Here is the Samsung Galaxy Note 7 review. What do you get when you take the curved-screen Samsung Galaxy S7 Edge and add a stylus? The Galaxy Note 7, which Samsung unveiled August 2 in New York.
Yes, That’s right, Samsung jumped right from last year’s Note 5 to the Note 7, skipping the Note 6 entirely. And that’s a little weird, but easy enough to wrap your brain around because the Note 7’s molded screens, 12-megapixel camera, expandable storage and water-resistant coating bring it closer to this year’s S7 series than to last year’s Note. Since the Galaxy S7 and S7 Edge are two of the year’s best phones, with excellent cameras and battery life, that’s not a bad pedigree.
(By the way, if you’re confused about the naming, the Samsung Galaxy Note 6 was skipped over so Samsung could bring its S and Note ranges onto the same numbering system, rather than make its yearly heavyweight phablet look last-generation before it’s even announced).
Here’s what the Samsung Note 7 has that the Samsung Note 5 doesn’t:
- Curved screens (sharper, less sloping than the S7 Edge)
- USB-C charger port (Samsung’s first phone to adopt the new standard)
- Iris scanner to unlock the phone with your eyes
- Gorilla Glass 5 screen (the first phone with Corning’s new screen tech)
- More sensitive, accurate S Pen stylus
- Water-resistant phone body and S Pen
- MicroSD card slot (like the S7 phones)
- Larger battery (3,500 mAh versus Note 5’s 3,000 mAh)
- Better low-light camera
- New S Pen tricks, like magnification and GIF-making
- Stylus won’t get stuck if you jam it in backwards
- Coral Blue color choice
Samsung Galaxy Note 7 review: Design
The Note 7 clearly shares many of the family genes with the Galaxy S7 and S7 Edge. It has glass on its front and back, a metal chassis, and a screen which curves down over the edges. The curves are however not as large as on the S7 Edge; instead, they wrap halfway around to the phone’s surprisingly fingerprint-free back panel, making this a purely aesthetic feature.
Samsung Galaxy Note 7 review: Display
Samsung’s Super AMOLED technology is about the best you can get on a smartphone these days and the Note 7 has yet another brilliant screen. The resolution of 2,560×1,440 gives you a screen density of 518ppi, and while not quite as high as the S7 and S7 Edge, everything still looks absolutely pin sharp on its 5.7in display.
Samsung Galaxy Note 7 review: Camera
Samsung has fitted the Note 7 with the same dual-pixel 12-megapixel sensor it used in the Galaxy S7.
Samsung Galaxy Note 7 review: Battery
Samsung didn’t quote any battery life figures for the Note 7, but the new phone has a huge 3,500mAh battery. That’s just shy of the 3,600mAh battery used in the Galaxy S7 Edge but bigger than the 3,000mAh battery in the S7.
Samsung Galaxy Note 7 review
Samsung Galaxy Note 7 review: IP68 Dust and Water Protection
As with the Galaxy S7 range, the Note 7 has an IP68 rating, which means that it’s both dustproof and waterproof up to 1.5m in fresh water for up to 30 minutes.
Samsung Galaxy Note 7 review: Security
We’ve all seen fingerprint scanners before, but the Note 7 is the first handset to have a built-in Iris scanner, which can unlock your phone just by scanning your eyes. The registration process takes around 30 seconds, after which the phone unlocks in just a couple of seconds when you hold it up to your face.
Samsung Galaxy Note 7 review: S Pen
Of course, the standout feature of the Note range has always been the stylus, and the Note 7 gets a brand new S Pen, which Samsung says is easier to use and feels more natural. Thanks to the 0.7mm tip on the Note 7’s new S Pen, you get incredible accuracy. Diving into the S Pen’s features is easy, too, as there’s an ever-present shortcut icon that remains on the screen whenever you take the pen out of the phone.
First, Google Translate is built in, so you can convert words on the fly just by hovering the pen over them. It will even work using a photo, so you can take a picture of a menu, for example, and translate as you go.
Samsung Galaxy Note 7 review: Storage
Rejoice, as Samsung has fully returned to upgradeable storage this year, with a microSD card slot letting you cheaply upgrade storage from the 64GB that’s built-in to the handset.
Samsung Galaxy Note 7 review: Performance
As for performance, the Note 7 has 4GB of RAM and an octa-core 2.3GHz Exynos 8890 SoC in the UK version – other territories get a Qualcomm Snapdragon chip.