New Samsung Galaxy Ad Makes Fun of iPhone X’s Notch, Lack of Stylus Support, Dongles, and More

Samsung today posted a new video on its YouTube channel called "Samsung Galaxy: Growing Up," which follows the life of a young man as he purchases Apple devices over the course of ten years, and then decides to switch sides to Samsung on the eve of the iPhone X launch. The 1-minute commercial features the song "I'm Moving On" by Chyvonne Scott.

The video begins at the iPhone launch in 2007, and subsequent years show the main character facing storage issues when taking a photo and waiting in long lines under poor weather conditions for the latest iPhone. At one point, he drops his iPhone in water and has to place it in a bowl of rice, while his girlfriend's Samsung device continues to function.


Other points made in the ad center around the iPhone's lack of stylus support, as well as its need for dongles after the removal of the 3.5mm headphone jack in the iPhone 7. The ad ends with the character's decision to turn off his iPhone and purchase a Samsung Galaxy smartphone, and he eventually walks past a line of people waiting for the iPhone X -- including a guy with a notch-like haircut -- without joining them.

The latest Samsung smartphone is the Galaxy Note 8, which launched in September with dual rear cameras, a 6.3-inch AMOLED 'Infinity Display', and a new and enhanced S Pen with improved pressure sensitivity. Many publications favorably reviewed the Note 8 prior to its launch, agreeing that the lack of an explosive battery made Samsung's newest device a step up from the Note 7.


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Samsung Galaxy Note 8 Ties iPhone 8 Plus in DxO Labs Camera Test

Samsung's Galaxy Note 8 produces generally better results than the iPhone 8 Plus when shooting still photography, but falls short of Apple's handset when it comes to recording video. That's according to the latest comprehensive smartphone camera test conducted by Dxo Labs, in which the two phones essentially came out tied overall.


The reviewers singled out Samsung's device for its "phenomenal" photo sub-score, which as the first smartphone to achieve 100 points in the category, "breaks new ground and makes the Note 8 the current class-leader for stills, thanks to excellent zoom quality, good noise reduction and detail preservation, and fast and accurate autofocus".
The Note 8 is Samsung's first foray into the world of dual cameras and is a great success, offering the best zoom capabilities of any mobile device we've tested to date. Add to that PDAF autofocus, optical image stabilization, Auto HDR, and a massive 6.3" Super AMOLED display, and there's plenty for smartphone photography enthusiasts to get excited about.

Overall, Note 8 achieved a DxOMark mobile score of 94 points, making it the joint-leader for smartphone image quality alongside Apple's iPhone 8 Plus, which the site previously praised for having the best smartphone camera they had ever tested. The Note 8's low-light photos showed less noise and more detail than its rivals, although HDR mode tended to clip highlights and highly backlit subjects didn't always turn out very clear.

In terms of video, the Note 8 was notable for offering good exposure with fast convergence, fast and stable autofocus, as well as good noise reduction, white balance, and color rendering. However, while the Note 8 trumped Apple's phone when taking stills, its video performance suffered due to residual motion when holding the camera still during recording, earning it a video sub-score of 84. In comparison, the iPhone 8 Plus achieved 89 in the same tests.


DxO says it has analyzed the image and video quality of over 10,000 cameras, lenses, and mobile phones, and its tests are generally respected within the industry. The company also sells some consumer-facing products like the DxO ONE camera, which can be plugged into an iPhone's Lightning connector.

The full review is worth checking out, and includes additional photos and analysis of the Samsung Galaxy Note 8's dual cameras compared to its rivals.

Related Roundup: iPhone 8
Tags: DxOMark, Galaxy Note 8
Buyer's Guide: iPhone (Buy Now)

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Samsung Announces Plans for Galaxy Note Smartphone With Bendable Display in 2018

Ahead of the iPhone X unveiling, and the launch of the Galaxy Note 8 on Friday, Samsung today made a few announcements at a press event in Seoul, South Korea. The company said that it aims for the next iteration of the Galaxy Note to be bendable in some capacity, with the goal of launching sometime next year (via The Associated Press).

