Johannesburg - South Korean electronics giant Samsung have finally released the follow-up to the world’s most controversial smartphone, the Note7. And it hopes that this time round the Note8 will become famous for all the right reasons.
During the launch of the Note8, Samsung Mobile’s Chief, DJ Koh said that the Note7 incidents last year were something that the company would never forget.
The Note7 will forever be known as the exploding cellphone, with devices around the globe blowing up. The phones were banned from planes and recalls ensued. Trade-in kiosks were set up all over the world's airports, including in South Africa's OR Tambo and Cape Town International.
Samsung had no other option but to implement a number of new strategies for damage control, and this also lead to the birth of the Note8.
But apart from its new safety features, Samsung's latest offering competes with the best on the market in terms of features and is a definite improvement on its volatile predecessor.
The Note 3500mAh battery was identified as one of the main culprits causing the explosions. That battery has since been replaced by a smaller 3300mAh battery in the Note8.
Despite the smaller battery, the cellphone's display, which eats up most of the battery's power, has been significantly increased in the Note8 - from 5.7 inches to 6.3 inches with Samsung’s Infinity Display.
The new model's camera is also vastly superior. The Note7 featured a 12-megapixel camera. The Note8's camera was upgraded to a dual 12-megapixel, with Optic Image Stabilisation in both lenses.
The Note7 contained the Exynos 8890 chipset with 4GB of RAM.The Note8 boasts increased power and speed with its superior Exynos 8895 chipset and 6GB of RAM.
Other than the Infinity Display, the Note8 was also packed with features seen in the S8 smartphone including an Iris Scanner, to unlock the device.
At a live stream event in Johannesburg last week, Samsung announced that the Note8 will arrive in South Africa on September 22 with a recommended retail price tag of R18 499, making it the most expensive Samsung smartphone ever made.
On contract the phone is expected to sell for around R869 per month on a 24-month contract.
Ultimately the Note8 will live and die on its safety reputation. After the global recall of is predecessor, intensive investigations revealed that a ‘minor battery fault’ caused the devices to explode.
The battery fault and design of the shell, which was also partly to blame for the explosions according to Samsung, prompted the manufacturer to implement an 8-point battery safety check for the new phone. This, Samsung hoped, would finally lay all the Note7 demons to rest.
In efforts to ensure safety of future products after the Note 7 fiasco, Samsung re-assessed every step of the smartphone manufacturing process and developed the safety check which involved a series of tests that include a durability, visual inspection, x-ray, charge and discharge, a total volatile organic compound test, disassembling test, accelerated usage test, delta open circuit voltage test and a final durability test.