Digital News Reviews Samsung Tech

Samsung’s Galaxy Note7 review: All things you need to know about

mm
Written by Adam Webb

Samsung Galaxy Note 7 is full of new spesifications. If you are an Android user, you will like it. The Samsung Galaxy Note7 smartphone has a 64-bit processor and can run VR. There’s a lot to like in Samsung’s new Galaxy Note7, which will ship on Aug. 19. 

The sharp screen is accentuated by a slight curve on the edges that makes the device easy to handle. It has a snappy, 64-bit processor and it can rock games and virtual reality with the companion Gear VR headset. Samsung’s attention to smaller details makes it a fine device. Here are seven things you need to know about Note7.

1. Many similarities with Galaxy S7 and S7 Edge

The Galaxy Note7 is a large-screen version of the Galaxy S7 and S7 Edge, with a 5.7-in. 2560 x 1440-pixel display. The USB-C port is an improvement over S7’s micro-USB 2.0 ports. Common features include a 12-megapixel rear camera, 5-megapixel front camera, 802.11ac Wi-Fi, NFC, Bluetooth and wireless charging. The Note7 is pre-loaded with Android 6.0.1, weighs 169 grams and is 7.9 millimeters thick. It has 64GB of internal storage and an SD card slot.

2. The iris scanner has its own camera

A unique Note7 security feature is the ability to scan the iris as a way to log users into the device. Here’s how it works: Place your eyes in front of the iris scanner — which is an IR camera — located on top of the screen, which will scan your eyes. It will match up the scan against encrypted iris information stored in a secure hardware layer on the phone. The iris scanner works in multiple light settings, but it won’t work with sunglasses, Samsung said.

Samsung's Galaxy Note7 review- All things you need to know about

3. What chip does your Note 7 have?

In the U.S., China and Japan, the Galaxy Note7 will have a Qualcomm Snapdragon 820 chipset. In other places, it’ll be Samsung’s Exynos 8 Octa 8890 chip. The Snapdragon 820 has been modulated for cellular networks and spectrum bands in those countries, and U.S. carriers like Verizon prefer Qualcomm’s chips for backward compatibility of CDMA networks. The Samsung Exynos chip works on cellular networks in Asia and Europe.

4. What chip is better?

Qualcomm’s Snapdragon has a better modem and a slight edge in graphics over Samsung’s Exynos. Regardless, the Note7 delivers booming graphics and runs applications much faster than its predecessors. The LTE data download speeds could reach up to 600Mbps (bits per second) and upload speeds up to 150Mbps. Snapdragon is more versatile with support for LTE-U, which allows for faster data transfers over licensed and unlicensed spectrum.

5. Old peripherals will work with the USB-C port in Note7

The Note7 has a USB-C port, a first in Samsung smartphones. The Galaxy S7 and S7 Edge have micro-USB 2.0 ports, and many peripherals — like portable mobile phone chargers and storage devices — are designed to plug into that port. Those peripherals can be used with Note7 with a micro-USB 2.0 to USB-C connector that Samsung is providing with the new handset.

6. Note7 will log you in to your Samsung-based Windows PC

Like Apple, Samsung wants its hardware devices to work seamlessly. That’s been difficult because Samsung’s devices run on three OSes: Windows in most PCs, Android in mobile devices, and Tizen in wearables. The Note7 shows some results of Samsung’s effort to bridge that gap between devices. Users can swipe a finger on the Note7 fingerprint reader to log into a Windows-based Galaxy TabPro S 2-in-1 tablet/laptop hybrid. Users can also login into a TabPro S by pattern authentication — by drawing specific shapes — on a Note7.

Samsung Flow is different from Windows Hello, a Microsoft feature for biometric authentication to log into laptops, but a Samsung spokesman said the companies are working together to see how the features could be used together.

