Samsung Galaxy Note 8: Everything we know so far

UPDATED - specs seemingly confirmed: Our best look yet at Samsung's upcoming phablet

The Galaxy Note 7 was the crown jewel of Samsung's smartphone lineup last year – until it went up in flames.

Quite literally in some cases: as we now know, battery defects led to some explosive results for some owners, forcing Samsung to make a quick recall and retreat for what appeared to be its best phablet to date.

But now that the Galaxy S8 and Galaxy S8 Plus have been an unqualified success, and easily Samsung's best handsets to date, the rumour mill has started rumbling about a Galaxy Note 8 on the horizon. Will the next Note be able to restore confidence in the battered brand? And can it stand out amongst an even sharper class of Android handsets?

Here are all the rumours and reports we've heard so far, along with whether or not we reckon the details seem legit or not.

When will the Galaxy Note 8 be out?

Despite last year's high-profile demise, Samsung doesn't seem to be taking a longer-than-usual break to let the incident fade from more prospective buyers' minds. Rumours originally suggested that we'll see the handset debut in August - and Samsung just confirmed that's true.

In other words, it'll launch around the same time as the Galaxy Note 7 did, and the Galaxy Note 5 before it. Samsung posted a teaser to its official Twitter account this week, penciling the 23rd of August in for the official unveiling. The event will take place in New York, and there are currently no words on any simultaneous launches elsewhere around the world.

An August launch makes sense, because Samsung will want to beat Apple's expected iPhone 8 launch in September. That could be a tough unveiling to trump for Samsung, so going first will ease the pressure.

(Unofficial render via Concept Creator)

Fact or fiction?

We're more inclined to believe that Samsung will want to beat Apple to the punch with the Galaxy Note 8, with the hopes of swaying some potential customers.

On the other hand, the rumour last year was that Samsung rushed the Galaxy Note 7's design to try and get it to stores sooner, and that's not a story that anyone will want to hear again. Still, we'd be very surprised if we see the iPhone 8 before the Galaxy Note 8.

 

 

How much will the Galaxy Note 8 cost?

The Galaxy Note line has always commanded a premium thanks to the high-end specs, and addition of the S Pen stylus. This year's edition could really break the bank though. How does €999 (about S$1570) sound?

That's a load of cash, but given that the Galaxy S8 Plus starts at S$1298, the target for the Galaxy Note 8 as the "next step up" makes sense. That bit of info comes again from Evan Blass at VentureBeat. He has a long history of spot-on leaks, and while the figure might make you gulp, the context isn't far-fetched.

Fact or fiction

It's a lot of money, but if Samsung sees the Galaxy Note 8 as its ultimate handset, even more premium and feature-packed than the Galaxy S8 Plus, then it's fair to expect a price that backs that vision up.

But are people really going to want to spend so much on an Android phone when the excellent OnePlus 5 and Honor 9 are half the price (or less)?

What will the Galaxy Note 8 look like?

Have you seen the Galaxy S8 and Galaxy S8 Plus? Yeah, the Galaxy Note 8 will probably look a lot like that, albeit with its curves a little flattened out (but not entirely so). Reports suggest the same kind of extra tall, 18.5:9 AMOLED Infinity Display with almost zero bezel on the sides.

In fact, the image above came from Samsung's official Exynos Twitter account. That's not a Galaxy S8 or Galaxy S8 Plus, but it's very similar in approach... albeit with a flatter, boxier screen. That's the kind of approach we saw with the Galaxy Note 7, so this may be our first official look at the Galaxy Note 8

And it shouldn't be that much larger than the Galaxy S8 Plus at all. It's pegged to feature a 6.3in display, as opposed to 6.2in on the S8 Plus – but due to the aspect ratio, it should feel more narrow in your hand than you'd expect from the specs. We suspect the phone itself might be a little thicker, though, to accommodate the S Pen stored inside.

Subsequent leaks from Evan Blass on Twitter seem to confirm the overall look, as well as show off the dual cameras on the back of the phone - and reveal the three possible colours that will be arriving at launch.

Reports say to expect another Quad HD (2K) display at 2,960x1,440, just like the Galaxy S8 models. A 4K resolution screen has been rumoured here and there, but that's a pretty significant leap to make – especially without raising the price even further.

Fact or fiction?

All of this sounds spot-on. The 0.1-inch advantage is miniscule and may not be noticeable at all, but the Galaxy Note 8 isn't going to battle the S8 Plus on size – it'll battle on performance and perks. And it has some tricks up its sleeve in those areas, it seems.

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