After the Note 7 fiasco, all of Samsung’s reputation was riding on its next smartphone launch back in March for the Galaxy S8. But even though that’s done and over with, the company is still finding its upcoming Note device associated with what happened last year. Will this finally be the phone that gets us all past Samsung’s past? For everything you need to know about this year’s flagship phablet that was just announced at the company’s Unpacked event in New York City, see our coverage below.
Alongside the Galaxy Note 8 announced today, Samsung also revealed that it’s making yet another iteration of the Gear VR headset that’s designed to support the Note and its 6.3-inch display. Aside from accommodating Samsung’s newest phone, very little else seems different between this Gear VR and the previous one we saw a few months back that bundled in a handheld, physical controller. That one came out at the same time as the Galaxy S8 and S8+, but apparently Samsung wasn’t forward-thinking enough to be sure it’d work with the next Note. The headset still costs $129.99.Read Article >
The Note 8 won’t work with existing Gear VR headsets — only the brand new one — but the just-announced headset is backwards compatible with all recent Samsung handsets including the S8 and S8+, S7 and S7 Edge, S6, S6 Edge, S6+, and the Note 5.
Aug 23, 2017
Samsung is already working on getting into the smart speaker market. DJ Koh, president of Samsung’s mobile division, confirmed the news to CNBC today at its Galaxy Note 8 event, saying the product would launch "soon." That timeline isn't specific, but at least it's something. Koh says he's already working on the device and wants to create a "fruitful user experience at home with Samsung devices, and [he] want[s] to be moving quite heavily on it."Read Article >
He didn't say whether the speaker would feature the company's new digital assistant, Bixby, but I think it's safe to assume that would be the case. Samsung has already started including the assistant in its connected refrigerators and says it wants to eventually install it across its product portfolio, including in TVs and wearables.
Aug 23, 2017
The Galaxy Note 8 is official, marking Samsung’s final move to get past the Note 7 incident and onto bigger, less (literally) explosive things. For a quick recap of what was announced at the keynote here at the Unpacked event in New York City, we’ve condensed all the biggest moments from a one-hour presentation to a totally unintentional (but certainly appropriate) eight-minute supercut. Eight minutes of Note 8! Isn’t that great? Good thing the event didn’t run too late. Must be fate!Read Article >
Wacky poems aside, for additional coverage of today’s event, see the StoryStream below.
I’ve been looking at the $930 starting price for the new Samsung Galaxy Note 8, scratching my head in bewilderment, looking at that price again, and furrowing my brows. We don’t usually get many mainstream phones with a starting price north of $900 ($960 if you opt for Verizon or AT&T, and even worse in the UK thanks to the pound’s Brexit-induced weakness), and I find myself wondering about the market dynamics nudging the flagship price tiers up. Is it a matter of market saturation encouraging phone vendors to move up into higher price brackets so as to make more per unit sold? Was there always an audience for $1,000 phones, which Samsung is only now deciding to explore / exploit directly with the Note 8?Read Article >
Having consulted with the Verge hive mind, here are my best hypotheses about the reasoning behind Samsung’s latest move up in price with its brand new phone.
Aug 23, 2017
For the launch of its new Galaxy Note 8 smartphone, Samsung is — not surprisingly — doubling down on the whole support thing. New Note 8 buyers in the US will get 60 days free of Samsung Premium Care service if they buy through Samsung.com, a service that normally costs $11.99 per device per month and includes everything light support to coverage for damage.Read Article >
For the in-home support portion of the service, Samsung is relying on a lesser-known logistics startup based out of Los Angeles called HelloTech. And HelloTech is promising Note 8 customers that it will come to them whenever they have questions about their new phones, whether that means visiting them at home, at work, or at a local coffee shop.
Aug 23, 2017
Before Samsung announced the Galaxy Note 8 during its event in New York City today, it first addressed last year’s Note 7 battery mishap. This is not new. Samsung has spent the last year issuing conciliatory statements about its phone that repeatedly caught fire, as well as how poorly it acted in response to those failures. But this time around, the company opted for an uplifting tone, starting the whole event off with a sugary reel of supportive words from Note fans.Read Article >
Opening the event this way was a sign that, in a post-Galaxy S8 world, Samsung feels comfortable enough to drop the apologetic tone. It was also a fairly shrewd marketing move. Note fans are a core group of customers that has always been important to Samsung since the product’s earliest days. “Even when we disappointed you, you stuck with us,” the company stated in the onstage video, in between messages that Samsung plucked from Twitter, Facebook, and YouTube.
Aug 23, 2017
Samsung announced today that users of its Bixby digital assistant will soon be able to use voice control to play music through Spotify. The news, announced by director of product marketing Jonathan Wong onstage at Samsung’s Galaxy Note 8 reveal, is a welcome addition to the list of Bixby integrations, which so far have been somewhat lacking since the product arrived in the US for the S8 and S8 Plus in July after months of delays.Read Article >
Billed as a central hub for interacting with computing devices of all types, Bixby is Samsung’s all-in-one answer to Google Assistant and Amazon Alexa. Samsung’s three-tier approach mixes a voice control interface for talking with your device, a computer vision system for identifying objects through the camera, and an on-screen “Home” menu populated by standard predictive items like weather forecasts and news.
