Galaxy Note 7 : All you need to know

In March this year, Samsung announced two of its flagship devices, the Galaxy S7 and its hugely popular and larger edge variant the Galaxy S7 edge. But we all know those aren’t the only flagship devices Samsung makes. This is everything we know so far about what should technically be the Galaxy Note 6, but is being called the Galaxy Note 7.

The Name

Given that the last we heard from Samsung’s Note series was a Galaxy Note 5, it is obvious by math, which they say never lies, that the next in line should be the Galaxy Note 6, but it is not. Several rumours had suggested that Samsung will be calling its new Note as the Galaxy note 7. Seeing how HTC One series folded up directly into the HTC 10 and now Samsung jumping from 5 to 7, some may wonder if these companies have learned a new math trick but they have not. It is suggested that this jump from 5 to 7 is Samsung’s way of simplifying its flagship lineup and bringing the note series a par with its other flagships in terms of version number.

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Release Date

As the above image suggests and also the rumours from all over do, Samsung’s Next could be just around the block and will be launched early August. This release date also syncs in Samsung’s release cycle from last year. As for the exact date, it is being widely accepted as 2nd of August because this date has been leaked by a well reputed leakster Evan Blass that is claimed to have various industry insider sources. According to him the Note 7 can hit shelves in US stores as early as 15th of August that is just a couple of weeks later than its launch.

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Design

As the design language of Samsung reaches the Note 7 and pushes it closer towards mimicking the Galaxy S7 (just a little bit bigger), can the South Korean company comfortably sell the phablet when directly compared to the flagship smartphone? Of course it can. The Note 7 has something that the other handsets don’t have.

Rumours have suggested the Note 7’s design will look similar to the Galaxy S7 edge with the addition of an S Pen. There have been reports of both curved and flat versions over the last few months but more recent claims, from the Electronic Times, suggest we will only see a curved model with no flat model offered. These rumours were further corroborated by the The Korea Herald at the end of June, and the Samsung-looking teaser for its Unpacked event that reads: “Write on the edge of something great”.

The question now is whether the pen can be pushed into the Note 7 without getting jammed.

Based on some blueprints from @OnLeaks, sourced for USwitch, the Note 6 is said to measure around 153.5mm x 73.9mm x 7.9mm, putting it around the same size as the Note 5. It is also rumoured to be coming with IP68 water and dust resistance, something both the S7 and S7 edge offer, and an iris scanner will also apparently be on board the Note 7.

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The claim of an iris scanner is something the blueprints from @OnLeaks supported, as well as a leaked screenshot from Samsung’s Galaxy Beta Program and more recently, Evan Blass on Twitter. What’s more, a leaked panel shown off by Android Authority seems to show transparent windows for the rumoured sensor. Further details have been scarce though so it isn’t clear if it would be infrared like Fujitsu, a light like the Lumia 950, or something more advanced. Or none of the above.

The one feature that will almost certainly appear is the S Pen as we mentioned. It has been claimed the S Pen will be called E S-PEN for the next model but it isn’t clear what this actually means as yet. We suspect it will mean it is more advanced and capable though. A recent leak from iGyaan claimed the new S Pen will offer improved Bluetooth LE, which will allow for longer usage and more accurate proximity warnings.

According to Blass, the Note 7 will arrive in black , silver and blue colour options, which he tweeted renders of.

 

Display

Rumours suggest the Note 7 will continue the Super AMOLED trend previous Note devices have offered but increase the display size very slightly from 5.7-inches to 5.8-inches. That said, Evan Blass has claimed the Note 7 will stick to 5.7-inches so the size is still up in the air.

The resolution is said to be sticking to Quad HD. If the size increase rumour is true, the Note 7 will have a slightly lower pixel density of 506ppi compared to 515ppi but this will not be noticeable to the human eye.

Sammobile also reported a 5.8-inch Super AMOLED display with a Quad HD resolution, supporting most other rumours, but it also suggested a curved display, which a Weibo user also reported. It isn’t clear whether there will only be a curved Note 7 device as some reports have suggested, or if Samsung will offer both curved and flat models.

There has also been talk of a Note 6 Lite. This latter device is said to be coming with a 5.8-inch display too but the resolution is reported to drop to Full HD.

 

 

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Camera

According to a Weibo report, the Note 7 will be coming with a 12-megapixel main camera offering “Super OIS Plus”, while another Weibo user suggested it would feature infrared-based autofocus. Evan Blass has also suggested 12-megapixels will be the rear resolution, and he claims it will be Dual Pixels, like the Galaxy S7 and S7 edge.

There has also been talk of dual rear cameras after industry sources talked to China’s Zol but we would take this with a pinch of salt for now. Blass is currently the only one to detail the front-facing camera sensor, which he claims to be 5-megapixels.

Another report suggested the South Korean company is working on a new technology called Smart Glow. This is claimed to be a ring of light surrounding the rear camera that will light up to communicate notifications and more to the user when the device is lying face down, or when a selfie is being taken using the back camera.

The Galaxy S7 and S7 edge both have 12-megapixel rear cameras and a 5-megapixel front camera so if Blass’s information is accurate, it sounds like the company might use the same sensors for the Note 7. This would make sense given the praise both the S7 and S7 edge have received. Both the front and the rear snappers offer an aperture of f/1.7 to help them excel in low-light conditions so we’d like to see the same capabilities in the Note 7 at the very least.

Samsung is also claimed to be working on a new 1/2.3-inch sensor that will be accompanied by a lens with an aperture of f/1.4, which is said to offer 17 per cent more light, plus the extra light the bigger sensor will bring. It isn’t clear if this new camera will be ready for the Note 7 however, but fingers crossed.

 

Benchmarks

Online benchmarking site AnTuTu has seen what many believe to be the Samsung Galaxy Note 7 pass through its system, and the news is a touch worrying. While it does confirm the upgraded camera and boost to internal memory to 64GB, it also reveals two specifications that are weaker than expected.

AnTuTu recorded a just standard Snapdragon 820, the same chipset used by the Galaxy S7 and all flagship smartphones since the turn of the year… Another area the Galaxy Note 7 was expected to blow away the Galaxy S7 was a jump from 4GB to 6GB of RAM. Android (and particularly TouchWiz) gobbles RAM so the potential for enhanced multitasking and taking load off the CPU (another battery saver) was to be welcomed. But again there the benchmarks were disappointing.

These specs are getting very close to matching (as opposed to exceeding) the standard S7 devices. And it’s not just the chips that are matching.

7 thoughts on “Galaxy Note 7 : All you need to know

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