Samsung Electronics mobile business president Koh Dong-jin confirmed the company's plans, saying it's looking at a 2018 release date for "a smartphone with a bendable display." The president also commented that there are "several hurdles" Samsung has to overcome to implement a smartphone with a bendable screen, so the company is leaving itself room to push back the 2018 release if it needs to.

A bendable smartphone mockup by Samsung

Similar reports about bendable smartphones from Samsung have come out in the past, but the company has yet to officially launch such a device.
Koh Dong-jin, president of mobile business at Samsung Electronics, said the company is setting its eyes on 2018 to release a smartphone with a bendable display. But he said there are several hurdles it has to overcome, leaving room to push back the release if those problems are not solved.

“As the head of the business, I can say our current goal is next year,” he told reporters. “When we can overcome some problems for sure, we will launch the product.”
What those issues might be were not detailed, but analysts watching the company pointed out that mass production on a premium smartphone with a bendable display and a thin body "will take time." Rumors surrounding Samsung's entry into the bendable smartphone market have been swirling for the past few years. In late 2016, reports even began citing Apple's interest in the technology for future iPhones, which could be sourced from LG.

Koh further commented about Samsung's plans to launch a smart home speaker in partnership with Harman, which will allow users to talk to an artificial intelligence assistant -- likely Bixby -- to control the device and perform various tasks. A release date or design details for the Samsung speaker were not given. Later today, Apple may reveal more information about its own smart speaker, the HomePod, which it announced in June for a December release.

Despite the Galaxy Note 8's expensive price tag (about $930 in the United States), Samsung has said that pre-orders were the highest ever for the Note smartphone line, "beating its predecessor Note 7 over five days by about 2.5 times." Samsung's announcements come a few hours ahead of Apple's big media event, where the Cupertino company will debut the significantly redesigned OLED iPhone X.


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Samsung Galaxy Note 8 Reviews: ‘Beautiful’ Display and Solid Dual Rear Cameras at Premium Price

Nearly two weeks after being unveiled at an event in New York City, and with a week and a half still to go before it launches to customers on September 15, Samsung's Galaxy Note 8 smartphone has received its first batch of reviews posted online today. Many publications marked the Note 8's large 6.3-inch "Infinity Display" as a step forward for Samsung, compared the smartphone's "Live Focus" bokeh effect mode to Portrait Mode on the iPhone 7 Plus, and agreed that the lack of an explosive battery made the Note 8 a solid contender in the smartphone market.

Most reviews touched on comparing the Note 8's new dual rear camera system to that of the iPhone 7 Plus, and Engadget found that each smartphone's bokeh effect largely provides the same finished products, although Samsung's device has the edge in features. Unlike the iPhone 7 Plus, the Note 8 lets you change the blurring effect both before and after the picture has been taken, so that if the effect is too enhanced, it's easy to dial back a UI toggle and find a happy-medium spot where the Live Effect looks better.

Images via Engadget

On the other hand, in the camera's UI and in the rest of the Note 8's operating system, Engadget noted that anyone who purchases a Note 8 will have to struggle with "a little software strangeness" in the Android smartphone.
Honestly, my biggest gripes have more to do with the camera interface than the cameras themselves. Let's say you're trying to zoom in on a subject. By default, you can tap a button to switch between 1x and 2x zoom modes, but it disappears for a while after you tap on the screen to lock focus and exposure. You can still pinch to zoom in and out, but it would've been nice if the shortcut button showed up again sooner. Shooting in Live Focus mode also offers close-up and wide-angle views of your photo, and you can switch between them in your gallery.

Strangely, there doesn't seem to be a way to save the view you didn't select as a separate photo, even though earlier demo units did it just fine. There's definitely a little software strangeness going on here, and while it's never outright frustrating, Samsung could have stood to polish these apps further.
PC World called the Note 8 "the best phone Samsung has ever made, bar none," praising the smartphone's display, fast wireless charging, and 6GB of RAM. The site said that the new Samsung smartphone is "at least as fast as any Android phone" that it has used, as well as the iPhone 7 Plus.
Continue reading Samsung Galaxy Note 8 Reviews: ‘Beautiful’ Display and Solid Dual Rear Cameras at Premium Price

Samsung Reveals Galaxy Note 8 With Dual Rear Cameras and 6.3-Inch AMOLED ‘Infinity Display’

At its "Unpacked" event in New York City today, Samsung unveiled the all-new Galaxy Note 8 smartphone, following months of speculation about the device's August debut. The event began with a recap video of the Note line's history, including user testimonies following the Note 7's fire-catching scandal and how they continued to support Samsung during the recall.

