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Samsung Galaxy Note 8 rumor review: specs, features, and everything else we know so far

Posted: , by Kaloyan C.

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A plausible fanmade concept art of the Galaxy Note 8

A plausible fanmade concept art of the Galaxy Note 8


It really doesn't need repeating at this point, but we'll say it anyway: last year's Samsung Galaxy Note 7 was kind of a disaster. A lot of things have happened between then and now, though: the wildly successful release of the Galaxy S8, for example. So it's fair to say that Samsung's handling of the situation, problematic as it was at times, did its job just fine, with the company's reputation remaining mostly unscathed.

Still, the Samsung Galaxy Note 8 is now starting to emerge on the horizon, and the question everyone asked themselves ahead of the Galaxy S8's official reveal: "Will people trust Samsung enough to buy it?" is once again becoming a valid one. So it's important for the company to go all-out with its next flagship phablet, as even a slight misstep could prove to be bad news for the device's market success.

From what we've seen so far, Samsung sure is putting a lot of work into the Note 8. And we've seen a fair bit, mind you: just like the S8 did before it, the Note 8 is leaking left and right like it's nobody's business. But the S8 comparisons sure don't stop there: the years-old Samsung tradition of picking up elements from its mainstream flagships and improving upon them in the Note series is proudly being followed here. But enough pleasantries, let's jump right in:

Design


Imagine this, but with sharper corners

Imagine this, but with sharper corners

When it comes to the Note 8's visual design, the big picture is clear: it will look like a slightly blown-up version of the S8. Well, almost: a couple of minute differences will differentiate it from its sibling, with the most notable being the considerably sharper rounded corners which give off the impression of a bigger device (despite the fact that the Note 8 will be just barely larger than the S8+).

So this means we'll be getting the same metal-and-glass sandwich as the S8, complete with a curved, bezel-less display, rounded corners, and an extra side button dedicated to Bixby, Samsung's digital assistant. And also, good news: so far nothing seems to suggest Samsung will ditch the 3.5 mm audio jack like many of its competitors do nowadays.

Just like with previous entries in the Note series, we're expecting the S Pen to once again make a welcome appearance – while all such claims have come from questionable sources, there's little reason for Samsung to abandon the Note line's defining feature.

There's also been a fair bit of drama surrounding the fingerprint sensor placement, which was most definitely the Achilles' foot of the S8's otherwise stellar design. Samsung was previously widely reported to be working on a solution to embed the scanner right into the the device's screen, but our latest intel says the company didn't have enough time to fully develop the technology.

So this leaves Samsung with two options: to either put the scanner on the back of the device and face the outrage once again, or find another way to solve the problem. And the latter is looking ever more like a distinct possibility, with a rumor suggesting the scanner might be embedded not within the screen itself, but rather into the bezel right below it.

And last but not least, the device is said to sport one of those trendy rear-mounted dual camera modules — but more on that in a bit.

Display


The S8's debut was also the beginning of a new era of marketing buzzwords for Samsung. That is, the S8 didn't just have a curved display, it had an "Infinity Display" – and soon it won't be alone in this regard. As for what this means in real-life terms: essentially, it's the combination of a tall, 18.5:9 aspect ratio, curved side edges, and rounded corners. When it comes to size, we know the Note 8 will sport a screen that is just barely bigger than that of the S8+. Namely, it's rumored to be 6.3 inches in diagonal.


Unfortunately, we know absolutely nothing about the display resolution. However, judging by the fact that the S7 and the Note 7 shared their pixel count, it's more than likely the Note 8, too, will feature a resolution of 1440 x 2960 pixels, though we may also see a bumped up, 4K resolution (3840 x 2160 pixels) instead.

Hardware


Samsung Galaxy Note 8 rumor review: specs, features, and everything else we know so far
Hot out of the oven is a rumor saying the Note 8 will debut Qualcomm's latest chip, the Snapdragon 836, which will be a mid-generation upgrade to the S8's Snapdragon 835. So this would mean slightly better performance, thanks to the new chip's higher clock speeds, but all of this should only apply to the US version of the device. As you may know, Samsung devices outside of countries with CDMA networks use the company's own line of SoCs, Exynos. And since we know nothing about a potential upgrade to the latest Exynos 8895, we'll assume for now that the non-US Note 8 will be powered by it.

Cameras


This alleged Galaxy S8 prototype with dual cameras shows us what we should expect from the Note 8

This alleged Galaxy S8 prototype with dual cameras shows us what we should expect from the Note 8


The Note 8 will be notable in at least one major regard: it will be the first high-end Samsung device with a dual camera module. Like it or not, this particular trend is here to stay, and Sammy is finally jumping on the bandwagon. As for specifics, the module is said to be a combination of a 12 MP sensor with a wide-angle lens and a 13 MP sensor with a telephoto lens. The end result will reportedly be able to achieve 3X lossless digital zoom (in contrast, the iPhone 7 Plus' dual camera only offers 2X zoom).

