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Samsung Galaxy Note 8: unveiling in late September for around $1000

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Samsung Galaxy Note 8 release date and price

In the past few weeks, the pendulum has been swinging back and forth between leaksters and rumors as to whether the Note 8 will be launched at the IFA trade fair in Berlin (September 1-6) or a few weeks earlier in August in New York.

It seems like IFA’s Executive Director Jens Heithecker wants to add some more glamour to Berlin’s annual tech trade show. Speaking at a press conference in Lisbon, Portugal, the IFA Director stated that (the IFA) “would be a better place for Samsung to unveil the Samsung Galaxy Note 8”. He also stated that Samsung will have the largest presentation at this year’s IFA, though that doesn’t necessarily mean much as the IFA is a general technology trade fair and showcases a variety of products from vacuum cleaners to dishwashers.

A source briefed on Samsung’s plans told VentureBeat that the Note 8 will be revealed in the second half of September, which is after IFA. The company is reportedly informing its partners that the Note 8 will sell for €999, which converts to about $1118. Since the Galaxy S8 and S8+ sold for $725 and $825 at launch, we could guess that the Note 8 is likely to cost $925 in the US. The report also says that the Note 8 will be nearly the same size as the Galaxy S8+, and as such, it will rely on its dual camera (12 MP), superior specs (6 GB RAM) and S-Pen stylus to set itself apart.

Up until the release of the Galaxy Note 5, Samsung traditionally unveiled its newest phablet in Berlin just before the IFA opened. A shift in marketing strategy saw Samsung move its event a month earlier to August and switched the location to New York. The leak by @Ice Universe once again swings the pendulum in favor of the August release option, placing the unveiling between August 14 and 20, as well as suggesting that the event will take place in New York.

A report from Korea Herald says that Samsung may launch the Galaxy Note 8 in late August as well. Since the Note devices were unveiled in August previously, it’s not unlikely that the Galaxy Note 8 will make an appearance then. This would allow Samsung quite a lot of time to ensure that their new model does not come with the same faults as the Galaxy Note 7, as well as get it onto the market before the next iPhone’s release in September.

A tweet from Evan Blass previously shed some light on what Samsung may be planning for its products in 2017. In his tweet, Blass referred to a smartphone that may be in the works with the model number SM-N950. Because the Note series has so far used the name scheme N9xx this is the first tangible indication we have seen that Samsung will not only be sticking with the Note series, but that it will release a Galaxy Note 8 this year.

As the Note 8 is currently under development, the manufacturer had to choose a code name. And, according to SamMobile, it is being called Great. This is contrary to a previous rumor that said the Note 8 would be called Baikal, after the Siberian Lake considered to the be the largest freshwater reserve on Earth. SamMobile also revealed that the model number of the international unlocked device would be SM-N950F, with the ending letter subject to change based on the market. This is consistent with the model number given by Evan Blass in the tweet mentioned above.

A source has told SamMobile that Samsung has started work on developing firmware for the international variant of the Galaxy Note 8. The build numbers are: N950FXXU0AQC6, N950FOXM0AQC6 and N950FXXU0AQC6.

Samsung Galaxy Note 8 display

A recent leak from Sammobile shows what could potentially be the Note 8’s screen – it’s a 6.3-inch screen with Infinity Display. The latest suggestion is that the Note 8 will just be a slightly stretched out Galaxy S8 but there’s no guarantee that the leaked images will even be the screen Samsung uses – the company often tests out several prototypes so we have no way of knowing whether this version is the final one or not. I guess we’ll have to wait and see.

galaxy note 8 leaked panel 1
This could be the Galaxy Note 8’s display panel. / © Pei Sheng Technology via Weibo

Samsung Galaxy Note 8 design

What was thought to be a Galaxy S8 prototype may actually be the Note 8. On Twitter, Russian blogger Eldar Murtazin shared two photos from a leaker called “KK” – and the device that is shown definitely isn’t the S8. This one has a vertical dual camera on the back, and no visible fingerprint scanner. Samsung could incorporate Synaptics’ under-glass fingerprint sensor in the Note 8, since it didn’t do so in the Galaxy S8. Possibly due to time constraints, Samsung gave the S8 an awkwardly placed fingerprint scanner instead of an under-glass one. The Note 8 could be its chance to fix that, given that the device isn’t expected until the second half of this year.

