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Samsung Galaxy Note 8 release date, specs, rumours and price explained

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What you need to know about the Samsung Galaxy Note 8

The Samsung Galaxy Note 8 release date is probably not that far away, but will the phone be any good – and will it explode? In this article, I’ll cover:

  • What’s the latest Galaxy Note 8 news?
  • What is the Galaxy Note 8 release date?
  • What’s new about the Galaxy Note 8 design and specs?
  • Will the Galaxy Note 8 be safe?
  • What’s the Galaxy Note 8 price likely to be?
  • Should you wait for the Galaxy Note 8?

(Update: April 25, 2017): New concept renders give us a glimpse at a possible future for Samsung Galaxy Note smartphones. Read on to check them out.

Samsung’s Galaxy Note 7 met an untimely end in late 2017, recalled over battery issues that caused some phones to explode. So the pressure is on for Samsung to get this year’s Note phone just right. The good news is that if Samsung’s new Galaxy S8 is anything to go by, we’re expecting the Galaxy Note 8 to be awesome.

Samsung has already confirmed that there will be a Note 8 handset, so the branding isn’t being killed off after last year’s phone fire debacle. Unfortunately, we still haven’t seen enough leaks to have firm details about specs or pricing. That said, there’s plenty to chew over in terms of educated guesswork, so read on for our predictions about Samsung’s next phablet.

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Alternatively, scroll to the bottom of the page for a summarised version of this article.

Samsung Galaxy Note 8Samsung Galaxy Note 7

Related: Best Android phones

Galaxy Note 8 News: The latest news and rumours

Here’s a rundown of the latest Galaxy Note 8 news, in chronological order:

January 4, 2017Note reportedly lives on: A Business Korea report cited a source as saying that Samsung would be releasing a Note series device in 2017.

January 23, 2017Note 8 existence confirmed: Speaking to CNet, Samsung Mobile chief DJ Koh said that we would see a "better, safer and very innovative Note 8" later this year.

March 7, 2017Note 8 codename revealed? A report from Sammobile suggested that the codename for the Galaxy Note 8 is "great", and will ship under the model number SM-N950F.

April 9, 2017Note 8 image leaked? Android Headlines posted an image sourced from China that appears to depict the Galaxy Note 8 – although we can't verify the snap.

Samsung Galaxy Note 8 3Samsung Galaxy Note 7

Galaxy Note 8 release date: When does it come out?

We haven't seen any Galaxy Note 8 release date leaks just yet, but we have a good idea of when the phone will be announced. Here's a history of Galaxy Note launches, for reference:

  • Samsung Galaxy Note – Announced Oct 27, 2011 | Released Oct 29, 2011
  • Samsung Galaxy Note 2 – Announced Aug 29, 2012 | Released Sep 26, 2012
  • Samsung Galaxy Note 3 – Announced Sep 4, 2013 | Released Sep 25, 2013
  • Samsung Galaxy Note 4 – Announced Sep 3, 2014 | Released Oct 17, 2014
  • Samsung Galaxy Note 5 – Announced Aug 13, 2015 | Released Aug 21, 2015
  • Samsung Galaxy Note 7 – Announced Aug 2, 2016 | Released Aug 19, 2016

Samsung previously targeted launches at Berlin's IFA tradeshow in September, but the last two launches saw Note phones arrive in August, probably to better compete with the iPhone. We'd expect that pattern to continue this year, with an August/September launch seeming most likely. However, there are rumours of a mysterious Galaxy X device launching before the Note phone, which could mean the Note launch may be pushed back.

Samsung Galaxy Note 8 5Samsung Galaxy Note 7

Galaxy Note 8 Design: What’s new?

Samsung has used previous Galaxy Note handsets to test out new design concepts. In fact, we first saw Samsung’s curved ‘Edge’-style display on a Note phone, and it’s now a staple of the core Galaxy S series.

However, the most likely scenario will be that we’ll see a repeat of the new Galaxy S7 design for the Galaxy Note 8. This is quite a drastic departure from the Galaxy Note 7 aesthetic, but the response to the new design has been positive so far, so we’re hopeful Samsung will keep it up.

With the Galaxy S7, Samsung introduced what it’s calling an ‘Infinity Display’. This means that the front of the phone has redesigned, with the Home button moved to the back of the handset. The curved ‘Edge’-style edge-to-edge display is retained, but the top and bottom part of the bezel are much slimmer. The result is that most of the front of the phone is occupied by display, making for a very attractive handset.

