Samsung's Galaxy Note 7 was a fantastic phone, until the battery issues destroyed its reputation and left it with a legacy of being the only phone to be singled out before boarding a flight.
We expected the Note family to die with the Note 7, but there's plenty of talk that it lives on, reborn like the phoenix from the flames of its forebear. Here is everything we know so far about the Note 8.
Samsung Galaxy Note 8: Release date and price
- Note 8 pretty much confirmed
- 23 August event
- Rumoured to cost €1000 (around $900 / £895)
Samsung pretty much confirmed the release of the Note 8 after it announced an upgrade scheme in South Korea following the Note 7 debacle. The scheme allowed anyone who bought a Note 7 to get a Galaxy S7 or S7 edge for half price, after which they would be able to upgrade to the Galaxy S8, now available, or Note 8 when it is released.
As to specifically when the Note 8 will be released, Samsung has sent out media save-the-dates on Twitter for an event on 23 August confirming it will "reveal the latest member of the Galaxy family". The invite also shows a Note-like outline with a stylus and it teases the words "do bigger things". It also recently released a teaser video that all but confirms the event will be for the Note 8.
Digitimes previously claimed the earliest Samsung could launch the Note 8 would be September after talking to component manufacturers so we might need to wait a few weeks after announcement before the phablet hits shelves.
In terms of price, VentureBeat has claimed the Note 8 will cost €1000 when it launches, which is around £895, or $900. Ouch. The site also claimed it would launch in late September, which would be around a month after it is announced based on the event date. It is said to be coming in Midnight Black and Maple Gold colours, with Orchid Grey and Deep Sea Blue following, the latter of which Evan Blass has leaked.
Samsung Galaxy Note 8: Design
- Metal and glass sandwich design probable
- Reduced bezels and no home button likely
- S Pen and dedicated slot also a safe bet
The Galaxy S8 and S8+, which debuted on 29 March, ditched the physical home button in favour of an almost all-screen front, with the fingerprint sensor repositioning to the rear, next to the camera lens. We'd therefore expect the Note 8 to do similar, sticking with a curved display and reduced bezels like the two new Galaxy S devices.
A leak on Slashleaks shows off what it claims to be the Galaxy Note 8, featuring a very similar design to the S8 and S8+ but with a seemingly wider stance, which would be likely given the S Pen would need to slot in somewhere. The Note 8 is pictured with the S Pen next to it and Bixby on the screen, as well as the same on-screen controls as the recent S8 and S8+ devices, making a good case for its legitimacy. You can never be sure though, so grab that salt just in case.
Additionally, Evan Blass posted some images on Twitter, also supporting the same design. Blass shows off the Note 8 from the front, back and sides, though not the top and bottom. He also posted another image more recently of the front of the Note 8 with the S Pen in the apparent Deep Sea Blue colour.
In the first set of images, the Note 8 features a wider stance than the S8, as shown in his comparative image, an Infinity Display with even slimmer bezels than the S8 and the rear shows a dual camera. In another leak, Blass also gives details of the measurements, claiming the Note 8 will offer the following dimensions: 162.5mm x 74.6mm x 8.5mm.
Further supporting the Slashleaks design leaks and the Evan Blass leaks are some very clean renders from BGR, said to have been drawn up from details given to case manufacturers. These renders show the Note 8 from all angles, including the all-screen front and a dual-camera setup on the rear, with a fingerprint sensor next to it and they are almost identical to the images from Blass.
There was originally some talk of Samsung embedding a fingerprint sensor into the display rather than putting it on the rear like the S8 and S8+, something Apple is also rumoured to be doing with the iPhone 8, though it is now thought this won't be the case as apparently there have been some issues with uneven brightness of the screen because of the technology.
Some renders from @OnLeaks in collaboration with 91Mobiles show the Note 8 sporting the fingerprint sensor on the rear, like the BGR images show, and they also show where the new S-Pen, which Slashleaks claims to have images of, might sit. The images show quite a thick device with a raised dual camera and fingerprint sensor on the rear.
It is not clear from the images from Blass whether the dual camera on the back is raised or not but an image Blass took from his pocket shows what appears to be the Note 8 in a case featuring flush camera lenses, which is further supported by some leaked dummy shots that appeared on Weibo.
