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Now that we've seen the S8, what's left for the Galaxy Note 8?

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.

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The Galaxy Note 7 had a rather short life span. © ANDROIDPIT

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. 

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The Galaxy S8 and S8+ have larger screens than the Galaxy Note 7! © ANDROIDPIT

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.

Opinion by Pierre Vitré
Samsung's going to have to do something really innovative to surprise us with the Galaxy Note 8
What do you think?
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155 participants

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.

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Readers' favorite comments

  •   12
    Doug D. 7 months ago

    6 Gb of RAM, 128Gb of native internal storage (at least as an option), stereo speakers, actually getting the FPS under the front display (unlike the terrible FPS placement on the S8's), and if they wanted to be really bold, they could even offer a flat screen version for folks who had their fill of false touches with their other edge phones.

    Yeah, there is a lot that Samsung could, and should, do with the Note8.

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  • Ryan Sato 3 months ago Link to comment

    I'm not optimistic the Note 8 will feature even half of what I posted 4 months ago. Typical, in this industry. Ok, how about a camera that can capture and play back video at 60p without stuttering? How about a high capacity battery that doesn't blow up and can be changed out with minimal fuss and cost after it dies in a couple of years? Oh wait, that might cut into the bottom line. After all, what's $1000 every 2 years right? This is getting silly. I still have some Sony camcorders and Walkman(s) that operate perfectly today. Everything electronic these days is becoming disposable. News flash - $1000 items are not disposable. *rant end.


  • At the price they will be asking for it gots to be shatter proof/128/6gs/4000 to 5000 battery/ pretty as heck cause if i have to put a 'beepng' case on it just to keep it safe tht will be crap waste of money !


  • I LOVE the Samsung Note series. I have had a Note 4 for the longest, due to the fact of no removable battery, or extended memory on the 5, who cares about a better screen if you can not really use it for your needs. I recently have been told that I have to replace my phone due to corrosion. It has never been in water, but it has been outside on hot days and heated a bit and in the bathroom playing music so I am guessing that sweating can cause the same issue. I am really bummed because I love my phone for the encryption, the ease of document signing, etc. The pen is priceless. I was told I have to move to the S8 because they were discontinuing the Note series. I was so heart broke and trying to scramble as to how to adjust. Since I have read these comments it looks like the Sprint rep was wrong. So I will just get a crap phone for now and wait it out for the Note 8. Please give us a REMOVABLE Battery. This way I can get an extended battery for my heavy use. Extended memory, MUST for video. A video, photo, music, presentation editor with overlay to make great YouTube videos. If you could add a docking station so it can be used as a laptop would be amazing, since I have used this feature with other phones and it helps tremendously when having to present or edit. A excellent easy to use HDMI port. A projection attachment and a higher quality camera with real zooming power attachment for event filming. A TRUE Low light camera with extra flash front and back. WATERPROOFING or close to it and as unbreakable of a screen as you can get. When using your cell for everything, you do all that you can to not let anything happen to it. Or at least PLEASE create a case that help keep corrosion out of the phone. Oh and Bluetooth please more than one device. I like to watch movies on chromecast from my phone at a hotel while listening to my speaker for sound. You have no idea how nice this would be. Please find a easy way to get rid of all the extra apps you don't need. I hate them taking up space on my phone. If I spend a large amount for a product I would like to use it my way. Not stuck with memory issues due to apps I will never use and can not remove. I only want apps I can use on my phone. Sorry so long.


  • I can't wait till the Note 8. Using an S7 Edge. But I absolutely hate the curved edge. If I could get the feel of my old Note 4, that would sell me. I'm afraid curved edges are the new norm for Samsung.
    A KeyOne might be an option for me if I can't find a flat screen with Samsung.


  • Ryan Sato 7 months ago Link to comment

    The S8 and S series in general shoukd be geared to the average high end smart phone buyer. As in, someone who would also consider an iPhone. The note is, and always has been a power user device - up to the Note 4 anyway... TO SAMSUNG MOBILE: The solution to differentiate the two devices is simple. More power user friendly. That means REMOVIBLE BATTERY. That also means content creator features, such as duel cameras with very powerful manual controls, along with great automatic features. A rugged, yet elegant design, more business like, but still sleek and polished. Not glass. This is a device that should create content exceptionally well, and play it back equally as well. High powered stereo speakers, powerful DAC, video capture capabilities that rival camcorders, photos that rival DSLRs. How about some powerful and creative new content creation applications exclusive to the Note series? Audio and music production app. Video creation and editing app that doesn't suck. Ditto for photos. Creative new uses for the S-pen that makes it an even more powerful artistic and creative tool. A system wide use for the S-pen that is not a gimick, but fresh and useful. At least some basic waterproofing would be nice, as was done on the S5. I don't think Note users are the type of people who typically drop their expensive toys into the toilet or pool, but getting caught in the rain should not be an issue. Make that camera glass sapphire crystal, the frame very durable, and that front screen glass as shatter proof as possible. Great gaming capabilities would also be a bonus! Show your users that you understand what we really want, make a phone that lasts and justifies the price of purchase. We will come back, and we will continue to buy as you continue to innovate. Otherwise, when Apple finally remembers how to innovate, or your competition hears our wants and needs, you will no longer be in the running.


