You can’t blame Samsung for being excited about the upcoming Galaxy Note 8: how else could you explain all the loose-lipped execs whispering details about the next-gen phablet. Following the aborted Note 7, the glowing reviews and then unexpected battery-related recalls of which proved to be one of the more impressive trajectories in gadget releases of recent years, the new Note 8 has plenty to prove. That, it seems, is making Samsung executives a little more talkative than normal.
Earlier today, for instance, one Samsung employee sketched out to South Korean media the release schedule for the new phone. The goal, the unnamed exec said, was to hold the Note 8 launch in late August 2017. That would be slightly later in the year than the Note 7 made its debut, which previous leaks have suggested would give the engineers more time to run the smartphone through battery safety tests.
Now, Reuters is also reporting a Note 8 launch event in the latter half of August, quoting another unnamed Samsung staffer. Again, it’s tipped to be in New York City, where Samsung has unveiled recent flagship devices. The source also made mention of some of the high-level specs.
For instance, the Note 8 will supposedly have a curved display – no great surprise there, given Samsung has been pushing curved AMOLED for several generations of Android devices – and it’ll be “marginally larger” than the Samsung Galaxy S8+. That has a 6.2-inch display. Some of the previous leaks had suggested the Note 8 could also use a 6.2-inch panel.
The exec also mentions the two rear cameras that the Note 8 is expected to have. No detailed specifications, but again, previous leaks have pointed to one being 12-megapixels in resolution – presumably carried over from the Galaxy S8 – and the secondary camera being 8-megapixels. They’ll supposedly be used for a 3x lossless zoom, similar to what we’ve seen Apple do on the iPhone 7 Plus.
To say the Galaxy Note 7 recall was disastrous for Samsung is an understatement. Reviewers – ourselves included – praised the phone for its hardware and design, speed, and useful S Pen stylus, and initial demand was huge. Then came reports of exploding batteries, leading to first one recall, and then a second, with Samsung pulling every example of the phablet from store shelves.
The result has been what Samsung has described as a far more stringent set of battery tests for any new device. The Galaxy S8, for instance, was shown to survive stabbings without exploding in the process, and it’s likely Samsung will make a similarly big deal of the testing the Note 8 goes through when it gets launched. Going by the fact that no reports of Galaxy S8 explosions have surfaced, it seems to be working.
Of course, there’s strong competition on the horizon. Apple is believed to be readying a trio of new iPhones – believed to be the iPhone 7s, iPhone 7s Plus, and iPhone 8 – for later in 2017, complete with some of the big features like wireless charging that have long been an advantage held by Samsung’s phones.