It’s been a long road for fans of Samsung’s Galaxy Note phones, but the Note 8 is finally here. Combining the stunning design of the S8 with the iconic S Pen and the biggest screen Samsung has ever put on a phone, the Note 8 looks like it could be the ultimate phablet-style device.Read Article >
But it’s also true that it’s harder than ever to stand out in the smartphone industry. Looking at the lineup of the Note 8’s contemporaries, it’s hard to find things that are wholly unique to the Note. Nearly every flagship has a comparable Snapdragon 835 processor and tons of RAM, the Note 8 is by no means the first to have a dual-camera setup, and Samsung already makes a huge phone with a nearly edge-to-edge display in the form of the S8 Plus.
The Note 8 is here, and it might just be Samsung’s biggest and best smartphone ever. It’s also one of its most expensive yet. So if you’re interested in picking one up, you should be prepared for a big price tag to go with that giant screen.Read Article >
The Note 8 only comes in a 64GB version in the US, in either black or gray colors. Samsung is also offering either a Samsung Gear 360 camera or a charging bundle of a 128GB microSD card and wireless charging pad for customers who preorder.
Aug 23, 2017
Samsung announced today that former Note 7 owners can trade in their current phone for a value of up to $425 off the Note 8. The huge discount is a gesture of reconciliation after last year’s Note 7 incident, when many devices caught on fire due to defective batteries. Eligible customers can take the company up on the offer via Samsung.com when preorders go live on August 24th.Read Article >
Samsung had to recall nearly 3 million copies of the phone, which was a huge blow to the company’s reputation. To make matters worse, some replacement Note 7s that Samsung sent out also overheated and exploded. The recall cost Samsung $5 billion already, so the steep discounts will only add to the bill. Some loyalists stuck to their Note 7s even after the recall and an update that essentially bricked the device, whether for convenience or sentimentality. Either way, it’s clear Samsung wants to make up for the fiasco and continue to offer ways to retain customers from switching away from the Galaxy Note line.
How do you recover from one of the most disastrous episodes in consumer electronics history? That’s the challenge Samsung has confronted in the months leading up to today’s announcement of the Galaxy Note 8. Undeterred by the battery catastrophe that led to a complete recall and effective cancellation of the Galaxy Note 7, Samsung just unveiled its successor today.Read Article >
The Galaxy Note 8 is here, and Samsung is hopeful that consumers who appreciate the Note’s features and its signature stylus will be willing to give the brand another chance after months of hearing warnings aboard airplanes and other public transit about the dangers and potential for destruction posed by the recalled smartphone. The name hasn’t changed. It is a Galaxy Note through and through, and it’s definitely the nicest one Samsung has ever made. Preorders begin tomorrow on all the major US carriers, and an unlocked model will be available at launch for the first time. The Note 8 will be released in stores on September 15th.
A new version of Samsung’s fitness-tracking wearable, the Gear Fit 2 Pro, has leaked online ahead of the company’s Unpacked event with a listing on Samsung’s Malaysia website, which was spotted by Evan Blass.Read Article >
The Gear Fit 2 Pro is an upgraded version of Samsung’s Gear Fit 2 fitness tracker from last year. The biggest addition is its water resistance up to 5ATM (roughly 50 meters or around 164 feet), meaning you’ll be able to wear the Gear Fit 2 Pro while swimming. To that end, along with the improved water resistance, Samsung is also adding a new Speedo app to help track your swimming. There’s also a new and improved buckle strap, which should keep the Gear Fit 2 Pro secure on your wrist while you’re swimming laps.
Fall is almost here, and it’s officially smartphone season, with Samsung kicking things off by unveiling the Galaxy Note 8 today at its latest Galaxy Unpacked event.Read Article >
In the past few weeks, there’s been a ton of leaks about the Note 8’s hardware, revealing things like the dual camera system, the S8-style design with a bezel-less Infinity Display, and of course, the return of the S Pen. And while the S8 Plus has a big screen at 6.2-inches, the Note 8 is expected to offer an even bigger 6.3-inch display for those who truly need the most screen real estate.
It has been nearly a year since Samsung, the world’s most prolific smartphone maker, gave us an exhibition of how not to recover from a mistake. After launching the flagship Galaxy Note 7 device in August 2016 without putting it through sufficiently rigorous quality assurance checks, Samsung found itself inundated with reports of self-combusting Note 7 batteries. It was an unfortunate lapse at that stage, but Samsung made things much worse by equivocating about the causes of the fires, trying to do only partial recalls, and eventually even re-releasing the Note 7 with supposedly fixed batteries that still caught fire. It was the very definition of a corporate fiasco.Read Article >
Now Samsung stares down the demons of its past with the Note 7’s successor, the Galaxy Note 8, which launches in New York today. This will be the most atypical Note launch in the line’s seven-year (there was no Galaxy Note 6 as Samsung skipped a number last year to sync up with its Galaxy S product numbering) history. In past times, our expectations of the Galaxy Note series have been to see Samsung at its most ambitious and ostentatious: the very best specs available, the most eye-catching designs, and the most grand and splashy presentation possible. But this year, we all want to just see the Galaxy Note 8 survive unscathed by the calamity that dragged down its predecessor. All our hopes and expectations basically amount to: please don’t explode.