Published on June 29 2017

Samsung Galaxy S8 And Other Devices Expected To Receive Android O

Android O is expected to be officially unveiled and released during the third quarter of 2017. If Google’s Project Treble initiative toward speedier updates is still in motion, Samsung devices may see the new software sooner than ever before.

While Samsung has not yet confirmed its update plans For Android O, tech blog SamMobile has put together some ideas, for which Galaxy smartphones and tablets may get the new software.    

Here’s a rundown of Samsung’s possible Android O update list and details about their current software statuses.

Devices most likely to update to Android O first include the Galaxy S8, the Galaxy S8 Plus, and the Galaxy Note 8 flagships. The Galaxy S8 and Galaxy S8 Plus both released in early 2017 running Android 7.0 Nougat. The Galaxy Note 8 is expected to release between August and September running Android 7.1.1 Nougat. Android O would be their the first update for all of these devices, and as the newest on the market, the Galaxy Note 8 would likely be first to update between the three.

After the 2017 flagships, the 2016 flagships will likely update next. These include the Galaxy S7, Galaxy S7 Edge, and Galaxy S7 Active. Android O would be the second major update for these devices, which all released running Android Marshmallow and then updated to Android Nougat. Other devices, for which Android O would be the second update include the mid-range Galaxy A7, Galaxy A5 and Galaxy A3 2017 series.

Mid-range and low-end devices, which may review Android O as their first major update include the Galaxy J7 Prime, Galaxy C9 Pro, and Galaxy C7 Pro. The soon to be re-released Galaxy Note FE (Galaxy Note 7) also falls into this list due to its previous discontinuation from the market. The Galaxy Note 7 would have updated to Android Nougat alongside the S7 flagships, had it not been taken from the market.

Other devices expected to update to Android O include the Galaxy J7 and Galaxy J5 2017 series and the Galaxy Tab S3 tablet. The Galaxy J7 and Galaxy J5 have not yet released but are expected to run Android 7.1 Nougat when they do, while the Galaxy Tab S3 launched in February running Android Nougat. Samsung’s tablets tend to have a slightly different update cycle than its smartphones, but as a flagship tablet, the Galaxy Tab S3 should be in line to receive at least two major Android updates.

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Published on June 29 2017

Samsung will be releasing its refurbished Galaxy Note 7 soon, and reports suggest it might launch on July 7. The refurbished Galaxy Not 7 is widely believed to be called the “Fandom Edition” variant or the Note FE.

The July 7 release date for the refurbished Samsung Galaxy Note 7 was first reported by the Wall Street Journal. The phone is said to arrive in South Korea on that date, but it won’t likely Officially hit the United States market. However, that won’t surely stop import or export sellers from trying to bring it to other countries.

The WSJ’s report was then later corroborated by the Yonhap News Agency. In its report, the agency claims that the refurbished Galaxy Note FE will cost lower than 700,000 won (or less than US$616). If this is true, this means that the Galaxy Note FE will cost significantly less than the original Galaxy Note 7, which arrived last year with a $849 price tag for its unlocked version.

The reported July 7 release date for the refurbished Galaxy Note 7 and its pricing hasn’t been confirmed by Samsung yet. If this release date is accurate, we should expect an official announcement from Samsung soon since July 7 is already next Friday.

The original Galaxy Note 7 was lauded heavily by fans and critics when it first arrived last year. However, a few weeks later, numerous users reported that their handset would spontaneously combust or randomly catch fire. This forced Samsung to recall the Note 7 and eventually completely discontinue the handset as it still posed a great threat to its consumers.

With the refurbished “Fandom Edition” version of the Note  7, Samsung is believed to have used less dangerous components for this device. Samsung reported that the main cause of the Note 7 disaster was from defective batteries from two of its suppliers.

With the Galaxy Note FE, it’s believed that Samsung will be placing a smaller 3,200 mAh battery on this device rather than the original 3,500 mAh capacity, according to Android Authority. This might result in less battery life, but it should be one of the necessary solutions that Samsung had to implement to avoid another disaster.

