That Samsung has had a rough 2016 H2 is no mystery. Between the Galaxy Note 7 disaster and other unfortunate events related to subsidiaries outside the Mobile division, the following twelve months will not just be challenging, but also absolutely crucial for the brand’s identity.
We’ve heard quite a few things about the “secretive” Galaxy S8: from a slick design to raw power added with VR in mind, to more disparate reports mentioning the beloved headphone jack being ditched (aehm), batteries made by LG and and enhanced AI service to stay competitive now that Google — and its powerful Assistant — have entered the hardware game.
But ever since the Note 7 — fiasco notwithstanding — launched, what we have seen consistently reported was Samsung’s decision to fully embrace its dual-edge panels and make them standard on high-end device. After all, if the one-model-only Note could do it, there’s no reason why the S8s shouldn’t.
This will certainly mean that the “edge” nomenclature will be all but lost, but if the rumors about the design are to be believed, those panels could ultimately result in much bigger-sized screens encased in frames whose sizes won’t be too different from this year’s models.
A report from Korean outlet The Investor claims that the regular S8 and the S8 “Plus” — a made-up name we’ll be using for the purpose of this article — will move from their forerunners’ 5.1 and 5.7-inch displays to monstrous 5.7″ and 6.2″ panels respectively. Xiaomi and perhaps even Meizu showed it can be done, so the 90% screen-to-body-ratio promise could indeed be kept.
It’s still somewhat hard to picture a 6.2″ beast inside the S7 edge’s case, sure, but then again, had anyone told me that a 5.5″ screen would fit in the S7 edge’s dimensions last year, I wouldn’t have believed them, so I guess we will have to wait and see.
In the meantime, other than confirming SM-G950 and SM-G955 as the model numbers for the aforementioned pair, prolific leakster Evan Blass took to Twitter and revealed that the company is also working on SM-950, which would indicate that some sort of Note 7 successor is at least being thought of over at Samsung’s R&D labs.
SM-910 was the Galaxy Note 4’s codename, and SM-920 marked the Note 5; the unfortunate Note 7 was labeled SM-930, and if the firm is skipping G940 (and G945) for the S8 family because of South Korea’s notorious tetrophobia, we have reasons to believe that SM-950 is indeed the heir apparent to the OEM’s latest short-lived child.
This doesn’t mean that Samsung plans to launch a phone named Galaxy Note 8, of course, as the brand itself may indeed be ditched — however, power-hungry, S-Pen-reliant users will have been unable to properly upgrade their device in 24 months by the time SM-950 arguably hits the market, so it would make sense to see some development in that direction.
But what do you think? Should Samsung get rid of the Note lineup entirely or simply just rebrand it and retain its core technology in a new product? Let us know in the comments below.