The Galaxy Note 8 will most likely be Samsung's most important mobile device in years, as the South Korean tech giant attempts to undo the damage wrought by the now infamous Note 7. While rumors about the Galaxy Note 8 are very encouraging, Apple's upcoming halo device, the iPhone 8, might very well put a damper on Samsung's plans. With the world's top two smartphone manufacturers releasing their most formidable flagships ever, 2017 is looking to be a very interesting year for the mobile industry.
Rumors about the Note 8's specs are abounding, and though Samsung has not denied nor confirmed them, speculations about the device point to a powerhouse handset that is capable of going above and beyond what the best devices of 2016 could offer. Rumors point to a 4K display, a possible Snapdragon 830/835 chipset, and around 6GB to 8GB of RAM. These are not all, however, as Samsung's upcoming flagship is also rumored to sport a number of technologies that debuted in the ill-fated Note 7, such as water resistance and an iris scanner, according to PC Advisor. Of course, a boost in battery life and native storage is also speculated for the upcoming flagship phablet.
Inasmuch as the Note 8's specs are rumored to be formidable, however, Apple's upcoming flagship for 2017 seems to be the perfect foil for Samsung's powerhouse device. Just like the Note 8, rumors about the iPhone 8 have not been confirmed nor denied by Apple, but speculations about the device point to a massive upgrade over the current model. Among the rumored features of the iPhone 8 are Apple's A11 processor, enhanced RAM, a wraparound OLED screen, and enhanced AR capabilities. The iPhone 8 is also expected to come with a number of useful features, such as the dual camera setup that debuted in the iPhone 7 Plus, water resistance, and long-range wireless charging.
While the two devices seem to be perfectly matched, specs and features-wise, it might be the devices' accessories that would ultimately tip the scales in Samsung or Apple's favor. For the longest time, the Galaxy Note line was distinguished by its proprietary S-Pen, which Samsung has refined over the years into what has arguably become the best stylus in the market. Apple, on the other hand, debuted the Apple Pencil with the release of its powerhouse tablet, the iPad Pro. Unsurprisingly, the Cupertino tech giant's stylus was received warmly by consumers, with many lauding the accessory as a powerful productivity tool.
Recently, a Value Walk report stated that Apple CEO Tim Cook was quite optimistic about the premise of having the Apple Pencil be compatible with the iPhone 8. The Apple CEO lauded the Apple Pencil as a formidable accessory device for iPhone and iPads, seemingly teasing that the upcoming flagship smartphone would most likely feature some support for the Apple Pencil. This particular statement is backed up by a recently published patent from the tech giant, which referenced the utilization of a stylus on the iPhone. With this in mind, it seems like Apple is finally exploring the idea of having a stylus for its most powerful handset, thereby encroaching on Samsung's territory.
Apple's entrance into the world of stylus-equipped smartphones might seem like bad news for Samsung, but previous rumors and patents point to Samsung preparing something special for the Note 8's stylus as well. Speculations are high that the Note 8's stylus would be unlike anything that was released before, with a previously published patent stating that Samsung is exploring the idea of the S-Pen being equipped with powerful speakers. Considering that Samsung has recently acquired audio giant Harman in an $8 billion deal, it definitely seems like the South Korean tech giant is preparing something very unique for the upcoming flagship phablet.
The Galaxy Note 8 and the iPhone 8 are definitely going to be massive hits in 2017. Both handsets are being designed to cater to the most demanding customers, and both devices are rumored to sport daunting specs. What would be interesting to see, of course, is how Samsung and Apple would utilize innovations to make their devices as distinct as possible. Both the iPhone and the Note brand have millions of users and fans worldwide, and considering what is at stake in 2017, Apple and Samsung cannot afford to release a less-than-stellar device. From what could be determined from speculations, however, it seems like Samsung and Apple are definitely up to the task.