Earlier this year, Samsung also announced its it 8-Point Battery Check Safety Check, which puts the company’s batteries through rigorous testing. The Galaxy S8 and Galaxy S8 Plus are said to be the first of Samsung devices to go through this safety precaution, and there have been no reports of S8 units exploding yet.

It should go without saying that the Galaxy Note FE will go through the same safety check process, which includes a durability test, charge/discharge test, visual inspection and an X-ray test.

The rest of the Galaxy Note FE’s specs are also expected to be the same with the original Note 7. It will still come with the same quad HD AMOLED display, the Exynos 8890 processor along with 4GB of RAM and 64GB of storage and the 12MP rear camera.

On the software side of things, the Galaxy Note FE will come with Samsung’s latest software updates. Samsung’s smart assistant, Bixby, is said to be available on the device.

Refurbished Galaxy Note 7 Release Date Revealed?

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Published on June 6 2017

Samsung Galaxy Note 8 Design LEAKS With Massive (4K?) Display

Samsung's Galaxy Note 8 has leaked with a huge display panel

Live video footage of the Samsung Galaxy Note 8's front fascia, together with still images, have rocked up online, outing the handset's design. Amongst the details apparently confirmed by this leak is a larger form factor, or at least taller, to accomdate the biggest Samsung Galaxy Note phablet display to date. The phone will apparently sport the same 18.5:9 Infinitity OLED display design as the Galaxy S8 series in a 6.3in display; 0.6in bigger than the Note 7's screen.

The leak comes via reputable source SamMobile, which has provided a lot of accurate information, details, and images in the past. The video and images appear to show the rumoured 6.3in display panel. 

But with that said, the increase in size of the display will not hugely impact the overall size of the phone relative to what's come before. This is because, as per the earlier rumours, the leak indicates Samsung will use the same Infinity Display design it used in the Galaxy S8 series to cram a much larger curved OLED display with an 18.5:9 aspect ratio into a svelte (but tall) bodyshell with a very narrow bezel around the edge. Case in point, the Galaxy S8+ has a 6.2in display and it is by no means an oversized phone.

The Samsung Galaxy Note 8 will feature an “infinity display” just like the ultra-popular Samsung Galaxy S8 and Galaxy S8 Plus. As usual, I’d expect the rest of the phone to be more angular than its S8 counterparts. No one wants a carbon copy, and this is why Samsung does mix things up a bit in the design departments of its Note releases.

Personally, I ALWAYS prefer Samsung’s Note releases to its Galaxy S one’s. I think the phones are always more exciting and, because they always launch later in the year, they tend to feature slightly better technology and specs. I also like the S-Pen, which has gotten dramatically better in recent years.

Parity with things like software and imaging mean the Note sets itself apart through design and the inclusion on an S-Pen; if that’s your thang, you wait for the Note. If not, you go with the Samsung Galaxy S.

Samsung Galaxy Note 8 Design LEAKS With Massive (4K?) Display

Will the Samsung Galaxy Note 8 use a 4K display? Multiple rumours during the past six months have stated, rather matter of factly, that, YES, the Galaxy Note 8 will use a 4K OLED panel. The reason? Better VR experiences, apparently.

Personally, I’m still very much on the fence about this one: 4K displays are kind of gimmicky at the moment and I don’t think the VR angle, seeing that VR usage isn’t that big at the moment, is actually worth it when you consider the effect a 4K display will have on battery life.

The other possibility is that Samsung runs a dual-QHD/4K display, whereby the 4K panel is only activated when the phone is used inside a VR headset or when the user selects to it work. This could work; Samsung’s Galaxy S8 does something similar with 1080p/QHD resolutions.

Another key feature seems to be one that has long been rumoured elsewhere - we've heard numerous reports about the iPhone 8 and prior to that the Galaxy S8 series initially being planned with a fingerprint scanner under the display glass, but in both cases this allegedly proved too difficult to implement.

