It may look like a Galaxy Note8, and it may act like a Galaxy Note8, but Samsung's new Enterprise Edition of the smartphone is more about what's behind the scenes than what is inside the case. And the company is hoping that small and medium-sized businesses will jump at the new option.
The new edition sports many of the same specs and features as the Note8: 6.3-inch Quad HD+ (2960 x 1440) Super AMOLED display, Octa-core (2.35GHz Quad + 1.9GHz Quad), 64-bit, 10nm processor, 6GB RAM, 64GB storage expandable to 256GB with a MicroSD card, etc. But what's different is that the phone is unlocked, and comes with three years of monthly security updates, and the ability to get the exact same model of phone for other business team members up to two years later.
Samsung also said that the new edition will offer Samsung Knox Configure security and Samsung Enterprise Firmware Over the Air (E-FOTA) to cut down on downtime and make it easier for companies to give out large numbers of devices to their employees via a centralized OS, in this case Nougat 7.1.1. It would also make upgrading a batch of phones to Android Oreo 8.0 easier, if a company should choose to do so.
Eric McCarty, Vice President of Samsung of America's mobile Business-to-Business product marketing group, said in a release:
“Modern enterprises are dealing with a conflict when it comes to their mobile strategies—a push and pull between what they require of IT to keep organizations secure and productive, and what their employees have come to expect when using mobile devices. We call this the IT Paradox, and the Note8 Enterprise Edition helps solve it by providing simple and comprehensive tools for IT to manage and secure their mobile environment, while giving users a device they will love.”
The Enterprise Edition comes in at $994, which is only a few dollars more than the price Samsung sells the regular edition for on its website. Paying about $50 more for extra IT help is not bad for what Samsung calls "PC-class lifecycle support."