The Galaxy Note 7 was launched today in what can only be described as neon themed exhibition. The Note 7, Samsung’s flagship Phablet (yes they skipped the Note 6) looks very much the same as its little brothers in the Galaxy S departments and sports many of the same features as they do. There’s the fingerprint scanner, the dust and water resistance and the best smartphone camera on the planet. Where it stands out is the Iris Scanner, which Samsung pitches as an extra layer of security to the gadget.
The Note 7 is a pretty impressive piece of hardware. It has a 5.7-inch, Quad HD, Super AMOLED display. It has a dual curved glass screen mimicking that of the S7 Edge. The Note 7 is also the first smartphone to feature Gorilla Glass 5. Gorilla Glass 5 is up to four times more likely to survive a drop than other glasses.
Speaking of the display, Samsung highlighted bringing HDR video display to the phone for the first time. The company is using the same chipsets from its TV line in the phone. It’s also partnering with Amazon to bring HDR content to the phone.
The camera is the same as on the S7 and S7 Edge. It’s the best camera in the business with lightning fast auto focus, 12-megapixels and 4K video recording.
The phablet features 4 GB of RAM and is powered by the Snapdragon 820 processor in the US, but will be available with the Exynos Octacore chip (2.3 GHz and 1.6 GHz quadcore processors) in other markets. It features one option for storage, 64 GB, with expandable microSD card storage of upto 256 GB. It’s a shame Samsung didn’t feature its faster UFS cards with this one after unveiling them this year. It features a 30% faster CPU and a 58.5% faster GPU than the Note 5. The phone is IP 68, which means that it is water resistant up to 5 feet of water for 30 minutes.
The Note 7 packs major battery power with a 3500 mAh battery and a battery pack accessory to match. The backpack is also water resistant. It also features a wireless charger and a reversible USB type C charging cable. Samsung also added an adapter for people who didn’t want to move on from their old accessories. They specially highlighted this point. I wonder why? Oh, and they promoted the fact that there’s still an audio jack.
The Note 7 runs Android 6.0.1 Marshmallow. There’s no official date on an upgrade to Nougat. The phone features the Vulkan API (supported by Unity and the Unreal Engine) that allows it to run console quality games. Samsung’s partnered with the Google Play Storeto bring you some great games in its Galaxy Game Pack.
The launch was big on security. In fact, that’s what brought out the phone’s defining factor: the Iris Scanner. Samsung has apparently been working on it for five years. It’s basically the same tech you see in action movies. A scanner scans your eye and unlocks the phone. Now you can use this beyond simply unlocking your phone. There’s a feature called “Secure Folders” which uses the Iris scanner to add a layer of security to any app, folder or file. It’ll come in handy keeping your friends out of that “special” folder.
The scanner can also be used in lieu of username password combos for online accounts through the Samsung Internet Browser as well as for Samsung Pass. Supported banks include Citibank, Bank of America, US Bank and KEB Hana Bank.
The S Pen
The Note would be incomplete without the S Pen. And it’s been upgraded quite a bit. It features a 0.7 mm fine point as compared to the 1.6 mm point on the Note 5 S Pen. It features a side button which you can press and hold when you need to erase something. It also features twice the pressure sensitivity (4096 levels as opposed to 2048 on earlier models). You can now take notes with it on the always on display without unlocking your phone. You can also create GIFS with it while you’re on the YouTube app. You can also hover over any text of a foreign language and it’ll translate it for you. And the Pen is also water resistant.
You get 15 GB of free cloud storage via Samsung Cloud when you buy the Note 7. You can use the Smart Switch app to transfer all your old data from your previous phone.
The Samsung Galaxy Note 7 will hit shelves on August 19th and pre-orders start tomorrow.