Samsung set for bigger, beach friendly Note 8
WATER, dust, now sand-resistant?
Leading smartphone maker Samsung has confirmed it's poised to launch its biggest phone ever - literally - following its biggest ever phone disaster last year.
The South Korean tech giant revealed its upcoming Galaxy Note 8, to be unveiled in New York next Thursday, would take its already "big" display and make it "bigger," potentially making it the largest mainstream smartphone to date.
The handset is also expected to be "sand-resistant" after Samsung launched a quirky beach-themed video for its Galaxy S8 smartphone.
Both enhancements are due to arrive one year after Samsung's multibillion-dollar Note 7 recall that saw more than 50,000 Australians forced to hand back their new purchases due to dangerously faulty batteries and following a series of fires.
Kantar Worldpanel ComTech recently found the mishap may have cost Samsung the title of Australia's biggest selling smartphone maker.
Samsung's share of the Australian market dropped five per cent between February and May, while Apple's slice grew five per cent and helped the company steal the title.
To build hype for a potential comeback, Samsung released another video about the Note 7's replacement, under the less-than-subtle title 'Do Bigger Things'.
The video ends with a stylus crossing out "big" in favour of "bigger".
The teaser appears to validate widespread rumours that Samsung's new Note will feature an unprecedented 6.3-inch screen - significantly larger than the last model's 5.7-inch display.
Telsyte managing director Foad Fadaghi said potential Samsung Galaxy Note buyers would expect a bigger screen this year, along with greater safety and more features, like a dual-lens camera.
"What was considered a normal size a few years ago would be considered very small and possibly very difficult to use today," Mr Fadaghi said.
"The Note really has been a trailblazer for larger screen sizes and it's likely to help it again coming into this Apple super cycle (phone upgrade)."
Expectations for a water and sand-resistant phone also appear to be in play after Samsung revealed an unusually beachy promise for its Galaxy S8 smartphone yesterday.
The ad shows a man sunbathing on top of his Samsung smartphone, crushing it between his back and the sand.
While Samsung has previously promised the phone was resistant to dust and water, sand could represent a new frontier for smartphones, particularly as seawater is known for causing corrosion in metals.
The company could benefit from an additional selling point - particularly in Australia - as Apple is expected to launch its 10th anniversary iPhone in September, followed by a new handset from Google in October.