Here’s everything we know about the Samsung Galaxy Note 8 (so far)

With the second half of 2017 underway, we are getting closer to the launch of various flagship devices which will hold a special place in our hearts until the Spring of 2018. These devices include the LG V30, Moto Z2 Force, the Pixel 2 lineup, and the Samsung Galaxy Note 8.

Today, we’ll take a look at all of the rumors and leaks regarding the device to help you determine what should be arriving once the Note 8 is made official. However, before jumping forward, we need to take a look back at its predecessor.

Time to rebound

Everyone knows what happened with the Samsung Galaxy Note 7 debacle that took over headlines last Fall. The device exploded onto the scene in late August and then exploded in the hands of enough owners to warrant not one, but two, official recalls. By many initial accounts, the Galaxy Note 7 was going to be THE phone to have until the Galaxy S8 was launched, but it just was not meant to be.

After the device recalled for the final time, Samsung held its own internal investigation and determined that the 3,500mAh battery used in the Note 7 was faulty. Samsung simply did not leave enough space for the natural expansion of Lithium Ion batteries, causing the devices to catch fire.

Since then, Samsung has done quite a good job at rebounding as it has launched its 2017 flagship lineup and has even re-released the Note 7 under a new moniker — Samsung Galaxy Note Fan Edition. Unfortunately, Samsung is not making this device available for all markets, meaning that you won’t be able to go through any normal channels to get the device here in the States.

Regardless, during the press conference where Samsung discuss its findings of the Galaxy Note 7 investigation, the company also confirmed that the Note 8 would be coming in 2017. Considering the fact that there was speculation that the Note lineup would be discontinued due to the brand being tarnished, this was a huge admission by Samsung to continue pushing forward.

Early Beginnings

After it was confirmed that the Galaxy Note 8 would, indeed, launch in 2017, the rumor mill began churning out some various information. Starting with the display, the rumor suggested that we would see a 4K display, which is not all that surprising considering Samsung’s commitment to VR with the Gear VR headset.

The same rumor suggested that an unknown “Bixby Assistant” would launch with the device, and now that the Galaxy S8 has been released, this is much more plausible. It would be extremely unorthodox if Samsung launched the Galaxy Note 8 without its latest creation in-tow, for better or worse.

Other early rumors suggested that the Note 8 would finally feature a pressure-sensitive display, to combat Apple’s Force Touch technology. More recently, there have not been many rumblings confirming the aforementioned rumor, but if included, this could really turn the Note 8 into the game changer Samsung needs.

Design

Now that the Galaxy S8 and S8 Plus have launched, we already have a pretty good idea as to what to expect with the Galaxy Note 8. We are likely to see a return of the glass front and back with the metal frame sandwiched between. The rest of the device, however, has been up to some interpretation over the previous few of months.

Display

With the Galaxy S8, Samsung introduced its new bezel-less display, known as the Infinity Display. This gives the Galaxy S8 lineup an aspect ratio of 2:1 (18.5:9) and provides much more screen real-estate, without compromising the overall footprint. We are expecting to see the Infinity Display continue making waves with the Galaxy Note 8, while measuring in around 6.3-inches.

If true, this would make the Note 8 just slightly larger than the Galaxy S8 Plus, whose display measures in at 6.2-inches. Before running to the hills and grabbing your pitchforks, this isn’t unheard of as the Note 7s display was only .2-inches larger than the Galaxy S7 Edge when it launched last year.

As was the case with the Galaxy S8, we have seen quite a few leaks claiming to show off either a glass screen protector or front display panel for the Galaxy Note 8. Some of these have revealed that the Note 8 could see even slimmer bezels than what was found on the Galaxy S8, offering, even more, screen real-estate. Which would be great, considering the assumed return of the iconic S Pen.

Fingerprint Scanner

There are two major points regarding the Galaxy Note 8 that have been seeing much debate, and the first is the fingerprint scanner for the device. Leading up to the launch of the S8, there were rumors aplenty which suggested Samsung would feature an ultrasonic fingerprint scanner, completely removing the home button and opening doors for a dual-camera system.

However, as we neared the launch of the S8 lineup, reports arose which claimed that the technology was not ready for prime time, forcing Samsung to scrap the idea. Since the Galaxy Note lineup used to be where Samsung experimented with the design a bit, the thought was that we would see this technology introduced with the Note 8.

It seems that won’t be the case, as recent renders from case manufacturers have shown the Note 8 to see the return of the fingerprint scanner placed on the rear of the device. This move was not well-received, as reaching for the scanner can be a bit of a pain and out of reach for those with smaller hands.

Regardless, it seems that we’re still going to be left without the ultrasonic fingerprint scanner until the technology is ready for the bright lights. So we’ll be keeping our fingers crossed for this to be introduced with the Samsung Galaxy S9.

Cameras

Other than the hubbub surrounding whether the Galaxy Note 8 would feature an ultrasonic fingerprint scanner, the next big topic of conversation has been the rear camera(s). Many of the early leaks and rumors have been following the same train as the Galaxy S8, with regards to whether these devices would feature a dual-camera setup or stick to the single camera sensor.

