Ahead of the Aug. 23 debut of the Galaxy Note 8, leaked images show Samsung's latest smartphone will likely feature a rear fingerprint sensor alongside dual cameras.
The Galaxy Note 8 appears to have a curved-edge, nearly bezel-free display like its Galaxy S8 cousins, launched earlier this year. The first live images of the phone were posted yesterday on a site called My Everyday Tech but later removed, although they can still be viewed on Slashleaks.
Another update on Slashleaks yesterday indicates that a version of the Note 8 to be marketed in South Korea will come with 256 GB of storage. The site said both the leaked images and storage information appear to be 100-percent trustworthy. Samsung is expected to officially unveil the Galaxy Note 8 during its Aug. 23 Unpacked event in New York City.
Second-Chance Shot in the Arm for Samsung?
The Galaxy Note 8 represents Samsung's latest chance to redeem its market credibility following last year's disastrous and costly launch of the Galaxy Note 7 (pictured above), which saw a global recall after numerous overheating and fire problems linked to battery defects.
Samsung began its redemption in April with the release of its Galaxy S8 and Galaxy S8 Plus flagship devices. Featuring a curved-edge "Infinity Display" and rear fingerprint sensor, the S8 and S8 Plus had strong sales initially but appear to be lagging when compared to the S7 and S7 Plus devices, according to a report last month in The Investor, a publication of The Korea Herald.
On July 11, The Investor reported that an estimated 9.8 million Galaxy S8s and Galaxy S8 Pluses had been sold in the first two months following their launch. That's about 20 percent lower than the S7 and S7 Plus sales figures in a comparable time period.
Continuing Fingerprint Sensor Challenges
Based on the latest leaked Galaxy Note 8 images, the phone will retain the off-center, back-of-device fingerprint sensor and dual cameras that first appeared on the Galaxy S8 and Galaxy S8 Plus.
The location of the fingerprint sensor has been criticized for being awkward to use and likely to lead to smudged camera lenses. It also indicates that Samsung, like other smartphone companies, has yet to overcome the technical challenges of incorporating a front-facing fingerprint sensor into the glass display.
Apple has been facing the same challenge as it prepares for a delayed fall launch of its next iPhone. The most recent Apple leaks suggest the iPhone 8, which might in fact be named the "iPhone Edition," will come with facial recognition Face ID instead of Touch ID.
Samsung's efforts to integrate an under-glass fingerprint sensor "led to a visible color deformity, so the technology has been put back to the presumptively named Note 9," according to a report in Forbes yesterday. A new analyst report from KGI Securities said Samsung is hoping to include an embedded sensor in the Note 9, although the fingerprint reader might appear in a new position on the rear of the phone.
In the meantime, the latest leaked images of the Galaxy Note 8, which will come with a stylus accessory, show the phone will be available in eight colors: midnight black, gold, arctic silver, orchid gray (or violet), coral blue, dark blue, pink, and deep sea blue.