Once upon a time, Samsung’s Note series used to have an identity of its own. Perhaps that’s why the Note series phones associated with a lower number never struck as an issue (if for some reason you haven’t yet noticed, Samsung skipped Note 6 and directly jumped to Note7).
However, starting last year Samsung merged its Note series with its S series flagships and the Note lineup morphed into more of an afterthought. The Note 5, launched last year, brought several improvements over the S6 and S6 edge. In fact, the design refinements introduced with Note 5 were later passed on to the next generation flagships – Galaxy S7 and Galaxy S7 Edge – too.
The Galaxy Note7, treading a similar path, looks similar to its dual curved edge precursor but incorporates many small and big changes that help it maintain its uniqueness. Undoubtedly, the new Note is a magnificent phone with very little to complain about.
Let’s explore further and justify that sentiment.
Samsung Galaxy Note7 Specifications
|Model||Samsung Galaxy Note7|
|Display||5.7-inch, 2560 X 1440 QHD, Super AMOLED display, Dual Edge, Gorilla Glass 5|
|Processor||Exynos 8890 octa-core|
|Internal Storage||64GB (expandable up to 256GB)|
|Software||Android Marshmallow based TouchWiz|
|Primary Camera||12 MP, f/1.7, 26mm, phase detection autofocus, OIS, LED flash|
|Secondary Camera||5 MP, f/1.7, 22mm, dual video call, Auto HDR|
|Battery||3500 mAh, Fast Charging, USB Type-C port|
|Others||Dual SIM, 4G LTE, VoLTE, Fingerprint Sensor, Iris scanner, S Pen (4096 points pressure sensitivity)|
The Glass-Metal Design Evolves Further
To start with, the Galaxy Note7 has more recessed curves. For someone who found these display bends (on GS7 Edge) distracting, this counts as an improvement. As Samsung highlights, Note7 is the first Galaxy Note with a curved screen (for some reason we aren’t counting the Galaxy Note Edge here).
What’s interesting is that the Galaxy Note has symmetrically curved Gorilla Glass 5 on both front and rear. This means when you observe it from the sides, you will feel that the metal and the glass seamlessly merge together.
Ports, speaker grill, and the S Pen are all housed on the bottom edge. The new S Pen is absolutely stunning. Writing with it felt just like writing with a pen, and I immediately felt the need for a bigger canvas. Though I value an easily manageable and compact device, the S Pen made me hanker for a broader display.
The 5.7-inch HD display on the Galaxy Note7 is AMOLED technology at its best. Samsung has spent years perfecting its SAMOLED panel and all that R&D has started paying off handsomely. The Display on the Note7 also brings a Blue Light filter (that makes everything unnaturally yellow, but is still an absolute necessity in our opinion for nighttime reading).
The New Galaxy Note 7 display relies on not one but two Ambient light sensors (One on the front, another one at the back) to better gauge surrounding conditions and then reflect analogous changes on the display efficiently.
The Iris sensor was surprisingly fast and accurate at the demonstration booth. You will, of course, be primarily using the Fingerprint sensor to unlock the handset, but there are several use cases where it will be a simpler + secure option. For instance, when you try opening the notification directly from the Always On display.
And all that awesomeness is wrapped in a water resistant body. It’s only scandalous that Samsung didn’t bring the popular blue color Galaxy Note 7 variant to India.
Software Enhancements Keep Things Fresh
The biggest changes on the Note 7 that help it emerge over and above the GS7 shadow are incorporated on the software side of the equation.
The S Pen software is a lot less complicated; the Always On mode now allows you to interact with notifications and also to directly jot down notes without turning your phone on; The blue light filter that we talked about is something that will make a difference; And you will find a refreshingly new, flatter design scheme for quick settings, Icons and settings menu – All that helps keep things fresh.
GS7 Edge Grade Performance and Camera
Samsung isn’t using the mightiest possible specs combo to drive all that advanced software, but since the Exynos 8890 is already proven itself to be deft at handling heavy loads, there is no reason to complain.
We won’t be harping on the camera quality either, as it’s essentially the same module with f/1.7 aperture that Samsung is using on the GS7, which is one of the best Android cameras money can buy. You can read more about the camera performance in our Galaxy S7 Review.
Samsung Galaxy Note7 Photo Gallery
Samsung has a wonderful product at hand and the premium it’s asking feels justified. There is a huge market where people are willing to part with oodles of cash in return for a device that refuses to compromise. As Samsung pointed out, there is a huge loyal fan base for Note series of devices in India, and if they can look past Samsung bringing Note lineup dangerously close to the S series, they will be pleasantly surprised.