The image from Blass' pocket isn't the clearest image, featuring mainly ceiling and wall, but it does seem to show an in-the-wild photo of what we assume is the Note 8 with the same design as reported in the renders, while the leaked dummy shots in the wild are much clearer.
Another photo also appeared on Facebook, posted by Tung Ha, which is claimed to show the apparent raised dual-camera array of the Note 8.
Ha's image leak has raised some speculation that the fingerprint sensor on the rear may also be a press button. Ha also posted a mock-up of the device, which falls in line with similar renders we have seen, though the lenses of the rear camera appear to be a little closer together than the Blass and BGR leaks.
There has also been a leak from Poyoco Tech showing some renders of the Galaxy Note 8. These renders also show a dual camera on the rear but with no fingerprint next to it, along with an almost all-screen front like the S8 and S8+. It is likely these aren't what we will see though as they show a vertical dual camera and almost all the other leaks and renders show a horizontal setup.
A tweet from Ice Universe also shows that all screen front but with slightly adjusted corners, suggesting a few more pixels may be squished in. The same site posted another set of renders more recently showing what it claims to be the front of the Note 8.
There is no indication from the renders as the what the back might look like, but the front follows previous reports and speculation that the Note 8 will have an all-screen front with very minimal bezels like the Samsung Galaxy S8 and S8+. There was also a tweet from Samsung Exynos showing a device, which some have speculated is the Note 8.
In terms of materials, we'd be surprised to see a move away from the metal and glass combo that has served Samsung so well over the last couple of years. We can also assume USB Type-C will be on board, along with the S Pen.
Samsung Galaxy Note 8: Display
- Big screen is a given, claimed to be 6.3-inches
- Dual-edge display is likely again
- 4K resolution for VR rumoured
The Samsung Galaxy Note series is known for its large display so it's a given that the Note 8 will also have a big screen. Traditionally, this has been 5.7-inches, at least since the Note 3, though the S8+ offers 6.2-inches with only a slight change in its body dimensions so it is likely the Note 8 will do similar.
It has been claimed the Note 8 will offer a 6.3-inch screen with the same 18.5:9 aspect ratio as the S8 and S8+, making it only slightly larger than the S8+. Based on the image leaks from Blass, the Note 8 will have slightly slimmer bezels and a squarer form than the S8 as we briefly mentioned previously.
It doesn't look like it will be much bigger than the S8 but Blass's image is likely not be to scale. He claims the Note 8 will measure 162.5mm x 74.6mm x 8.5mm as we said above, which if true would make it only slightly bigger than the S8+ that measures 159.5 x 73.4 x 8.1mm, as predicted.
This idea of a squarer form and slimmer bezels seems to be supported by the front panel leak on Slashleaks, presenting what appears to be the same design as the Infinity Display on the S8 and S8+ but a little wider. The 18.5:9 aspect has also been confirmed by sources talking to Galaxy Club.
Super AMOLED technology and Mobile HDR are also safe bets for the new device, the latter of which launched on the Note 7 and has since been introduced on the Galaxy S8, S8+ and the LG G6. Blass has also claimed a Super AMOLED panel will be on board after receiving information from someone familiar with the device.
The Note 7 featured a dual-edge display with a Quad HD resolution, and while the dual-edge is likely the remain, especially given both the S8 and S8+ have it, leaks suggest the Note 8 might increase the resolution to 4K in order to be better equipped for a new Gear VR.
A 4K display is often seen as the holy grail and the Xperia Z5 Premium and the XZ Premium are about the only devices to offer this so far. In daily use it makes little difference, but it is noticeable once you have the magnifying lenses of a VR headset in front of it. At the same time it drives up cost and battery consumption. Currently we can't confirm Samsung's plans either way.
Samsung Galaxy Note 8: Camera
- Dual-rear cameras likely
- Dual 12MP rear cameras claimed, 8MP front camera
- Leaks show horizontal dual-rear camera arrangement
The Galaxy S8 launched with same Duo Pixel rear camera as the S7 and S7 edge but with the addition of multi-frame image processing. There were talks of a dual-camera setup but those rumours never came to light. That's not to say Samsung might not change things up for the Note 8 though.
Dual-cameras are a big trend in smartphone cameras at the moment, with Apple, LG and Huawei all offering their own takes and even though Samsung and Sony have both steered clear for now, analysts Ming-Chi Kuo and Park Kang-ho both believe the Note 8 will take the leap and several leaks suggest the same.