In-screen fingerprint sensor on the Note 8: Samsung was toying with the idea of including an in-screen fingerprint scanner on the new Note 8, according to Android Community, but due to a technical issue, it seems it might be scrapping this idea. As we saw on the Galaxy S8 released earlier this year, Samsung has done away with buttons on the phone in favor of maximizing the display aspect ratio. According to an image leaked on Weibo, the in-screen fingerprint scanner is quite obvious on the screen as it causes a noticeable color imbalance.

Opinion by Brittany McGhee

I don’t mind a visible patch on my screen in order to have an in-screen fingerprint scanner.

What do you think?

Two new photos of the device have surfaced, showing the front and back sides. These photos, posted by PriceRaja, look just like the ones in the tweet we saw in April showing a dual rear camera and no visible fingerprint scanner. The most striking thing about this device, which may be either the Note 8 or an old S8 prototype, is how similar it looks to the S8 which just hit the market.

note 8 side leak new
These leaked photos could be the Note 8. / © Price Raja

In the leaked sketch below, there are two circles on the front of the phone at the top, which are likely a front camera and an iris scanner. At the bottom, we find a USB Type-C port, headphone jack, and S Pen slot.

note 8 sketch leak cnbeta
The leaked sketch from CNbeta. / © CNbeta

A render of the Note 8 appeared online which is fairly consistent with what we think the device might look like, though it isn’t verified. It has an Infinity Display, a dual rear camera and an embedded fingerprint scanner, as well as a headphone jack just like the S8.

It will be a few months before the Galaxy Note 8 is unveiled, but a YouTube channel called DBS DESIGNING has released a concept video to keep our anticipation up. In the video below, you’ll get to see a sleek, bezel-less design with curved edges and display corners. There’s a mix of metal and glass, and the fingerprint scanner is better positioned than the Galaxy S8’s was on the back of the device.

Samsung Galaxy Note 8 camera

A report from Korea Herald says that Samsung may choose to give the Note 8 a dual camera setup similar to that of the Apple iPhone 7 Plus, which features a wide-angle and telephoto lens. If this proves to be true, the Samsung’s top of the line phablet will be the company’s first ever smartphone to come with a dual camera. There have been leaks in the past of Note 8 prototypes that feature a dual camera (see tweet above for a photo), so this is a possibility. Many other brands (such as Huawei and Oppo) have already released dual camera smartphones, so moving in this direction makes sense.

Reportedly, the wide-angle lens will have 12 MP, while the telephoto lens will have 13 MP and allow for 3x optical zoom. This setup will allow for a bokeh effect, which means the subject and background are distinct in the photo, and the background can be blurred for emphasis on the subject.

Samsung Galaxy Note 8 battery

Not much has been said about the battery on the forthcoming Galaxy Note 8 yet. While we can always hope for a removable battery, this is unlikely even after the Note 7 fiasco. The one thing we can fairly confidently assume is that the battery on the Note 8 will be safe. Samsung can’t afford another incident like it had last year so that’s a small something to cling onto. Let’s see what rumors arise in the coming weeks.

Samsung Galaxy Note 8 software

Other new rumors relate to the software innovations that the Galaxy Note 8 will be bringing. As mentioned above, the Note 8 might adopt an ultra-definition VR feature and have improved stylus functionality. Bixby, Samsung’s rumored artificial intelligence feature that is also presumed to be on the Galaxy S8, could also be making its way to the Note 8.

Do you think that Samsung will continue the Note series? Or should Samsung replace the Note series with, for example, a foldable phablet? Join the discussion on Samsung’s future plans!

Samsung Galaxy Note 8 technical specs

The CNbeta leak mentioned above also states that the Note 8 will likely have 6 GB of RAM, 256 GB of expandable internal storage and the same processor as the Galaxy S8: the Qualcomm Snapdragon 835 or Exynos 8895.

Opinion by Brittany McGhee

6 GB of RAM would be a pleasant surprise

What do you think?

It would be safe to assume that the Note 8 will connect to the current or even upcoming Gear VR headset.

Rumored Galaxy Note 8 technical specs

Display 6.3-inch screen with Infinity Display
Processor Snapdragon 835 or Exynos 8895
Camera wide-angle lens 12 MP, telephoto lens 13 MP and 3x optical zoom
Battery unknown as of yet
RAM Likely 6 GB
Internal storage 256 GB
Special features Compatibility with Gear VR headset, USB Type-C

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