Looking forward at the new device, the Galaxy Note 8 has a 6.3-inch Quad HD+ Super AMOLED "Infinity Display," with an edge-to-edge screen that represents the largest screen ever on any Note device. The display has an 18.5:9 aspect ratio, which allows users to see more content than ever before, according to Samsung. This includes access to a new multitasking feature called "App Pair," which lets users create custom pairs of their favorite apps on the Edge side panel, simultaneously launching two apps to interact with them at once.

“We appreciate the relentless passion of the Note community. They’ve been a constant inspiration to us, and we designed the new Note for them,” said DJ Koh, president of Mobile Communications Business, Samsung Electronics. “From the Infinity Display to the enhanced S Pen, to the powerful Dual Camera, Note8 lets people do things they never thought were possible.”
The Galaxy Note 8 comes with a new and enhanced S Pen with a finer tip and improved pressure sensitivity. When using the S Pen, users can send "Live Messages" to handwrite text messages -- and add in special effects -- within the text message app. An enhanced screen-off mode lets users quickly jot down notes when the smartphone is turned off, and then save the note to view later.

On the photography side of things, the Galaxy Note 8 has one 8MP front-facing camera and two 12MP rear cameras, and includes optical image stabilization on both of the rear cameras. The rear-facing cameras include one wide-angle f/1.7 lens and one telephoto f/2.4 lens, while the front camera has an aperture of f/1.7.

A "Live Focus" mode lets users take a picture and control the depth of field of everything surrounding the main subject of the image, so users can adjust the bokeh effect before and after the photo is taken.

Expanding the ecosystem of the Note smartphone line, Samsung also introduced "Samsung DeX," which lets the smartphone communicate with a user's PC to seamlessly transfer between working on the go and at home or in an office.


Additionally, the Galaxy Note 8 is water and dust resistant (IP68), includes fast wireless charging, a 3,300 mAh battery, and various biometric authentication options (iris and fingerprint scanning). Samsung's new smartphone has 6GB of RAM, a 10nm processor, and 64GB/128GB/256GB of internal storage, depending on market and carrier availability. The device also keeps the standard 3.5mm headphone jack.

A few websites have already gotten to go hands-on with the Galaxy Note 8, including The Verge, Engadget, CNET, and USA Today. Many sites pointed out the similarities of the device's dual-lens camera system to that of the iPhone 7 Plus, with Engadget noting, "Samsung has a camera setup excellent enough to make iPhone owners consider switching."

Those interested will be able to pre-order the Galaxy Note 8 starting tomorrow, August 24, and the smartphone will then go on sale September 15. In the United States, the device will be available in Midnight Black and Orchid Gray for carrier and Unlocked by Samsung versions, and customers will be able to purchase it at all of the major carriers, as well as Samsung.com, Best Buy, Target and Walmart.

According to a Verizon press release, the Samsung Galaxy Note 8 will cost $40/month for 24 months, or $960 at retail. The Verge reports that the smartphone will cost $930 at T-Mobile and $950 at AT&T.

For any original Note 7 owners, CNET noted that Samsung will be offering a discount on Note 8 devices: purchasing the smartphone through Samsung.com will allow previous Note 7 users to receive an instant trade-in credit of up to $425 when upgrading a current phone to Note 8. In addition, anyone at all who purchases a Note 8 between August 24 and September 24, 2017 has the chance to get either a free Samsung Gear 360 camera or a free Galaxy Foundation kit with a 128GB memory card and fast wireless charger.

For even more information on the Samsung Galaxy Note 8, check out the company's website.


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Samsung’s Galaxy Note 8 Expected to Debut at Upcoming August 23 Event

Samsung today sent out invitations announcing an upcoming Unpacked event set to be held on August 23 in New York City.

