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article imageSamsung launches refurbished Galaxy Note 'Fan Edition' in Korea

By James Walker     Jul 3, 2017 in Technology
Samsung has officially announced its refurbished Galaxy Note 7 smartphone. Now rebranded as the Galaxy Note "Fan Edition," the device is an attempt to recoup some of the losses incurred from the original handset's recall. It comes with a smaller battery.
Samsung previously confirmed its intention to sell refurbished Galaxy Note units back in March. Today, the company unveiled the finished device. As expected, it's essentially a Note 7 that comes with a promise that it won't catch fire.
The majority of the hardware is identical to the original phone. Samsung has repackaged some of the thousands of handsets it was forced to recall last year. The only significant change is the introduction of a smaller 3,200mAh battery beneath the 5.7-inch display. Samsung said the new battery has passed "multiple strict safety tests" that will ensure it avoids the fate of its 3,500mAh sibling.
Samsung Galaxy Note FE
Samsung Galaxy Note FE
The refurbished phone also comes with a few software tweaks to bring it up-to-date with Samsung's 2017 line-up. The company has included support for its recently-launched Bixby digital assistant, expanding the range of devices where Bixby is supported. The AI still lacks built-in voice command functionality but an opt-in preview of the feature is now available. Initial reviews of the beta have found it's far behind the capabilities of Siri and Google Assistant.
As the name implies, Samsung expects only its most devoted fans to buy the Galaxy Note Fan Edition. Beyond the associations of the Note 7, sales of the device will be impeded by the length of time that's passed since the Note 7 was taken off sale. The phone's hardware is beginning to age next to rivals including Samsung's own S8, making it a less attractive option as a modern smartphone.
Adding to the challenges stacked against the fan edition, Samsung is expected to announce the Galaxy Note 8 in August. The company seems set to stick to its regular release schedule, ensuring customers looking for a new flagship device will have one available this summer. The decision could deter the fans most likely to consider the Note Fan Edition though.
Samsung Galaxy Note FE
Samsung Galaxy Note FE
The Fan Edition will possess one significant advantage. Pricing will be set at 700,000 South Korean Won, or around $610. This is approximately 30 percent less than the original retail price of the Note 7 and expected entrypoint for the Note 8. If you're a fan of phablets but you're on a tight budget, Samsung hopes the Galaxy Note Fan Edition could still have some appeal.
If you're interested, you’ll need to exercise patience though. There's no word yet on when or if the Fan Edition will launch outside of South Korea. Samsung's having to evaluate each market to determine if it can legally sell the refurbished device. It will "decide later" whether to globally expand the launch.
More about Samsung, galaxy note, galaxy note 7, galaxy note fe, Bixby
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