It’s a safe bet that no other smartphone will be as closely monitored this year as Samsung’s Galaxy Note 8. Although the Galaxy S8 and S8 plus launch went off without a hitch, consumers may not be as forgiving concerning Samsung’s other flagship, which became infamous last year for its explosive issues. Cast in the shadows of last year’s incident, it’s a question that’s on just about everybody’s mind: Will the Galaxy Note 8 be the phoenix to rise from the Note 7’s ashes?
It almost certain that the Galaxy Note name will continue on, with a speculated release date sometime in late August – August 23rd was a tipped date according to a report from The Bell. With the Note 7 having been announced on August 2nd last year and released on the 19th, this date falls in line with typical Note releases.
As for the device itself, Evan Blass of VentureBeat speculated that the device would share similarities with the Galaxy S8+ with extremely slim bezels and a 6.2-inch display, but would feature a more sophisticated dual-camera set-up and would of course feature Samsung’s S Pen. As typical with Note devices, the edges of the device are more subtle than the Galaxy S series. Additionally, the fingerprint sensor, while still expected to be located on the back of the device, is allegedly positioned in a more convenient location than on the Galaxy S8 and S8+.
Although Samsung hasn’t said much concerning the device, the company all but confirmed its existence in an “accidental” tweet yesterday initially promoting its Exynos 8895 processor. Although the image only shows the upper half of a generic Samsung phone, Gordon Kelly of Forbes points out that Samsung would likely have no issue showing off the rest of the phone had it been a rendered image of the Galaxy S8 or S8+. Instead, Kelly (and a frenzy of Twitter followers) speculate that Samsung is subtly hyping up the Note 8.
It’s safe to say that the Note 8 will release, but will the Note 7’s lingering reputation – which was deemed so unsafe that airlines banned the device – override any hope for a successful launch?
From the perspective of your average consumer, yes, at least to some degree.
For most people, the Galaxy Note 7 was a disaster. The Samsung brand was tainted heavily due to the issues. Even unaffected phones sharing the Galaxy brand name were ostracized by people who don’t know the difference between Galaxy Note from any other Galaxy device. I’ve had some people say, “How could people not know the difference?” The way I see it, “phone people” are a lot like “car people”, or anybody that's a little more in tune with a subject than your average person. As a phone person, I know the difference between a Galaxy Note and a Galaxy S. As somebody that’s not a car person, I couldn’t tell you the difference between a Toyota Corolla and a Toyota Camry, and I own a Corolla. It all depends on what your hobbies and interests revolve around. But I digress.
People are going to remember the Galaxy Note 7 when the Galaxy Note 8 is announced, and many people will avoid the Galaxy Note 8 (especially at first) because they have a negative association with it. Others, especially those who are big fans of the Note and essentially had to go a year without, will be more likely to forgive. It helps that Samsung has been so apologetic regarding incident.
Another thing that the Galaxy Note 8 continues to have over other smartphones is the S Pen. Despite multitouch technology negating the need for a stylus, Samsung saw an opportunity as more and more manufacturers moved away from the stylus. Instead of completely eradicating it, Samsung took the stylus and modernized it. The S Pen serves as more than just a stylus, and is viewed as an extremely handy tool for productivity users.
Aside from the Note itself, I would also assume that Samsung, who is already well-known for offering generous promotions for its flagships, will try to sweeten the deal for the Note 8 as well.
Whether these factors will be enough to recuperate the losses that came with the Note 7 is yet to be seen, but as we get closer to the inevitable launch of the Note 8, it’s interesting to note the amount of hype and anticipation surrounding the device.