Samsung Galaxy Note 7: First Impressions

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Samsung has managed to build a large fan base for not one but two line of flagship phones that it releases each year. The Galaxy S series and the Galaxy Note series. It is easy to see why the Note series appeals to Samsung’s audience considering it has been the oversized, better powered, stylus rocking cousin of the Galaxy S phones.

This year though Samsung’s latest Galaxy Note 7 is more closely related to the S7 edge than ever before and that is a good thing.

The internal specifications of the two phones are almost identical. They will be powered the same Snapdragon 820 processor or Samsung’s own Exynos chip, have the same amount of 4 GB RAM, quick charging, camera module, water resistance and feature expandable memory storage. The Note 7 is also just marginally bigger than the S7 at a 5.7-inch screen size.

So what is different about the Note 7 this year?

A lot has changed from last year’s Note 5 (Samsung skipped 6 to bring it in line with the Galaxy S model number). The Note 7 is a beautifully designed phone that builds on the excellent design already showcased by the S7. It is covered by Gorilla Glass 5 front and back, features dual curving edges and is wonderful to hold.

The phone screams premium in every which way. It also has an Iris scanner to offer another way of securing the phone alongside the now familiar fingerprint scanner. An iris scanner has already been done with Windows Hello, but we are yet to be convinced that it is a faster or more convenient way to unlock the phone.

It works well enough but requires the phone to be held awkwardly closer to the face.

The Stylus has also been redesigned and now features a fine tip that is more sensitive to pressure input than the last one. It is also armed with some new software tricks, some of which were quite impressive. The stylus allows you to create gif’s on the go from any video that you are watching just by using the select tool.

It also allows users to pin down handwritten notes onto the lock screen increasing the functionality of the memo from the last version.

The Note 7 will launch with Android 6.0 with a future update to 7.0 to be released sometime in the future. It is not something that users should really bank on since like all companies, Samsung has been notorious for rolling out updates to its software extremely slowly, if they get to it at all.

Touch Wiz though seems to be getting better with each iteration and the new Note 7 will come with software that is cleaner, more consistent and better to use than before. Samsung users will find their way around quite comfortably since no major departures from previous versions have been made.

All in all, Samsung followed the solid strategy of ensuring that the Note 7 does not fall behind the much improved ‘S’ range. It has all the bells and whistles that Samsung’s other flagship offers and just enough to tempt power users to upgrade to the Note range.

The unlocked pricing of the Note 7 has not been revealed yet although it should be around a $100 more than the Galaxy S7 edge prices.

 

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