Samsung has officially taken the wraps off its latest flagship smartphone, the Galaxy Note 7. Thanks to weeks of leaks, it’s essentially what you think it’d be: the best Samsung phablet ever made, with plenty of tricks up its sleeve.
As with all new releases, the Galaxy Note 7 (or Galaxy Note7) sees a spec bump that ensures good performance down the road. It’s powered by the excellent Exynos 8890 chip that’s found in the Galaxy S7 and S7 edge, with 4GB of RAM. While the display retains a 5.7-inch 2560 x 1440 Super AMOLED resolution, it gains a new HDR video playback support similar to its new range of TVs – as well as a stunning dual-edge curved panel than makes the device narrower and more comfortable to hold.
A huge plus is the introduction of IP68 rating for water and dust resistance, as well as 64GB of UFS 2.0 storage as standard, alongside a microSD card slot that supports up to 256GB cards. The battery has been bumped too, up from 3,000mAh to 3,500mAh with fast wired and wireless charging capabilities. And as expected, Samsung has finally switched to USB Type C for the Note 7.
The biggest talking points are no longer the camera – which was the case for the Galaxy S7 series. The Note 7 sports a similar 12MP f/1.7 Dual Pixel rear camera with OIS, and a 5MP f/1.7 front shooter – but the new hardware addition here is the introduction of an iris scanner.
While not new – we’ve seen a few smartphone in recent years with varying degrees of efficacy – Samsung appears to have taken its time for the technology to mature before implementing it. Working in tandem with Samsung Knox, the iris scanner can not only be used to unlock your phone, but also authenticate payments via Samsung Pay as well as accessing Secure Folder, the Knox environment to store secure files.
Essentially, the iris scanner’s introduction offers another method of secure authentication; the Note 7 still retains the fingerprint sensor at the home screen.
Speaking of ease of use, Samsung has also introduced Samsung Cloud, a new cloud syncing service that lets users store up to 15GB of files. It also backs up your current device’s settings, layouts, and installed apps, which makes it easier to switch between devices when the need arises.
Finally, there’s the S Pen. Now thinner for an even better writing experience, the S Pen naturally gains plenty of new abilities. First, you can create GIF animations using Smart Select. Even better is the Magnify and Translate abilities, which works automatically simply by hovering the S Pen over text on the screen.
There’s also Samsung Notes, a new unified app that lets users create handwritten notes, draw, or edit memos in a single location. Plus, now that the Note 7 is IP68-rated even when the S Pen is unsheathed, Samsung claims you can even jot down notes while the phone is submerged.
Globally, the Samsung Galaxy Note 7 will be available from 19 August 2016 in three colours: Gold Platinum, Silver Titanium, and Black Onyx. The best bit of news is that Malaysia will be in the first wave of global markets to receive the new device, and it’ll be priced at RM3,199 with some pre-order promotions in place. More on that can be found here.
Stay tuned for our first impressions of the device.