Evan Blass, better known by his Twitter handle @evleaks, is one of the most reliable and longest-serving cellphone leakers in the business. So when he puts out a report with two big claims about the Samsung Galaxy Note 8, you bet we sit up and listen.
Blass’s report has two things of, ahem, note that are different to other rumors we’ve been hearing.
The first is the launch date. Thus far, most of the rumors have pointed towards a late August launch. That’s a little earlier than Samsung’s traditional Note debut in the fall, but it would mean that Samsung could upstage the iPhone 8, which is widely expected to be previewed in September.
However, Blass’s sources suggest that we’ll see a launch in the “second half of September,” which would likely mean it hitting the shelves by the beginning of October, as per usual. I’m sure Samsung would like to launch its phone sooner rather than later, but last year’s Note 7 debacle proved that rushing ahead of schedule really isn’t worth it.
The other big piece of news is the price. Blass is suggesting it will retail in Europe for €999, which would translate to a US price in the $900-$1,000 range, depending on currency fluctuations at that point. That’s high, but just about what we’d expect. The Galaxy S8 starts at $750, so a $150-$200 premium for Samsung’s top-end phone makes sense.
Blass also has some details on specs, which are more in line with what we’ve heard before. The Note 8 isn’t expected to have a screen much bigger than the Galaxy S8, but will instead try to differentiate itself with moar features. There’s going to be a dual-camera setup on the back of the phone, 6GB of RAM, and Samsung’s signature stylus. You can also expect the same fingerprint sensor on the back as we saw on the Galaxy S8, although this time it will be positioned a little further from the camera lens. The battery will be smaller than you’d think at 3,300mAh — no doubt some Note 7 caution creeping in.
On paper, I’m not sure how well the Note 8 will stack up against the iPhone 8, especially if they’re both previewed at the same time. The iPhone 8 is rumored to have a bigger edge-to-edge display than the 4.7-inch screen we’ve got used to, and it could also have wireless charging and a fingerprint sensor embedded under the display.
Those are genuinely new features, whereas the Note 8 sounds more like the best bits of every smartphone from the past couple years cobbled together. I could see that working at a slightly lower price point, but if the only two phones competing for $1,000 of your money are a brand-new iPhone 8 or an older-school Galaxy Note 8, I’m not sure the fight will go Samsung’s way.