Samsung Galaxy Note 8 Preview: What There Is To Know So Far

July 6, 2017 - Written By Justin Diaz

Samsung’s Galaxy Note 8 reveal is rumored to be coming up in the next couple of months and while that seems like it’s far away, the next couple of months is sure to come up faster than you think and before you know it the device will be here. There’s nothing confirmed about the Galaxy Note 8 yet, but there have been plenty of rumors so far, and with those rumors what to expect with the device when it arrives is starting to take shape, so here’s what there is to know about the Samsung Galaxy Note 8 in terms of potential specs, hardware, design, and features.

Design

The design of the Samsung Galaxy Note 8 is likely to be one of the main talking points between interested consumers, as it’s the first thing to see when looking at the phone, and Samsung’s device designs have become a staple in the smartphone market. The latest leak shows what could very well be the final design for the phone and if it is indeed what Samsung has come to in terms of how the phone looks, then it isn’t too different from the Galaxy S8 Plus. The image can be seen above and showcases the similarities between it and the Samsung’s current flagship, with a nearly bezel-free screen, a rear-facing fingerprint sensor, and the familiar (yet also new) taller display thanks to what could be an 18.5:9 aspect ratio. What is different is the appearance of the dual rear-facing camera sensors, which is a feature many thought would be present on the Galaxy S8 and Galaxy S8 Plus when they launched. While there’s no guarantee that Samsung has used a dual camera setup on the Galaxy Note 8, rumors of Samsung using a dual rear camera have been around for a while now and many other top brands are already utilizing such hardware features, so it wouldn’t be too out there if Samsung implemented it with its second flagship device line.

The design of the device show in the images up above could certainly be the final design, but other leaked images which look like press renders showcase a slightly different style. In the images below the Galaxy Note 8 still comes with a dual camera setup on the back but the sensor combo is placed vertically instead of horizontally, though the fingerprint sensor doesn’t appear to be present on the back like in the most recent leaks, suggesting that Samsung either used an under the glass fingerprint sensor (which doesn’t seem too likely) or it’s been placed on the side similar in fashion to what Sony has done with their most recent phones from this year and last year. Of course, there’s also the possibility that the design with the vertical rear camera setup isn’t Samsung’s final design. Both seem like plausible options, but the most recent comes across as the most plausible choice as it mimics what Samsung is already doing.

Update: July 8th

Earlier this week a new concept render video popped up which showcases a perceived design that looks like it was based on some of the most recent leaks of the device. While the concept render is just that – a concept, it does give another idea of what to expect in the design department. While it’s not an official render, it just might be the best look at what Samsung has potentially come up with since you can view the phone from pretty much all angles.

Update: July 10th

While this certainly isn’t the first image that’s surfaced showing the front side of the Galaxy Note 8, the design of the screen does seem to match up with previous leaks, showing what looks like it could possibly be two front-facing cameras up top. Now, there haven’t really been any rumors pointing to two front-facing cameras, and it’s entirely possible that what looks like a second camera in this image is just one of the sensors that Samsung has placed up front. Nevertheless it adds some more uncertainty to the design, but also adds a level of interest and intrigue.

Update: July 10th

Two images of the Galaxy Note 8 front panel show that the phone is likely to come with an infinity display, something which shouldn’t be much of a surprise as Samsung already applied this design aspect to its Galaxy S8 flagships and there’s no reason why it wouldn’t continue to use this design for the next device in the Galaxy Note lineup. While these are just the front glass panels, it adds more evidence of the Galaxy Note 8’s final design.

Update: July 11th

This is another design schematic that recently surfaced showing what the Galaxy Note 8’s design could be like. This isn’t really anything new, but it does show similar traits to other leaks, such as the dual rear cameras and rear-facing fingerprint sensor.

Update: July 13th

Samsung sent out a tweet on this day which seemed to show off the front of the Galaxy Note 8. The tweet was not in relation to the new phone, rather it was kind of like an advertisement for the next Exynos processor, but the device in the picture looks like the Galaxy Note 8, and this got people thinking that Samsung may have intentionally used the Galaxy Note 8’s design for the image without mentioning what it was to get people talking and excited.

Another set of leaks also dropped on the same day which were said to be of the Galaxy Note 8, though providing a better look at the possible design of the phone than Samsung’s Exynos 9-related tweet, as the leaks were renders which showed off the full front of the phone. These seemed to match up pretty well with other leaks in the past, adding more credence to the suspected design.

