Samsung could still launch the Galaxy Note 8 at IFA

Contrary to recent reports, there’s a chance that Samsung will still launch the Galaxy Note 8 at IFA in September. We’ve reached out to our internal sources and have received word that Samsung is planning to release its successor to the Galaxy Note 7 at the conference, though it may share some details sooner.

After all, it’s unlikely that the Gear S4 will be unveiled at IFA seeing as development of a Tizen 3.0 wearable has only just started, and Samsung’s been showcasing products at the venue for as long as we can remember — so it will need to have something special to show off, like the Galaxy Note 8.

Purported specifications include an edge-to-edge Infinity Display, an in-house Exynos series (8895) processor, 6GB or 8GB of RAM and stereo speakers tuned by AKG. The handset is also rumored to sport a textured Bixby button (yes, it’ll come with Bixby) to prevent people from mistaking it for the volume-down key.

We can’t wait to see what Samsung’s working on. Seeing as it has a lot of customers to win over as a result of the disappointing Galaxy Note 7 debacle, we’re expecting some pretty big things, though we already know that one of them — an in-display fingerprint reader — won’t be included.

Qualcomm reportedly ditches Samsung, moves ahead with TSMC for 7nm processors

Qualcomm chose Samsung to manufacture its 10nm Snapdragon 835 chipset late last year, thanks to the latter’s superior fabrication technology. It was a win-win situation for both the firms. The South Korean electronics firm reaped profits by manufacturing Snapdragon 835. On the other hand, Qualcomm had access to Samsung’s 10nm technology, and its chips were also used in millions of Galaxy S8 and S8+ units.

It is now being reported by Fudzilla that Qualcomm has ditched Samsung and contracted the manufacturing of its next-generation high-end chipset to Samsung’s rival TSMC. If this report is true, we can say that it has been a bad year for Samsung. It recently lost the Apple contract to manufacture processors for iPhones. Apparently, Qualcomm had been developing 7nm processor using chip development tools provided by TSMC since the second half of last year.

Qualcomm wants to mass produce its next-generation chipset (that could be named Snapdragon 845 or Snapdragon 855) sometime between the end of this year and early next year. Samsung recently separated its chip designing and chip manufacturing business. The company’s foundry business saw sales of $4.44 billion last year, and around 40% sales ($1.78 billion) came from manufacturing Snapdragon chipsets.

While Samsung wanted to focus on 10nm process, its 7nm technology was delayed. TSMC, on the other hand, focussed on 7nm technology, skipping the 10nm process. Samsung recently announced that its 7nm process will be based on EUV and that it has also added 8nm process in between 7nm and 10nm. The next Exynos chipset is reportedly based on 8nm process, which is a minor upgrade to 10nm FinFET process.

Mass production of chipsets based on Samsung’s 7nm technology is expected to commence in the second half of next year. Meanwhile, TSMC supplied its 7nm chip development tools to its clients last year, so it’s ahead of Samsung as of now.

Another variant of the refurbished Galaxy Note 7 passes through the FCC

Less than a month after three models of the refurbished Galaxy Note 7, which has been dubbed the Galaxy Note FE, were granted approval by the FCC, another one has been spotted making its way through the authority’s certification process, seemingly corroborating rumors claiming that the handset will launch in South Korea on July 7.

Unfortunately, we don’t have any solid information pertaining to the Galaxy Note FE. That said, recent reports from credible sources suggest that it’ll sport a similar design to the Galaxy Note 7, though it should have a sizeable ‘R’ symbol on the back to indicate that it’s a factory refurbished unit.

Read more: Galaxy Note FE may be released on July 7 with Bixby

The Galaxy Note FE is also expected to pack almost the same internals as its predecessor. If that turns out to be the case, it will have a 5.7-inch display, an Exynos 8890 CPU, 4GB of RAM, a 12MP rear-facing camera and a 5MP selfie shooter. However, it’s said to have a smaller 3,200mAh battery.

As we’ve said in the past, out of the three-to-four million Galaxy Note 7 units recalled last year, it’s believed that only 300,000 will go on sale in South Korea, with each reportedly carrying a price tag of 732,000 won ($650). Pretty expensive for a device that’s almost a year old, right?

Retailers slash $100 off the price of the unlocked Galaxy S8

The factory unlocked variants of the Galaxy S8 and Galaxy S8+ have been available to purchase in the United States for around two weeks, and now that sales have (presumably) started to stagnate, a couple of retailers have decided to start selling the units at a reduced price.

Until the end of the week, you can bag yourself an unlocked Galaxy S8 from Best Buy and B&H for $624.99, which is a great price to pay for a handset that’s listed on Verizon’s website for $756. Both retailers are also offering the unlocked Galaxy S8+ for $724.99, a phone that typically goes for around $850.

Even if you’re in the market for a carrier-locked variant of the Galaxy S8 or Galaxy S8+, we’d still urge you to take advantage of this promotion as the unlocked models support both CDMA and GSM-based networks, meaning they’ll work with just about any operator in the United States.

Just in case you missed their announcement, the Galaxy S8 and Galaxy S8+ are two of the most powerful smartphones on the market. Under the hood, they pack a 5.8/6.2-inch Infinity Display, an Exynos 8895/Snapdragon 835 processor, a 12MP rear-facing camera and a 3,000/3,500mAh battery.

Will you be picking one up?

Samsung Galaxy S8 Active pops up on Geekbench with Snapdragon 835, Android 7.0

We’ve known for a while that the Galaxy S8 Active (SM-G892A) is in the works, and we’ve even got a good look at the device thanks to an image published by the Wireless Power Consortium. It was around the same time last year that the Galaxy S7 Active was announced, and the Galaxy S6 Active was also made official in early June back in 2015, but there’s no sign of the Galaxy S8 Active yet.

It certainly looks like the launch of Samsung’s newest Active phone could be delayed; while we would expect the device to have gotten past the FCC at this point, the S8 Active has only been certified by the Wi-Fi Alliance. But Samsung is certainly busy testing the phone, as it has now made an appearance on the Geekbench database. As expected, the S8 Active is powered by the Snapdragon 835 SoC and has 4GB of RAM, along with Android 7.0 Nougat. Other specs aren’t listed (Geekbench is always limited in this regard), but we can expect the phone to have the same specs as the Galaxy S8 except for a larger battery.

To offer the military-grade damage resistance that the Active lineup is known for, Samsung has also taken away the curves from the Galaxy S8, although the minimal bezel and the taller form of the display are still a part of the equation. The AT&T exclusivity will also remain. More details are likely to surface in the coming weeks, hopefully along with word on when the handset will go official.

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