With just over three weeks before Samsung's next product launch event, several new leaked images appear to show what's coming: a large-screen Galaxy Note 8 with bezel-free sides and dual rear cameras alongside a fingerprint reader
In last month's announcement for its Aug. 23 Unpacked event in New York City, Samsung said it would "reveal the latest member of the Galaxy family with the ultimate multitasking device for those who want to do bigger things with their phone."
Samsung has a lot riding on the success of its Galaxy Note 8 in light of last year's costly recall of the fire-prone Galaxy Note 7, which led to losses in the billions. After tracing the Note 7's problems to two key battery defects, the company has since tried to salvage some of the millions of recalled phones by refurbishing and rebranding them in South Korea as the Galaxy Note FE.
'Infinity Display' Part Two
Late yesterday and early today, mobile tech writer Evan Glass, who has published numerous accurate leaks about other devices in the past, posted several images on Twitter that appear to show front, back, and side views of the Samsung Galaxy Note 8 (product images, shown above).
In addition to showing a stylus accessory, the photos reveal a phone with a curved side edge, "Infinity Display," and a rear fingerprint sensor to the side of the dual camera lenses. According to Blass' tweets, the Galaxy Note 8 will come in at least three colors: silver, midnight black and deep sea blue.
The design is similar to that of Samsung's Galaxy S8 and S8 Plus, which arrived on the market in April. And the design is likely to generate the same criticism from Samsung fans who have complained that the off-center, rear fingerprint sensor is awkward to use and causes them to smudge the rear cameras.
In response to the rear-view images posted by Blass on Twitter, users today have offered such comments as "robotic and constricted," "pretty outdated," and "ugliest camera set up on a phone ever." The look on the other side of the device, though, received mostly positive reviews like "pretty as hell" and "absolutely stunning."
Time To Capitalize on iPhone Delay
Samsung will have several months to make good on its Galaxy Note 8 launch before its stiffest competition arrives in the form of Apple's 10th anniversary iPhone later this year. Although its normal September launch could be delayed by as much as three months because of supply issues, the new iPhone is expected to have many of the same features as Samsung's new smartphone, including a bezel-free front display.
That design has caused some headaches for both companies. Both Samsung and Apple have reportedly been working -- without success so far -- to replace the physical fingerprint sensors in their new devices with ones that are integrated into the displays themselves.
For now, the latest Galaxy Note 8 leaks seem to indicate that Samsung has decided to address that challenge by moving the fingerprint sensor from the front to the back, as it did with the Galaxy S8 and S8 Plus. Apple, meanwhile, is said to be planning to replace its front-facing Touch ID fingerprint sensor with "Face ID," an image-based verification system that combines iris authentication with three-dimensional face recognition.
In its most recent earnings release, which came out last week, Samsung said it aims to "maintain solid sales of flagship products through release of the new Note model and continuous global sales of S8/S8+." It attributed strong sales to date of the Galaxy S8 and S8 Plus to the new Infinity Display design and other features such as iris recognition and water/dust proofing.