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Samsung’s EPIC 0% Finance Deal RETURNS

Not so long ago, Samsung ran a 0% finance offer across all of its products. Normally, I avoid finance like the plague; I’d much rather save and pay cash. That way, I can haggle down the price when buying in-store.

However, 0% finance is a beautiful thing as it let’s you spread the cost of a massive purchase over a certain period of time. Example: it is hard to save $1400 for a new 4K TV, but spending $150 a month on it for 24 months is a lot more palatable – especially when there’s no interest.

This 0% finance initiative applies to ALL Samsung products, meaning you can pick up the new – and amazing – Galaxy S8 and Galaxy S8+, as well as smartwatches, smart home kit and, of course, HDTVs.

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Samsung ended up putting the Galaxy S8 scanner on the rear panel next  to the camera sensor, but for the Galaxy Note 8 it isn't visible anywhere, leading us to suspect that either the fingerprint scanner is under the display glass or alternatively Samsung may have opted for retina and/or face scanning technology.

Samsung Galaxy Note 8 Design LEAKS With Massive (4K?) Display

SamMobile and Forbes also reiterate a dual-sensor camera setup, something which was rumoured and even prototyped for the Galaxy S8 series but did not make it to the final product.

Dutch website GalaxyClub is also now corroborating reports that the Galaxy Note 8 will feautre an 18.5:9 "Infinity Display"; the site says it can confirm Samsung is in fact currently testing Galaxy Note 8 prototype units which are also running Android 7.1.1 Nougat. It suggests the Galaxy Note 8 will run this version straight out the box, which would be a first for Samsung's stable, as up until now they have run Android 7.0 and have had subsequent updates.

"We can confirm that the Galaxy Note 8 has the same aspect ratio as the Galaxy S 8: 18.5: 9. In fact, this means that the device has a similar Infinity display," said the report, adding that this means a physical Home key is unlikely.

DO NOT Expect Android Oreo, Though… 

Samsung’s Galaxy Note 8 will not ship with Android Oreo and that tells us two things about the phone: 1) it’s either launching before the release of Android Oreo or, 2) Samsung is as rubbish as ever at getting the latest builds of Android onto its new, flagship phones. 

The Samsung Galaxy Note 8 is now being tested with Android Nougat, the OS it will launch with, before being updated to Android Oreo (likely at a much later date; the Galaxy S7 took six months, for instance). As for an actual release date, word on the street suggests a late August launch right before IFA 2017 kicks off. 

"It’s believed that the new Note 8 could feature a fingerprint scanner embedded under the display," reports Express. 

It added: "It’s thought that Samsung wanted to include this on their S8 flagship but ran out of time perfecting the technology. It's also possible that Samsung will continue to develop its Iris and facial recognition making perform with more accuracy than the current S8.

In addition, we're now seeing news that Samsung will soon launch a new edition of the Samsung Galaxy S8+ in India - this is the 6GB RAM, 128GB storage variant already released as an exclusive in China and South Korea. Aside from the RAM and storage this is identical to the existing international model and still uses the Exynos processor.

Until now, Samsung has consistently launched these larger storage and higher RAM capacity models only in South Korea and China, both for the Galaxy S7 series and the Galaxy Note 7, so this is the first time it's also been extended to India.

What does this mean for the Galaxy Note 8? Well it depends what happens between now and the launch, but we're expecting it's an indication that Samsung may expand its storage options further afield in terms of availability.

We'd like to think the 128GB Galaxy S8+ will make its way to Europe also; if it does we think it's highly likely that a 128GB Galaxy Note 8 will too. But even if the 128GB Galaxy S8+ remains exclusive to China, South Korea and India, there is still a possibility that Samsung will bring a 128GB Galaxy Note 8 to wider distribution.

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Samsung Galaxy Note 8 Design LEAKS With Massive (4K?) Display

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