As expected, Samsung introduced a huge, cutting-edge Galaxy Note 8 during a high-profile media event in New York this morning.
And as expected, the phone has a hefty price tag to match its impressive specs.
The South Korean electronics giant trotted out its latest flagship device, which sports a 6.3-inch bezel-less Infinity Display, two 12-megapixel rear cameras and the company’s S Pen. The phone—or phablet, if you must—also features a new App Pair feature, enabling users to “create a custom pairing” such as allowing them to watch a video while messaging, for instance, or dial into a conference call while viewing the number and agenda.
“We appreciate the relentless passion of the Note community. They’ve been a constant inspiration to us, and we designed the new Note for them,” said DJ Koh, president of Samsung’s Mobile Communications Business. “From the Infinity Display to the enhanced S Pen to the powerful dual camera, Note 8 lets people do things they never thought were possible.”
The high-risk, high-reward handset underscores Samsung’s confidence that it can fully recover from last year’s disastrous Note 7, which saw two worldwide recalls after battery problems caused devices to catch fire. T-Mobile, for instance, has already announced that it will sell the phone for $210 down and $30 a month on its equipment installment plan, bringing the total price to $930.
And Samsung didn’t shy away from the Note 7 fallout. This morning’s presentation opened with a video of customers praising the Note line despite the debacle, and Koh immediately addressed the issue after he took the stage.
“Of course, none of us will ever forget what happened last year,” Koh said. “I know I won’t.”
The Note 8 will be available unlocked through Samsung and will also sell through U.S. carriers including Verizon, AT&T, Sprint, T-Mobile and U.S. Cellular, among others.
While the Note brand may be somewhat tarnished in the wake of last year’s disastrous launch, Samsung is wise to move ahead with the high-end lineup rather than try to bury it, CCS Insight said.
“By maintaining the Note brand, the company is sticking with a tried-and-tested formula, despite the challenges it faced with the Note 7,” the market research firm wrote this morning. “In so doing, Samsung is using its product and marketing strengths to relegate the Note 7 episode to a footnote. This is a shrewd move. Had Samsung simply retired the Note brand, it’s likely that it would have had a greater, far more negative legacy.”