Update: July 14

This isn’t the first time the front panel of the phone has leaked, but it was the latest leak, and it was even posted next to the front panel of the Galaxy S8 for reference of comparison in size and design. While the panels look mostly the same, there is a clear difference in size and a few small adjustments to the way it looks.

In addition to the leaked front panel, another new set of renders were leaked as well. Showing three different images of the phone with different home screen wallpapers, showing what looks like the final design complete with front-facing cameras, the new UI style, and Samsung’s latest icon designs.

Update: July 20th

This is perhaps the best look yet at Samsung’s upcoming Galaxy Note 8, as it shows the phone from all angles so consumers have a view of the front, the back, the sides, and the top and bottom, allowing them to see all the buttons, ports, the screen, and the dual rear camera module and fingerprint sensor. On top of all this, the design also looks just like many of the previous leaks that came before it.

Specs & Features

None of the specs on the Galaxy Note 8 that are currently being discussed can really be labeled as accurate since Samsung themselves have yet to confirm anything, but that doesn’t mean there isn’t a running list of possible hardware and software features of the phone. Quite the opposite, in fact. While some of the earliest specs rumors about the Galaxy Note 8 included a massive amount of internal storage and RAM (such as 256GB of storage and 6GB of RAM, though 6GB isn’t exactly a lot these days now that multiple OEMs are implementing the use of it), the more recent specs rumors are a little more in line with what’s more likely to be in use. A rumor which popped up back on June 30th of this year suggests that the Galaxy Note 8 will come with options for both 64GB and 128GB of storage. This amount of space while not revolutionary, is much more common and due to the cost of storage something as high as 256GB in a device would be sure to raise the cost beyond what many consumers would be willing to pay.

Other internal hardware specs are thought to be a 3,300mAh battery and a Qualcomm Snapdragon 835 processor. While the battery is always generally a surprise with each device release, the use of the industry’s top mobile processor at the moment shouldn’t be too much of a surprise as the Galaxy Note 8 will be a flagship smartphone and Samsung is unlikely to use anything other than a flagship mobile processor. That being said, the Galaxy Note 8 will most likely also feature a different processor for most international markets, and this is probably going to be the Exynos 8895 which is Samsung’s equivalent to the Snapdragon 835 CPU, and the same processor that can be found in the international version of the Galaxy S8 and Galaxy S8 Plus. Some rumors have speculated the use of 8GB of RAM and a Snapdragon 836 CPU (which is still an unannounced CPU) but chances are Samsung won’t be opting to include such specs. Screen wise the Galaxy Note 8 could come with a 6.3-inch QHD+ display, but the phone could just as easily come with the same 6.2-inch QHD+ display that’s found on the Galaxy S8 Plus, which while not an improvement, there isn’t much difference in size between 6.2-inches and 6.3-inches, and with using the 6.2-inch display from the Galaxy S8 Plus Samsung would be saving on having to come up with a whole different panel. The cameras are expected to be dual 12-megapixel sensors on the back, while the front-facing camera would most likely be the same 8-megapixel sensor that Samsung is using on its Galaxy S8 lineup.

The Galaxy Note 8 will no doubt come with Samsung’s new Bixby software though by the time it launches Bixby should be a little more fleshed out and hopefully come with all its intended uses. When it launched with the Galaxy S8 and Galaxy S8 Plus, Bixby was lacking its most anticipated function – the ability to use its voice features. As a competitor to Google Assistant many expected the full capabilities of Bixby to be available from the start but unfortunately this wasn’t the case. Samsung has delayed the launch of Bixby’s voice features in the U.S. but now maintains that it expects Bixby Voice to hit U.S. consumers before the second half of July. If this happen then Bixby’s voice feature should easily make it to the Galaxy Note 8 as well.

Update: July 7th

Earlier this week, a leaked set of supposed Galaxy Note 8 schematics surfaced which seem to point to the possibility of the phone coming with some augmented reality features similar to the ASUS ZenFone AR. The leak suggests that the Galaxy Note 8 will come with an AR-enabled sensor on the back with the dual rear cameras that will give it the ability to use AR apps and functions.

Update: July 20th

This leak shows off what could be the Galaxy Note 8’s S Pen. It doesn’t appear to have changed much design wise, but it does provide a look at what is possibly the included accessory for the next Note device. As for what new features will be added to it, as there is sure to be some, these will have to wait until Samsung’s announcement for the phone.

