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 murmurs that it lives on, reborn like a phoenix from the ashes of its forebear. Here is everything we know so far about the Note 8, based on the rumours.
Samsung Galaxy Note 8: Release date
- Note 8 pretty much confirmed
- Likely to be latter half of 2017
- Codenamed "Great"
Samsung has pretty much confirmed the release of a 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 or Note 8 when they are released in 2017.
The device is apparently codenamed "Great" and SamMobile has claimed its model number is SM-N950F so that's worth looking out for in any future leaks.
As to specifically when the Note 8 will be released, that's anyone's guess at the moment. Traditional patterns would suggest the end of the year, around August or September time, but Samsung might do it earlier in order to ensure it has a flagship phablet in the market that isn't two years old and doesn't explode.
Samsung Galaxy Note 8: Design
- Metal and glass likely
- Possibility of reduced bezels and no home button
Currently, rumours are few and far between when it comes to the Note 8's design. We wouldn't expect it to stray too much from what the Note 7 delivered, though it wouldn't be surprising to see the bezels reduce.
The Galaxy S8, which will debut on 29 March, is said to be ditching 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. If this turns out to be true, we would expect the Note 8 to do the same.
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
- 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 Plus is claimed to be to increasing to 6.2-inches without a huge change in body dimensions so it is likely the Note 8 will do the same.
Even if the rumours don't give us anything for a while regarding screen size, the Galaxy S8 and S8 Plus should offer some indication as to what path the Note 8 could take. A good screen-to-body ratio would probably be a safe bet though, as would Super AMOLED technology and Mobile HDR, the latter of which launched on the Note 7 and has since been introduced on the LG G6.
The Note 7 featured a dual-edge display with a Quad HD resolution, and while the dual-edge is likely the remain, leaks suggest the Note 8 might increase the resolution to 4K in order to be better equipped for a new Gear VR. This is plausible as there is now more 4K content becoming available and VR is becoming more prominent so the benefits of having a 4K display are more apparent than they were when Sony launched the original Xperia Z5 Premium, which has since been succeeded by the XZ Premium.
Samsung Galaxy Note 8: Camera
- Possibility of dual-rear cameras
- Likely to offer same features as Note 7, with advancements
When it comes to smartphone cameras, more megapixels doesn't always mean better, as Samsung and Apple have both proved, with both companies' flagships producing great results despite not offering the highest resolution sensors.
The Note 8 is therefore likely to continue this legacy and offer brilliant snappers, though how many megapixels will appear and what other features will be on board remains to be seen for now. We'd expect the same functionality as the Note 7, including optical image stabilisation, along with some advancements.
The Galaxy S8 has been rumoured to come with the same Duo Pixel rear camera as the S7 and S7 edge. The was also talk of a dual-camera setup, though those rumours have been dispelled by contradicting image leaks. Dual-cameras are a big trend in smartphone cameras at the moment, with Apple, LG and Huawei all offering their own takes but it does seem that Samsung and Sony are both steering clear for now.
Samsung Galaxy Note 8: Hardware
- Qualcomm or/and Exynos chips likely
- 6GB of RAM plausible expectation
- Large battery capacity expected
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. The S8 has seen talk of 8GB of RAM so if this ends up being a reality, we'd expect the Note 8 to offer the same, even if we think it is unlikely.
We'd also expect a minimum of 32GB internal storage and microSD support for further storage expansion, though we'd hope Samsung will finally offer Nougat's adoptable storage feature to allow the internal storage and SD storage to work in tandem.
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 so we would expect a similar capacity from the Note 8. 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.
Samsung Galaxy Note 8: Software
- Android Nougat with TouchWiz
- Bixby voice assistant
- Improved S Pen features rumoured
The Galaxy Note 8 will probably arrive on Android Nougat with Samsung's TouchWiz software over the top. TouchWiz was refined for the Note 7, offering less duplication and a more streamlined design so we would expect this to be the case for the Note 8 too, hopefully with some extra refinement.
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 is also confirmed to be coming to the S8.
Samsung Galaxy Note 8: Conclusion
The main focus for rumours is currently the Galaxy S8 and the S8 Plus, so at the moment there isn't a great deal to go on when it comes to the Note 8.
This is likely to change over the next few months and rumours and leaks will no doubt increase following the launch of the other flagships.
The only thing we can be almost certain of is that a new Note will launch and it will hopefully bring all the brilliant elements of the Note 7 and more. As always, we will update this feature as more information appears.