The much-anticipated Galaxy S8 is set to be released very soon – April 28, in fact, if we’re to believe the latest rumors. From what we’ve seen so far, however, the phone will lack one of the bigger features we previously expected it to have: a dual rear camera. Still, we believe that Samsung hasn’t entirely abandoned the idea, but has rather postponed it for its other upcoming flagship, the Galaxy Note 8.
But first, let’s get something out of the way: unlike the S8, which has pretty much been unveiled in full by the copious amount of leaks, the Note 8 is still pretty much a mystery to everyone. Still, the signs pointing towards this conclusion are big enough for us to want to share them with you, even in the absence of factual evidence.
A new Galaxy Note is almost definitely in the works
Announced six months after the Galaxy S7 and S7 edge, the Note 7 was released to widespread critical acclaim, even though the ensuing battery fire fiasco severely damaged company’s reputation. Nevertheless, it seems Samsung hasn’t yet given up on the Note line, seeing as how we’ve still managed to hear rumors of the Note 8’s codename reportedly being “Great”. It may not be much, but it still seems to confirm the existence of a new Note, the likelihood of which was low due to the tarnishing of the brand.
Connecting the dots
Samsung’s newest high-end chipset, the Exynos 8895, hasn’t been used in any device yet, and is set to debut with the Galaxy S8, but it’s a fair assumption to make that the Note 8 will use it as well, just as its predecessor used the same chipset as the Galaxy S7. This is further evidenced by the specs of the Exynos 8895, which were publicly unveiled just last month. Many of the chipset’s promotional materials loudly proclaim its ability to support dual cameras, with a helpfully included mockup of a device using them.
From there on, it’s easy to come to the conclusion that Samsung intends to ship a device using the technology some time in the future. And here’s why: unlike Qualcomm, which is the de facto chipset vendor for most mid-to-high-end Android devices, the Exynos line is used almost exclusively by Samsung (the exception here being Meizu’s flagships). Even if the company plans to expand its chips’ market share, why would it develop a technology it doesn’t intend to use?
The Galaxy Note 8 needs a new unique feature
While one could argue that the ability is just a remnant from the development of the S8, which ultimately dropped the feature, it would still make perfect sense to include it in the Note 8, which would need its own set of unique features to differentiate it from the S8. While the Note 7 had its iris scanner and larger battery size, both of these are to be inherited by the new pair of mainstream flagships. The dual camera has the potential of being that new, unique feature – for Samsung devices, anyway.
Another big reason lies in the success of the S8’s biggest rival right now, the LG G6. While the device is yet to launch worldwide, it has enjoyed great success in the Korean market so far, and is bound to do so stateside, too, as the device has also proven to be extremely popular there as well. The G6, too, has its own dual camera system, and so do many other companies’ flagships, including the iPhone 7 Plus, as well as the Huawei P9 and P10. Samsung is one of the few companies who haven’t yet jumped onto the multi-camera bandwagon, and this might just be the perfect opportunity to do so.
Theories and possibilities
Samsung’s dual camera tech won’t be the same as its rivals’
From what is known at the moment, Samsung is apparently taking its own route with dual cameras, which is to support two different sensors, a “high quality” and a “low power” one, according to the company’s own website. Granted, this is about as vague as descriptions get, and as a result the possibilities for real-life implementation are endless, but it still gives a general idea of the direction Samsung is taking.
The Galaxy S5 had a pretty intimidating camera interface
And we’re likely to see quite a few features there, as Samsung phones have historically featured a ton of shooting modes in the stock camera app (granted, some much more useful than others). As with most competitors, we expect to see some form of a bokeh/portrait mode, where the background is blurred to focus on an object or person. And there’s a ton of other uses for the tech, including optical zoom, visual effects, and more.