For a while after the Note 7 debacle, the fate of Samsung’s supersized phone line was uncertain. Samsung is launching the Galaxy Note 8 on August 23rd, and according to notable leaker Evan Blass (evleaks), it will be available as soon as September 15th. In addition, you’ll reportedly be able to pre-order the phone on August 24th, a day after the the company’s Unpacked event
Samsung almost had a winner on its hands with the Note 7, a feature-packed phone that dazzled critics — until it turned into a literal garbage fire. Now, Samsung seeks to recapture the pre-recall magic with the Note 8.
Samsung will be particularly keen to avoid the forthcoming Galaxy Note 8 exploding! This was the unfortunate fate which befell the Galaxy Note 7 last year, with the flagship phablet from Samsung exploding with a rather alarming regularity.
If the Galaxy Note series is to be reinvigorated successfully, the forthcoming Galaxy Note 8 must undoubtedly be an unqualified success. Certainly the Korean manufacturer can be commended for the rapid way that it has recovered from this unfortunate technology disaster. But a lukewarm response to the forthcoming release, or the potential debacle of the Galaxy Note 8 exploding regularly as well, would be simply completely unpalatable.
Early rumors related to this device suggest that it will retail in the $900 ballpark, although some analysts have suggested that the recommended retail price could be as high as $1,000. It would make sense for Samsung to deliver the smaller of these two figures, particularly as Apple has a revolutionary iPhone 8 up its sleeve for release later this year.
It is generally believed that this Apple handset will retail at a price tag in excess of $1,000 in the United States, meaning that Samsung could gain something of an advantage by setting the Galaxy Note 8 at an RRP of $900.
At this moment Samsung faces two hurdles with this launch. First, the infamous recall has made the Note a punchline, and the company needs to turn that around by executing its next Note perfectly.
The second challenge is timing: The Galaxy Note 8 is heading to market just weeks before Apple takes the wraps off its 10th anniversary iPhone, and the buzz surrounding that device is already deafening.
Samsung has mostly recovered from the dragging its reputation took last year. The company apologized for the Note 7 debacle and hired independent investigators to figure out why the batteries were exploding.
The company then committed to more stringent standards to prevent future disasters, including an eight-point battery safety check for every phone. Though people still joke about the Note 7, no one expects Samsung’s future devices to catch fire, especially after the Galaxy S8’s smooth launch earlier this year.
“If Samsung stays core to quality, to great execution and delivery of this product, I think they can definitely go head-to-head with the new iPhone,” said Roberta Cozza, research director at Gartner, who analyzes the personal technology industry.
Only time will tell if there are any huge issues with the Note 8. But in addition to delivering a flawless phone, Samsung needs to innovate.
The Note lineup is where the company tends to level up with cutting-edge features. The S8 incorporated some of the Note 7’s technology, like the iris scanner, and now the Note 8 needs to push it forward.
“Last year, the [Note] 7 really raised the bar as far as what the Note represented as a phone,” said Carolina Milanesi, principal analyst for market research firm Creative Strategies. “It was all about the bigger screen, and then the [S] Pen was really a differentiator. Last year, we saw that this was a broader device, and it became the flagship product for Samsung. It was a shame that … they ended up recalling the phone and not actually taking advantage of the broader appeal of the device. This year, that’s what they need to build on and make the device a more all-around flagship product.”
But avoiding the Galaxy Note 8 exploding will be a particular priority for the Korean manufacturer, and Samsung has put stringent procedures in place in order to avoid this eventuality.
The biggest reason to suppose that the Galaxy Note 8 will be significantly more reliable than the previous iteration of the series is the new eight-point battery safety test that the Korean corporation has instigated.
Samsung has been keen to promote this ahead of the release of the Galaxy Note 8, although it does rather beg the question of what safety procedures were put in place for the Galaxy Note 7. But the mega-corporation claims that its new processes ensure both the short and long-term operational safety of the cells included in the Galaxy Note 8.
Central to this process is a physical examination, which involves an X-ray and durability testing, charge and discharge cycling. Volatile compound leakage checks, battery disassembly, unexpected voltage change detection, and a new “accelerated usage test” are also included in the overall process, as Samsung attempts to avoid any suggestion of the Galaxy Note 8 exploding.
Another plus point for Samsung with the Galaxy Note 8 is that it is widely anticipated to be a much larger smartphone than its predecessor. All of the latest information on this handset suggests that the Galaxy Note 8 will be a huge device. This is important with regard to the unpalatable prospect of the Galaxy Note 8 exploding, as engineering investigation revealed that the problem with the Galaxy Note 7 was the cramped space within which the designers attempted to fit the battery cell.
Clearly lessons have been learned from this major oversight, and the situation will not be repeated when the Galaxy Note 8 emerges. In a further attempt to ensure that the Galaxy Note 8 is far more durable than the last release in the series, Samsung will even include a smaller battery in the handset. Naturally, this is rather unusual, with the spec list of mobile phones usually increasing overtime rather than diminishing.
But obviously Samsung must absolutely ensure that this smartphone is considerably more reliable than the Galaxy Note 7, meaning that a smaller battery is a necessary, and probably wise, concession. Furthermore, Samsung will obviously have been particularly careful when designing and testing the Galaxy Note 8 battery, as the last thing that the Korean Corporation wishes to encounter is any examples of the Galaxy Note 8 exploding. Such an incident would undoubtedly become a media furore at this time, and the negative publicity generated could effectively sound the death knell for the Galaxy Note series.
Aside from the Focus on the battery cell included in the Galaxy Note 8, the device is also expected to deliver several improvements over the last generation. Although it is unlikely to deliver a 4K resolution display, there have been massive camera improvements according to analysts, while the S Pen stylus has also been significantly improved.
There is no doubt that Samsung will need to deliver something both durable and attractive in order to attract consumers, despite the outstanding reputation and recent performance of the company. Thus, incidences of the Galaxy Note 8 exploding will be disastrous for the credibility of Samsung, and the ultimate direction of both the company and the Galaxy Note range in particular.
According to the leaked info, the Galaxy Note 8’s main camera will offer an f/1.7 aperture, and it will also ship with OIS (Optical Image Stabilization). The Samsung Galaxy Note 8 will be made out of metal and glass, just like the Galaxy S8 and Galaxy S8 Plus. The device will sport a 6.3-inch QHD+ Super AMOLED Infinity display, while it will pack in a battery that is larger than 3,000mAh. Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 835 SoC will fuel the device in some regions, while the Exynos 8895 will be in charge of doing that in other markets.
The Galaxy Note 8 will pack in 6GB of RAM, and if today’s rumor is to be believed, Samsung will release 64GB, 128GB and 256GB storage variants of the device. Android 7.1.1 Nougat will come pre-installed on the Galaxy Note 8, while the company’s Experience UI will be applied on top of it. The Galaxy Note 8 will feature a dual camera setup on the back, and it will also be IP68 certified.