7. No clarity if Note7 will support Google’s DayDream

A great add-on to the Note7 is the new Gear VR headset, in which the phablet can be fitted to virtually roam cities, play games, or ski down a mountain slope. Samsung declined to comment if Note7 would work with Google’s emerging DayDream VR platform, which will be available in specific handsets by the end of the year. The Gear VR headset and Note7 could be combined for DayDream, which has minimum hardware requirements of a high-resolution screen, specific sensors, and strong graphics capabilities. Samsung said announcements on DayDream-compatible devices will come at a later date. / Read more at: http://www.computerworld.com/article/3103512/mobile-wireless/7-things-you-need-to-know-about-samsungs-galaxy-note7.html

Samsung Galaxy Note 7 is classy, powerful and super secure

According to Mashable, Samsung was right from the start: bigger is better. And the company’s newest flagship Android smartphone, the Galaxy Note 7, is its best phablet yet.

The rumors nailed almost everything about the Note 7, including its name. As expected, Samsung is skipping the Note 6 name to keep the branding in line with the Galaxy S7 and S7 Edge. And technically speaking, the Note 7 is the seventh-generation Galaxy Note if you count the Note Edge, which was released alongside the Note 4.

Samsung isn’t reinventing the wheel with the Note 7, but that’s fine because the Note 5 didn’t really need much fixing to begin with.

It’s difficult to express just how sleek the Note 7 is. Photos just don’t do it justice. Samsung says it focused on improving the entire user experience — hardware and software — by getting feedback from real Note users, and I have to say it shows.

The result is the Note 7’s symmetrical design. The glass display and glass backside now curve into the metal frame on both sides. That’s right, the Note 7 has the S7 Edge’s dual curved edges and all of the convenient shortcuts they come with.

Beautiful, symmetrical design

IMAGE: RAYMOND WONG/MASHABLE

Curves on both sides

IMAGE: RAYMOND WONG/MASHABLE

The phone will be available in four colors: black onyx, silver titanium, gold platinum and a new blue coral, which Samsung hopes will become the next trendy color. There’s no rose gold or “pink gold” as Samsung would call it.

Even though blue coral isn’t my style, it’s still attractive, and under the right light, the frame has a pinkish tint to it. My favorite is the black onyx, which is basically a deep black just like the Batman S7 Edge edition minus the gold trims.

The Note 7 launches on Aug. 19 in the U.S. and pre-orders start on Aug. 3. Pricing is TBA. U.S. customers will also get a freebie gift with their Note 7 purchase: either a Gear Fit 2 or a 256GB microSD card.

 

IMAGE: RAYMOND WONG/MASHABLE

The 5.7-inch Quad HD (2,560 x 1,440) resolution Super AMOLED display with 518 ppi is as jaw-dropping as on Samsung’s other flagship phones.

Under the glass is a Qualcomm Snapdragon 820 processor, 4GB of RAM and 64GB of internal storage, a microSD slot that takes memory cards up to 256GB and a 3,500 mAh battery. And of course it’s got NFC and supports Samsung Pay.

The Note 7 is IP68 water and dust resistant, just like the S7 and S7 Edge. And for the first time, the S Pen stylus is IP68-rated as well, which means you can write on the screen while both are submerged under water. It’s insane!

 

The S Pen on the Note 7 has twice the pressure sensitivity as the Note 5's S Pen.

The S Pen on the Note 7 has twice the pressure sensitivity as the Note 5’s S Pen.

IMAGE: RAYMOND WONG/MASHABLE

And speaking of the S Pen, you won’t be able to break your Note 7 by inserting it in wrong.

Best-in-class cameras

IMAGE: RAYMOND WONG/MASHABLE

USB Type-C

IMAGE: RAYMOND WONG/MASHABLE

Samsung’s best-in-class cameras from the S7 and S7 Edge also made the leap to the Note 7: a 12-megapixel f/1.7 back camera with “Dual Pixel” autofocus and dual-LED flash, and 5-megapixel f/1.7 on the front.

The biggest physical hardware change is the switch from a Micro USB port to a USB Type-C port. There’s still fast charging and fast wireless charging as well.

Unlock with your eyes

IMAGE: JON LYNN/MASHABLE

IMAGE: JON LYNN/MASHABLE

Security is at the top of everyone’s mind these days and Samsung is taking it to another level.

In addition to its Knox mobile enterprise security software and the fingerprint sensor embedded into the home button, the Note 7 has the world’s first iris scanning sensor.

