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June 20, 2017

Galaxy Note 8 could debut in late August without in-display fingerprint

by John_A


August 26 could be Note 8 day — but the phone may miss out on the much anticipated in-display fingerprint sensor.

According to two separate reports, Samsung looks set to unveil the Galaxy Note 8 at a late August event. Reuters says a Note 8 with a display “marginally larger” than the 6.2-inch Galaxy S8 Plus will break cover towards the end of August in New York City. Korean outlet Naver pins the date down to August 26, just days before IFA 2017 in Berlin — a major electronics trade show which has hosted several Note launch events over the years.

A slightly later Galaxy Note launch this year — compared to the Note 7’s early August debut in 2016 — isn’t entirely surprising. After all, the Galaxy S8 series shipped around a month and a half later than the S7 did last year, as a more cautious Samsung focused on safety in the wake of the Note 7 cancellation.

An August 26 launch date could see the Galaxy Note 8 arriving on store shelves before the end of September, which, depending on Apple’s iPhone 8 launch schedule, would give it a fighting chance of releasing before its major rival.

We might have to wait until 2018 for a Samsung phone with fingerprint security built into the screen.

However, the Note 8 may miss out on one rumored feature when it eventually does arrive. Naver reported recently that Samsung once again wasn’t able to integrate fingerprint into the display in the Note 8, noting “various technical limitations such as security,” according to one unnamed Samsung official. Unverified reports from “industry insiders” on Weibo suggest that Samsung Display’s current in-screen fingerprint technology produces brightness anomalies around the fingerprint scanner area. While it’s possible this could be mitigated with display tuning — selectively darkening the pixels around the fingerprint area — the implication is the technology won’t be ready in time to ship in the Note 8, and will instead have to wait until next year’s Galaxy S9.

Let’s just hope that the (presumed) rear-mounted fingerprint scanner will be more conveniently located than Galaxy S8’s.

So what are we expecting in the next Note? How about a larger display, upgraded RAM and storage, an improved S Pen and Samsung’s first dual-camera setup. We’ll be watching with interest come August 26.

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