The Galaxy S8 will launch at an Unpacked event on 29 March and go on sale in April. Contrary to previous reports we aren't expecting it to come with an S Pen stylus, which means it will compete with the Galaxy Note 7 only on size: with a 5.8in screen as standard and 6.2in rumoured for the Galaxy S8+, the Note 7's 5.7in screen is comparatively small.
However, we'd expect Samsung to make the same design changes in the Note 8 in response, which means we'll see a larger, taller and potentially pressure-sensitive screen, with the fingerprint scanner moved to the rear and the home button gone altogether. You can also expect it, as usual, to be faster than the Galaxy S8.
This Galaxy Note 8 is not to be confused with the Galaxy Note 8.0 tablet from back in 2013.
When is the Galaxy Note 8 release date?
Samsung Galaxy Note 8 UK release date: August 2017 (TBC)
Traditionally Samsung has unveiled a new Galaxy Note flagship every year at the IFA tradeshow, which takes place in early September. For the past two years it has announced its new Galaxy Note early in August to get out ahead of the new iPhone, which is always revealed mid-September.
The most likely release date is August 2017. However, there are several factors pointing to an alternative release date.
The discontinued Note 7 has been a spectacular failure, hitting the company’s bottom line hard with a loss to the tune of several billion pounds, and a much harder impact on its reputation - one that may prove difficult to eradicate. Samsung is now faced with the choice of releasing the Note 8 much earlier to fill the gap in its product line and remove the focus from the Note 7, or to carry on as normal.
Some say the Note 8 will be released in March 2017 alongside the Samsung Galaxy S8, though this rumour appears to have come from the idea that Samsung is expected to announce two phones and both are thought to have curved-edge screens. Though one will still have a larger screen and a higher-capacity battery (and is rumoured to come with a dual-lens camera and higher-resolution 4K screen), Samsung isn’t going to be able to distinguish the two by referring to them as the standard and edge models any longer. (They will now be known as the Galaxy S8 and Galaxy S8 Plus.)
Plus it can’t be ignored that the Galaxy S-series edge is edging ever closer to the Note family in specification, with little more than an S Pen and some stylus-friendly software to distinguish the two lines.
There were whispers to suggest Samsung would be dropping its Note family, but dropping its second annual flagship launch could have an enormous impact on Samsung's profit margins. Fortunately the company has now confirmed that the Note 8 will exist, and that it will in Korea offer Note 7 buyers 50 percent discounts if they upgrade to the Galaxy S8 or Galaxy Note 8.