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Samsung Galaxy Note 8 is coming – here’s what we know so far

It’s fair to say the Galaxy Note 7 had a tumultuous life. It wasn’t long after its release in September 2016 that users reported the phone setting alight and the accompanying images were damning. The clear safety issues led to Samsung recalling the Note 7 on 10 October.

10 months on, Samsung is back to winning ways. The storming success of the Galaxy S8[1] led to record-breaking profits for the South Korean juggernaut in the first quarter of 2017 – £12 billion if you’re curious. Now comes Samsung’s biggest challenge, launching a successor to the ill-fated Note 7, and convincing people that it’s reliable and safe.

We’ll be bringing you all the news and rumours about the Note 8 in the lead up to our live blog covering the event on 23 August, so be sure to bookmark this page to keep up to date with Samsung’s latest phone. Best Buy smartphones[2] – take a look at the best mobiles we’ve tested.

When is it launching?

Samsung sent out an invite to an event on 23 August with a not-so-subtle reference to a large screen phone with a stylus which left us in no doubt as to what phone we’d be seeing. The timeline fits with the Note 7’s release too.

If Samsung intends to keep to the same schedule then the Note 8 should hit stores in September, making an August reveal even more likely.

What do we know about the phone so far?

All signs point to the Samsung’s new phablet being one of its biggest yet.

6.3-inches is the rumoured size, which would make the Note 8’s screen more than half an inch bigger than the Note 7 with its 5.7-inch screen. It sounds like a handful, but leaked images of the Note 8 show that Samsung might be working the same bezel magic that it did on the Galaxy S8.

Despite being unusually tall, the S8 doesn’t feel too difficult to manage because the bezels are practically nonexistent. Samsung’s flagship is actually slightly bigger than the Note 7, but the shape and design mean it’s easier to operate one-handed.

What about specs?

Samsung leaked what could be the Note 8 on Twitter, when advertising its Exynos processor. Credit: @SamsungExynos

The narrow bezel ‘Infinity Display’ isn’t the only feature that the Note 8 will borrow from the S8.

Bixby, Samsung’s not yet released in the UK, smart assistant will be on the Note 8… eventually. Bixby has only just arrived on US S8s and there’s still no word on when UK users will be able to chat with it. It’s possible that the Note 8’s release date will coincide with the release of Bixby in the UK.

Like the S8, the Note 8 will have a dedicated Bixby button on the side of the device. The Note 8’s internal specs will be similar, too. It will use the latest Snapdragon 835 processor, but is getting more Ram.

It’s rumoured to have a whopping 6GB of Ram, two GB more than the S8 and Note 7. Leaked images show that the Note 8 will still have a stylus and, for the first time, dual rear cameras. There’s no word on the quality or megapixel count of the new cameras, but if it’s anything like the LG G6[3] then one will be a wide angle lens while the other will have a wider aperture and be better for portrait-style images.

How much will it cost?

There’s no price yet, but there’s no chance of the Note 8 being cheap.

In the past, the Note series has cost significantly more than the already expensive flagship S-series.

Since the S8 cost an eye-watering ?689 at launch, we wouldn’t be surprised if the Note 8 sets you back upwards of ?900.

Best get saving before the likely September release.

References

  1. ^ Galaxy S8 (www.which.co.uk)
  2. ^ Best Buy smartphones (www.which.co.uk)
  3. ^ LG G6 (www.which.co.uk)

Most popular tech gadgets on which.co.uk in 2017 revealed

An unassuming laptop has emerged as top of our list of the most popular tech products of 2017 so far, beating the Samsung Galaxy S8 smartphone. Of course, just because it’s popular it doesn’t mean it’s any good – you just need to look at what the Transformer films gross to know that’s true. Take a look at what is whetting our readers’ appetites for tech, then head to the review to see what we thought of it when we put it through our tough tests.

Best Buy laptops[1] – put an end to computer frustration with one of our top-rated laptops

1. Asus E200 laptop

It’s easy to see why this laptop is so popular – it only costs ?169 – but it’s still a surprise to see it beat the S8 to the top spot (for now).

It’s an entry-level machine for sure and you probably shouldn’t try editing any videos on it, but surely it’s good enough to put together a Word doc on, or do a little shopping on Amazon? Is an Intel Atom processor with 2GB Ram good enough to handle what you need from a laptop and does the battery last long enough to take this dinky machine out and about? Head to our Asus E200 review[2] for our full verdict.

2.

