August 24, 2017 // 11:20 a.m.
Samsung has officially unveiled the Galaxy Note 8 large-screen smartphone, but while its launch event focused on the device's shiny new features and specifications there was a major elephant in the room to address: The explosive legacy of its predecessor, the Galaxy Note 7.
In 2016 Samsung was forced to recall its Galaxy Note 7 large-screen smartphones over a serious fire risk, on which it blamed bad batteries. When the repaired replacements proved just as dangerous, it began to look like Samsung had a design flaw on its hands - an issue which gave it cause to entirely remove the Note 7 from market. A subsequent investigation exonerated the company's phone design division, pointing to two separate issues with batteries - it being sheer bad luck that Samsung had replaced faulty batteries with other, also faulty batteries following the original recall.
Even so, the company now has to work hard to repair the damage to the Note brand with the new Galaxy Note 8. Unveiled at global press events late last night, the Galaxy Note 8 - styled as the 'Galaxy Note8' - improves on its predecessor with higher specifications, a larger display, improved pressure sensitivity for the S Pen stylus, an impressive dual rear camera system with one aiming at telephoto use and the other wide-angle use, and up to a 2.45GHz and 1.9GHz dual-quad-core 64-bit processor and 6GB of LPDDR4 RAM. For many, though, there's only one question: is it safe?
In a word: Yes. 'We have been closely working with Samsung to make meaningful advancements in the science of smartphone quality and safety evaluation, claims Sajeev Jesudas, president of Underwriters Laboratories International (UL International), the testing and certification company with which Samsung partnered on the Note 7 battery testing and for the development of its new eight-point battery safety check process. 'As a result, the Note8 has successfully completed a rigorous series of device and battery safety compatibility test protocols. We look forward to maintaining our strategic relationship with Samsung to help ensure device safety for all consumers.'
More details on the Galaxy Note 8 are available from Samsung's official announcement, with launch scheduled for September 15th at a recommended retail price of £869 (inc. VAT) for the base model.