At their event in New York this morning, Samsung officially took the wraps off their latest Galaxy Note 7 handset, putting to rest weeks of rumours and leaks surrounding the device.
The phone is a beautifully designed handset with typical Samsung Galaxy look to it. Samsung has included a symmetrical dual-edge curve on the large 5.7″, QuadHD resolution display, which comes covered in Corning Gorilla Glass 5 – the world’s first phone to do so – making it extra durable. The screen also supports the ‘powerful Edge Panel’ that Samsung has been developing with their ‘Edge’ series phones over the last few years. The rear is again covered in glass, and unfortunately there’s no option to replace the 3,500mAh battery.
Samsung has also brought the IP68 rating to the phone and the S Pen, meaning you can use both when wet. The S Pen has been upgraded for finer controls this year, with Samsung shrinking the tip to 0.7mm and improving the pressure sensitivity (from 2,048 on older models to 4,096 on the Note 7) to provide a ‘real pen-like experience’. The S Pen can also still be to write memos on the screen while it’s switched off, just like on the Note 5.
A new Magnify feature is being introduced as an S Pen feature on the Note 7, it can be used to enlarge small text from news articles, documents and even images on websites that don’t normally allow zooming.
As a bonus, the S Pen apparently can’t be inserted backwards, negating any awkwardness as we saw last year with the Note 5.
The Note 7 focuses heavily on security, with both the much rumoured Iris Scanner, as well as fingerprint scanning included on the phone. Samsung also says that both the iris and fingerprint scanner will support Samsung pass to allow authentication in apps and services. The focus of these two methods of security is to highlight the importance of keeping users data protected, with the option to use more authentication options interchangeably depending on how you use the phone. The Iris scanner can also be used to authenticate payments using Samsung Pay.
While Samsung isn’t making a huge deal out of the camera setup on the Note 7 – the dual-pixel sensor technology and advanced camera features first introduced on the Galaxy S7 and Galaxy S7 edge make a return. An f/1.7 aperture sits atop a 12MP sensor on the rear, as well as the 5MP front-facing camera, with both designed for fast focus and sharp, beautiful photos in low-light. We’ve seen what the S7/S7 Edge can do and bringing this level of photography to the Note series is welcome.
Under the hood, Samsung hasn’t cut corners with an octa-core processor as well as 4GB of RAM and 64GB of storage that’s backed up by the microSD card slot that also makes a return to the Note 7.
Samsung has also begun the transition to USB-C connectors on the Galaxy line with the Note 7, which you should hopefully see on the rest of the Galaxy line moving forward. To ease the transition though it looks like Samsung has built a microUSB to USB-C convertor which could come in the box – but we’ll confirm with Samsung closer to launch.
The rest of the hardware includes:
|Key Specifications:||Samsung Galaxy Note 7|
|Release date||August 2016|
|Screen technology||Super AMOLED|
|Resolution||2,560 x 1,440|
|Core config||2.3GHz Quad + 1.6GHz Quad|
|MicroSD||Yes, up to 256GB|
|WIFI standards||802.11 a/b/g/n/ac|
|Android OS||Android 6.0.1|
|Vendor skin||Samsung UI|
|Dimensions||153.5 x 73.9 x 7.9mm|
As we saw in previous leaks, the Note 7 will come in four colour options: Blue Coral, Gold Platinum, Silver Titanium and Black Onyx. Samsung has traditionally limited availability of the Note 7 colours, so it will be interesting to see which models arrive here in Australia.
Software wise, the Note 7 launches with Android 6.0 but Samsung will be updating the handset to Nougat as soon as it’s available. All the usual Samsung software features will be built-in with the usual Samsung ‘Touchwiz’ design aesthetic, but from the looks of things Samsung has refined that software again making it look for the first time to be quite a good experience, something we’ll see more of when the phone arrives in Australia.
Samsung has also introduced a new ‘Samsung Cloud’ feature that will offer a ‘seamless device experience’ on the Note 7. Using Samsung Cloud, users will be able to backup and transfer content from apps, including data, apps, settings and layouts. 15GB of free space is available to all users with the Note 7, but how it goes as a cloud storage service will have to wait till the launch.
A Game Pack, featuring ‘top game titles’ available through Google Play will be pre-installed on the Note 7, and will also include an easier redemption process and new user benefits – similar to the ‘Galaxy Gifts’ program that Samsung has been running for the last few years – we’ll have to wait and see what that includes here in Australia.
That launch is happening in Australia, as well as around the world this month with Samsung Australia advising that the phone will go on-sale on August 19th, with pre-orders starting on the 5th of August. People pre-ordering the phone will receive a 256GB MicroSD card normally worth $299.
The phone will be available both outright from $1,349, and from all four major carriers (Telstra, Optus, Vodafone and Virgin Mobile). Retail sales will be available through JB Hi-Fi, Harvey Norman, Samsung Retail and Samsung.com.au.