What a happy day it is today. If you were following the news about Samsung’s upcoming phablet, you already know and probably are celebrating with the rest of the world. However, in case you haven’t heard, the long awaited, impatiently anticipated and oft-rumored Galaxy Note 7 was announced just as expected earlier today during an event in New York City. Due to a flood or leaks that proceeded the phablet, there was little we didn’t know about it, but still it was so awesome to finally see it introduced to the world.
The Samsung Galaxy Note 7 just went official. The new phablet comes with, among others, iris scanner and water resistance and will be available for pre-order from most carriers tomorrow bundled with free bonuses.
At first glance, the Galaxy Note 7 looks just like an offspring of last year’s Note 5 and Galaxy S6 Edge+. On a side note (no pun intended) you may wonder where Note 6 has gone. The explanation is pretty simple – Samsung decided to skip the 6 so that numbers on the Note and S series would match. Back to the Note 7, though, if you look close you will notice a few details which make it differ from the Galaxy Note 5.
For starters, both front and back are curved this time and the device is a tad smaller, though its display is still the same size. As a result, although the phone is huge, it feels pretty comfortable to hold and use. Moreover, Samsung implemented a neat feature which shrinks the display so you will be able to use it with one hand. As for color options, there will be four of them available – Black with the frame anodized also in deep black, Blue Coral with bright blue mirror-like finish which appears to change the shade depending on angles and intensity of light, Silver with mirror-like surface, and Gold which is pretty much identical to the Galaxy S7.
As always, a new model of a flagship phone comes with several new features which are worth a deeper analysis.
To begin with, the Note 7 introduces iris scanner for biometric authentication. It works in a manner similar to a fingerprint scanner, but instead of your fingerprint, it scans the iris which is as individual as a fingerprint or tongueprint. To setup the scanner, you simply look at it at it will register your eyeball(s). Then, when you want to unlock the phone, you simple look at it and voila, you’re good to go. This method can also be used to protect folders and since it utilizes an IR illuminator which works also in the dark. For now, iris scanner can’t be used with Samsung Pay, but it will be possible at some point in the future. There’s also a good old fingerprint scanner, though you won’t be able to use both at once.
Well, it’s not exactly a new feature like the iris scanner, but it deserves to be mentioned here for one reason – it was missing from the Note 5 last year, which made a number of users furious. Apparently, Samsung listens to its customers and this year brought microSD slot back. It supports up to 2TB cards and it can be a lifesaver since the Note 7 comes in only one storage option – 64GB.
It’s not something you would call indispensable, but it certainly is cool and will give you lots of fun. In its essence, the feature allows you to record any fragment of a video which is currently laying on the screen, for example on YouTube, and save it as a gif. The features should work with any video which isn’t protected.
It’s the highest rating a regular non-rugged smartphone can have. It basically means that the Note 7 should survive huge amounts of dust, and more importantly, a dive in water. It can sit in about 5 feet of water for up to 30 minutes and it should work like new. What’s really cool, is that you can even use the S Pen to write under water, though we can’t think of any reason why anyone would want to do that.
Speaking of the S Pen, it brings a few new features to the table as well. The stylus was enhanced to be more accurate and pressure sensitive. Moreover, it can take advantage of the Always-On Display and let you create notes, drawings, etc directly on the screen without having to open any apps or even unlock the phone.
Other key features
Other than that, the Note 7 shares a number of features with the S7 family. Being a phablet, the device has a large 5.7-inch Super AMOLED display with QHD resolution, which is currently the highest a smartphone can offers. Moreover, the screen has an Always-on functionality, meaning that it can display certain information even when the device is locked. Under the hood, the Note 7 has a quad-core Snapdragon 820 SoC with Adreno 530 GPU as well as 4GB of RAM. Camera setup is the same as in the S7 family, that is a 12-megapixel sensor on the back and a 5-megapixel shooter on the front. In addition, the camera offers with dual-PD (dual photodiode) technology for quicker auto-focus as well as new Camera app. Last but not least, power is delivered by a 3,500 mAh battery with fast wireless battery charging and fast wired charging.
Pricing and Availability
The Galaxy Note 7 will be available for pre-order at most carriers and retailers starting tomorrow, August 3, with full retail pricing set at$849.99. Of course, all US major carriers will be selling the phone.
AT&T will offer several payment options if forking out full price upfront is not for you. That said, you will be able to grab the Galaxy Note 7 for $29.34 a month on AT&T’s 30-month Next, or $36.67 a month on AT&T’s 24-month Next plan. The carrier also has a pretty sweet deal if you want a second Note 7 – you can get it for free thanks to $695 in monthly AT&T Next credits which can go toward the purchase of a second unit. Moreover, together with the Note 7 you can also get a free Gear S2 with a two-year agreement or the Galaxy Tab E for $0.99.
T-Mobile will open preorders today at 9:01 PM PST, so if you can’t wait until tomorrow, the Magenta network is the place to go. The carrier will be asking $69.99 down and $32.50 per month for 24 months for the phablet and users will be able to choose a full year of Netflix, a Gear Fit2 or a 256GB memory card as a free gift.
Verizon will kick off preorders tomorrow and for now is keeping pricing a secret. We know, though, that the carrier will bundle the Note 7 with a Gear Fit2 or a 256GB microSD card. The carrier will also throw in $20 in reward for activation of Samsung Pay.
As for Sprint customers, they will also be able to pre-order the device tomorrow, August 3, but just like Verizon, the carrier hasn’t revealed pricing yet.
As far as US Cellular is concerned, though, preorders will begin on August 4 and the Note 7 will be available for $27.80 per month (for 30 months), with the carrier offering them installment plans of 20, 24 and 30 months. Of course, users will get a free gift which will be either the Gear Fit 2 or Samsung 256GB memory card.
However, probably the best deal of all will be offered by Best Buy. While pricing hasn’t been announced yet, the retailer revealed that it will the free gift (the Gear Fit 2 or Samsung 256GB memory card) on day one, that is at launch, which seems to suggest that other retailers and carriers will be sending the free item at later time.
Summing up, the Galaxy Note 7 was awaited for a very long time but the wait certainly paid of. Or at least it seems so on paper. How it will perform in real life, it yet remains to be seen, but for now, the device appears as awesome as it was expected to be.