Given the hype that Samsung has created around the ‘Infinity Display’ design, we’d be surprised if it was scrapped for the Galaxy Note 8.

s8plusbeware 15Samsung Galaxy S8

Importantly, the ‘Infinity Display’ also means that much more screen can be packed into the same size body. For instance, the Galaxy S8+ is only marginally bigger than the Galaxy S7 Edge, but the screen size moved from 5.5 inches to 6.2 inches with the new phone. Considering that the Galaxy Note 7 used a 5.7-inch display, we’d expect to see similar screen size gains.

It’s also highly likely that Samsung will retain the IP68-certified waterproof design we’ve seen on both the Galaxy Note 7 and Galaxy S8. This means the phone has been tested underwater at depths of 1.5 metres for 30 minutes – and lived to tell the tale.

The only proper design leak we've seen so far is the following image, posted by Android Headlines and sourced from China – although we can't verify its legitimacy:

note 8

Galaxy Note 8 specs: What’s new?

As I mentioned in the design, section, it’s likely that Samsung will increase the size of the display from the Note 7’s 5.7 inches. We’d expect something north of 6.2-inches, without seeing a significant body size increase thanks to the new ‘Infinity Display’ design.

But we’re also expecting to see a display resolution bump, in line with the Galaxy S8. The Galaxy Note 7 and Galaxy S7 both used Quad HD screens – that’s 2,560 x 1,440 pixels. But the Galaxy S8 saw a move to QHD+, which means you’re getting 2,960 x 1,440 pixels. Given that the Note 7 screen is expected to grow, it would be hugely surprising if the resolution wasn’t hiked up to QHD+.

Samsung Galaxy Note 8 7Samsung Galaxy Note 7

But there’s also a chance we may see an ever bigger bump, with a definite possibility of a 4K Ultra HD screen on the horizon. Earlier this year, the Korea Herald published a report about how Samsung was working on massively increasing the pixel density of its Gear VR virtual reality headset. The easiest way to do this would be to significantly ramp up the number of pixels in the Galaxy Note 8, which would then be docked into the headset as the screen.

While it’s clear that the advantages of a 4K phone at normal viewing distances aren’t worthwhile, upgrading to UHD for VR purposes is certainly useful. That’s because the phone is so close to your eyes that pixels become much more obvious. Also, because a VR headset requires images to bit split stereoscopically (i.e. into two parts), resolution is technically halved. So moving to a 4K screen with the Galaxy Note 8 would be an easy way for Samsung to boost the quality of its mobile VR experience.

So what else should we expect? Well it’s highly likely that the Galaxy Note 8 will retain the same processors used in the Galaxy S8. That means we’ll either get Samsung’s custom-built Exynos 8995 chipset, or Qualcomm’s similarly powerful Snapdragon 835 chip. Either way, you’ll be getting a chip built on Samsung’s highly efficient 10nm manufacturing process, which means it will be more powerful and less power-hungry.

But Samsung is always keen to pack the Galaxy Note devices out with bonus features. The last version had an iris scanner and an S-Pen stylus to boot, so we’d expect much the same from the Galaxy Note 8. Other features like NFC and a fingerprint scanner are effectively a given too. So what new features could Samsung add? It’s tough to say at this point, but we could see an increase to 6GB of RAM, or perhaps boosted storage – 128GB as standard, perhaps?

Samsung Galaxy Note 8 9Samsung Galaxy Note 7

On the software front, it’s likely that the Galaxy Note 8 will launch before Google’s upcoming Android O operating system is widely available. Instead, we’d expect the Note 8 to carry the tried-and-tested Android 7.0 Nougat, with Samsung’s Bixby digital assistant loaded to boot.

We’ll include a full specs table here once rumours about the phone firm up in the coming weeks.

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Galaxy Note 8 battery safety: Will it explode?

No one can forget when Samsung recalled the Galaxy Note 7 twice last year after a battery issue caused some users’ phones to spontaneously catch fire. So whether you think it’s an overreaction or not, there will absolutely be some consumers who are concerned about the safety of Samsung’s Galaxy Note 8.

The good news is that the Galaxy Note 8 probably won’t explode; Samsung will be very keen to avoid any such gaffe a second year running, considering how financially damaging the Note 7 debacle turned out to be.

Samsung Galaxy Note 8 15Samsung Galaxy Note 7

In a bid to prevent fiery phones in 2017, Samsung has rolled out the new ‘8-Point Battery Safety Check’ scheme across its smartphone manufacturing process: “It involves putting our batteries through extreme testing, inside and out, followed by careful inspection by X-ray and the human eye to ensure highest quality.”

