Samsung Galaxy Note7 - Everything you need to know about this upcoming phablet

Samsung, a name, a brand, a company, that has rooted itself into almost everything in the world as we know it. Today, Samsung is known for setting benchmarks in the smartphone market. Samsung Galaxy S III and the Galaxy Note 2 were those devices that completely revolutionized the way smartphones were ever made. After this, the Galaxy S series and the Note series just kept growing year-by-year getting upgrades in one or the other aspect with every iteration.

This year again, Samsung made the consumers jump out of their chairs and grab the product away with the Galaxy S7 and the S7 edge. But this isn't going to be it. Just like every year, Samsung is going to release a new Note phone too, named, the Samsung Galaxy Note7. You all might be wondering "What happened to the Note 6?". Well, this year Samsung just decided to skip a number and jump to the Note 7. The reason for doing so was given by Samsung, which is:
First and foremost though, you might be curious as to why it’s called Galaxy Note7 instead of Galaxy Note6. There are a couple reasons why. First, the Galaxy Note7 will complement our Galaxy S7 and S7 edge, and unify our product portfolio. Second, the Galaxy Note7 will minimize confusion about the latest mobile technology from Samsung, and provide full alignment with Galaxy S smartphone.
Now that being said, let's take a look at the time of announcement for this potential market wrecker.

August 2nd Announcement

The Samsung Galaxy Note7 is officially going to be announced on August 2nd at the Samsung Unpacked 2016 event, which is going to take place in 3 locations simultaneously: New York, Rio de Janeiro and London. Like all Samsung Unpacked events, this event too will be streamed live.

Now, we did hear that pre-orders will be started right after the announcement. But in Dubai, the Galaxy Note 7 is already up for pre-orders. Interested folks in Dubai can pre-book a Note 7 by making a deposit of AED 500 (~ $140) until August 2. The one who pre-orders the Galaxy Note 7 in Dubai will receive a 128GB Sandisk microSD card for free.


Look & Feel of Galaxy Note 7

Now, let's talk about how the device may look like. This is really the most exciting part as there have been many leaks and renders in the past showing a great design. Evan Blass (@evleaks) posted the first press renders of the beauty during the start of this month (header image).

As you can see see in the images the phone looks like stretched variant of the Galaxy S7 edge. This truly justifies the reason that Samsung has given for skipping the Note 6 moniker. It does complements the Galaxy S7 and S7 edge in a very peculiar manner. We cannot really tell much about the phone from these images. It does shows that the Note 7 is going to maintain the classic squared-off corners just like the preceding iteration of the Note series.

The images do confirm that the device will come with dual-curved edges screen and Iris scanner, placed on the top, next to the earpiece (will get to that later). Judging by the size of the phone, the Note 7 might feature a 5.7-inch display. Talking about the color variants, it's safe to say that we will be getting Black Onyx, Silver Titanium and Blue Coral options, but there's gonna be a Gold variant too.




Flat variant?

Now, by looking at all the renders, you must be thinking - what about the classic flat / standard variant of Galaxy Note 7? Well, according to online reports, "Samsung is not considering launching a flat screen version of the note phone." However, there still can be a light of hope for the non-edge population as there have been leaks showing a prototype of the alleged flat Note 7 (images below).

There has been no update at all if Samsung is really going to consider launching the flat version or not. Launching a flagship device with just edge screen as an option is a risk factor, as with edged display comes hefty price tag, which many won't be able to afford. This shows how much determined Samsung really is to increase profitability instead of market share.


Iris Scanner on Note 7

Let's know about the "Iris Scanner" that is going to come with the Galaxy Note 7.

Everyone knows by now that Samsung is stepping up the game this year by introducing the "Iris Scanner" with the Note 7, which will be used as a method to authenticate the identity of the user itself. An iris scanner can trace up to 266 traits of the iris of our eye, whereas a fingerprint scanner traces only 40 traits of a fingerprint.

According to the reports, a Korean manufacturer named Patron, won a bid to supply the entire volume of iris camera modules for the upcoming Galaxy Note flagship. This happened months ago and is currently the only manufacturer responsible for the iris sensors.

On the working part, as you can see in the images, there will be a new option named Irises just after the Fingerprint option in the Lock screen and Security Settings of Note 7. The disclaimer lists out all the limitations of the feature, it does look painfully long to read altogether.

Using Iris scanner is not possible while wearing spectacles or contacts, or trying to unlock in low light conditions. But, if the surrounding conditions are just right, then the Iris scanner is indeed very fast. For setting things up, first and foremost position the phone 25 to 30 cms from your face with your eyes in the on-screen circles and let the front-facing scanner register your iris.

You can check out below video and images to see how the feature works in real life:




Specifications of Note 7

The Galaxy Note 7 is said to enter mass production phase in July and be ready for shipping in August. Also, about 2.5 million units are estimated to be shipped in August and September each. Which means a total of 5 million Galaxy Note 7 are lined up to be shipped by the end of September.

Last but not the least are the specifications that have been leaked. Samsung Galaxy Note 7 is said to come with a...
  • 5.7-inch Quad HD Super AMOLED display with dual-curved edges
  • Qualcomm Snapdragon 821 / Exynos 8 processor
  • 4GB / 6GB RAM
  • Android 6.0.1 Marshmallow with new Grace UX on top
  • 12MP dual-pixel phase-detection autofocus rear camera with LED flash
  • 5MP front facing camera
  • 64GB internal storage with microSD card support
  • 3,500mAh battery with fast charging support
  • S Pen Stylus with Samsung Pay
  • Water and Dust resistant with IP68 certification
  • Heart rate sensor on back with Fingerprint and Iris scanner on front
  • USB Type-C support


Software Features of Note 7

On the software front, Samsung is said to rename it's TouchWiz UX to Grace UX. Screenshots of the all new Grace UX that will be coming with the Note 7 has been leaked online. The leaked screenshots suggest that the new software for S Pen Air Command menu will include all the usual S apps that have been there in the previous iterations, but now you can also record specific portion of the screen and create GIFs.

Additionally, the app drawer finally gives us the option for rearranging the apps alphabetically by default. Also, there are various new app icons and stock app interfaces like the clock, messages, music player, calendar and dialer.





Conclusion

I think this is a great change in Samsung's direction of developing their top tier smartphone lineup. The Galaxy S7 and S7 edge have already impressed many users, and I am sure the Galaxy Note 7 will do the same in no time after the release. The renders now itself look very promising and has gotten me very excited about how the device will really come up in the market.

As for the new features, the iris scanner does seem a little gimmicky on the whole (purely my opinion), but also a glimpse into the future tech, as to what these smartphones are becoming and how much they are improving in every aspect, especially the security sector.

With just a week left for Samsung Unpacked 2016, what are your thoughts about the Galaxy Note 7 and its Iris scanner feature? Do let us know your views about the same in comment section below.
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