Samsung released its newest phone, the Galaxy Note 8, on Wednesday with both the usual fanfare and a dose of humility, thanking customers for sticking with its flagship line after the company's last version had to be recalled.
"None of us will ever forget what happened last year. I know I won't," said company president DJ Koh at a Samsung event in New York to present the Note 8.
The South Korean technology giant has a lot riding on the device beyond winning over consumers. The successor to the Note 7, whichtwice for a tendency to burst into flames, the Note 8 is Samsung's biggest, priciest and most powerful phone. It comes at a time Samsung is set to invest deeply into new manufacturing facilities.
The company is also mired in a leadership crisis. A court is expected to rule on Friday in the trial of Vice Chairman Lee Jae-yong, who is accused of bribing former South Korean President Park Geun-hye, among other charges.
With Samsung looking to turn the page, here are the key specs for the new device, as reported by CNET:
- Large screen. The newest phone has a 6.3-inch AMOLED screen with 2,960x1,440 resolution. It is Samsung's largest phone.
- Twin rear cameras. It's the first Samsung phone to have a two-camera setup, with a 12-megapixel telephoto lens alongside a 12-megapixel wide-angle lens (there's also an 8-megapixel camera up front).
- Stylus. The stylus (or S-Pen) has become standard on the Note line. There's a new feature here, "screen-off memo," which lets a user scribble on the screen without having to unlock the phone.
- Reduced battery size. While the Note 7 had a 3,500mAh battery, its successor has 3,300mAh, which leaves more room in the phone's cavity. No longer is Samsung trying to squeeze more battery power into each phone.
- 8-point battery safety check. To boost confidence, Samsung is also seeking certification from an outside safety lab, UL.
- The price is to be determined. But Samsung is offering a significant discount to those who purchased the Note 7.
The new phone also kept some features that were rolled out with the Galaxy S8, including:
The Bixby button. Like the S8, the Note 8 has a clickable button on the side of the phone that activates Samsung's phone assistant. It's not quite the same as Siri or Google's Assistant, which the Note 8 also has. Instead, it lets a user tell their phone to do things like open an app or operate the camera -- even when the phone is locked.
Awkward fingerprint reader. The Note 8 keeps a feature of the S8 that was widely criticized -- a fingerprint reader on the back of the phone, to the far side of the camera. Many users found it hard to reach.
The price is likely to be at least $850, the Associated Press reported, making the phone among the most expensive on the market. By contrast, Apple's iPhone 7 starts at about $650 and the Galaxy S8 at $750.
Samsung's Note phones tend to be niche products aimed at people who use their phones more than the average consumer.
The phone comes in a range of colors: midnight black, orchid grey, deepsea blue and maple gold (the last two won't be available in the U.S. at launch.)
Preorders for the Note 8 start on Thursday, and the phone will be available for sale on Sept. 15.
Customers who had bought the Note 7 will get an instant trade-in value worth up to $425 through a special offer on Samsung.com, the company said. It'll be a tall order for Samsung, considering that starting last September up to 3 million Note 7 phones were recalled after a number of units overheated and some caught fire.
- More from CNET: Samsung Galaxy Note 8: Everything you need to know
- With Galaxy Note 8, Samsung hopes to smother Note 7 battery debacle
CNET and The Associated Press contributed reporting.