Samsung adds: “This program is our commitment to safer devices now and in the future.”

You can read all about the new battery safety testing here.

Galaxy Note 8 price: How much will it cost?

The bad news is that Samsung is probably going to charge a significant amount of cash for the Galaxy Note 8. Last year’s Galaxy Note 7 launched at a price of £749 in the UK, which is a fair whack more than what you’d normally pay for a high-end smartphone.

Samsung Galaxy Note 8 11Samsung Galaxy Note 7

However, this year we’ve seen the Galaxy S8+ price in at £779, and we’d be very surprised if the Galaxy Note 8 was any cheaper. There’s a chance it could even launch as high as £799, given the fact that the phone usually carries bonus features that the core Galaxy S line misses out on.

You can read about how the Brexit vote has affected tech pricing in the UK here.

Should you wait for the Galaxy Note 8?

If you’re thinking about buying a Galaxy Note 8, there’s plenty to consider.

If you don’t want to pay top dollar for the best specs, look elsewhere. Samsung’s Note series are powerhouse devices, with cutting-edge specs and features, and a massive price tag to boot. It’s worth considering the Samsung Galaxy S8 or Galaxy S8+ if you’re not keen on waiting around.

If you need the very best in smartphonery, then stick around. We’re expecting the Galaxy Note 8 to be one of the best phones Samsung has ever made, so if you’re thinking about picking up a new phone this year and have money to burn, the Galaxy Note 8 could be a decent pick. It’s also set to come out around the same time as Apple’s iPhone, so it’s always worth seeing what September brings before spending cash on a new phone.

Consider budget alternatives too. Don’t forget that most mid-range phones are decent enough to get most stuff done these days. Why splash £800 on a phone when you could get a sub-£200 Moto G that’ll do almost everything you need?

Samsung Galaxy Note 8 13Samsung Galaxy Note 7

Galaxy Note 8: Summary

Here’s a summarised version of what you need to know about the Samsung Galaxy Note 8.

Design: Samsung will almost certainly borrow from the Galaxy S8 for the Galaxy Note 8, with a massive ‘Infinity Display’ looking like the most likely design edition.

Specs: We’re expecting to see a Snapdragon 835 or Exynos 8995 chip on board, as well as all the usual top-end features: fingerprint sensors, iris scanners, and waterproofing too.

Price: Top-end specs cost a pretty penny, so expect to pay well above £700 if historical Note device releases are anything to go by.

Galaxy Note 8: Concept Renders

As with any major upcoming phone release, the Galaxy Note 8 has already ushered in some concept renders. The following images were created by graphic designer Muhsin M. Belaal Auckburaully, and depict his vision for the phone. Don't forget that these images are simply concepts, and are in no way official marketing materials produced by Samsung. There's every chance the Galaxy Note 8 will look nothing like this:

Note 8 render

note 8 render

note 8 render

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What would you like to see from the Samsung Galaxy Note 8? Let us know in the comments.

Ton

November 4, 2016, 12:51 pm

i see some flaws in your list (apart from forgetting that lg and i think huawei too preceded the iphone double camera)

1 and 2 well no argument there
3, yes or given that samsung make pretty good socs too (and will make them on 10nm too) that would be fine too

4 dual camera's are cool but they do bulk up the module and you will have a bulge

5 ah vr, here is where we differ, the note has always been oriented towards bussiness, so vr should not be the selling point, they might even do away with the note name i guess, if there is one thing i would consider a hamerblow is if they put into production that prototype which was about 5 inch folded and a 8 inch upfolded bendable oled, that would seriously up the ante

6 samsung has chosen ufs 2.0 over pci storage. the main reason is that ufs 2.0 was developed for mobile use so while the top speed is a bit lower (though still faster that sata 2 btw) i offers something apple can't and won't offer: external storage.

so a 64 or 128gb model would still be expandable with a ufs 2.0 card that if i am correct can be a lot bigger than 256gb

7 water proof or water resistant (as apple cagily calls it) yes , the iris scanner well only if it works a lot better, s pen please

8 that is beyond discussion

PDAJah

November 4, 2016, 2:05 pm

3. We all know the Exynos has often been faster in recent versions compared to SD. Also Exynos devices have a better DAC and headamp.
6. Totally agree. Tech journalists seem to think Apple have the reference design, they don't.
7. My Note 7 Iris scanner worked really well.

