At its “Unpacked” event in New York City today, Samsung unveiled the all-new Galaxy Note 8 smartphone, following months of speculation about the device’s August debut. The event began with a recap video of the Note line’s history, including user testimonies following the Note 7’s fire-catching scandal and how they continued to support Samsung during the recall.
Looking forward at the new device, the Galaxy Note 8 has a 6.3-inch Quad HD+ Super AMOLED “Infinity Display,” with an edge-to-edge screen that represents the largest screen ever on any Note device. The display has an 18.5:9 aspect ratio, which allows users to see more content than ever before, according to Samsung. This includes access to a new multitasking feature called “App Pair,” which lets users create custom pairs of their favorite apps on the Edge side panel, simultaneously launching two apps to interact with them at once.
The Galaxy Note 8 comes with a new and enhanced S Pen with a finer tip and improved pressure sensitivity. When using the S Pen, users can send “Live Messages” to handwrite text messages — and add in special effects — within the text message app. An enhanced screen-off mode lets users quickly jot down notes when the smartphone is turned off, and then save the note to view later.
On the photography side of things, the Galaxy Note 8 has one 8MP front-facing camera and two 12MP rear cameras, and includes optical image stabilization on both of the rear cameras. The rear-facing cameras include one wide-angle f/1.7 lens and one telephoto f/2.4 lens, while the front camera has an aperture of f/1.7.
A “Live Focus” mode lets users take a picture and control the depth of field of everything surrounding the main subject of the image, so users can adjust the bokeh effect before and after the photo is taken.
Expanding the ecosystem of the Note smartphone line, Samsung also introduced “Samsung DeX,” which lets the smartphone communicate with a user’s PC to seamlessly transfer between working on the go and at home or in an office.
Additionally, the Galaxy Note 8 is water and dust resistant (IP68), includes fast wireless charging, a 3,300 mAh battery, and various biometric authentication options (iris and fingerprint scanning). Samsung’s new smartphone has 6GB of RAM, a 10nm processor, and 64GB/128GB/256GB of internal storage, depending on market and carrier availability. The device also keeps the standard 3.5mm headphone jack.
A few websites have already gotten to go hands-on with the Galaxy Note 8, including The Verge, Engadget, CNET, and USA Today. Many sites pointed out the similarities of the device’s dual-lens camera system to that of the iPhone 7 Plus, with Engadget noting, “Samsung has a camera setup excellent enough to make iPhone owners consider switching.”
The Samsung Galaxy Note 8 will launch in South Africa on 22 September at a recommended retail price of R18,499.
Pre-registrations for the device have already opened at Cellucity, with pre-order customers getting their devices from 15 September.
Pre-orders are open on the Samsung website, and pre-order clients will get 6 months of Samsung Mobile Care included.