Samsung's late 2016 flagship smartphone, the Galaxy Note 7, was released in the summer. Shortly after its release, customers started complaining that the device was exploding whilst being charged. Samsung replaced the Galaxy Note 7 units with new ones, but these replacements were also exploding and overheating under normal use. Ultimately, Samsung and their industry partners recalled the Galaxy Note 7 devices to reycle and offered customers a refund, ideally to put towards a replacement Samsung device. There remain questions over the future of the Samsung Galaxy Note family branding: would Samsung withdraw the Note family of devices from their 2017 portfolio? A new rumor from Samsung is suggesting just this and that there will be no Samsung Galaxy Note 8 but instead the early 2017 flagship device family will include the Samsung Galaxy S8 and a larger screen variant, the Samsung Galaxy S8 Plus.
The story on the source website states that the Samsung Galaxy S8 Plus will feature a 6.0-inch display, which is notably larger than the Samsung Galaxy Note 7's 5.7-inch AMOLED panel. The Galaxy S8 family of devices may feature a very slim bezel and so it is possible that the new device will be a similar size to the discontinued Galaxy Note 7. Both the Galaxy S8 and Galaxy S8 Plus are expected to have curved screens with the flat screen models no longer featuring in 2017. Should Samsung sell the Galaxy S8 Plus device, there are questions as to if Samsung will release any more Galaxy Note devices – especially given the fiery reputation of the Galaxy Note 7 has. However, the Galaxy Note family is more than simply a larger Galaxy S model as they also include the Samsung S Pen together with additional functionality. Although the S Pen is not necessary for customers to enjoy the device, it does open up additional functionality. It remains uncertain if the Galaxy S8 Plus model will include the S Pen and the accompanying electronics embedded into the screen to allow the fine level of control. If Samsung do not include support for the S Pen in the Galaxy S8 Plus then it would appear likely that there will be another Samsung Galaxy Note model later in the year.
Ultimately, Samsung's decision will weigh on how badly the Galaxy Note image has been tarnished by the exploding battery problems and how much consumers will miss the S Pen. It remains to be seen how many customers bought the Galaxy Note family for the S Pen and the productivity and how many simply wanted the large screen and considered some of Samsung's S Pen features to be unwanted software features. Perhaps Samsung will drop the S Pen and instead concentrate their efforts towards cleaning up the device software and implementing their artificial intelligence features, expected to be released at the same time as the April 2017 Samsung Galaxy S8 announcement.