is expected to launch the Galaxy Note 8 next month, more details about the phablet are coming out of the supply chain. It’s clear from the specifications as we currently understand them that Samsung is pushing the boat out in terms of hardware, but there’s a sting in the tail.
Has Samsung hobbled the Galaxy Note 8 with an anaemic 3300 mAh battery?
That is larger than the 3000 mAh battery in the basic Galaxy S8, but it’s smaller than the battery in the Galaxy S8 Plus and last year’s Galaxy Note 7 which both shipped with 3500 mAh capacity.
The Note 8’s smaller battery is mitigated by the presence of convenient charging options. The Note 8 is expected to include wireless charging, allowing for the phablet to be topped up throughout the day when it is sitting at a fixed point with a wireless charging station. The more traditional cabled charging approach should benefit from the same rapid charging feature and adaptive fast charger carried by the Galaxy S8 family. That means topping up the handset requires less effort and time, but the new hardware could place a lot of demands on the smaller battery.
The 6.3 inch screen is going to be one of the biggest drains on the battery. I expect Samsung to dial back the resolution in the default setting from QuadHD to 1080p HD to reduce the power requirements. 6 GB of RAM will be a constant draw on the battery (and the rumored 8 GB version for South Korea will demand even more power). Using the two 12-megapixel cameras on the rear of the handset will also eat into the reserves.
The 3300 mAh battery is less than the battery fitted on the Galaxy S8 Plus. That handset sports the aforementioned 3500 mAh battery, which allows it a day and a half of regular operation. No doubt the Note 8 will reach the expected mark of a day of regular use, but I’m going to be very interested to see just how aggressive the software is to make sure the Note 8 makes it through the day without consumers worrying too much about the battery levels.
Why would the battery capacity be reduced? The 6.3 inch screen is likely the biggest culprit. Thanks to Samsung’s design cues of smaller bezels the jigsaw of components under the screen does not have the previously expansive bezels to overflow into. Take the footprint of the device, remember that the modern world demands a thin design, and then carve out space for the S-Pen stylus to be held inside the chassis and you have a tight squeeze to maximise the available volume for the battery.
As well as the design there another reason why Samsung may not be comfortable pushing the battery capacity too heavily on the Note 8. Memories of the fiery fate of last year’s Note 7 will still be fresh in the minds of the South Korean company. The tight construction to maximise the energy in the Note 7’s batteries lead to an embarrassing global recall and withdrawal of last year’s flagship phablet. There’s a sensible argument to made that this is not the device to be pushing ultimate battery capacity on.
Which makes sense for Samsung, but it’s going to diminish the experience of the Galaxy Note 8 when it reaches the public later this summer.
Now read how the design of the Galaxy Note 8 accommodates the fingerprint reader…
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