Samsung launched its much-awaited Galaxy Note7 last night, and on paper it is looking like a great device to buy. The flagship phablet will be going on sale in select countries from August 19, and if reports are to be believed, it could arrive in India as early as next week. Post the unveiling last night, some of the publications got their hands on the Galaxy Note7, and here’s a roundup of their first impressions. Also Read - Samsung Galaxy A03 with 48MP camera, 5,000mAh battery announcedAlso Read - Samsung permanently discontinues the Galaxy Note series … for good
The Samsung Galaxy Note7 comes with a 5.7-inch QHD display with Gorilla Glass 5 protection, Snapdragon 820 chipset or Exynos 8890 chipset depending upon the region, 4GB of RAM, 64GB onboard storage, microSD card, 12-megapixel rear camera, 5-megapixel selfie camera, 3,500mAh battery, fingerprint scanner, iris scanner, and connectivity options like 4G LTE support. It is also the first Galaxy Note phablet to be IP68 certified for dust and water resistant and is the first Samsung smartphone to come with a USB Type-C port, Also Read - Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra camera details tipped: All you need to know
Design: Samsung has retained a lot of design elements from the Galaxy S7, and Galaxy S7 edge and that’s not necessarily a bad thing. The dual-edged curved display gives the device a nice symmetry and almost everyone says that the phablet fits well in one’s hands.
TechCrunch‘s Brian Heater writes, “The company promised to do away with all of the unnecessary edges in the process. This latest version fits really comfortably in the hand, no longer the unwieldy unholy phone/tablet hybrid of days of yore.”
The phablet is also available in Blue Coral, Gold Platinum, Silver Titanium and Black Onyx colors, and again early impressions are quite positive. The NextWeb‘s Napier Lopez writes, “First things first: the new coral-blue-and-rose-gold is awesome. The pictures don t quite do it justice, and I want this color option on all phones.”
Display: The Galaxy Note7 has retained the 5.7-inch Super AMOLED display from the Galaxy Note 5 and it also boasts a QHD (2560×1440 pixels) resolution. The talking point however is the dual-edged curve that is somewhat similar to what you get on the Galaxy S7 edge. The difference though is in the curvature, and the screen on the Galaxy Note7 is flatter. Additionally, the rear glass panel too is curved, which makes the whole device feel more symmetrical than the S7 edge.
TechRadar‘s Gareth Beavis writes, “The 5.7-inch screen is larger than anything in Samsung’s current range though – with the S7 Edge side by side it looks very much the big phablet of the group that we expected. Next to the iPhone 6S Plus it seems smaller and more refined, despite packing in so many more pixels and a larger display.”
Power: Under the hood is either Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 820 chipset or Samsung’s own Exynos 8890 octa-core chipset depending upon the region. The processors are paired with 4GB of RAM, which is surprisingly the same as last year’s Galaxy Note 5. That said, performance is no concern and no one seemed to have anything negative to say.
Security: While smartphone companies are increasingly opting for a fingerprint scanner as the primary medium for device security, Samsung has taken one step forward by also including an iris scanner. Samsung has also added a feature called Secure folder, where you can store sensitive files and even apps that can be opened by the iris scanner. However, owing to Android limitations, Samsung had to provide both iris and fingerprint scanners.
As for how well the iris scanner works, AnandTech‘s Joshua Ho writes, “It [iris scanner] seems to work well and uses IR light to make sure it works in low light but it s important to note that this system has a somewhat low preview frame rate and can only use one set of eyes for registration.”
“The iris scanner also works at about 10-14 inches away from the eye which is kind of surprising and leads me to believe that this may be closer to some advanced facial recognition with a wide and narrow angle lens to capture the face and eyes rather than true iris scanning,” Ho adds.
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.
Samsung has introduced a lot of new features on the S Pen, and WIRED‘s Matt Burgess says they all worked exactly as Samsung has advertised. These included writing on a wet display, translating words by hovering over them, and also taking notes without switching on the display.
Durability: Just like the Galaxy S7 and Galaxy S7 edge, the new Galaxy Note7 too is IP68 certified making it resistant to water and dust. That aside, the talking point is how the S Pen stylus too is water resistant and it can also work on a wet display.
Heater writes, “The new Note is water and dust resistant for the first time, with the S Pen scoring an IP68, which means, in real-world terms, that the device is protected from water immersion up to one meter a fact the company was more than happy to show off at the phone s debut, along with the impressive fact that the stylus is capable of writing on a wet display, should you have to jot down something important during a downpour. It happens to the best of us.”
Software: The Galaxy Note7 is running on Android Marshmallow wrapped under TouchWiz UI. As expected everything seems to be running smoothly, something that you would expect from a premium flagship phablet.
9To5Google‘s Dom Esposito writes, “Speaking of software, it s rather clean and smooth, but that s to be expected from a flagship these days. It s running Marshmallow at launch, Samsung has tweaked the UI a bit and everything runs just fine upon first impressions.”