Ton

November 4, 2016, 2:29 pm

yes, we (europe ) had the exynos chips for a while the us always had qualcomm chips as samsungs modem does not support some of the us networks (cdma i think)

the irisscanner(i wear glasses) have not convinced me allthough they are getting better and lg is going to use the front camera which would make it a lot easier to implement, might want to look at something like windows hello /intel realsense tech though

toboev

November 4, 2016, 2:35 pm

"No more fires, please." And there's the rub: at launch (or before) there will be videos of burnt out Note 8s. Some will also show spectacular consequential damage, a simple burnt out phone is too tame - add an SUV or aircraft. TR will amplify the message unquestioningly - anything for a click. There seems to be no price for playing this game, except for the losers - mobile phone manufacturers and their customers.

Bugblatter

November 4, 2016, 4:39 pm

Erm, removable battery?

The Note 4 was the last Note worth buying IMO. Update that with modern gubbins and you have a winner.

iFrank

November 4, 2016, 6:08 pm

For me but no specific order.
1). Really, really bright screen (with auto function) latest phones are still only 'just usable' in bright sunlight.
Journos should get out more and campaign for this instead of worrying about Nano sim, USB C and premium feel, which do not aid usability or longevity.

2). Headphone jack on top edge of phone and restore FM radio with recording ability as per first Note with better headphones 'in the box' along with dual front facing speakers when viewing vid's. See 4.

3). Develop Touchwiz even more, if only to continually show basic Android the direction of travel and innovation. Also allow reversal type to facilitate white on black instead of skeletal and spidery black on white.

4). Six inch length screen but retain the current width of S7, for me that is the sweet spot, viewing media, answering calls with accurate earpiece alignment and easy pocketability.

Silver Fang

November 4, 2016, 11:39 pm

Removable battery. Nothing else will satisfy.

Rod Chapman

November 5, 2016, 7:19 am

Note 7 was Fantastic phone - if as good I will buy Note 8 - Only two desires please:
1) Full USB-C docking: would be great if I could dock my phone using USB-C like I do my laptop which will allow me to keep charger, external Screen, Keyboard, Mouse, ext hard drive & Ethernet attached to docking station and then just sit down and plug in with one cable and get access to everything like a laptop while charging. Note 7 only the mouse & keyboard & charging worked when docking.
2) IR blaster - this was a great feature which disappeared with Note4. I miss it a lot!

toboev

November 6, 2016, 12:07 am

#3 part 1
I nearly died laughing. Not because I disagree (I don't, you are spot on), but your touching faith that anyone at TR would get it.

Clara

November 6, 2016, 3:05 pm

1. Removable battery
2. Micro SD expansion
3. Flat screen version
4. IR Blaster
5. FM Radio
6. Ditch the glass back for metal so fingerprints are less visible.

I've been a fan of the note series and have had the note 2, 3 and 4. If the note 8 doesn't at least bring back the removable battery I'll be looking into other brands.

kellen

November 6, 2016, 3:31 pm

yes yes yes yes yes yes damn it YES! i dont understand why that is so hard! its not even too much to ask!

Kyra Mathias

November 6, 2016, 7:10 pm

Samsung Phones are now on sale only at NewSmartphoneDeals;com

dawesi

November 7, 2016, 1:26 am

my Note 4... went through the wash... bent at 30 degrees... put it in the oven and bent it back... good as gold... #keeper

Ironically the Note 4 has almost the same specs as the iphone 5 (released 4+ years later)

dawesi

November 7, 2016, 1:26 am

why is no-one talking about all the other usb-c devices catching fire...

iPhone 6 and iPhone 7 have had many batter fires also... no recall (apple don't care)... one iPhone 7 in the box during delivery!! #crikey

dawesi

November 7, 2016, 1:28 am

The Galaxy Note 7 'was' to ship with a free 256Gb sd card... so they answered that before apple even...

no 4k... battery life is more important... there's no need for 4k with VR also, it's about the pixel density, not resolution.

IR Blaster, DVB (digital) radio, even better front facing speakers.

Double camera... #whocares... that's for iPhone fanbois whos phone is only useful for taking photos, not use the phone for productive work. #getalife

T Carter

November 7, 2016, 2:16 am

How about this?
It won't be called the Note 8. Samsung already had a Note 8.0; an 8" tablet released in 2013, so it's unlikely to call it the Note 8.
This is Samsung's opportunity to change the model name of the Note series or the release number.
So perhaps it would be called the Note X or Note Infinity.
Or maybe some new model name to escape the tainted name of the Note model series, maybe Samsung Life or Samsung Exec, who knows.

