Samsung launched the Galaxy Note 7 in India last week with a price tag of Rs 59,900, which will be going on sale on September 2. Samsung’s latest phablet brings in a lot of new features and improvements over its predecessor. From a Galaxy S7 edge-like design to unique features like Iris scanner, there is a lot to tempt buyers despite the high price tag. We spent some time with the flagship phablet during the launch event, and our first impressions were very positive. The Galaxy Note 7 is going on sale in select countries today and the first set of reviews are out. Here’s a roundup of what reviewers are saying about the new Samsung Galaxy Note 7. Also Read - Samsung Galaxy M32 India launch set for June 21, price could range between Rs 15,000 - Rs 20,000Also Read - Samsung Galaxy Z Fold3, Galaxy Z Flip3 launch on August 27? New report suggests
The Samsung Galaxy Note 7 features a 5.7-inch QHD Super AMOLED dual-edged curved display protected by Corning Gorilla Glass 5, Exynos 8890 64-bit octa-core processor, 4GB RAM, and 64GB onboard storage that can be expanded up to 256GB using a microSD card. It also features a 12-megapixel rear camera with dual pixels technology, 5-megapixel selfie camera, 3,500mAh battery, IP68 certification and connectivity options like a USB Type-C port. For security there is a fingerprint scanner embedded into the home button, and iris scanner, and a vastly improved S Pen stylus. Let’s take a look at some of the reviews of the new Samsung Galaxy Note 7. Also Read - Samsung now lets you make an appointment to shop at its stores, book demo via WhatsApp
Design: Unlike the rectangular slab that was the Galaxy Note 5, the new Galaxy Note 7 is much more elegant with Samsung retaining design elements from the Galaxy S7. It not only looks good in photos, but most seem impressed with the overall design.
Android Central says, “Because of these subtle design changes, I find the Galaxy Note 7 easier to use and manipulate in one hand than the Galaxy S7 edge, which I consider a huge win. This is still a big phone, no doubt, but I think at this point people generally know that they’re getting into some sort of trade-off situation where they’re getting a larger screen and its associated benefits in turn for slightly decreased usability.”
Display: The Galaxy Note 7 flaunts a 5.7-inch QHD Super AMOLED display with a dual-edged curved screen. While the screen is very Galaxy S7 edge-like, the difference is that the phablet’s display is flatter. The display is also protected by the latest Corning Gorilla Glass 5, which the company claims can survive a drop from up to a height of 1.6 meters. Not surprisingly, the display gets rave reviews.
Mashable says, “The Note 7 is barely larger than the S7 edge and somehow has a larger 5.7-inch Quad HD (2560×1440) Super AMOLED screen, which looks unbelievably stunning. …This is the best smartphone display available with the deepest black levels, the clearest colors and a brightness of 1,000nits that puts the iPhone 6s Plus to shame.”
S Pen: The S Pen stylus has almost always been one of the talking points of a new Galaxy Note. This year too Samsung has improved the stylus by reducing the tip to 0.7mm and added support for 4,096 levels of pressure along with latency of less than 50 milliseconds. The S Pen also gets quite a few new features like the ability to write on a wet display, translating words by hovering over them, and also taking notes without switching on the display.
WSJ‘s Joanna Stern wrote her Galaxy Note 7 review with the S Pen, and one of the things she noticed is a slight delay, especially when compared to the speed of the Apple iPad Pro’s Pencil. That said, there were still many aspects that impressed her. “Writing this review by hand on the screen took me twice as long as typing it would have, even using the Note s software keyboard. But the new S Pen s finer tip and software tricks add precision where our God-given styluses fall short.”
Processor: Another aspect carried over from the Galaxy S7 smartphones is the processor. Depending upon the region, the Samsung Galaxy Note 7 is powered by either Qualcomm s Snapdragon 820 quad-core chipset or Exynos 8890 octa-core chipset. Both processors are paired with 4GB of RAM.
There are no surprises in this department, and as AnandTech aptly puts it, “Overall, the Galaxy Note 7 performs about where you’d expect from a Snapdragon 820 device from Samsung given the performance of the Galaxy S7.”
Cameras: Samsung has again retained the camera combination seen on the Galaxy S7, which includes a 12-megapixel rear camera with dual pixels technology, f/1.7 aperture, PDAF, OIS and 4K video recording capabilities. Up front is a 5-megapixel selfie camera with f/1.7 aperture. In our Samsung Galaxy S7 review, we found the cameras to be the absolute best on offer, and not surprisingly nothing has changed on the Galaxy Note 7. ALSO READ: Samsung makes the Galaxy Note 7 s insane camera better with a pair of add-on lens accessories
Engadget sums it quite well, “We can keep this part brief: Both of the Note 7’s cameras are identical to the ones in the S7 and S7 Edge, and are therefore really damned good. The photos I shot over the course of a week were almost uniformly well-exposed, with lots of detail (they really pop on this AMOLED screen) and vibrant, accurate colors. It’s damned fast at focusing too, thanks to the camera’s DualPixel setup.”
Security: Security is a big deal for many, and while fingerprint scanners are fast becoming mainstream, the Galaxy Note 7 has taken things to the next level by introducing an iris scanner. Samsung says the iris scanner is more secure, and the whole thing works similar to Windows Hello in the way it relies on an infrared camera. While the infrared camera ensures good performance in low-light, the noteworthy thing is that it works even if the user is wearing glasses. ALSO READ: Here s why the Galaxy Note7 features both iris and fingerprint scanners
WIRED says, “In my tests, it worked nearly every time, sometimes unlocking immediately and sometimes taking a few seconds. The delays happened if the phone was too far away from my face or my eyes were too squinty. It didn t register false positives when my friends looked at it or when I tried to fool it with a picture of my eyes. Somehow, it did work when I wore an eyepatch or winked.”
Software: The Galaxy Note 7 runs on Android Marshmallow 6.0.1 wrapped under the latest TouchWiz UI. At the India launch, Samsung also revealed that the flagship phablet supports 13 Indian regional languages. The cartoonish look and bloatware has almost always been an issue with the TouchWiz UI, and while things have improved over the years, there remain some issues.
While these are not really major issues, but they can be a bit annoying. The Verge says, “Despite the interface improvements, the Note 7 is still loaded with carrier bloatware and duplicative apps, things that have been dogging Samsung phones for years. …there are also two email apps, two browsers, two photo apps, two voice assistants, and Samsung s own versions of Android s calendar and calculator apps instead of the ones that Google already develops. ”
Verdict: As you can expect, most (if not all) reviews are quite positive. The overall verdict is that Samsung has built its best-ever device till date, and the Galaxy Note 7 is a much better device than Apple’s iPhone 6 Plus.
Android Central says, “If you look at everything that the Galaxy Note 7 offers, I’m not sure what else you can honestly (and realistically, considering constraints and trade-offs of modern phones) ask for. And despite its congruence with the Galaxy S series that classic Note fans may bemoan, it’s easily the best Galaxy Note that Samsung has ever made.”
Engadget concludes, “The Galaxy Note 7 isn’t just the best Galaxy Note ever — it’s a strong contender as the best Android phone you can find right now.”
WIRED says, “Let s end with another paradox: Phones are so good nowadays, they ve become boring. But the Note 7 combines so many superpowers its camera, its display, its security features, its VR capabilities, its sleek and stylish looks that it might be worth it. At the very least, it makes smartphones exciting again.”
The Verge sums it up quite well, saying, “The Note 7 is easily the best big phone I ve ever used and quite a few steps ahead of its competitors.”