The South Korean company is widely expected to introduce its next-generation Galaxy Note device at the event, with the new smartphone hinted at through a "Do Bigger Things" slogan and a stylized image of an S Pen next to a smartphone-sized device.


Rumors suggest the upcoming Galaxy Note 8 will feature a design that's similar to the existing Galaxy S8 with thin bezels, rounded corners, and a 12-megapixel dual-lens camera system. It is expected to feature a larger curved display than the Galaxy S8 and S8 Plus, measuring in at 6.3 inches.

Galaxy Note 8 rendering via BGR

Other features may include Bixby integration, 6GB RAM, an upgraded S Pen, iris scanning functionality, and a rear-mounted fingerprint scanner.

Samsung's upcoming Galaxy Note device will be the first since the ill-fated Galaxy Note 7, which the company was forced to recall after exploding batteries caused problems in both original Note 7 devices and their replacements.

The recall and the exploding Note 7 devices were highly publicized, even leading to an FAA ban that prevented them from being carried on airplanes. The debacle cost Samsung up to $5.4 billion, but Samsung is reportedly intent on continuing to use the Note brand despite the incident.

To avoid future problems and to assuage customer fears, Samsung has implemented an 8-Point Battery Safety Check procedure that involves putting all batteries used in Samsung devices through "extreme testing, inside and out, followed by careful inspection by X-ray and the human eye."

Samsung's Galaxy Note 8 will come just a few weeks before Apple is expected to introduce its highly anticipated iPhone 8, which is rumored to feature an edge-to-edge OLED display, a vertical dual-lens rear camera, a faster A11 processor, and a front-facing camera equipped with 3D sensors to enable AR and facial recognition features.


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Samsung ‘Intent’ on Continuing Note Brand Despite Note 7 Fires, Will Reveal Galaxy Note 8 in August

Samsung is planning to introduce its newest smartphone, the Galaxy Note 8, sometime in the second half of August, according to people familiar with the company's plans (via Reuters). If accurate, the August announcement will come about four months after the launch of the Galaxy S8 and nearly one year since the first cases of exploding batteries in the Galaxy Note 7 were reported by users.

Although details are somewhat scarce, the Galaxy Note 8 is said to include a curved display that is "marginally larger" than the 6.2-inch display of the current Galaxy S8+, while also including two rear cameras. In comparison, last year's Note 7 had a 5.7-inch curved display with one camera on the back. Today's sources made no comment on the potential pricing for Samsung's new smartphone.

The Samsung Galaxy S8

Analysts said that Samsung is "intent" on continuing to use the Note brand, despite the Note 7 devices that caught fire on a worldwide scale last year and ultimately cost the company $5.4 billion.
Tech giant Samsung Electronics Co Ltd plans to hold a launch event in New York City for its next Galaxy Note smartphone in the second half of August, a person familiar with the matter told Reuters on Tuesday.

Samsung is intent on continuing the premium Note series despite the costly collapse of the Galaxy Note 7, which it was forced to scrap roughly two months from launch in October due to fire-prone batteries. The incident, one of the biggest product safety failures in tech history, cost the firm 6.1 trillion won ($5.4 billion) in operating profit and hurt its credibility.
Following the initial cases of exploding batteries in the Note 7, Samsung faced a tough few months in 2016, sending out a video apology to users, halting Note 7 sales worldwide, and encountering a ban of the smartphone from all U.S. flights. In January, the company concluded that a design flaw in the Note 7's battery and some welding defects were the main culprits behind the handsets that caught fire.

Now, Samsung runs an 8-point Battery Safety Check for its smartphones, beginning with the April launch of the Galaxy S8, and analysts believe that the company's messaging is helping it to recover quickly following the Note 7 drama. Samsung said that pre-orders were its "best ever" for the Galaxy S8 earlier this year, leading to what could be the company's highest profit period ever for April-June 2017.

When it launches, the Galaxy Note 8 will be another competitor for Apple in the premium smartphone space, with Apple's "iPhone 8" launch event expected to take place sometime in the traditional mid-September time frame. For the iterative iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus update last year, industry analysts said that the lack of "a compelling enough feature set" was not enough to convince some owners of potentially exploding Note 7 devices to switch from Samsung to Apple.


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