Samsung’s latest and greatest smartphone, the Galaxy Note 8, which was unveiled on August 23rd, is coming to Kenya. As we expected.
A press statement from the company announcing the worldwide launch of the device cites October as the month when those who can’t wait to lay their hands on the new Note will finally get to do so locally. Meanwhile, the company is expected to open local pre-orders for the device, which goes for way over $900 elsewhere, anytime soon.
Samsung is set to start shipping the device in mid-September, at least a month before Apple’s eagerly awaited new iPhone is announced and before Huawei, the world’s second largest maker of Android-powered smartphones, unveils its next Mate phablet.
The Samsung Galaxy Note 8 comes a year after the Galaxy Note 7, a device that Samsung hopes the world has forgotten about after the bad press and flak the company got thanks to the device exploding; something that an investigation blamed on its battery. To avert a similar scenario in the Galaxy Note 8, Samsung reportedly brought in battery consultants to conduct further tests on the battery in addition to its now famous 8-point battery testing process before Wednesday’s announcement.
With the Galaxy Note 8, Samsung has finally broken the 6-inch ceiling for its super premium device since the new Note comes in at a monstrous 6.3-inches.
It’s not just the display that has seen a change. The amount of memory rises to 6GB from 4GB on the ill-fated Note 7, there are two 12-megapixel cameras at the back of the device (one with a regular lens and the other with a telephoto lens) and, to emphasise that it’s learned from the past, a 3,300mAh battery, a step down from the 3,500mAh sealed unit on the Galaxy Note 7.
As is always the case with every Galaxy Note release, there’s a revamped S-Pen and Samsung claims that Android Oreo is coming to the device before it shows up anywhere else. For the virtual reality nerds, the arrival of the new Galaxy Note also means that it’s time to change VR hardware as there is a new Gear VR since the new Note won’t play nice with old Gear VR units. The good news, however, is that it (the new Gear VR) will still work just fine with older Samsung mobile hardware going as far back as the Galaxy S6.
Looking at the Galaxy Note 8’s impressive spec sheet, it’s not hard to tell that for most Galaxy Note fans in Kenya and others looking to get the latest device in the market, it will be a significant upgrade over the dated Galaxy Note 5 since the Galaxy Note 7 was discontinued even before it could officially hit the Kenyan market. The question, however, is how many will be willing to part with almost Kshs 100,000 for that?