Lynelle Munns

November 7, 2016, 8:59 am

flat screen version (the curve makes me travel sick of all damn things!), sd card slot, headphone jack, removable battery and waterproof. ill be happy with that lot.

oh and official slimline cases that both cover the screen completely and dont scratch and look horrible within 2 seconds of being put in a handbag. my current case looks TERRIBLE but cost me $80NZD (all because it turns my screen on and off for me???) so i refuse to not get plenty of use out of it.

I have the note 5 currently as my note 2 died 2 weeks before the note 7 came out (good to know it had my back!)

Bugblatter

November 7, 2016, 2:41 pm

Yikes; I really hope you removed the battery before cooking it!

Not sure about those dates though; the iPhone 5 came out in 2012 and the Note 4 came out in 2014.

Terry G

November 8, 2016, 6:52 pm

High impact UNBREAKABLE screen and removable battery!

Brad

November 8, 2016, 8:30 pm

Not sure who at Samsung is responsible for ruining the Note again and again since Note 4 but its real simple.

The phone is best known for being a beast, so make it a beast. It should make the iPhone and S8 look silly in comparison.
Removable battery and storage is a necessity. Having the ability to do both makes the decision to buy a no-brainer.

Flat Flat Flat screen. Could you imagine the top and bottom of your tv screen rolling off towards the wall? ..Me either its stupid. This is a trend that someone at Samsung is obsessed with and it needs to go. You wont lose customers by putting out a flat screen, but you will lose customers by only putting out that tube looking crap.

Linda Swift McDonald

November 25, 2016, 5:27 am

I NEED the Chrome color! Way too cool! Keep the colors of the 7

Steve

December 1, 2016, 3:19 pm

LINK TO ACTION! Do you hear me Samsung, LINK TO ACTION! Why the Note 7 did not have this feature, the ability to draw around a phone number and click it to dial it must have been an oversight. You could draw around an entire contact that you wrote down during a call, or in person, clicking it to create the contact. As well as when I take a note on a phone call, the next time I call them or they call me, the note taken during the call pops up. This is a very effective sales tool. You note a client's childs game on Saturday, you can call them back on Monday, the note pops up, and you ask, "How did Johnny do at his game on Saturday", notes like that lead to sales. Sales is about creating relationships.

Why should I have to get a new phone and download the note software from the 5 just so I have Link to Action back?

On my "wish list" is a screen projector feature. So I could have a powerpoint or equivalent presentation on my phone, in the office I could just project the screen on the wall for my client. How cool would that be?

Forget your glasses, project your screen on the wall, problem solved.

After downloading the Note 5 software on the Note 7 it was the best phone I've ever had, neither one ever even got warm, not even charging! Yet they told me I could be arrested if I flew with it, so it had to go; I'm not big on small rooms with doors that don't open from the inside.

maaen

December 3, 2016, 4:58 pm

I am still quite quite happy with my Note 4 and I have retained my Note 3 as my second phone...and the only way I will move on from these two phones will be to another phone with a removable battery and I am hoping that Samsung finally admits to respecting the true value of removable batteries and gets the Samsung Design Team to craft a phone that looks slick and at the same time provides the end user with a removable battery and an external battery charger...and realise that fast charging of batteries is not that essential when you can charge a spare battery...It is about time there was a revolt by the phone buying public to only buy phones with removable batteries....and if the network providers objected to this then they would be the ultimate losers...but this requires solidarity from folks like us.
It should be the buyer who needs to be listened to and heard and not the service provider or the manufacturer....Good products find loyal customers....I bought Notes 1, 2, 3 and 4....but I did not move on to Note 5 or Note 7....no way would I buy a phone with a trapped battery...simply not worth it...the mere thought is sickening.....
and with regard to micro sd cards ...I wish smart phones and tablets had multiple slots for micro sd cards....or at least two slots...not necessarily with memory size in mind...but more to do with easy removability in mind....so that it would be possible to add and update memory from another source...I like to keep my music and films and pdfs separate from each other type of files and the multiple slots would be a godsend...

rafael

December 6, 2016, 5:09 pm

If Samsung had kept the removable battery they could have salvaged the note 7 by coming out with a slightly smaller yet more rigid battery that would not bend or catch fire. By Sealing the phone they made them 1 shot deals.

I have the note 3 still and will not switch to a phone that doesn't swap batteries.

rafael

December 6, 2016, 5:11 pm

That edge craps is BS. I mean its hard enough NOT to accidentally hit stuff on the screen in normal phones... can;t imagine what it would be like with an actual EDGE...

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