Our first proper look at the Galaxy Note 8 paints an ugly picture

Other than the iPhone 8, the Samsung Galaxy Note 8 is perhaps the most anticipated phone still to come this year, but information on the handset is thin on the ground. So much so that we’re only now seeing renders of it, and if they’re accurate it doesn’t look good.

Shared by 91mobiles, the renders show an almost bezel-free curved glass front and a curved glass back, a lot like the Samsung Galaxy S8, but it’s in the differences that things start to go wrong.

There’s a dual-lens camera for one, which it’s long been rumored Samsung was working on, but rather than sitting almost flush with the back of the phone as the camera does on the S8, it juts out in a large panel that also houses the fingerprint scanner.

We’d heard Samsung probably still hadn’t managed to place the scanner in the screen, so its position adds up, but the ugly camera bump seems like a design fail that we wouldn’t expect from the Samsung of recent years.

And it’s not the only design fail. The Samsung Galaxy Note 8, as pictured here, also appears quite chunky. In fact, the dimensions are listed, and apparently it’s 162.4 x 74.5 x 8.4mm, going up to 9.5mm on the camera bump.

Now, a certain amount of thickness will be required to house the S Pen, but the Galaxy Note 5 is only 7.6mm thick, and the Galaxy S8 – which has a similar design to this – is only 8mm thick, so even before you factor in the camera bump this is a relatively chunky phone.

We're not convinced

All of which makes us question the authenticity of these renders, though they were obtained by reliable leaker OnLeaks, who claims they’re based on a factory CAD.

If they’re accurate, you can also expect a USB Type-C port, headphone port, speaker and S Pen silo all lined up along the bottom edge.

The report also claims that the Note 8 will come in black, gold and blue, and includes a number of specs – it’s not clear if these are included in the leak or reiterating old rumors, but it states that the phone will have a 6.3-inch AMOLED screen, an Exynos 8895 or Snapdragon 835 chipset, 6GB of RAM, dual 12MP cameras and a 3,300mAh battery with support for fast and wireless charging.

That would amount to a marginally larger screen than the Samsung Galaxy S8 Plus, but a smaller battery and the same chipset.

Hopefully, if these renders are accurate at all, they’re based on hardware that’s far from final. We should know for sure sometime this autumn, but expect plenty more leaks and rumors before then.

James Rogerson

James is a freelance phones, tablets and wearables writer and sub-editor at TechRadar. He has a love for everything ‘smart’, from watches to lights, and can often be found arguing with AI assistants or drowning in the latest apps. James also contributes to 3G.co.uk, 4G.co.uk and 5G.co.uk and has written for T3, Digital Camera World, Clarity Media and others, with work on the web, in print and on TV.