Although Samsung’s Galaxy Note 8 isn’t set to launch in the UK until the end of August, we already know pretty much all of the specs and features thanks to many different leaks. Here’s what to expect from the newest Note, including the UK price and release date rumours.
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 set to launch a follow-up phone in August 2017.
Read next: What went wrong with the Galaxy Note 7?
Samsung’s Note series hasn’t had a happy history, especially this side of the pond. After all, the Note 5 never actually 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 this 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, we can rest assured that any future Notes will not repeat this costly error.
Will there really be a Galaxy Note 8?
Yes, a Note 8 will indeed be launched and released here in the UK in 2017. The launch will happen in August, with a likely September release date for the latest Samsung stylus-packing handset.
At first, the launch of the super-sized Galaxy S8 and Galaxy S8+ seemed to be the final death knell of the Note series. 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, Samsung itself revealed during its financial breakdown that a new flagship smartphone would be released in the second half of 2017. This has to be a Note handset, i.e. the Note 8, as Samsung only launches its S-range mobiles on an annual basis.
Since then, DJ Koh himself has admitted the Note 8’s existence, while several leaks have shown the phone’s progression towards launch. Now we’ve seen almost all of the specs and other details leaked in full and here’s what you need to know.
The Samsung Galaxy Note 8 will be 4K and VR-ready
The Samsung Galaxy Note 8 will be a serious proposition for anyone after a top-end media machine, to enjoy Netflix on the go.
A 6.3-inch Super AMOLED panel will provide the visuals, making this an even bigger device than the mighty Galaxy S8+. The Note 8 will also beat its brother for screen resolution, as this handset is 4K-ready. Great news, as streaming services will finally begin to offer Ultra HD content to mobile devices.
Of course you can also expect full HDR support, just like the S8 and S8+ offer. That will make for stunning pictures, with realistic colour reproduction and excellent contrast levels.
This super-dense resolution isn’t just for the benefit of boxset binges on the move, however. It’s also ideal for virtual reality gaming and experiences. 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 Galaxy mobiles and rival phones are capable of. We already can’t wait.
Oh, and yes, there will be a 3.5mm headphone jack. Nice.
The battery in the Galaxy Note 8 will be completely safe, but also quite small
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 has slotted a smaller 3,000mAh battery into the Note 8, which hopefully won’t impact battery life too much. Of course, given that 4K screen and the possibility of playing juice-draining VR games, we reckon you might need to carry a portable charger with you.
Samsung is also offering its own fast charging tech, so you can hopefully get the Note 8 powered back up in no time at all. Leaks even point to support for wireless charging, to ditch the cables entirely.
The Samsung Galaxy Note 8 should be button-free
The Galaxy S8 is of course button free on the front, with the home button built into the screen instead. This is a design cue the Galaxy Note 8 has also followed, according to leaked images. That should mean not only a lack of home button on the Note 8, but the same near-invisible bezels.
More interestingly, the Note 8 is also set to feature a fingerprint reader built into the display itself, something that was rumoured on the S8 that never actually materialised. Samsung’s massive mobile will almost certainly feature iris recognition too, giving multiple options for unlocking the phone securely and quickly.
Snapdragon 835 performance (or Exynos, depending on your region)
The Samsung Galaxy Note 8 will of course pack top-end specs, like previous Note handsets.
Expect to see the latest Qualcomm Snapdragon 835 processor in the US, backed by a generous 6GB RAM. In other words, you can expect a super-smooth everyday user experience as well as fast download speeds (up to 1Gbps) and improved efficiency compared with prior models. VR experiences should play smoothly, as well as the latest games and any other apps.
If you’re in Asia, you’ll get the new Exynos 8895 chipset instead.
The Galaxy Note 8 will boast a brilliant dual-lens camera
Previous Galaxy Note models have always boasted great camera tech too, so expect that trend to continue. Although the Galaxy S8 once again sported a single-lens snapper, Samsung is set to double the number of lenses for the Note 8.
This new Note will offer a dual-lens 12-megapixel rear camera, which like the S8’s fantastic shooter can capture crisp, colourful photos in almost any conditions. 4K resolution video and plenty of bonus features including GIF creation and AR stickers are likely to be on-board too.
Expect either optical zoom functionality (like in the iPhone 7 Plus) or some pleasing bokeh effects to really make your subject stand out. You can also bank on Dual Pixel Autofocus tech, for a fast lens action.
Around the front you’ll find an 8-megapixel selfie camera, which is also likely to boast some funky bonus modes.
Bixby AI will run on the Galaxy Note 8
Samsung has officially revealed its Bixby AI assistant, now a fully integrated part of existing Samsung phones – in the US at least. Bixby is based on Viv Labs’ work, a splinter group of former Siri developers, and can take on a huge list of commands with ease. Bixby can also understand more conversational commands, so you don’t need to stick to stiff, pre-set keywords.
Other Samsung Galaxy Note 8 specs
What else has leaked about the Note 8 so far?
Well, you’ll get a minimum of 64GB of storage space, which is fully expandable via microSD. You get Type-C USB connectivity, plus full water resistance. As for the colour options, you’ll have a choice between Midnight Black, Maple Gold, Orchid Grey and Deep Sea Blue. Lovely stuff.
Samsung Galaxy Note 8 UK price and release date
We already know that the Note 8 will be launched by Samsung on August 23, so the wait is pretty much over. Pre-orders will apparently begin on August 25 and you can expect stock to hit UK stores at the very beginning of September 2017.
As for the price, you can expect the Note 8 to be one of the most expensive mainstream handsets of all time. Rumours point to a cost upwards of £900, which surpasses even the base iPhone 7 Plus and Galaxy S8+. Best get saving quick, then.
Galaxy Note 8 rumours video
Check out our original video rumour round-up for the Galaxy Note 8 below.