  • The curved edges are a disaster for ruggedness but they look really great, almost anybody will say. Ultimately it depends on the buyer whether they'll sacrifice a bit of extra ruggedness for that polished look.
    I don't know whether putting in a battery of lesser capacity is really any prevention against the explosions of the Note 7. My personal experience tells me, that as claimed, it's not just the plain battery juice that matters, but how much power the processor and chipset are going to use. Yet with a phone of this high a price, Samsung should definitely have done more for the battery power.
    The dedicated Bixby hardware button is of course a bold move because if it slumps, there you have an extra useless button. But more than that, it appears to be a strategy by Samsung to get its users to use an AI assistant, and Bixby at that. Not Google Assistant. Putting in a dedicated button is going to put users in the habit of using Bixby, as compared to Google Assistant, since the convenience and speed of using a dedicated hardware button cannot be denied.
    I agree with Paul that the Note series was meant to be Samsung's true flagship, but with time comes wisdom. Samsung has learnt that it's not the dedicated, technically interested, power user that's going to decide the flagship. It's the rich, youngish, stylish crowd that's going to take the bait. And decide the flagship.
    The best thing about Samsung, notwithstanding all its faults, is that it's perhaps the only company with the gumption to take on Apple. And it's true that Apple has now become a pricey, rigid, overworked thing. No longer cool. We hope Samsung can become the benchmark for Android with its S8 and Note 8. Or gracefully step back and allow another company (perhaps Lenovo or HTC or even Oppo) to take the lead.


    • Ap4ss3rby 7 months ago Link to comment

      I have made my calculations, and if Samsung retained the 16:9 aspect ratio, then the size increase is only 0.05 inches over the S7(regular and edge), my point is that the display upgrade from the S7 to the s8 is very similar to that from the iPhone 4s to the iPhone 5(make it taller, not bigger, you have some extra inches), also the note 8 should be taller but not wider by this direction Samsung is going to.


  • i always felt the Note series was Sammy's true flagship, especially around the S5, Note 4 era..
    I'm surprised that they didn't save the release of Bixby as an exclusive for the Note 8,
    would have given Sammy a little more development time and with lots of power user input come the S9 Bixby might actually be useful...
    right now i keep thinking S voice..

    6GB of ram should get a smooth experience and allow for Samsung's​ insane attitude with app duplication.. it's like have 2 OS,s in a phone.
    add on carrier bloat and yep same old Sammy, just a little more power and a little more physical bling..
    but the Note 8 will still represent the best of Samsung..


  • Hamza Mir 7 months ago Link to comment

    Awsome


  • We do not want the S8 body with the s-pen inside it ,but need to include a Large battery to show the Note 7 was just one big mistake,Samsung needs a Flat screen premium phone or could lose loads of Galaxy users who do not like there Edge screen phones,as Samsung already know what type of screen Apple will be releasing for there future phones


  • Remember the note was supposed to be aimed at the business user. Flat screen, dont need curved if its got a stylus, Large screen 6 to 6.2, larger battery for longer use, good stereo speakers, water proof, to set it apart from the S8 6GB or 8GB, give it as an option, i am sure people will pay as everybody keeps asking for it


  •   12
    Doug D. 7 months ago Link to comment

    6 Gb of RAM, 128Gb of native internal storage (at least as an option), stereo speakers, actually getting the FPS under the front display (unlike the terrible FPS placement on the S8's), and if they wanted to be really bold, they could even offer a flat screen version for folks who had their fill of false touches with their other edge phones.

    Yeah, there is a lot that Samsung could, and should, do with the Note8.


    •   12
      Doug D. 7 months ago Link to comment

      I almost forgot a big one! Actual camera improvements, on what is admittedly already a very good camera, rather than just tweaking the software a bit.

      Aaand, yeah, yeah, yeah, I already know that the camera module has a different model designation than the one ('s) in the S7's & Note7. Big deal.

      A bit of software tweaking is what this year's camera changes for the S8'S boils down, if you can be honest about it, outside of fanboy mode.


  • iko 7 months ago Link to comment

    Finger reader under glass higher screen 128gb internal storage removable battery stereo speakers

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