The Samsung Galaxy Note 8: Leaked release date, design, specs – Bixby Voice released in UK ahead of Note 8 release date
The Galaxy Note 7 was probably one of the best phones ever made, that is of course, if you ignore its propensity to explode. The Note 7 came with some great features and performance, and if it wasn’t the firecracker it turned out to be, the Note 7 would certainly be one our most-recommended smartphones.
However, with the Samsung Galaxy S8 released back in April 2017 – to rapturous applause – our thoughts have now turned to the Samsung Galaxy Note 8. Samsung’s DJ Koh has said he’ll bring back a “better, safer and very innovative Note 8," in January of this year, but since then Samsung has understandably been talking about the S8 more often.
With the release date for the Galaxy Note 8 just one day away, Samsung has announced that its Bixby Voice digital assistant is now available in over 200 countries, including the UK. Bixby was first announced back in March 2017, and the software was debuted on the Galaxy S8 in South Korea. Bixby's arrival doesn't exactly come as a huge surprise, particularly with Samsung keen to quell memories of the less-than-perfect Note 7 launch by amping up the Note 8's arrival on the scene.
Bixby, for those who don't know, if essentially a reworking of Samsung's S Voice assistant app that launched back in 2012. It's entering a saturated market of AI voice assistants, and bears similarities to Amazon's Alexa, wielding the capacity to perform commands such as setting an alarm or informing users of the weather forecast. We'll see Bixby on a slew of other Samsung devices in addition to the Note 8, including the Family Hub 2.0 fridges, which are rumoured to be getting a Bixby makeover in the future. In the meantime, the release of Bixby the day before the launch of the Galaxy Note 8 can hardly be deemed a coincidence...
In what appears to be an unfortunate gaffe, Samsung have leaked information and images of their very own Galaxy Note 8. Samsung briefly posted an unlocked version of the handset on its online store a few days ago, according to Android Central. However fleetingly the page went live for, people managed to get a decent look at the Galaxy Note 8, with a predictable slew of screenshots emerging since. The post did not disclose, however, the price of the new handset, which will no doubt be made public on Wednesday with the Note 8's official launch. The post was promptly taken down.
Samsung fans needn't despair in the meantime: there remain just days to go until the official release date – 23 August 2017 – of the Galaxy Note 8, and Samsung has released two brand-new teaser videos in honour of the handset's imminent release. As if our appetites needed whetting further. The first of the two videos appears to be stressing its photographic capability, showcasing the device's apparent optical zoom functionality. Rumours of 3D depth sensing and 3x optical zoom have been circulating for a matter of weeks now, with this official video all but confirming them.
The second of the two teaser videos for the Galaxy Note features a man drawing cartoonish doodles on a huge wall, hinting at the potential design capabilities of the S-Pen, which could permit users to employ a number of different brush strokes.
The videos come hot on heels of Samsung hinting big things about the Galaxy Note 8... literally. This teaser video released by Samsung is called 'Do bigger things', and nods towards the phablet's gargantuan size. The video shows the word 'big' being crossed out, and replaced with 'bigger', suggesting that the Galaxy Note 8 has undergone a considerable enlargement.
Here’s what we know about the Samsung Galaxy Note 8 so far, including its freshly leaked release date: 15 September.
Samsung's Galaxy Note 8 will launch in New York on 23 August at a Samsung Unpacked event, reports ETNews, but you won't be able to bring it home just yet: there will purportedly be a three-week delay until the smartphone goes on sale.
One South Korean carrier representative confirmed this to ETNews: "We are going to sell Galaxy Note 8 starting from the 15th of September," the rep relayed, going on to reveal that: "Its price has not been set yet."
This was confirmed on ETNews by a second representative from a different carrier, who concurred that "Samsung Electronics decided on the release date of Galaxy Note 8... There is almost zero chance that it will change the release date of Galaxy Note 8."
TechRadar pointed out that, should Samsung adhere to the 15 September release date, it will most likely beat the iPhone 8 (or iPhone 7s) to market as that's expected to launch from mid-September onwards, or even potentially later on in 2017.
Given that it’s rumoured to be a phablet, we can foresee that the Note 8 will have a suitably large screen. The Note has featured a 5.7in screen from the Note 3 right the way through to the Note 7, so we can reasonably predict that the Note 8 will follow suit. The Galaxy S8 Plus featured a mega 6.3in display, and rumours are abounding that the Note 8 will sport a 6.4in display – the largest that Samsung's debuted on a premium smartphone (discounting the Galaxy Mega, which is not premium).
Regarding the phone’s body, we don’t expect the Galaxy Note 8 to stray too far from Samsung’s minimalistic combination of metal and glass, perhaps slimming it down or decreasing the bezels. We anticipate that it will be less than 8mm thick – unless the slimmed-down size is held accountable for the Note 7 malfunction, that is.
An alleged picture of the new phablet appeared on Slashleaks earlier today, and appears to look a lot like the Samsung Galaxy S8 – although that’s no bad thing.
Just like the Samsung Galaxy S8, the new Galaxy Note 8 appears to have a stunning edge-to-edge ‘Infinity screen’, and we’re expecting it to use the same OLED technology as seen in the Samsung Galaxy S8 too. The possible Galaxy Note 8 is also shown with a Samsung S Pen stylus next to it, and it also appears to be running a version of Samsung’s new AI assistant, Bixby.
So just how legitimate is this picture? Two things make us think this could be the real Note 8, or at least a prototype. Firstly, the leak comes from a contributor called Leakspinner with a 78% accuracy rating. Secondly, we’d also expect the Note 8 to look a lot like the Samsung S8 anyway. After all, Samsung’s S8 is one of the best-designed smartphones we’ve seen in ages. So why wouldn’t it take inspiration from it?
Reliable leaker Evan Blass reports that a phone with the model number SM-N950 has emerged. What’s more, despite rumours that Samsung might cull the Note brand due to negative associations, Samsung’s “Galaxy Upgrade Program” features a Note 8 listing.
The Galaxy Note 8 is likely to retail at a high price point, especially given that the Note 7 cost £749. Since then, the pound’s volatility has prompted plenty of price hikes among tech giants, including OnePlus, Apple, Microsoft and Dell – suggesting that Samsung might increase the price of the Galaxy Note 8 too, no doubt an unwelcome development.
We anticipate that the Galaxy Note 8 will feature a dual-lens camera with optical image stabilisation. Why? Smartphone manufacturers are showing an increasing predilection for dual-lens cameras, while the Note 7 featured optical image stabilisation, meaning the same can be anticipated of the Note 8.
Regarding the battery, we’re expecting the Note 8’s to be big (the Note 7’s battery was 3,500mAh). It’s also likely that the Galaxy Note 8 will feature a minimum of 64GB of storage and 6GB of RAM. We anticipate that the Note 8 will run Android Nougat, Samsung’s overlay TouchWiz and the new Bixby AI assistant (with Android O expected to arrive soon after the Note 8’s release).
Rumours surrounding the Bixby AI assistant have already been circulating, with SamMobile suggesting that it will be able to conduct mobile payments, operate all native apps and instigate a visual search, processing whatever object the rumour points the camera at. The Bixby AI assistant might also be available in both female and male versions.
It’s not unlikely that the Note 8 will be the first handset to feature an upgraded version of Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 835, namely the Snapdragon 836. The new chip will allegedly be an octa-core 2.5GHz CPU with a 740MHz Adreno GPU built in, an improvement its predecessor’s 2.45GHz octa-core setup.
Images used are of the Samsung Galaxy Note 7. We will update this page as and when we learn more about the Samsung Galaxy Note 8.