Samsung Galaxy S8 smartphone

Coming in second is the lovely looking Samsung Galaxy S8. Unlike the E200 it’s not exactly bargain tech – for the ?689 asking price you could buy four E200 laptops.

Despite the price, you can’t blame anyone for wanting to take a look at the S8 – it’s easy to get lost in the dreamy curves of the infinity display. It looks good and is state of the art with the latest Qualcomm processor and a marvelous screen, but a phone needs to do something extra special to be worth just shy of ?700. Check out our Samsung Galaxy S8 review[3] to see if it’s worth the money.

3.

Nextbase iN-CAR CAM 312GW Deluxe dash cam

This snappily named dash cam takes third place, presumably thanks to its memorable moniker. Once it’s mounted to your windscreen it records the road in front of you as you drive, and the footage can help you with insurance claims and in court if there’s been an accident.

The camera records in Full HD, so your footage should be sharp. You can watch the footage back on the built-in 2.7-inch screen, or you can watch it on your computer using Nextbase software. Sounds good, but if you’re going to call something ‘Deluxe’ it needs to be just that.

Head to our expert review of the Nextbase 312GW Deluxe[4] to see if the device can live up to the name.

4. Fitbit Charge 2 fitness tracker

The first of two fitness trackers on the list is the Fitbit Charge 2.

It’s a competent step tracker, it keeps tabs on how many hours of the day you’re active and it will remind you with a gentle vibration if you aren’t meeting your goals. It’s nice and understated and the touchscreen is clear enough that you don’t need to keep checking the app on your phone to see how close you are to your 10,000 steps. Accuracy is all important with fitness trackers and our full Fitbit Charge 2 review[5] reveals how good it is at tracking your steps and calories burned.

5.

Samsung UE40KU6020 TV

Who needs a massive 60-inch TV? This 40-inch model is the most viewed TV review of the last six months.

It may be small by modern standards, but it’s still got a 4K HDR display, which means you can view the best-looking content around, whether that’s 4K programming from Netflix or Ultra HD Blu-rays. Most of us aren’t watching 4K content yet, though, so the picture needs to look good if you’re watching Corrie on ITV and it needs to sound good too. Thin speakers aren’t usually conducive with good sound – does the UE40KU6020 buck the trend and deliver top-quality HD and SD video?

Our Samsung UE40KU6020[6] review has the answers.

6. Samsung Galaxy S7 smartphone

There’s life in the old dog yet.

It may have been released 16 months ago but there’s still appetite for Samsung’s former flagship. With the super-expensive S8 now ruling the roost the price of the S7 has dropped, which should make the handsome handset even more desirable. It’s far from a tired old banger, but does this phone deserve the sixth spot on our list of the most popular reviews on which.co.uk, or should all eyes be on the Galaxy S8?

Here’s our expert review of the Samsung Galaxy S7[7].

7. Samsung Galaxy J5 smartphone

You again?

We’re starting to see a pattern forming. The J5 is the third Samsung phone on our list and it’s a bargain compared to the phone occupying the number two spot. You get a lot of phone for ?180, including a HD 5.2-inch screen and a 13Mp camera.

There’s only 16GB of storage, but you can bulk it out with a micro-SD card. There’s plenty of competition in the budget handset arena: the Moto G5 Plus[8], Huawei Honor 5X[9] and Nexus 5X[10] to name a few. Read our Samsung Galaxy J5 review[11] to see if the phone warrants the attention or if it’s the Samsung name alone that is catching people’s eye.

8.

Acer Swift 1 laptop

Another low-cost laptop occupies the number eight spot. At ?330, the Swift 1 isn’t quite as cheap as the E200, but if it’s good then it’s still a bargain.

Many cheap laptops are too sluggish and frustrating to use and the old Pentium processor in the Swift 1 gave us cause for concern. There isn’t a great deal of Ram to bolster it either – generally we like to see at least 8GB, but you’d need to pay more for it. It has ‘Swift’ in the name, though, so that has to count for something, right?

Did this laptop prove us wrong and deliver solid performance despite the less-than-impressive specs? Find out in our Acer Swift 1 review[12].

9. Garmin Vivofit 3 fitness tracker

Another fitness tracker now. This one’s from Garmin, which is better known for sat navs than fitness tech. It’s bulkier than the Fitbit, but it’s tracking accuracy that matters most.

The Vivofit 3 counts your steps and calories, and can even tell you how well you’re sleeping. The smartphone displays most of the collected data, but the small screen will tell you basic information, such as how many steps you’ve done and how many calories you’ve burned in the process. Is it better at tracking your exercise than the Fitbit?

