Much is riding on the Note 8. Here's how Samsung plans to breathe new life into its stylus-toting phablet.
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When is the Note 8 on sale? It's official. Samsung will lift the lid on the Note 8 on 23rd September. Word is it could go on sale the very next day.
How much will the Note 8 cost? Expect to pick it up on monthly contracts for around £50 per month from launch. As ever though, prices will drop after the initial launch period.
Galaxy Note 8 rumours No home button? Facial recognition tech? A revamped stylus We round up all the key specs and features coming your way.
When is the Galaxy Note 8 on sale?
The Samsung Galaxy Note 8 is now officially on sale. Head here to check out some of the best Note 8 deals.
Traditionally, Samsung would launch a Galaxy Note flagship device every year at the IFA tradeshow in Berlin, which takes place in early September.
For the last two years, however, it has unveiled the latest Note in early August, thereby getting in ahead of Apple, which always launches a new iPhone around mid-September.
So, judging by previous years, we would expect to see the new Galaxy Note 8 released in August 2017.
However, as last year’s Note 7 devices being recalled due to exploding batteries, it’s possible that the launch of the Galaxy Note 8 will be put back to ensure the safety of the device.
And, particularly as Samsung's mobile chief, DJ Koh, has promised to make this year’s Note 8 safer than its predecessor, it could be that the launch is pushed back due to extra safety checks.
Can't wait for the Note 8? Take a look at deals for Samsung's current top-of-the-range phone, the Galaxy S8, on our dedicated comparison page.
How much does the Samsung Galaxy Note 8 cost?
Again, no prices have been announced yet, but going on previous years, we can expect the SIM-free handset to retail at over £700.
Contract prices for last year’s Note 7 started at around £50 per month, plus a bit extra upfront for the handset.
And seeing as DJ Koh has vowed to “bring back a better… and very innovative Note 8”, which suggests there will be a price tag to match.
Plus, it’s likely that Samsung will be hoping to make back some of its lost billions following the Note 7 battery debacle.
On the other hand, Samsung could make the Note 8 more affordable than its predecessors in an effort to tempt back consumers who were left disappointed by the Note 7.
Galaxy Note 8 rumours
This is where you’ll the real nitty gritty, as we bunker down to collate all the rumours swirling around the next-generation Note phone's specs and key features.
Sit tight, then. Here we go..
Galaxy Note 8 screen rumours
Samsung has past form with introducing major spec-sheet improvements in the Note range before bringing them to the Galaxy S line a little further down the line.
That’s on the cards once again this year, amid speculation that the Note 8 will pack a 4K (UltraHD) screen this time.
By way of reference, 4K screens offer four times the resolution of standard HD.
So does that mean super-sharp pictures? It does. On paper, at least. But it’s worth noting that the extra clarity is generally only really visible on much larger displays.
It seems the move to 4K will improve the Note 8’s VR credentials. Which may mean that free VR headsets are once again bundled with the Note 8 for pre-order customers. That was the case last time around, anyway.
Massive 6.3-inch screen
Samsung has never held back when it comes to the Galaxy Note’s display. And that holds true with the Note 8.
It looks set to be a massive 6.3–inch affair, closer to a tablet than a smartphone.
Is that too large? Sales of phablets suggest consumers are more than happy to have a screen that big, especially for watching back Netflix shows and playing games, not to mention side–by–side apps.
The display will be foldable
Long-time Samsung fans will know that talk of flexible screens have been circulating around Galaxy smartphones for years.
So it’s perhaps no surprise that the same sort of excitable chatter is doing the rounds this year too. And right now, there’s no reason to believe that 2017 really will the year that Samsung makes good on the rumours.
For what it’s worth, it prototype phones we’ve seen at trade shows are anything to go by, flexible really would mean flexible. You’d be able to fold them in half to put in your pocket. And, of course, they’d be much less prone to cracking too.
But we think the arrival of flexible phone technology on a commercial smartphone is a few years away yet.
Samsung Galaxy Note 8 storage rumours
256GB of internal storage
The highest-end Note 8 is rumoured to feature an enormous 256GB of storage.
Given that the Note 7 also featured a microSD slot, we’d put money on the Note 8 featuring expandable storage too.
Samsung Galaxy Note 8 design rumours
No home button
Murmurings on tech sites indicate that the Galaxy Note 8 will ditch a physical home button and will feature an all-screen front.
But before it arrives, it looks like we’ll get a good idea of how Samsung will implement this with the Galaxy S8, which is also expected to dispense with a traditional home button and is due to be unveiled on March 29th.
