Samsung is expected to introduce a new Note-branded phablet in the second half of this year. However, a new report claims the device won’t be a major upgrade because it sports the same design as its predecessor alongside upgraded internals.

On Friday, sources familiar with the matter told Bloomberg that Samsung is unveiling its next Galaxy Note smartphone on Aug. 9 at an Unpacked event set to happen in New York. The device will likely be called the Galaxy Note 9, and it is said to look just like last year’s Galaxy Note 8.

The sources who wished to remain anonymous shared that while the Note 9 doesn’t sport any noticeable design changes, its internals will be upgraded. One aspect that will surely see an upgrade is the processor. The Note 8 came with the Snapdragon 835 chipset, so the Note 9 will likely come with the Snapdragon 845 — the same processor powering the Galaxy S9 flagship series.

Sources pointed out that the launch event for the Note 9 will take place two weeks earlier than the Unpacked event for the Note 8. This is because the South Korean company is planning to release the high-end handset as early as the end of August. A spokesperson for Samsung declined to confirm Samsung’s alleged release plan.

Previous reports claimed that Samsung’s Galaxy Note 9 could sport an in-display fingerprint sensor. However, latest reports have already debunked such rumors, according to 9to5Google. Given Bloomberg’s latest report, it’s now clear that Samsung has only prepared minor upgrades for its flagships this year. The Galaxy S9 and S9+ were also minor upgrades of last year’s Galaxy S8 and S8+ smartphones.

Meanwhile, Samsung is also expected to introduce a new version of Bixby at the Note 9’s launch event. At MWC 2018, Samsung’s mobile chief DJ Koh said, “For Bixby 1.0, we focused on a fast rollout to the market. Expanding the ecosystem was difficult. So Bixby 2.0 will strengthen this aspect and we are working intensely ... I think we will be able to unveil Bixby 2.0 when we launch the Galaxy Note 9.”

Samsung phablet
Samsung’s next-generation phablet is reportedly launching in August. Reuters/Kim Hong-Ji