Sam­sung Galaxy Note7

£749 inc VAT sam­sung.com/uk

Android Advisor - - Contents -

The Galaxy Note7 re­lease date in the UK is 2 Septem­ber with the op­tion to pre-or­der now. The Note7 is £749 SIM-free which is rather ex­pen­sive. If you pre-or­der then you’ll get the phone three days early and Sam­sung will also throw in a free Gear VR when you buy from se­lected re­tail­ers so look out for the deal.

De­sign

When it comes to de­sign, Sam­sung has struck a nice bal­ance of re­tain­ing the look of the Note se­ries

while bring the style of the Galaxy S7. In this case, par­tic­u­larly the Galaxy S7 edge as the new Note7 has the dual edge curved screen as stan­dard.

What’s quite amaz­ing here is that the Note7 doesn’t feel like a ph­ablet de­spite the screen size re­main­ing at 5.7in. It’s not much big­ger than the Galaxy S7 edge and the de­vice feels more man­age­able than ever.

This slab of metal and glass looks and feels great, although be wary of the rear cover as the slip­pery glass means the de­vice is likely to slide out of your pocket when sit­ting down or make its way slowly off the edge of a sofa arm.

Build qual­ity is up to the usual high stan­dards which we’ve come to ex­pect from Sam­sung with smooth flush­ness where ma­te­ri­als meet, pre­ci­sion drilled holes and the like. The Note7 is avail­able in a range of colours in­clud­ing Gold Plat­inum, Sil­ver Ti­ta­nium, Black Onyx and Blue Co­ral. The lat­ter is an eye-catch­ing com­bi­na­tion of blue and gold as you can see here.

We’re pleased to re­port that the Note7 is the first in the range to be wa­ter­proof, match­ing up to the S7 in more than just looks. You can now dunk your Note7 thanks to its IP68 rat­ing (1.5m of wa­ter for up to 30 min­utes and dust­proof) and as we’ve be­come ac­cus­tomed to, there’s no need

to fid­dle with port cov­ers. This is even more im­pres­sive con­sid­er­ing the S Pen is stored in­side the phone. Even the S Pen is wa­ter re­sis­tant so you can carry on us­ing it in the rain or dunk it, too.

Op­tional ac­ces­sories in­clude a Lens Cover, wa­ter­proof bat­tery cover and a new Gear VR head­set which is com­pat­i­ble with the Note7 thanks to USB-C.

Hard­ware

Stick­ing to tra­di­tion, the Galaxy Note7 has a 5.7in dis­play so users of pre­vi­ous Note phones will feel right at home. De­spite ru­mours of a 4- or even 6K res­o­lu­tion, Sam­sung has sen­si­ble stuck to QuadHD (1440x2560) which it uses on the S7 hand­sets.

It’s still a gor­geous dis­play us­ing the firm’s favoured Su­perAMOLED technology with the added bonus of the dual edge. It works in the same way as the S7 edge so you have a sub­tle curve on ei­ther side un­like the 2014 Galaxy Note Edge which had a large curved sec­tion on one side.

It can be used for var­i­ous things such as quickly ac­cess­ing your favourite con­tacts or apps – we’ll talk more about it in the soft­ware sec­tion. Sam­sung has also brought over its ‘al­ways on’ screen fea­ture (which is op­tional). This means even when you turn the dis­play off, it will show you some in­for­ma­tion like the time and some no­ti­fi­ca­tions.

Bring­ing the Note range up to speed, quite lit­er­ally, the Note7 is pow­ered by the same pro­ces­sor found in the Galaxy S7 – that’s Sam­sung’s own Exynos 8890 which, in the S7, we found more than ca­pa­ble. The Note7 has 4GB of RAM de­spite ru­mours of 6GB which means

the OnePlus 3 re­mains in its ex­clu­sive club.

When it comes to stor­age, the Galaxy Note7 comes with 64GB as stan­dard and re­tains the mi­croSD card slot for adding more. A good move since the Note5 didn’t have one and nor did the Galaxy S6 which wasn’t met with grat­i­tude from users.

Be­yond the core specs, the Note7 is packed with tech – al­most to the point where we’re strug­gling to find some­thing which it hasn’t got.

Sam­sung has de­cided to fi­nally em­ploy USB-C which is re­versible and pro­vides faster charg­ing – Sam­sung also in­cludes an adap­tor for the older Mi­cro-USB which is handy. The phone also has fast wire­less charg­ing (WMA and PMC), 11ac Wi-Fi, Blue­tooth 4.2, GPS, NFC, heart rate sen­sor, a finger­print scan­ner and the ru­moured iris scan­ner. The only thing miss­ing, which has been dropped on other phones too is the in­frared port which would be for us­ing the phone as a re­mote con­trol.

