Samsung Galaxy Note 7 Arrives
Another year, another Galaxy Note. Samsung just unveiled its new Galaxy Note 7 in New York this morning, and you’ll be able to get one for yourself in the US starting on August 19th. We got the chance to take one for a test drive prior to the show, and one thing quickly became clear: Samsung might not have revamped the Note formula, but the Note 7 is a testament to the quality that can come from years of gradual change.
The Samsung Galaxy Note 7 is a phone that’s designed for a very specific user base: those who want a larger screen but are craving a stylus too. That’s not to say others might not get some benefit from it, but it’s mostly centred around the functionality of the S Pen.
The version of the Note 7 packs a quad-core, Snapdragon 820 chipset, an Adreno 530 GPU and 4GB of RAM. Good on you if that sounds familiar: The Note 7 has actually the same internals as this year’s Galaxy S7 and S7 Edge. I spent about 45 minutes playing with the Note 7 and it’s an incredibly fast, responsive little machine.
Waiting can be painful, we all know that very well. But for stylus-wielding fans of Samsung’s Galaxy Note series, today is the day they’ve been looking forward to for quite a while. A new Note smartphone will be announced by Samsung in just a couple of hours, and we bet it’ll bring a healthy dose of refinement to Samsung’s phablet formula. What we’ve gathered here for is a nice and laid-back liveblog experience, in which we’ll be walking you through Samsung’s Galaxy Note 7 introduction, with as much detail as possible.
Here’s what the Note 7 has that the Note 5 doesn’t:
• Curved screens (sharper, less sloping than the S7 Edge)
• USB-C charger port (Samsung’s first phone to adopt the new standard)
• Iris scanner to unlock the phone with your eyes
• Gorilla Glass 5 screen (the first phone with Corning’s new screen tech)
• More sensitive, accurate S Pen stylus
• Water-resistant phone body and S Pen
• Microsd card slot (like the S7 phones)
• Larger battery (3,500 mah versus Note 5’s 3,000 mah)
• Better low-light camera
• New S Pen tricks, like magnification and GIF-making
• Stylus won’t get stuck if you jam it in backwards
• Coral Blue color choice (it’s great)
Price is going to play a big role in whether or not you should get the phone. Notes are usually the most expensive in Samsung’s lineup, and it’s the S Pen you pay for. With the S7 and larger S7 Edge as really similar stylus-less options, I do wonder if the Note 7, cool as it is, will wind up being too much phone for all but the most passionate stylus addicts.
New curvy design: Bend it like…the S7 Edge
The Note 7 has a curved screen and the same Edge software as the Galaxy S7 Edge. This is interesting because it gives the Note 7 all of the Edge’s features and functionality. (After 2014’s Note Edge with its one swooshed side, this is the second Note to have a curved screen.)
There’s no doubt this is a pretty phone.
The Edge and Note don’t look identical, but close enough that if you see them both in black and the S Pen is holstered away, you may not immediately know the difference. But there are a few. The Note 7 has a symmetrically rounded front and back compared to the Edge’s flat back and curving face.
It also curves more narrowly than the S7 Edge; the phone’s sides drop off faster and slope less. I’m pretty sure Samsung did this to keep the S Pen from falling off the sides as much when you’re using it. I do wonder how often i’ll wind up slipping in the curved margins when I use the stylus.