Everything You Need to Know About the Samsung Galaxy Note 7
The Galaxy Note series of devices from Samsung was one of the most revolutionary devices in the Android ecosystem. When it was first introduced, the larger screen and the inclusion of the stylus were the butt of jokes and the object of some very harsh criticism. However, today, the Galaxy Note series is one of the South Korean company’s best selling and most compelling devices especially after the introduction of last year’s Galaxy Note 5 with its premium build and feel.
This year, we’re waiting with much anticipation to see the follow up to Samsung’s Galaxy Note 5, the Galaxy
Note 6 Note 7.
Samsung Teases a ‘Galaxy Note 7’
The South Korean company looks to have forgotten how to count. Let’s just hope that it ends with their marketing. In truth, the Galaxy Note series of devices is actually getting it’s 8th entry into the Galaxy Note Phone line up. Remember, they released the Galaxy Note Edge and Galaxy Note 3 Neo. Why exactly would they be releasing a Note 7? Well, we think it’s all about the marketing strategy. But aside from that, the Galaxy Note 7 is really looking to be a great device with a lot of firsts in tow.
The first thing most techies like to look at is the specifications of any upcoming device. It’s no different for the Galaxy Note 7. There’s been many rumours about the specifications of the upcoming flagship and we’ve collected the few that we think are the most credible.
The Galaxy Note 7 is likely to have an Exynos 8890 for its international versions. The processor was first featured in the international variants of the Samsung Galaxy S7 and S7 edge, which was an amazing performer. This actually bodes well for the Note 7 given the exceptional performance of the processor. However, we’ve also seen leaks of a version running on a Snapdragon 820. Rumours put the RAM at 6GB and 4GB respectively. While 6GB is an amazing amount of RAM, we’ve seen that even with 4GB of RAM on the S7 and Note5, Samsung’s own TouchWiz UI can be a RAM hog causing slowdowns in performance.
It also looks like the Galaxy Note 7 will be coming with a minimum of 64GB compared to the 32GB of the Note 5. In addition, it is pretty likely that Samsung will be including a hybrid microSD/UFS card slot. We recently saw Samsung patent the UFS standard for storage. It would come as no surprise that they would include this feature in to the Note 7. However, let’s hope that the ability to use an external microSD or UFS card doesn’t come at the cost of a SIM slot.
It looks like the Samsung Galaxy Note 7 will be coming with a larger than normal screen. Previous iterations of the Galaxy Note series have always been ahead of the curve when it came to screen size. It seems like Samsung will in fact be pushing the boundaries again. Rumours indicate that the upcoming Note 7 will be coming with a larger 5.8-inch or 6.0-inch display. This would be bigger than any other Note device to date. That said, some rumours are also pointing to Samsung maintaining the size for the Galaxy Note 7.
One thing that is definitely changing with the Note 7 is the implementation of a dual edge display. We first saw this display in the Galaxy S6 Edge and it looks like the technology is making its way to the Note 7. This would justify the larger screen size of the Note 7. The curved design does take up some real estate. Going for a larger 6 inch display may allow Samsung to maintain the feel of the Note device while allowing it more screen real estate to incorporate the curves.
On the camera front, it looks like the South Korean manufacturer is bringing the much praised dual pixel technology we saw in the S7 edge to the Note 7. Leaks from Zauba indicate that the main camera of the Note 7 will be using a 12 megapixel sensor. Many speculate that it will be the same dual pixel sensor used in the S7 edge. With the picture quality we’ve seen from the camera in the S7 edge, we have no objections. The picture quality and focus time on the S7 edge was amazing and low light shots turned out really well. In addition, it looks like the Galaxy Note 7 may end up with the same 5 megapixel sensor as well. While it could be a matter of cost, we really hope that Samsung uses the larger 8 megapixel sensors they’ve used in their A series to bolster the selfie capabilities of the Note 7.
One of the most talked about features coming to the Note 7 is the iris scanner. This feature has been in Samsung’s research labs for quite a while. We’ve seen patents being filed over the past few years and it looks like they are finally ready to release the feature to the masses. The technology apparently includes an extra sensor in the upcoming device. This was first speculated when the front face plate of the Samsung Galaxy Note 7 had an additional space after taking into consideration the front facing camera and light sensor.
