Samsung has officially announced the next phone in its ‘Note’ lineup — the Samsung Galaxy Note 7. The successor to the Galaxy Note 5 brings a lot of firsts to Samsung’s portfolio.
The Note 7 is the phablet-equivalent of the Samsung Galaxy S7. It retains what the Note 5 excelled at, and brings in new hardware and features. The design is a blend of the Note 5 and the Galaxy S7 Edge, such that it might be pass off as a chunkier S7 Edge. The new phone also gets an IP68 rating which makes it water resistant, a first for the Note series.
The specifications seem interesting; the phone features a 5.7-inch dual edge AMOLED display with Quad HD resolution. Although size and resolution remain identical to the Note 5, the dual edge panel (a first for the Note series, again) makes the phablet stand out. The back is made of glass, is curved at the edges with the curvature being identical to that on the front — that is bound to give it a nice in-hand feel. The phone also features a fingerprint scanner located in the home button and an iris scanner (a first on a Samsung smartphone) that sits on the top, both of which can be used to unlock the phone.
The silicon powering the Note 7 is Samsung’s Exynos 8890 chipset which is an octa-core processor that also powers the Galaxy S7 / S7 Edge. The chipset has been praised for its blistering fast performance and frugal battery consumption, so expect nothing different with the Note 7. Notably, it will be powered by a Snapdragon 820 for the US markets. Both versions get 4GB of RAM and 64GB of UHS 2.0 storage. Samsung has improved over the Note 5 by offering a MicroSD expansion slot with support for 256GB SD cards.
The similarities with the Galaxy S series continue further with the camera being a 12-megapixel sensor borrowed from the Galaxy S7. The ‘Dual Pixel’ is one of the best sensors in the market with a f/1.7 aperture and optical image stabilization(OIS). The front-facing camera is a 5-megapixel sensor with the same aperture as the rear camera.
The highlight of the Note Series, the ‘S Pen’ stylus, gets an update as well. It is twice as sensitive as the last one and gets a narrower 0.7mm tip for a real pen-like experience. With the IP68 water resistant rating on the phone, the pen is tweaked to accept inputs on a wet screen as well.
The Note 7 runs Android 6.0, Marshmallow, with a promised upgrade to Android Nougat as and when it is available. The UI has been refreshed as well but continues to be in-line with what we’ve seen on recent Samsungs. The battery is rated at 3500mAh, a considerable bump over the 3000mAh unit in the Note 5. Also, the USB Type-C port finally makes a debut on a Samsung smartphone.
The pricing of the Samsung Galaxy Note 7 is not known at the moment but the phone is expected to launch in India in a couple of weeks.