The sensor is located on the far left side of the top bezel and shoots out a beam of infrared light to detect and authenticate your iris. Samsung says it’s impossible for the sensor to be fooled by high-resolution images of your iris simply because it wouldn’t have the same infrared signature.

 

IMAGE: JON LYNN/MASHABLE

After much prodding, Samsung finally let me “program” my own eyes into a pre-production Note 7 and give it a spin. Samsung says the Note 7 can only recognize one pair of irises.

The iris scanner is fast to detect and unlock your phone, but activating it is a little cumbersome. You need to first turn on the display by either pressing the home button or power button, swipe up to bring up the lock screen, which has a portion at the top for the iris scanner, and then hold the phone about 10 inches away from your eyes.

 

The home button is a fingerprint sensor.

The home button is a fingerprint sensor.

IMAGE: RAYMOND WONG/MASHABLE

The process is not as fast and seamless as just using the fingerprint sensor, but if you want that extra level of security, it’s there.

Samsung told me it intentionally didn’t make the feature “unlock at a glance” because it would interfere with the always-on display.

There’s also another use for the iris security: secure folders. These are special folders where you can store files that can only be unlocked with your iris scan. Samsung says you can also run separate accounts for an app locked within these folders. All files stored in secure folders are also stored on a separate partition of the Note 7’s storage for additional security.

New Note tricks

 

The Note 7 supports Edge panels, Air Commands, Screen off memo.

The Note 7 supports Edge panels, Air Commands, Screen off memo.

IMAGE: RAYMOND WONG/MASHABLE

It was rumored Samsung would revamp TouchWiz for Android 6.0.1 Marshmallow. The Note 7’s UI is indeed a little more streamlined and easier on the eyes, but it’s still more or less the same TouchWiz from the S7 and S7 Edge. No sweeping changes here.

Notable software tweaks include the camera app, which now supports various gestures. Swipe up or down to flip between the front and back camera; swipe in from the left to access camera settings and modes; and swipe in from the right to bring up filters.

Tweaked camera UI

IMAGE: RAYMOND WONG/MASHABLE

New Air Commands

IMAGE: RAYMOND WONG/MASHABLE

Furthermore, Samsung’s cleaned up the clutter by consolidating four apps (Action memo, Memo, Scrapbook and S Note) into a single “Samsung Notes” app.

As I mentioned earlier, the Note 7 supports all of the wonderful Edge functions that slide out from a panel on the curved edge.

Like every new Note, there are new features. The awesome “screen off memo” from the Note 5, which lets you jot things down on the black screen as soon as the S Pen is pulled out, now supports pinning. So you can pin a quick note (like a to-do list or a shopping list or a cute person’s phone number) to the Always-On Display.

Then there are the new Air Command features, like a translation feature that can translate words in more than 30 languages when you hover over them with the S Pen. A new Magnify feature can enlarge any section of the screen by up to 300x that the S Pen is hovering over.

The coolest of them all, however, might be Smart Select, which makes it easy to make GIFs out of videos. It works like GifGrabber, but unlike that desktop app, you can add doodles and stickers and text on top of your custom GIFs before sharing them out to the world.

 

IMAGE: RAYMOND WONG/MASHABLE

I only had a short time to play with the Note 7, but I was impressed nonetheless.

It is possibly one of the nicest smartphones — phablet or not — that I’ve ever held in my hand. The cutting-edge features are all there and the S Pen is more useful than ever before.

I wasn’t entirely sold on the iris scanner, but I’ll have to spend more time with it when I review the phone to make any calls on it.

The blue coral may be the model that will be plastered all over ads and commercials, but that black onyx has me drooling.

 

IMAGE: RAYMOND WONG/MASHABLE

 

IMAGE: RAYMOND WONG/MASHABLE

 

IMAGE: RAYMOND WONG/MASHABLE

About the author

mm

Adam Webb

Houston, TX based Digital Marketing Specialist. Adam is a senior editor at DigitalReview and was formerly an editor at Mashable. A resident of Houston, Texas, Adam covers digital trends and much more.

Leave a Comment