We look at the Galaxy Note 8 leaks and rumours, which point to Samsung launching a new Galaxy Note phone later in 2017 despite the Note 7 debacle. Here's what we're hoping to see from the Samsung Galaxy Note 8.
To call the Samsung Galaxy Note 7 a catastrophe is perhaps an understatement, after overheating units triggered a mass recall of all shipped handsets. Yet despite this widely-reported problem, Samsung is still rumoured to be working on a successor in the Galaxy Note 8.
Read next: What went wrong with the Galaxy Note 7?
Samsung's mighty Note smartphone that comes packing a super-smart stylus seemed to be dying out before the Note 7 debacle, of course. After all, the Note 5 never made it to UK shores, or to many countries outside of Asian and US markets. However, the outcry from fans was so fierce that Samsung brought the Note back to a global market in 2016, in the form of the Note 7.
Sadly it wasn't quite a glorious return, despite the fact that the handset was a masterpiece (outside of the burny-hot-ow-ow issues that triggered the recall). And now that the problem has been isolated, so it shouldn’t ever happen again, it looks like Samsung is set to crack on with a Galaxy Note 8, if the latest rumours and winks are on the money.
Will there really be a Galaxy Note 8?
The super-sized Galaxy S8 and Galaxy S8+ have just been released here in the UK, but of course we knew all about their enormous screens a good while before the launch. The fact that these Samsung flagship phones sported such large displays - normally the domain of the Note range - seemed to be bad news for anyone hoping for a Note 8.
Of course, while the S8 and S8+ borrowed some of the more innovative features of the Note 7, including that iris scanner and some of the best design elements, these new phones are missing one key element. Namely, the S Pen. Samsung's brilliant stylus pen offers a new level of interactivity for business and creative users. Something you simply can't achieve with the standard flagship mobiles.
Now that Samsung has pretty much perfected the S Pen, with it functioning well even in a rainstorm, its demise would be a massive shame.
Thankfully, fresh rumours and hints point to a new Note 8 phone being launched after all. Samsung itself revealed during its financial breakdown that a new flagship smartphone would be released in the second half of 2017. You can bet your bum that this will be a Note handset, i.e. the Note 8, as Samsung only launches its S-range mobiles on an annual basis.
The Galaxy Note 8 should therefore be out later in the year, to take on the like of Apple’s latest iPhone 8. The new iPhone is generally revealed around September time, as is the next Note.
The Samsung Galaxy Note 8 will be 4K and VR-ready
The Samsung Galaxy Note 8 is expected to continue the trend in the larger phone segment with a premium display. This Super AMOLED panel is likely going to pack a super-crisp 4K UHD resolution, not to mention HDR support like the S8. We're fully expecting it to be one of the most gorgeous smartphone screens out there.
The reason for such a high resolution is thought to be virtual reality, as well as 4K movie streaming, claims Business Korea. When placed inside a VR headset (like the Samsung Gear VR), smartphone resolution often appears poorer since the screen is so close to the eyes. Full HD panels which produce such crisp visuals when streaming video suddenly appear pixelated.
By jumping to 4K UHD, Samsung should be able to offer a more impressive VR experience than previous Galaxys and rival phones are capable of.
Bixby AI will run on the Galaxy Note 8
Samsung has officially revealed its Bixby AI assistant, although this feature is missing in action thus far on the Galaxy S8 and S8+. However, by the time the Galaxy Note 8 arrives later in the year, this should be a well established and fully integrated part of existing Samsung phones.
Bixby is based on Viv Labs' work, a splinter group of former Siri developers. They showed off the AI last year, taking on a huge list of commands with ease. This could be a very impressive offering as Bixby can understand more conversational commands - you don't need to stick to stiff, pre-set keywords.
The battery in the Galaxy Note 8 will be safe
Unlike the Galaxy Note 7, Samsung is going to have to release a super-safe battery in the Galaxy Note 8. The company lost billions over the Note 7, so splashing out with a new supplier won’t be an issue, just for ease of mind at least.
Samsung is rumoured to be slotting a smaller 3,000mAh battery in the Note 8, which has been more thoroughly tested and will guarantee no issues this time around.
The Samsung Galaxy Note 8 should button-free
The Galaxy S8 is of course button free on the front, with a home button built into the screen instead. This is a design cue the Galaxy Note 8 is likely to follow. That should mean not only a lack of home button on the Note 8, but the same near-invisible bezels.
The Note 8 could feature either a fingerprint reader built into the display, something rumoured on the S8 that never materialised. It will almost certainly feature iris recognition too. There are also rumours that Samsung will ditch the headphone port in favour of a USB-C only access point, something found on the iPhone 7 and 7 Plus and HTC U Ultra, among others.
Camera and processor improvements for Samsung's Galaxy Note 8
The Samsung Galaxy Note 8 will no doubt pack top-end specs, like previous Note handsets.
Expect to see the latest Qualcomm Snapdragon 835 processor or an all-new Exynos chipset, as in previous models. This will be backed by loads of RAM - most likely 6GB.
Previous Galaxy Note models have always boasted great camera tech too, so expect that trend to continue. There is a chance of dual-rear cameras, as is the trend, but we’re not holding our breath here as the Galaxy S8 once again sported a single-lens snapper. That said, it appears that a dual-lens prototype was created for the S8, so perhaps Samsung is perfecting this new camera tech before launching it in the Note 8.