According to Kuo, the new camera will be "the most important upgrade" for the Galaxy Note 8 and will feature a 12-megapixel CIS support dual photodiode (2PD), 13-megapixel telephoto CIS, dual 6P lenses, dual optical image stabilisation and three times optical zoom. He also said it would be superior to the dual camera on the iPhone 7 Plus.
Blass contradicts these predictions though, suggesting there will be two 12-megapixel rear sensors, one wide-angle and the other telephoto with 2x optical zoom. He said optical image stabilisation would be on board, as it was with the S8, and he said the front snapper would have an 8-megapixel resolution with an f/1.7 autofocus lens.
A dual-camera on the Note 8 was suggested by the same tipster who claimed the 6.3-inch screen size and there has also been an apparent leaked dummy of the Note 8 appear too, as well as the renders from Poyoco Tech, BGR and the leaked images from Blass, so rumours are certainly pointing in this direction.
The leaked dummy shows a vertical arrangement with what appears to be the flash module underneath. There doesn't appear to be a fingerprint sensor on the rear though like the S8 and S8+, but bear in mind these dummy pictures are likely to be fake as more recent leaks and renders have suggested the dual-camera arrangement will be horizontal instead.
Tang Ha's Facebook page shows an image of what is claimed to be the Note 8's camera array. The image shows a raised module featuring two lenses, a flash and heart rate sensor, as well as a similar fingerprint sensor to the S8 and S8+, which the recent images from Blass also show.
Samsung Galaxy Note 8: Hardware
- Qualcomm and Exynos chips rumoured
- 6GB of RAM plausible expectation
- 3300mAh battery suggested
The Samsung Galaxy Note 8 will come with the latest hardware under its hood, as is typically the case with the Note series. The latest and greatest Exynos or Qualcomm chips will no doubt be running the show, depending on region, and there's a good chance of 6GB of RAM. Blass claims the Qualcomm Snapdragon 835 chip will be on board for the US, while the Exynos 8895 will be used globally. He also says there will be 6GB of RAM.
We'd also expect a minimum of 32GB internal storage and microSD support for further storage expansion. A report from Korea claims there will be a 64GB option and a 128GB option, both of which will offer microSD for expansion up to 256GB, while Blass confirms a 64GB model.
In terms of battery, the Note 8 will hopefully have one that doesn't blow up. That would definitely be a good start anyway. The Note 7 offered a 3500mAh capacity, which is the same as the S8+, so we would expect a similar capacity from the Note 8. According to Blass, the Note 8 will have a 3300mAh capacity and it will be charged via USB Type-C or wirelessly.
A report from The Korea Herald suggests Samsung will source batteries from LG Chem, along with its own Samsung SDI battery conglomerate and China ATL.
It is also thought Samsung may tune the Note 8 speakers in association with AKG, following the leaked renders from Poyoco Tech.
The AKG logo is printed on the rear at the bottom of the renders of the device and given the S8 and S8+ launched with AKG headphones and Samsung owns AKG's parent company, it wouldn't be too surprising to see this collaboration more heavily integrated into the device itself.
Samsung Galaxy Note 8: Software
- Android Nougat with TouchWiz
- Bixby voice assistant
- Improved S Pen features rumoured
The Galaxy Note 8 will no doubt arrive on Android Nougat with Samsung's TouchWiz software over the top. TouchWiz was refined for the Note 7, S8 and S8+ offering less duplication and a more streamlined design so we would expect this to be the case for the Note 8 too. We've seen reports that the Note 8 is in testing with Android 7.1.1.
There will no doubt be some new features for the Note 8 specifically, along with the S Pen features of course. Rumour has it the Note 8 will offer improved stylus features over the Note 7, along with the Bixby voice assistant, which debuted on the S8.
Samsung Galaxy Note 8: Conclusion
Rumours and leaks will no doubt increase over the next few weeks as we get closer to the 23 August date for the Note 8's launch. Both the S8 and S8+ leaked heavily before their official launch so we're expecting to see a little more about the Note 8 beforehand too.
The only thing we can be almost certain of for now however is that a new Note will launch and it will hopefully bring all the brilliant elements of the Note 7, S8 and S8+ and more. As always, we will update this feature as more information appears.