We haven’t had time to test bat­tery life, of course, but the Note7 comes with an even larger bat­tery than be­fore which will please many users. It’s 3500mAh which is up from an al­ready de­cent 3000mAh. The only down­side for some is the fact that it’s non-re­mov­able so don’t throw away that power bank if you have one.

Re­turn­ing to the iris scan­ner since it’s an im­por­tant new fea­ture, it uses the front fac­ing cam­era as you’d ex­pect and works in a sim­i­lar way to Win­dows Hello which we en­joyed on the Lu­mia 950 phones. You un­lock the phone by look­ing into the cam­era which scans your peep­ers to check it’s you. With this kind of tech, to work well you re­ally need to be in good light­ing and even things like con­tact lenses may cause prob­lems.

We think most users will end up us­ing the finger­print scan­ner but it did work well for us with glasses on. Part of our think­ing here is that you still have to wake up the screen and swipe on the lockscreen to ac­ti­vate the iris scan­ner which, for most, will sim­ply be too much time spent un­lock­ing.

The Note7 wouldn’t be a Galaxy Note phone without the S Pen sty­lus which, as usual, slots into the phone on the bot­tom. The sty­lus works in the same way as pre­vi­ously and can be used to both re­place your fin­ger as an in­put de­vice for nav­i­ga­tion but also note tak­ing. It has a new 0.7mm tip, the pre­vi­ously men­tioned wa­ter re­sis­tance and the Air Com­mand menu now has a new ad­di­tions – see the soft­ware sec­tion.

Mov­ing onto cam­eras and the Note7 fol­lows in the foot­steps of the Galaxy S7 phones with a 12Mp cam­era (down from 16Mp but that doesn’t mean it’s worse). It’s a Dual Pixel cam­era with op­ti­cal im­age sta­bil­i­sa­tion (OIS) and a very im­pres­sive f/1.7 aper­ture. A quick play at the launch shows great po­ten­tial.

The front cam­era re­mains the same at 5Mp with fea­tures such as an f/1.7 aper­ture, wide-an­gle 22mm lens and the abil­ity to record 1440p video.

Soft­ware

It’s no sur­prise that the Note7 comes with An­droid 6.0 Marsh­mal­low pre-in­stalled and Sam­sung’s own TouchWiz user in­ter­face. We as­sume that it will get an up­grade to the up­com­ing An­droid 7.0 Nougat but of­fi­cial con­fir­ma­tion is yet to come.

Long gone are the days when TouchWiz was crude and com­pli­cated. Nowa­days, the user in­ter­face is much cleaner and closer to stock An­droid but with use­ful ad­di­tions pre­sented in an eas­ier way to han­dle. Sub­tle dif­fer­ences like softer colours in the icons all add up.

You get all the fea­tures found on the Galaxy S7 in­clud­ing Multi-Win­dow, the abil­ity to run two apps side-by-side, Pop-up view which lets you run some apps in a smaller win­dow and smaller ones like smart cap­ture, di­rect call and smart stay.

The larger screen works par­tic­u­larly well for things like Multi-Win­dow and some users may find them­selves reach­ing for a tablet a lot less be­cause of the Note7. We’re also pleased about the dual edge dis­play which can be used for a range of things, even if we didn’t find our­selves us­ing it loads on the S7 edge.

One of the main rea­sons to buy the Note7, par­tic­u­larly in com­par­i­son to the S7 phones, is the S Pen sty­lus. Not a mas­sive amount has changed here so you still pop it out of the bot­tom when­ever you want to use it. The Air Com­mand menu gives you plenty of op­tions but bear in mind that you can sim­ply use the S Pen to nav­i­gate if you like which is great when you need to be pre­cise (spread­sheets and the like) or you don’t want to get the screen grubby when eat­ing or sim­i­lar sit­u­a­tions.

New fea­tures of the S Pen in­clude the abil­ity to cre­ate gifs and trans­late lan­guage with it on the fly.

Ver­dict

Our first im­pres­sions of the Note7 are very good, as long as you’re look­ing for a larger ‘ph­ablet’ sized phone with the ben­e­fit of the S Pen sty­lus. The phone brings the Note range up to speed and in line with the Galaxy S7 de­vices in­clud­ing the stylish de­sign which is wa­ter­proof and dual edge screen, as well as new fea­tures like the iris scan­ner.

Spec­i­fi­ca­tions

An­droid 6.0 Marsh­mal­low 5.7in QuadHD su­per AMOLED dis­play Exynos 8890 pro­ces­sor 4GB RAM 64GB stor­age Mi­croSD card slot Finger­print sen­sor Heart rate mon­i­tor Iris scan­ner 802.11ac dual band Wi-Fi Blue­tooth 4.2 NFC USB-C S Pen 12Mp rear cam­era 5Mp front cam­era 3500mAh non-re­mov­able bat­tery Wire­less charg­ing IP68 73.9x153.5x7.9mm 169g

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