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article imageSamsung's Galaxy Note not dead after all, Note 8 coming next year

By James Walker     Nov 10, 2016 in Technology
Samsung was expected to kill off its famed Galaxy Note line of phablets after this year's disastrous Note 7 launch and subsequent recall. There are now indications the series will be revived after all though. The Note 8 is said to be planned for 2017.
In the weeks since Samsung announced a full recall of every Galaxy Note 7 ever built, speculation has been rife about the future of its mobile business. It has revised the time frame for the upcoming Galaxy S8, pushing it back to April to lengthen the gap from the Note 7 and give it more development time. The fate of the Galaxy Note has remained up for debate though.
References to the Note 8 have previously been found on Samsung's own "Galaxy Upgrade Program" site, although they could be placeholders that haven't been removed. In a tweet yesterday, noted mobile news tipster Evan Blass revealed the phone is in development though. It has been assigned model number SM-N950, joining SM-G950 for the S8 and SM-G955 for the S8 plus.
"Samsung Galaxy S8 models are indeed skipping SM-G94* model numbers, will ship as SM-G950 & SM-G955," said Blass. "Know what else is in the works? SM-N950."
The Note 8's model number follows on from the Note 7's, SM-N930. Samsung is skipping the 4-series of model numbers on both the S8 and Note 8 because the number is viewed as unlucky in the company's native South Korea. In some Asian languages, the word "four" sounds like "death." Having been encumbered with bad luck with the Note 7, Samsung's trying to avoid it all cost.
Nothing is currently known about the Note 8. Some of the S8's features were detailed in reports recently, although they remain unconfirmed. The phone will be getting significantly larger, winning back fans of Samsung's flagship devices. The S8 will be offered in two different phablet form-factors, both sporting larger displays than the S7.
Xiaomi Mi MIX
Xiaomi Mi MIX
The base S8 will get a 5.7-inch curved panel while the "S8 plus," a new moniker for 2017, will receive a 6.2-inch edge-to-edge display with a radical new design. Samsung will abandon its usual row of capacitive keys and physical home button on the bottom bezel, replacing them with onscreen controls. The finished phone could end up resembling Xiaomi's recently launched Mi MIX.
The reason for the change in form factor isn't clear. Initially, it was thought the S8 would get larger to fill the space left by the presumably cancelled Note 8. With the Note apparently alive after all, the situation becomes more complicated though. With the S8 plus already shaping up to be a phablet flagship, the Note 8's points of distinction are very indeterminate.
AI is thought to be a major component of next year's Samsung phones so it's possible the Note 8 could be used to extend this functionality. The company recently confirmed that technology it acquired from startup digital assistant Viv Labs will be integrated into the Galaxy S8. The phone will have a dedicated AI button to quickly open the assistant and start natural language conversations. Samsung is expected to unveil the phone in February ahead of a launch in April.
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