After so many rumors, Samsung Galaxy Note 8 was finally unveiled mid last week, but it may take some weeks or even over a month from now before it’s available in Kenya.
Like any other Galaxy Note device, the Note 8 represents everything the South Korean company has to offer the smartphone world in terms of design, specs and features, but there’s a price to pay for all these goodies.
In the U.S., for instance, the Galaxy Note 8 has a price tag of $930 while those in Europe will have to part with at least €1000 to get their hands on this beast. By the time the phone hits the Kenyan market, it’ll be priced at well over Ksh 100,000. Apart from the few elites in the country, this price definitely means the rest will not be getting any closer to this phone.
So, why does Samsung still think you’ll be willing and able to spend over Ksh 100,000 just to get your hands on the flashy Galaxy Note 8? Read on.
Market performance of Samsung Galaxy S8 and S8+
When Samsung Galaxy S8 and S8+ were unveiled a few months ago, they came priced at Ksh 85,000 and Ksh 95,000, respectively. With these price tags, the pair became the most expensive in the Galaxy S series, but this did not have any negative impacts on their market performances. Apparently, the company was able to ship an impressive 19 million units across the globe in Q2 2017, a figure that is quite the opposite when looking at the prices of the two phones.
With such hefty price tags, one would be quick to assume the phones would perform poorly in the market, but they are actually doing a lot better than the cheaper Samsung Galaxy S7 and S7 Edge. According to Samsung, this should be the same story with the Galaxy Note 8.
The price of the ill-fated Galaxy Note 7
At launch, the Galaxy Note 7, which never made it to Kenya, was priced north of $800 (Ksh 80,000). This made the phone the most expensive in the Note family, but the price did not prevent millions of people from buying it.
When the Galaxy Note 8 is compared to the Note 7, the two are worlds apart. Be it in terms of design, specs and features (some). The former is a super upgrade over the latter, which is why Samsung is dead sure that it’ll get even more fans regardless of the huge price tag. But the question most will be asking is that, are the changes worth it? Definitely!
It’s been two years
As noted above, the Galaxy Note 7 never made it to many markets across the globe, which means many Note loyalists are still using the Galaxy Note 5 from two years ago. Usually, many people upgrade their phones after two or so years and since Galaxy Note fans are currently rocking the 2015 model, Samsung is adamant that these people will be open to making the switch, even at such a huge price tag. It gets even better given the major differences between the Note 5 and Note 8 – the two look decades apart!
Freebies and deals
Who doesn’t love freebies? Of course, everyone does! Like the Galaxy S8 and S8+, the upcoming Samsung Galaxy Note 8 will be accompanied by a bunch of freebies. At the moment, it’s still unclear what the local market will get, but it should be any of the three offers in the U.S. and Europe.
For Samsung Galaxy Note 8 buyers in the U.S., they’ll be able to choose either a microSD card (128GB) + wireless charger or a Samsung Gear 360 Cam. As for those in Europe, the company has already decided that they’ll get a free Samsung DeX, a device that lets you connect the Note 8 to a monitor and turn it into a desktop computer.
For markets where you can trade in old devices for a new model, it won’t be such a hassle getting the Galaxy Note 8 since this move slightly reduces the initial price tag, but this doesn’t apply here in Kenya, unless there’s some place (official) that I still don’t know about. Sorry guys!
You’ve probably heard of the Lipa Later start up. This is where you can get a phone of your dreams and pay for it in monthly installments. This takes away the burden of having to pay for the phone outright, something that many here in Kenya might find hard doing with the new Samsung Galaxy Note 8.
With Lipa Later, the cost of Samsung Galaxy Note 8 will be broken down into monthly installments, thus making it more affordable for willing buyers. Of course, Samsung Mobile Kenya is very much aware of this start up, but I don’t think they’ll be selling the phone with the platform in mind.
In developed markets, carriers offer smartphone buyers contractual deals in a similar manner, where you get a phone from, say, Safaricom, and pay for it in 18, 24 or 30 monthly installments – the choice is yours. This is called financing and it has worked miracles for Samsung, Apple, LG and other smartphone OEMs. The only problem, though, is that you will be tied to one specific carrier for the said period, especially since such phones have a single SIM card slot.
We don’t know if or when Safaricom, Telkom Kenya and Airtel have such plans, but it would be a welcome idea for many out there, right?
The S Pen
This wasn’t going to miss out. The S Pen has always been the unique feature that sets the Galaxy Note series apart from the rest of the Galaxy phones – and other phones too. If you are a fan of the stylus, you have a limited choice of phones locally (although the Infinix Note 4 Pro has an X Pen stylus, it’s nowhere near the S Pen). Samsung’s main reason for pushing the Galaxy Note family is the S Pen, which lets users turn the phone into a note-taking device in the most natural way possible.
As for the dual-lens camera setup, it won’t be a USP for the new Samsung Galaxy Note 8 thanks to the fact that almost every other smartphone category, including the entry-level, has dual-lens camera phones.
Other perks of the Galaxy Note 8 that make Samsung confident you’ll be ready to spend over Ksh 100,000 on the phone include powerful hardware specs (which most 2017 Android flagships already have), tons of new features (facial recognition, iris scanning, Bixby digital assistant, 3.5mm audio jack, fast wireless charging and more) as well as a new and very innovative design language.
Also, the fact that Apple’s iPhone 8 could be valued at about the same price – or possibly even higher – makes Samsung feel that it won’t be alone in slamming such a hefty price tag on its premium phone.
If you aren’t ready to pay this amount, a little patience should do the trick. Right now, you can grab the Galaxy S8 or S8+ at close to Ksh 20,000 less than their initial launch prices. This should mean that by the time the year comes to an end, the price of Samsung Galaxy Note 8 will be going through similar discounts, which should make the phone a little more affordable for many out there – including me.
So, are you buying the new Samsung Galaxy Note 8? Let us know in your comments below.