From the leaks it looks like the Iris sensor will be a very interesting feature. However, leaks also indicate that the sensor may not be fans of those with sight deficiencies. From what we saw in the leaks, Samsung has included a warning for users stating that contact lenses and spectacles may cause difficulty when using the iris sensor. That said, videos demoing the iris sensor have emerged and the speed of the sensor is commendable.
While we may be excited for this new feature, it looks like analysts are not. They speculate that this early implementation of the iris scanner may fail to impress. We’ll just have to wait and see.
The S Pen has been the hallmark of the Note line of devices. It has seen constant improvement with each iteration and has become even more natural to use with its latest advancement in the Note 5. It looks like the Galaxy Note 7 will not be back tracking on that. Samsung executives have already alluded to much improved features. But, to date, we’ve seen little information. It wouldn’t be too far fetched to say that Samsung is truly guarding the best feature of the Note 7. It would be likely that Samsung may be increasing the sensitivity of the S Pen. In addition, we expect that we’ll see new features in the quick launch menu which pops up when you remove your S Pen.
From what we’ve seen so far, the Samsung Galaxy Note 7 looks to be coming equipped with a 3,500mAh battery. That maybe kind of small for a device of the Note’s size. However, we’ve also seen some leaks pointing to a much larger 4,000mAh battery. While we can’t confirm much from the rumours, it’s likely that Samsung may opt for a smaller battery just to keep the sleek silhouette the edge devices are known for. However, from what we’ve seen in Samsung’s latest devices, it may not be too far fetched to say that the Note 7 will still come with amazing battery life thanks to the software optimisations put into the new versions of TouchWiz.
Charging on the Note 7 is also going to be improved according to leaks. The charger of the Note 7 will be coming with a newer, quicker implementation of Adaptive Fast Charging. Leaks show that the charger of the Note 7 will be coming with a higher 12V/2.1A configuration on top of the preexisting ones.
USB Type C
The Note 7 will be Samsung’s first device to ship with USB type C. The USB type C shift has been confirmed by case manufacturer Olixar as well as the leaked press renders we have seen so far. The inclusion of USB type C is a welcomed change as the new standard makes it easier for users to plug in. The USB type C standard allows users to plug in regardless of orientation unlike the current USB standard. However, unlike other manufacturers, it looks like Samsung is indeed including a 3.5mm headphone jack in the Note 7.
New TouchWiz UI: Grace UI
Samsung initially announced a beta programme for their “New Note UI” earlier this year. However, details were scarce on the upcoming change to the notorious TouchWiz UI.
Just recently, the new iteration of TouchWiz, Grace UX, was leaked in all its glory. One thing is for sure, the UI is definitely improved over the older versions. It also incorporates more Material Design and Android Marshmallow UI features into TouchWiz. Items like quick setting toggles and the like are more unified in the notification shade rather than having the user flip to another screen.
2 Galaxy Note 7s?
In more recent leaks, we’re seeing the possibility that Samsung may launch 2 design variants of the Galaxy Note 7. The first would be a dual curved display as we’ve covered above. The second which we saw in early leaks and more recent ones would be the flat, traditional design Note 7. However, this may not be the case as the leaks which are emerging may simply be of early beta models which didn’t incorporate the dual edge displays.
Samsung’s Unpacked event is slated for the 2nd of August in New York. We’ve seen many indications that carriers and retailers are already gearing up for the release. In fact, preorders are already under way in places like the UAE. US Carrier T-Mobile has listed the Note 7 in their Buy 1 free 1 promotion. Closer to home, local carrier Maxis has already put up their registration of interest for the Note 7 with something “Galactic” coming in.
It looks like the Note 7 will be launching in 3 colours: Blue Cloral, Onyx Black and Titanium Silver. However, it won’t be surprising to see the Gold make an appearance.
When it comes to pricing, we’ve yet to get any solid indication. The only rumours floating around are that the 64GB version of the Note 7 maybe costing USD$799 (RM3258.12).