With other OEMs such as Apple and LG moving to the dual camera setup, it’s only a matter of time for Samsung to join the fray, but the company has been holding off. This is likely due to the fact that the company has been forced to place the fingerprint scanner on the rear of the device, now that the home button has been removed.

There was speculation that the Note 8 would be the first Samsung device to feature dual cameras, but it seems that will no longer be the case as the Galaxy C10 will be coming with this setup. However, that didn’t stop Samsung-hopefuls from wishing for the best with the Note 8.

Recently, there have been a few different case renders which supposedly show off the rear of the Galaxy Note 8. These renders have seemingly confirmed the presence of a dual-camera setup, with the flash, heart rate monitor, and fingerprint scanner all placed to the right of the camera module.

We aren’t exactly sure what sensors will be used with the Galaxy Note 8, but a report from VentureBeat claims the device will feature dual-12MP sensors. These sensors are also said to feature “independent optical image stabilization”, which is should be great for pictures and 4K videos.

Odds & Ends

Software

When it comes to software, we know that the Galaxy Note 8 will feature Samsung’s TouchWiz overlay, but what’s underneath may be a bit more surprising. As we get closer to the end of the Summer, we know that Android O is on the way, but it seems that the Galaxy Note 8 may not run the latest version of Android out of the box.

Back in June, an HTML5 browser test was leaked, which showed the Galaxy Note 8 running Android 7.1.1 Nougat. Now, this isn’t all that surprising, but you would expect to at least see Samsung testing Android O out on its latest and greatest device, but that wasn’t the case here.

Even if the Galaxy Note 8 doesn’t launch with Android O, that’s not to say that it won’t be coming in the short months after the device is launched. It will just take Samsung some time to work out all of the bugs before providing the latest version of Android on its latest device.

DeX Compatibility

While the launch of the Galaxy S8 and S8 Plus brought us a new version of the Gear VR headset and Gear 360, Samsung also introduced something completely unexpected. The Samsung DeX system is designed to help replicate a desktop experience through the use of a dock and your smartphone.

Naturally, you’ll still need a monitor, keyboard, and mouse to make things work in addition to the dock itself, but Samsung is sticking to its guns here. There is no reason, at this time, to suspect that the Galaxy Note 8 will not be compatible with the DeX system, making for an even bigger powerhouse for a makeshift home computer.

Specs

The specs for the Galaxy Note 8 have been changing on a regular basis, but Evan Blass of VentureBeat gave us a pretty good idea with a substantial leak back in June. The device is expected to feature a 6.3-inch Quad HD display, with a 2:1 aspect ratio thanks to the new Infinity Display.

Samsung Galaxy Note 8 Specs:

  • 6.3-inch QHD Infinity Display
  • Qualcomm Snapdragon 835/Exynos 8895
  • 6GB RAM
  • 64GB/128GB Expandable Storage
  • 5MP Front Camera
  • Dual 12MP Rear Cameras
  • 3,300mAh Battery

Powering the device will be Samsung’s own Exynos 8895 SoC in global markets, with the Qualcomm Snapdragon 835 SoC running the show here in the States. This will also be coupled with 6GB of RAM, marking only the second time that Samsung has used more than 4GB of RAM in a device.

When it comes to the battery, it seems that Samsung is understandably planning to take a more cautious approach with the Galaxy Note 8. Its predecessor obviously pushed the limits of its casing with the 3,500mAh battery, but rumors claim that the Note 8 will be packed with a 3,300mAh battery. This move isn’t surprising, but considering the fact that the Note 8 will likely feature a larger body than the Galaxy S8 Plus, you would think to see something bigger.

Announcement and Price Expectations

Over the past week or so, we’ve learned more about Samsung’s plans to unveil its latest device, with various reports and rumors suggesting a launch at the end of August. It was initially reported that we would see Samsung make its presence known at IFA 2017, but new reports have nixed that idea.

Image courtesy of VentureBeat

There were other rumors that Samsung was looking to return to New York for its latest Unpacked event, which would follow the company’s recent trend of device announcements. In fact, the president of Samsung’s mobile division confirmed the company is planning an Unpacked event for the end of August, which would all but nix the Note 8 to be announced at IFA 2017.

As for pricing, things aren’t looking too great for those hoping to save a few bucks. Naturally, that’s not the point of the Note series, but rumors and reports put the price tag of the Note 8 above $900. Evan Blass even stated that the starting price in the UK for the Note 8 would start at €999 for the unlocked variant. 

What are your expectations?

Now that we have laid everything out on the table for you to digest, we want to know what you think is coming when the Galaxy Note 8 launches. Will you be looking to get one for yourself? Or are you going to wait and see what LG and Google bring out later this Fall before making a decision?

Let us know in the comments below what your thoughts are regarding the upcoming Samsung Galaxy Note 8.

http://phandroid.com/2017/07/20/samsung-galaxy-note-8-rumor-roundup/

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