Update: July 21st

The most recent leak for the Galaxy Note 8 surrounds the Bixby feature, suggesting that the phone will come bundled with, or launch alongside a set of Bluetooth headphones or earbuds (or perhaps a single earbud similar to Sony’s Xperia Ear) which supports Bixby, complete with Samsung’s noise-blocking technology to filter out ambient noise (which is likely the same tech as that which is found in the Gear IconX earbuds) and allowing users to interact with Bixby through the earbuds themselves.

Cases

Sort of building on the design aspect of the phone, there have been a number of case leaks for the Galaxy Note 8. While the cases themselves aren’t too exciting what they do provide is a look at the design of the device to some degree, and the design matches up with the design of the phone in the most recent leaks, which includes the dual rear cameras being situated horizontally with the fingerprint sensor to the right of the camera sensors just like on the Galaxy S8 and Galaxy S8 Plus. What’s more, is that the leaks include different types of cases which show the same type of design, so it seems more and more likely that the most recently leaked design is how the phone will look when Samsung unveils it later this year.

Update: July 10th

Another new set of case renders have leaked this week which show off the design of the Galaxy Note 8. These new case renders show what is essentially the same design as what can be seen in quite a few of the previous leaks with horizontal dual rear camera sensors, an infinity display, and other things like USB Type-C as well as the Bixby button.

Update: July 17th

Giving consumers a look at both the front and the back, a new leak showing dbrand’s skins for the phone gives consumers an idea of what they will look like when applied to the device. It’s also one more piece of evidence for the phone’s final design.

Update: July 19th

Following the dbrand skin leak, cases coming from a Chinese accessory maker show off the Galaxy Note 8 from the front and the back as well. You can see the Infinity display as well as the dual rear camera module complete with rear-facing fingerprint sensor.

Availability & Price

When it comes to high-end phones like the Galaxy Note 8 availability is always going to be a topic of interest. Samsung typically announces its Galaxy Note devices in the Fall and usually at IFA, then it launches the phone some weeks later. This year things may be a little bit different as Samsung is now rumored to be unveiling the Galaxy Note 8 at the end of August. Back at the end of June a rumor popped up which stated Samsung would be launching the phone in August at an event in New York. Then a day later the date was specified as August 26th. This a close to a week or two before Samsung would normally announce the device so it’s not too much earlier, but it could give Samsung just enough time to unveil the phone before any other big name OEMs announce their own fall lineup.

As for the price, it’s tough to say at this moment but at least one rumor has pegged the Galaxy Note 8 as becoming available in Europe for the cost of €999, which would make it close to $900 in the U.S. These prices seem a little high so they should still be taken with a grain of salt but the Galaxy Note 8 is a high-end device so even if the costs aren’t completely correct they may not be too far off from the actual price that Samsung intends to put the phone out on the market for. More rumors about price and availability may turn up before the end of next month when the phone is expected to launch, but for now the late August time frame and the possibility of a $900 and up price tag provide an idea of what to expect in this area.

Update: July 12th

While the most recent leaks surrounding the availability of the Galaxy Note 8 suggested that we could see the phone launch sometime towards the end of August, none of the information thus far had suggested an actual launch date. That seems to have changed as the most recent rumor now suggests that Samsung could launch the Galaxy Note 8 on August 23rd. Now, if the launch actually happens on August 23rd, that could mean that Samsung would be announcing the phone earlier than that, as it doesn’t usually launch devices the same day they’re announced. That said, it’s entirely possible that Samsung could announce and launch the phone on the same day.

Update: July 16th

Back on Sunday it was reported that CEO of Samsung was confirming a late August reveal of the Galaxy Note 8, which matched up with previous rumors that it would be coming at the end of that month. Though the exact date wasn’t mentioned, it had already been rumored which adds truth to them.

Update: July 20th

Following the CEO’s confirmation of a late August reveal, Samsung sent out press invites for its next Galaxy Unpacked event taking place on August 23rd, complete with an image that shows the outline of the Galaxy Note 8 and its S Pen. While there’s no way to know what else Samsung may have in store for the event, the Galaxy Note 8 is a given, and now offers consumers something to truly look forward to at the end of August.

Wrap Up

There’s still plenty about the Galaxy Note 8 that’s unknown and most of if not all of the actual details will remain a mystery until the possible launch at the end of next month. That being said the Galaxy Note 8 is already starting to take shape and that should be an exciting thought. The Galaxy Note line has grown into an extremely popular device series and this year probably won’t be any different even in the wake of the issues that Samsung had with the Galaxy Note 7 last year. While all of the information here is unlikely to be the end of Galaxy Note 8 rumors, as more surfaces this post will be updated.