Software


Two words: Samsung Experience. Or, as is was previously called, TouchWiz – the controversial Android UX is unsurprisingly making a return, most likely in a similar form as the one found in the Galaxy S8. The good news is that Samsung is said to finally be making the move to a more recent major Android version, namely 7.1.1; the bad news, however, is that by the time of its release, Android 8.0 (a.k.a Android O) will be, at most, a couple of weeks away from its official release.

The Galaxy S8 running Samsung Experience, the company's own flavor of Android

The Galaxy S8 running Samsung Experience, the company's own flavor of Android


However, Samsung's custom suite of apps should be enough to keep you interested while waiting for updates, and the Note 8's software will most probably include extra features specially designed for use with the S Pen. The Note 7 had a bunch of those, including a nifty but flawed automatic translator that worked by hovering above the screen, so it'll be interesting to see what Samsung has cooked up this time.

Price and release date


We're expecting to see the Galaxy Note 8 a couple of days ahead of this year's IFA, which starts on September 1. This is pretty much par for the course, as previous entries in the series have also been announced at the same expo. And as an added convenience, the reveal will come just ahead of the official unveiling of the device's biggest competitor, the iPhone 8.

But when it comes to price, we have pretty much no information to go off of. So the only option left is for us to make an educated guess: since the Note 7 was about $50 more expensive than the S7 edge at their respective releases, we propose that this year's Note 8 will cost about $900. Ouch.

But while this may sound expensive (and it really is), consider the fact that the Note line has always been a more niche product than the S line, and its prices reflect that fact, Plus, our predictions may well turn out to be way off from the real thing, so we'll keep you posted if and when we get some actual information on the subject.

27 Comments
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posted on 13 Jun 2017, 06:36 2

1. Soundjudgment (Posts: 75; Member since: 10 Oct 2016)


Bring it on! As long as the FP Scanner is on the Front-side... not the back.

posted on 13 Jun 2017, 08:32 8

7. S8PlusIsBoss (Posts: 18; Member since: 22 Apr 2017)


Definitely enjoying my S8plus since April 19th. Nothing on the market today tops the experience of the S8plus the best phablet today.

I'll definitely be purchasing the Note8 in September day one of launch can't wait.

posted on 13 Jun 2017, 06:55 3

2. killer7D (Posts: 418; Member since: 18 Sep 2014)


Cant wait to get a Note 8 :)

posted on 13 Jun 2017, 07:01 19

3. gigicoaste (Posts: 101; Member since: 21 Feb 2016)


"Note 8 will cost about $900. Ouch." while other devices will easily pass 1000$ and that is not an "ouch" from PA perspective. Classic!

posted on 13 Jun 2017, 07:24 1

4. Anderson36 (Posts: 18; Member since: 28 Apr 2017)


The recently leaked schematics show that Note 8 may include dual stereo speakers and dual camera but the back of the design is fugly like the Mate 9 and no fingerprint scanner in display. Definitely worth $900 or $1000.

posted on 13 Jun 2017, 07:25 1

5. Anderson36 (Posts: 18; Member since: 28 Apr 2017)


Not Worth*

posted on 13 Jun 2017, 08:21 1

6. Mreveryphone (Posts: 1215; Member since: 22 Apr 2014)


Samsung will save the in screen fp sensor for the S9 and put the fp sensor in the center on the rear of the Note 8. Spen will continue to reign Supreme and the screen will continue to be the best in the biz... It will be the note 8 and then everything else...

posted on 13 Jun 2017, 08:37 1

8. Anderson36 (Posts: 18; Member since: 28 Apr 2017)


By the time S9 comes Apple would've already adopted fingerprint in iPhone 8 display so as usual Samsung copies Apple SMH.... Moreover no 4000 mAh battery, No 4K display for better VR experience and a rip-off of Mate = FLOP

posted on 13 Jun 2017, 08:38

9. Anderson36 (Posts: 18; Member since: 28 Apr 2017)


Mate 9*

posted on 13 Jun 2017, 09:11 8

12. tedkord (Posts: 13446; Member since: 17 Jun 2009)


Tards gotta tard, I guess. There were articles about Samsung working on in display fingerprint readers three years ago. Shortly after that, Apple started showing an interest in it. Nice try, though.

posted on 14 Jun 2017, 10:58

24. Psykotik_Dragon (Posts: 77; Member since: 21 Dec 2013)


LOL ok bro...

