Samsung Galaxy Note7 by James Lu
Samsung Galaxy Note7 by James Lu
AT A GLANCE:
OPERATING SYSTEM Android 6.0.1 Marshmallow with TouchWiz 3.0
PROCESSOR Samsung Exynos 8890 octa-core (quad-core 2.3GHz Cortex- M1 & quad-core 1.6GHz Cortex-A53) DISPLAY 5.7-inch 2,560 x 1,440 pixels (518 ppi) Super
AMOLED CAMERA 12-megapixel, f/1.7 aperture, phase detection autofocus and smart OIS
DIMENSIONS 153.5 x 73.9 x 7.9mm
The Galaxy Note7 is the first Samsung phone with perfect symmetry. Both the front and rear use the same curved Gorilla Glass 5, resulting in a beautiful design where the curves converge right in the middle onto a narrow metal bezel. The curved display on the front of the Note7 isn’t just an aesthetic choice, it has exactly the same Edge software that you’ll find on the S7 Edge.
The curve also helps to make the Note7 smaller and more compact than all previous Note models – it’s actually 2.7mm narrower than the Note 5.
Below the display, the Home button doubles up as a fingerprint scanner. It’s lightning fast and super accurate. On the bottom edge of the Note7, you’ll find a reversible USB Type-C charging port - the first Samsung device to sport one. There’s a micro-USB to USB Type-C adapter is supplied in the box, so you can still use any micro-USB charging cables or accessories you have lying around.
You’ll find the nano-SIM card slot on the top. The Note7 is a dual-SIM phone, with the second SIM slot doubling up as a microSD card slot that supports cards up to 256GB. Internally, it has 64GB of storage.
On the back, the Note7 has the same 12-megapixel, f/1.7, 1/2.6-inch dual-pixel sensor camera with phase detection autofocus and optical image stabilization as the S7 and S7 Edge.
The Note7 is IP68 dust and water resistant. That means it can withstand being submerged in up to 1.5m of water for up to 30 minutes. Samsung has done a great job sealing the phone internally, so there’s no fiddly flaps or ports to deal with. You don’t even have to worry about water getting into the S Pen stylus silo.
The Note7 has a Super AMOLED 2,560 x 1,440 pixel display (518ppi), with always on functionality that will display the time, battery charge level and any unread notifications. The screen is super bright with deep blacks and vivid but not overly saturated colors.
The integrated S Pen is what makes the Note7 a productivity beast. If you’re new to the Note series, the S Pen is a stylus that fits snugly into the bottom of the phone, popping out when you want to jot down a note. Samsung has completely overhauled the S Pen for the Note7 and redesigned it to be more responsive and easier to use. The tip of the Note7’s S Pen has a radius of only 0.7mm (down from 1.6m on the Note 5’s S Pen), and the thinner tip makes the S Pen feel more like a ballpoint pen. It is more accurate too, and can now recognize 4,096 levels of pressure sensitivity, twice that of the Note 5. These two improvements result in a more fluid writing experience; it really does feel like writing with a pen on paper.
The S Pen itself is more useful than ever. Along with the usual handwriting, painting and image editing functions, you also get a magnify screen option, a glance feature that lets you peek inside an app without opening it, and a new translate feature – just hover over the text to translate it. The always-on display even lets you write a note on the screen when the screen is off. You can even pin it there and it will stay on the screen all day.
The Note7 is the first Samsung device to feature iris scanning as well as flngerprint unlock on the home button. This isn’t the first phone we’ve seen with an iris scanner, but it’s easily the best implementation we’ve seen. While some iris scanners just take a picture of your eye and compare against what’s on record, Samsung’s uses a more advanced technology. The scanner uses a beam of near-infrared light directed at the person’s eye. This kind of light works better than visible light since it exposes the pattern of the iris much more clearly, thus making it easier for a camera to capture it. As an added bonus, it also lets the iris scanner work in the dark! It also means that glasses and contact lenses won’t affect the beam. Once the image has been recorded, software translates the iris’ pattern into code. This code is then compared against a record in search of a match.
Setting up the iris scanner is incredibly easy and is actually faster than setting up your fingerprints, but you’ll have to remove your glasses to do so. Once you’ve got your eyes scanned, you can unlock your phone without taking your glasses off.
The Note7 is powered by Samsung’s Exynos 8890 octa-core processor (combining 4 x 2.3GHz Mongoose & 4 x 1.6GHz Cortex-A53) with a Mali-T880 MP12 GPU and 4GB RAM. This is exactly the same hardware you’ll find inside the Galaxy S7 and S7 Edge. As expected, the Note7 breezed through our benchmark tests, scoring at or near the top in every single one.
As for battery life, while the Note7 is slightly larger than the S7 Edge, it actually has a slightly smaller 3,500mAh battery. Having said that, even with a 0.2-inch larger display, it still ran for 13 hours and 42 minutes in our video looping benchmark – just 48 minutes shorter than the S7 Edge.