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What You Need To Know About Samsung’s New Galaxy Note 8

It was the most disastrous product recall in the history of the mobile phone industry. Now, a year on from the exploding Galaxy Note 7 fiasco, Samsung on Wednesday unveiled the new version of its giant smartphone.

It should be a nervous moment for a company which has had what sounds like a catastrophic year. First, the self-combusting handsets did untold damage to Samsung’s brand, then the arrest of the company’s boss on corruption charges battered its reputation further.

But here’s a funny thing – the Korean company can afford to be pretty relaxed about the Note 8. Because even before the phone goes on sale, the company’s record results and soaring share price show that the crises of the past year have done little damage to its bottom line.

Features

What is more, the prospects for the Note 8 look rosy. The new version features the biggest screen of any mainstream phone, along with new multi-tasking capabilities, and a dual lens rear camera with optical image stabilisation.

The leaked photos and specs for the Note 8 have saw that it leans heavily on the design of the Galaxy S8 Plus, but features a display that’s slightly larger (6.3 inches instead of 6.2 inches), corners that are more squared off, and less curvature to the front side edges.

It’s still very much a curved screen, but you’ve got slightly more flat surface area to work with (and write on).

The Note 8 is a bit heftier than the S8 Plus at 195 grams (0.43 pounds) versus 173 grams (0.38 pounds).

Color options include black, gray, gold, and blue, although the latter two won’t be available in the United States.

When talking about the Note 8’s hardware, Samsung makes a strange habit of comparing it to the two-year-old Galaxy Note 5 — as if the Note 7’s recall has fully extinguished it from history. The company says the S Pen has more levels of pressure sensitivity and is water resistant this time around, but those things were also true of the stylus slotted inside last year’s phone.

The S Pen stylus that comes with the Note, and is seen by Samsung as a key draw, has also been upgraded so that you can produce fine writing even if the screen is wet.

The original Note, launched in 2011, started the trend for larger screens.

With so many other giant phones on the market today, the Note 8 does not look or feel outlandish – indeed one problem for Samsung may be making it stand out from the crowd.

It is also one of the more expensive smartphones on the market at an eye-popping £869 in the UK.

The past week has seen launches from the reborn Nokia, and from Android founder Andy Rubin’s new Essential phone business. But neither looks likely to win a fraction of the sales – or profits – that Samsung will get from the Note 8.

Samsung believes there are still consumers who love it. Assuming the company can avoid unforeseen disaster with the Galaxy Note 8, it will have made a triumphant return from one of its most humbling failures.

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