Everything you need to know about the Samsung Galaxy Note 8
The Samsung Galaxy Note 8 release date is just around the corner, so we’re told. But will the phone be any good, what will the price be, what specs will it feature, and will it explode this time? 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: August 19, 2017): We’ve seen official images of the Samsung Galaxy Note 8 turn up on the company’s official website, and we’ve also received news about the phone’s pre-order date. Read on to find out more.
A moment of silence, please, for the Galaxy Note 7, which met an untimely end in late 2017. The ill-fated Samsung phone was recalled over battery issues that left some users with exploding handsets.
With such a fiery history, Samsung is now under pressure to perfect the upcoming Galaxy Note 8, with customers expecting a class-leading smartphone that won’t catch fire unexpectedly. The good news is that if this year’s Samsung Galaxy S8 is anything to go by, the Note 8 is going to be awesome.
Samsung has already confirmed that the Note 8 will launch this year, and there’s even a Galaxy Unpacked event scheduled to take place in mid-August. Even better, we’ve got a really good idea of what the phone will look like – and the hardware it will pack inside – thanks to a plethora of leaks.
Plus, it seems he Galaxy Note 8 retail release could be sooner than we thought, with a new leak suggesting it will fall just one day after the announcement.
Related: Samsung Galaxy S8
Read on to find out all about Samsung’s next phablet, or scroll to the bottom of this page for a summarised version of the article. Also, check out these great deals if you’re looking for a phone that’s available to buy right now.
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Galaxy Note 8 Release Date: When does it come out?
Without knowing the Galaxy Note 8 release date for certain, we have to make guesses based on the information we have. For instance, here’s the Galaxy Note family’s launch history:
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- 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
This trend of late-summer launches seems set to continue, as Samsung has already confirmed that there will be a Galaxy Unpacked launch event on August 23. We don’t know for sure that the event will host the Galaxy Note 8 announcement, but it seems likely:
The event will be held at the Park Avenue Armoury in New York City, with proceedings expected to begin at 11am EST (4pm BST). This means Samsung probably won’t be announcing the new Galaxy Note phone at Berlin’s IFA 2017 tradeshow, as was previously expected.
In the invitation sent to press, Samsung wrote: “On August 23, Samsung Electronics will reveal the latest member of the Galaxy family with the ultimate multitasking device for those who want to do bigger things with their phone.”
It continued: “This highly anticipated addition to the Galaxy roster was specifically designed for people who move through barriers to do more of what matters to them.”
As far as an actual release date goes, we’ve seen conflicting information. A launch roadmap leaked by the Korean media claimed the phone will go on sale – in the Korean market, at least – on September 15, around three weeks after the phone is expected to debut at Galaxy Unpacked. But an anonymous user posting to Reddit citing retail industry insiders said the USA release date would fall the day after the announcement, arriving August 24.
Highly respected and famously accurate tipster and journalist Evan Blass also leaked the pre-order date as August 24, so we’re inclined to take his word for it:
Related: Galaxy S8 vs S8+
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 S8 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.
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.
For a better idea of what to expect in terms of design, here’s a series of photos that turned up on Samsung’s own official website. The page has been taken down, but Twitter caught the snaps first:
And here are some more alleged leaks:
Related: IP68 vs IP67
Galaxy Note 8 Specs: What’s new?
I’ll describe Galaxy Note 8 hardware leaks and rumours in detail below, but here’s a quick rundown of the most likely specs for the Galaxy Note 8. Bear in mind, however, that these are only predictions, and haven’t been officially confirmed:
- 6.3-inch ‘Infinity Display’ screen
- 3840 x 2160 Super AMOLED curved display
- Qualcomm Snapdragon 835 chip / Samsung Exynos 8895 chip
- 6GB RAM
- 64GB storage (plus MicroSD card slot)
- 12-megapixel dual camera (rear)
- 8-megapixel camera (front)
- 3000mAh battery
- Android 7.1 Nougat
- Bixby AI digital assistant
- IP68-certified waterproof
- USB Type-C charging port
- 3.5mm headphone jack
- Fast / Wireless Charging
- Colours: Midnight Black, Maple Gold, Orchid Grey, Deep Sea Blue
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+ or even higher – it would improve the quality of Samsung’s Gear VR headset, after all.
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? Most rumours point two storage variants – 64GB and 128GB – so it’s certainly a possibility.
But excitingly, one prolific and respected leaker hinted that there may even be a 256GB version of the Note 8 available:
Finally, it’s looking very likely that the Samsung Galaxy Note 8 will feature a dual camera module. Respected analyst Ming-Chi Kuo has tipped that the phone will include two lenses on the phablet, and called it “the most important upgrade” for the Note 8. It wouldn’t be a huge surprise, as the feature was even rumoured for the earlier Galaxy S8. We’ve already seen such a feature on the iPhone 7 Plus, the Huawei P10, and the LG G6, so Samsung is definitely going to be considering dual cameras at the very least.
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.
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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.
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.
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.
The only leak we’ve seen so far is from renowned leaker and Venture Beat journalist Evan Blass, who published a new report that claims the Galaxy Note 8 will cost an incredible. €999. For contrast, the new Galaxy S8 and Galaxy S8+ cost €799 and €899 respectively, so this new handset would trump both by a fair way.
Given that in the UK, the Galaxy S8 and Galaxy S8+ cost £689 and £779 respectively, we’d expect the Galaxy Note 8 to cost somewhere in the region of £869 to £899, based on Blass’ claims.
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? And there’s always the £449 OnePlus 5, which is a real steal for a flagship at its lowly price.
Related: Best Android phones
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.
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