See what we have to say in the Garmin Vivofit 3 review[13].

10. Samsung UE40KU6000 TV

Yet another Samsung product on that list – that’s a 50% hit rate.

It’s another 40-inch TV and there’s not much to pick between this and the UE40KU6020. Both are 4K and both support HDR content, with built-in wi-fi and PVR for recording onto a USB hard drive. It’s only ?429 too, proving you don’t need to break the bank for the latest features.

Do you need to break the bank for good picture and sound though?

Here’s our review of the Samsung UE40KU6000[14] so you can see if its image quality can match its more expensive cousins.

References

  1. ^ Best Buy laptops (www.which.co.uk)
  2. ^ Asus E200 review (www.which.co.uk)
  3. ^ Samsung Galaxy S8 review (www.which.co.uk)
  4. ^ Nextbase 312GW Deluxe (www.which.co.uk)
  5. ^ Fitbit Charge 2 review (www.which.co.uk)
  6. ^ Samsung UE40KU6020 (www.which.co.uk)
  7. ^ Samsung Galaxy S7 (www.which.co.uk)
  8. ^ Moto G5 Plus (www.which.co.uk)
  9. ^ Huawei Honor 5X (www.which.co.uk)
  10. ^ Nexus 5X (www.which.co.uk)
  11. ^ Samsung Galaxy J5 review (www.which.co.uk)
  12. ^ Acer Swift 1 review (www.which.co.uk)
  13. ^ Garmin Vivofit 3 review (www.which.co.uk)
  14. ^ Samsung UE40KU6000 (www.which.co.uk)

Samsung TVs set to lose the YouTube app

Google is updating the software that allows remote access to YouTube and, as a result, the app will no longer work on older Samsung sets. Some devices run a Flash based version of YouTube while others use HTML5. Google is phasing out the Flash version, which means some devices are losing the app.

Samsung TV[1] owners have reported seeing a message when they try and access the app that informs them YouTube will no longer be available from 30 June 2017. We’ve reached out to Samsung to see if it plans on updating older TVs to make them compatible with newer versions of YouTube and we will update this story when we get a response. Best Buy TVs[2] – simple-to-use sets with spectacular picture and sound.

Is Google or Samsung at fault?

Apps get upgraded often to fix bugs and add new features.

New, more powerful hardware means developers can add more to their apps and since many of us get a new phone every two years we don’t get left behind. But TV’s aren’t something we upgrade often, so it’s more likely that the software will outpace the hardware. This is why several older model Sony TVs[3] lost access to YouTube in 2016.

According to Sony, the app simply got too advanced for the older TV hardware. TVs can get software updates, but there’s not much can be done about older hardware not being able to handle newer version of apps. Google is well within its rights to upgrade its software and the addition of new features will benefit many whereas the people left YouTube-less as a result of the change will be relatively small.

A worrying precedent

As more devices connect to the internet and gain access to apps and extra features beyond their basic function there is more room for them to become obsolete.

Smart apps on a Samsung TV aren’t an added bonus, those features are factored in the price, which on a high-end Samsung set can be well over ?1,000. It wouldn’t be acceptable for Samsung to suddenly declare it is no longer showing BBC One or ITV on its TVs, and perhaps we should be looking at apps in the same way. Samsung, so far, has offered no solution for its customers who want to watch YouTube other than a link to a website with a list of devices that are still compatible.

How can I get YouTube on my TV?

In light of smart TVs losing access to apps, buying an expensive TV full to the brim with software may not be the best way to go.

Whether your TV is smart or not, you can still access YouTube through an HDMI connection with an internet TV streamer, such as a Kindle Fire[4], Chromecast[5] or Apple TV[6]. They can access a full range of apps including Netflix, BBC iPlayer, Amazon Video and, of course, YouTube. These are significantly cheaper than a new TV (a Chromecast is only ?30) even if you need to upgrade them every five years.

To see the streamers we recommend, head to our Best Buy internet TV streamers[7] page.

References

  1. ^ Samsung TV (www.which.co.uk)
  2. ^ Best Buy TVs (www.which.co.uk)
  3. ^ Sony TVs (www.which.co.uk)
  4. ^ Kindle Fire (www.which.co.uk)
  5. ^ Chromecast (www.which.co.uk)
  6. ^ Apple TV (www.which.co.uk)
  7. ^ Best Buy internet TV streamers (www.which.co.uk)