Samsung launches Galaxy Note 8, eyes turnaround after battery debacle

Samsung has unveiled a new model of its Galaxy Note as it seeks to leave behind the debacle over exploding batteries in the previous generation of the device, and mount a renewed challenge to Apple and its soon-to-come iPhone 8.

tech Updated: Aug 24, 2017 00:31 IST
Kul Bhushan
Kul Bhushan
Hindustan Times, New Delhi
Samsung,Galaxy S8+,Galaxy S8-series
Images of the new Samsung Note8 smartphone model are displayed on a giant screen at the Samsung Galaxy Unpacked 2017 event on August 23, 2017 in New York. (AFP)

After months of leaks and rumours, Samsung has finally taken the wraps off its latest premium smartphone, the Galaxy Note 8. The smartphone will be available for pre-orders in the US on Thursday and sales will begin from September 15. There in no word yet on the India launch though.

Marginally bigger than the Galaxy S8+ (6.2-inch QHD+ display), the Note 8 comes with a 6.3-inch QHD+ Super AMOLED Infinity Display with 18:5:9 aspect ratio. Like the Galaxy S8-series, Note 8 also ditches the physical home button on the front.

The smartphone also comes with a dedicated Bixby button on the side. Bixby, Samsung’s voice-based assistant, has received a few improvements. For example, users can simply say “Good Night” to Bixby to active the ‘Do Not Disturb’ mode and automatically switch on the Blue Light filter.

Images are displayed on a giant screen at the Samsung Galaxy Unpacked 2017 event on August 23, 2017 in New York. (AFP)

The smartphone is also accompanied by S Pen. The stylus now allows users to take up to 100 pages of notes on the off screen. Moreover, users can use the stylus to scribble emojis within the message.

The Note 8 gets a performance boost with 6GB of RAM as compared to 4GB of RAM in the Galaxy S8-series. The smartphone comes with 64GB of built-in storage and supports expandable storage up to 128GB/256GB via a microSD card.

On the camera front, the Note 8 comes with a dual-rear camera setup, also Samsung’s first. The camera comes with 2X optical zoom support. The dual-rear camera on the phone consists of two 12-megapixel sensors. Both the cameras come with Optical Image Stabilization (OIS). While the first sensor is a wide-angle lens, the second one is a telephoto lens to offer 2X optical zoom. The smartphone is also capable of delivering real-time bokeh effect (DSLR-like depth of field experience). It also has an 8-megapixel front-facing camera with f/1.7 aperture.

Other key features of the smartphone include Android 7.1.1 Nougat and wireless charging. The Galaxy Note 8 is also IP68 certified for water and dust resistance. Connectivity options include USB Type-C, NFC, 3.5mm audio port, Bluetooth 5.0 ad LTE Cat. 16 and Wi-Fi.

The launch of another smartphone with Note moniker indicates Samsung’s faith in its strategy and products. For the uninitiated, the Note 7, launched last year, was recalled soon after it hit the stores following multiple reports of the device catching fire. At one point, there were rumours that Samsung won’t be launching another Note smartphone, ever.

Despite its bad run with Note 7, Samsung registered a profit of 9.2 trillion won (£5.8 billion), approximately a 50% year-on-year growth. The Note 7 had put a minor dent in Samsung’s revival efforts after the success of Galaxy S7-series. Note 8 is now expected to lead the flagship Galaxy series. Also, the smartphone will be competing against Apple’s next iPhones.

First Published: Aug 23, 2017 22:53 IST