+ won't make it a Note 8 and certainly won't convince users to go for the Note 8 or to accept a price increase, bearing in mind that the S8+ already costs over $950! I don't think this feature alone will guarantees the survival of the range, even if the latest version of the S Pen did make it possible to create GIFs to send to your friends.
There will be a Galaxy Note 8
Samsung has officially confirmed the launch of a Galaxy Note 8 later this year. It seems therefore that the manufacturer intends to offer its customers more than just a Galaxy S8+ with a stylus. Although there may not be much to do on the design front, there are many other avenues it could take to innovate the device, starting with the performance.
The Note 8 could also mark the disappearance of the fingerprint scanner in light of optical scanner. Could this work? To activate the detection of fingerprints, one would just need place their finger on the screen. This method would thus be more reliable and faster than a fingerprint scanner. Given the technical problems encountered by the South Korean manufacturer and the lack of time, this solution wasn't adopted for the latest S8s. Samsung couldn't afford another launch failure for a flagship product, but with the Note 8, Samsung has a few more months to fine-tune its technology.
The release of the Galaxy Note 8 this year will coincide with the launch of the new iPhone 8. For its 10th anniversary, we can expect the iPhone to offer some new features. It is therefore crucial for Samsung to market a device that is as innovative as possible in order to stay on top, otherwise it'll be leaving the way open and unhindered to its main rivals.
What new features would you like to see on the Galaxy Note 8? Do you think Samsung will be able to hold its ground? Let us know in the comments below.