Samsung Electronics has unveiled its new Galaxy Note 8 “phablet,” hoping features like dual rear cameras and a larger screen will extinguish memories of the device’s fire-prone predecessor.
At an event in New York on Wednesday, the Korean electronics giant launched the phone-cum-tablet as it gears up to compete for pre-holiday season sales with a widely expected 10th anniversary iPhone from US rival Apple, Reuters reports.
Priced at US$930 to US$960 from network carriers, including a dialing and data plan, the Note 8 kicks off a new era of premium-priced handsets, the report noted.
The unveiling came five months after the release of the Galaxy S8 smartphone, which drew brisk sales, indicating a recovery in Samsung’s standing after battery fires prompted withdrawal of the Galaxy Note 7 last October.
The recall and related safety concerns briefly cost Samsung its number one spot in the global smartphone rankings, according to researcher Counterpoint.
It has since regained ground, with Strategy Analytics putting its second-quarter market share at 22 percent, more than that of Apple and China’s Huawei Technologies combined.
“Of course no one will forget what happened last year, but we also won’t forget the millions that stuck with us,” DJ Koh, Samsung’s mobile chief, said at the Note 8 launch event.
The new device will be sold from September 15.
Verizon Communications, the largest US wireless carrier, said it will begin taking pre-orders on Thursday for the phone at a price of US$960. Rival T-Mobile will offer it for US$930.
Samsung’s Note models usually sport bigger screens than the S series and come with a removable stylus.
The trademark curved screen of the latest incarnation measures 6.3 inches corner to corner, 0.1 inch bigger than the S8+.
Samsung has installed dual rear cameras on a handset for the first time, which promises improved photographic control and picture quality.
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