Samsung Galaxy Note 8 camera rumours
Dual lens camera
Dual lens cameras are now standard on high-end smartphones. So it’s perhaps no surprise rumours point to the Note 8’s camera also offering a lens pairing that’ll allow you play around with depth-of-field.
At the time of writing, we hadn’t heard anything about the grade of the camera.
However, the S8’s spec sheet provides some clues, with rumours suggesting the lense pairing will come in at 12-megapixels and 13-megapixels, respectively.
Vertical camera with VR smarts
Samsung is seemingly going all out in its battle with Apple. The Galaxy Note 8 seen on YouTube appears to feature a dual lens camera, set up vertically.
Long rumoured as a key feature for the iPhone 8, a vertical camera would mean the Galaxy Note 8 would work with a VR headset.
That’s no surprise, with Samsung’s Gear VR offering so well–regarded. A dual lens camera should also allow it to improve depth of field imaging and boost facial recognition too.
With that in mind, it’s likely that getting the battery right will be top of Samsung’s list of priorities for the Note 8.
We can’t say for sure but we’d expect a battery with 3000mAH, if not a bit bigger.
The battery is likely to be big, and support fast charging. The juice pack in the Note 7 is 3500mAh and we’d expect at least that much from the Galaxy Note 8.
Samsung Galaxy Note 8 software rumours
We expect the Note 8 to be powered by the current Nougat version of Android. But there’s an outside chance it may debut with the Android O edition.
You can get the inside line on about Android O and find out how get your hands on a trial version here.
Samsung Galaxy Note 8 stylus rumours
The S-Pen stylus is arguably the defining feature of the Note range. And it’s not going anywhere with the Note 8, it seems.
But there may be big changes afoot.
According to reports, Samsung has been granted a patent for a version of the S-Pen with a built-in speaker.
To be honest, we’re not sure what purpose it’ll serve. Or whether it’ll be ready in time for the launch for the Galaxy Note 8. But it’s a definitely something to keep your eye on.
Samsung Galaxy Note 8 processor rumours
At this early stage in the rumour cycle, there’s scant concrete news about the Note 8’s processing power.
But it’s nailed on that it’ll be octa-core processor, most likely the Snapdragon 830 or the Exynos 8895, which are 3.2GHz and 3GHz respectively.
The latter’s very best chip will be in the global model, while the former’s newest Snapdragon will star in the US edition.
With a hefty amount of RAM expected, it should work at lightning pace.
Samsung Galaxy Note 8 other features
In–screen fingerprint scanner
Samsung toyed with placing the fingerprint scanner on the Galaxy S8 beneath the device’s screen. But issues in production meant it decided to place it on the back of the phone instead.
Now a leaked dummy model of the Galaxy Note 8 suggests it will come with its fingerprint scanner as part of the display.
This would make it more futuristic and less clunky than the S8, as well as giving it the jump on Apple’s iPhone 8, which may do the same thing, but later in the year.
Samsung has form with including projectors in its phone, with its Galaxy Beam carving out a unique niche in a smartphone market crowded with handsets that it’s increasingly hard to tell apart.
Rumours indicate the Galaxy S8 will also feature a projector. And where the S8 goes, the Note 8 is almost certain to follow.
Face-recognition tech to replace fingerprint scanner
Fingerprint scanners have been a feature of the Galaxy Note range since the Note 4. But it seems its days are now numbered.
According to reports, the Note 8, as well as subsequent Galaxy phones, will feature iris scanners instead.
Those of you with good memories will recall that the Note 7’s eyeball scanner was one of the ill-fated phone’s most lauded features, before it was hauled from shop shelves after it was found a small number of handsets had batteries that exploded.
Somewhat surprisingly it’s claimed that the iris scanner will replace the fingerprint scanner, meaning it will be the only way to authenticate purchases made with the Samsung Pay contactless payments system.
That’d be an unusual move, given that fingerprint scanners are quicker than iris scanners. And are less likely to draw attention to the person and their phone too.
Water and dust-resistant
News about this is thin on the ground right now. But it’s inconceivable that the Note 8 won’t be able to sustain some sort of dunking. The only question is for how long and in how much water.
The Note 7 was rated IP68, which means it can be submerged in up to five feet of water for up to half an hour. So expect the Note 8 to match that, or better it.
Bixby voice assistant
Samsung has confirmed that the Note 8 will feature the custom-built voice assistant, called Bixby, as the S8.
As with Siri, Bixby will be location-aware and will use artificial intelligence to learn from your habits. So it’ll serve up information and reminders that ought to be genuinely useful.
It’ll also be voice-activated. And with a name like ‘Bixby’, we’d like to think it’d have a cut-glass accent and crisp consonant sounds of an English butler. Think: Jeeves from P.G Wodehouse books.