Samsung Galaxy Note 8 rumour round up: Dual Cameras, Speaker on S-Pen and 4K display

Dual cameras, a 4K display, Snapdragon 830, 4300 mAh battery, wireless charging, and a speaker in the S-Pen instead of a speaker grill are all speculations.

The Samsung Galaxy Note 7 recall is the largest fire and burn hazard related consumer electronics recall in US history.  Samsung did the right thing and took the necessary but expensive steps to ensure that their customers had safe devices. Samsung may have rushed to get the phone into the market before the launch of the iPhone 7, and may have compromised on the quality of the phone in doing that.


DJ Koh launching the Samsung Note 7

At the international launch of the Galaxy Note 7, Samsung's Mobile Chief, DJ Koh who formerly lead the research and development department, elaborated on the history of the Note series. The Note along with the S-Pen was a smartphone with a stylus, seemingly an outdated technology. This was the kind of device that no one believed would work, but Samsung stuck to its vision. Now the device exists in a product category of its own. Apart from superior waterproofing, The Note 7 included a biometric Iris scanner, something that the Apple iPhone 7 did not have. Koh defended the 3.5 mm audio jack in the launch, but the jack might be be removed out by the time the next Note launches.


Image: Galaxy Club

The Samsung Galaxy Note 8 will have a dual camera setup, according to a report in Galaxy Club. The speculation is based on a patent application where Samsung has introduced a one finger vertical sliding gesture to zoom, instead of the pinch to zoom. This is the kind of user interface that can potentially work with a dual camera setup. Samsung filed the patent for these gestures to zoom in Korea. There is also a horizontal gesture to increase and decrease the brightness. Dual cameras on the rear are an expected on the Note 8 because that was one of the features that the iPhone 7 had this year, but the Note 7 did not. The LG G5 and Huawei P9 also had dual cameras this year.

The dual cameras on the Huawei P9.

The dual cameras on the Huawei P9.

The Note 8 may sport a 4K display according to a report in BGR. The evidence is the demonstration of a 4K display for mobile phones by Samsung at a trade conference in California, and this display will most likely to be used in one of its flagship phones. It has been a long standing notion that phones do not require high resolution screens, because the screens are so small. However, we do keep phones a few inches from our face, unlike televisions which are across a room. A higher resolution display would also give a more immersive and realistic experience on Gear, Samsung's VR Goggles. A small piece of evidence supporting this is that Samsung shipped free Gear VR headsets to everyone who had pre-booked a Note 7.

The Gear VR headset from Samsung

The Gear VR headset from Samsung

Tech Update has some detailed specification leaks allegedly from Weibo. The back has a 30 MP camera, with a 9 MP selfie shooter. It has 6 GB of RAM with on board memory variations in 64 GB and 128 GB.  The 4K display at least would require a more capable battery. There is a 4200 mAh battery, which is likely to support wireless charging.  The phone will be powered by a Snapdragon 830, according to a report in GizmoChina. One unexpected feature that might make it through is a projector. There are phones with projector before, but it especially makes sense for a design oriented phone to give instant presentations. The Galaxy Note 8 is expected to land around April 2017.

The patent application for the S-Pen. Image:

The patent application for the S-Pen. Image: Patently Mobile.

The most interesting feature could be a speaker module in the S-Pen. Patently Mobile refers to an S-Pen patent application in the United States. If an S-Pen is in the slot, then the sound travels through the S-Pen and exits from the speaker. If there is no S-Pen in the slot, then the sound travels out of the opening via an internal speaker. A speaker on the S-Pen could replace the speaker grill section, allowing for better water resistance on the device.


The Note 7 has a higher rated water resistance than the iPhone 7

The recall fiasco lead to an advantage for Apple. Analysts had said in the first week of September, that despite the recall, there was no reason to write off the Samsung Galaxy Note 7 yet, and that the phone might recover in terms of sales. Looks like these analysts were right, as Samsung just reported that over a million consumers are using safe versions of the device now. Now that both the iPhone 7 and the Galaxy Note 7 are finally out, there are questions and speculation over what is next. The stakes are high because of the Note 7 recall fiasco this year, and the lukewarm response to the new Apple handsets.

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