posted on 13 Jun 2017, 08:49 6

10. sissy246 (Posts: 3683; Member since: 04 Mar 2015)


"It really doesn't need repeating at this point, but we'll say it anyway: last year's Samsung Galaxy Note 7 was kind of a disaster"
Of course you will iPA. You have to get your jab in.

posted on 13 Jun 2017, 08:59 3

11. tedkord (Posts: 13446; Member since: 17 Jun 2009)


Achilles Foot?

posted on 13 Jun 2017, 09:41 1

13. Plasticsh1t (Posts: 1893; Member since: 01 Sep 2014)


S8 with an S pen. Nothing to see here folks.

posted on 13 Jun 2017, 11:16

14. tedkord (Posts: 13446; Member since: 17 Jun 2009)


Best large phone in the market, just like each predecessor.

posted on 13 Jun 2017, 12:41

15. SupermanayrB (Posts: 805; Member since: 20 Mar 2012)


Every year imbeciles say, "Galaxy S_ with an S-Pen..." & every year the Note is so much more. That's always something to see.

posted on 13 Jun 2017, 12:43

16. SupermanayrB (Posts: 805; Member since: 20 Mar 2012)


See comment 15. I swear Phone Arenas site gets worse every year.

posted on 13 Jun 2017, 15:19

17. Slytherin (Posts: 44; Member since: 02 Mar 2017)


I'm wondering by the above video clip if there is going to be a Note 8 Plus?

It looks like the smaller version on the table, and that massive beast in her hands!

If there is indeed bigger + version, I'm definitely getting it, as long as it can fit in my skinny jeans lol

posted on 13 Jun 2017, 15:20

18. Slytherin (Posts: 44; Member since: 02 Mar 2017)


Or is it just my eye's playing tricks on me lol

posted on 13 Jun 2017, 17:58 1

19. darkkjedii (Posts: 23902; Member since: 05 Feb 2011)


The king cometh.

posted on 14 Jun 2017, 15:37

25. Slytherin (Posts: 44; Member since: 02 Mar 2017)


The king of all phone's! Nothing will touch it this year!

I'm just hoping this year when it's my turn to upgrade that I don't get another Note 5 fiasco, where I couldn't purchase that phone in the uk for another 7 months! That was the reason I went with the S6 +

Fingers crossed I can purchase on day one of release

posted on 13 Jun 2017, 18:35

20. EclipseGSX (Posts: 1736; Member since: 18 Oct 2011)


I really hope it's that wide. It makes no sense to have an S Pen on something so tall and skinny like the S8/S8+

posted on 13 Jun 2017, 21:34

21. Klinton (Posts: 755; Member since: 24 Oct 2016)


I hate dual cameras. Useless and fugly.
Hope Samsung will not listen to the media, that ''love it'' just because Apple did it.

posted on 13 Jun 2017, 21:43

22. shirah (Posts: 1; Member since: 13 Jun 2017)


Me personally can not wait for the Note 8 to be released..I have had all of them except the 7 and I absolutely love everything about the them...I dropped mine out of my pocket into a bucket of water and killed it, that is why I had to go with the new S8+, and as everyone else I have my own opinion about it...i hate it! I have had it a month, and it has started dropping calls, powering on an off by itself, phone gets hot if using for some time and here is the best of all...bought the screen protector 45.00 phone fell out of my hand hit the grass and next thing I see is the screen protector flying off and crushed it....ready to tell them they can have this phone back~~

posted on 14 Jun 2017, 10:01 1

23. PrYmCHGOan (Posts: 302; Member since: 28 Sep 2016)


Note 8 @ $900? Ouch! per PA. iPhone 8 to cost $1000+, no ouch given. Hypocrisy at its finest.

iPhone 8 @ $1000 will have less capabilities and features.

Note 8 will have eveythign the S8's have and yet will still have more.

The Note 8 will have Gigabit modem, BT5.0, faster charging and so much more.

The iPhone won't and yet will ocst more for no apparent reason and PA will kiss up to it.

PRESSITUTES!!!! as MrElectrifying says!

posted on 15 Jun 2017, 05:50

26. markobarko (Posts: 93; Member since: 09 Oct 2016)


Every sentence on iphonearena about note 7 begins with flop, disaster ect... please stop it. If not, for the sake of balance begin every sentence with bendgate, you're holding it wrong gate ;))) and so on.

posted on 16 Jun 2017, 23:40

27. Tabby_Tiger (Posts: 263; Member since: 23 Jan 2017)


"TouchWiz – the controversial Android UX is unsurprisingly making a return".....

Samsung's Android skin isn't controversial anymore.

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