Meet Samsung Galaxy Note7

Samsung Galaxy Note7

Samsung today unveils one of the most hotly anticipated smartphones of 2016 -- the Galaxy Note7. As the latest flagship in the popular series it builds upon the success of the Galaxy S7 line, featuring similar top of the line hardware, while boasting software enhancements that accommodate the now-famous S Pen.

Quite frankly, no one would blame you for saying that the Galaxy Note7 looks like a stretched out Galaxy S7 edge that has an S Pen at the bottom. Many of the specs are basically the same and, as a first for a device in this series, even the body is waterproof. So what does it bring to the table?

Let's get the main specs out of the way first. We'll start with the display, which is a 5.7-inch Super AMOLED panel boasting a resolution of 2,560 by 1,440. That is on par with its predecessor, and only slightly larger than the screen on the Galaxy S7 edge (5.5-inch panel with the same resolution). However, the Galaxy Note7 display is protected by Corning's Gorilla Glass 5, used for the first time in a smartphone, and is also curved on both side edges.

The Galaxy Note7 is powered by an octa-core processor (four cores clocked at 2.3GHz and the other four at 1.6GHz) built on the 14nm manufacturing process, 4GB of RAM and a 3,500mAh battery. The battery is smaller than on the Galaxy S7 edge (3,600mAh), mind you, but only just. Samsung says that it supports fast charging, but wired and wireless, and that it is WPC and PMA compatible.

In the imaging department, you have a 12MP Dual Pixel camera on the back with optical image stabilization and an f/1.7 lens, while on the front there is a 5MP shooter that also boasts an f/1.7 lens. To store all your photos you get 64GB of UFS 2.0 internal storage and a microSD card slot for expansion. Other things worth noting are the presence of NFC, Wi-Fi 802.11 ac, Bluetooth 4.2 LE, and 4G LTE Cat.9 support, which enables transfer speeds of up to 450 Mbps for downloads and 50 Mbps for uploads.

But here is what sets the Galaxy Note7 apart from its Galaxy S7 cousins. First of all, it has an iris sensor, which adds a new way of unlocking and securing your smartphone. Second, there is a USB Type-C port at the bottom, which is a first for a Samsung flagship -- there is also a new GearVR to work with the USB Type-C port.

Then there is the S Pen, which, as you might expect, is joined by some new functionality on the software side. You get a new app for writing notes called Samsung Notes, the ability to create and share GIFs, new Air Command features, and a smaller tip that improved pressure sensitivity.

The Galaxy Note7 features Android 6.0.1 Marshmallow out of the box, which will soon be superseded by Android 7.0 Nougat. Samsung has added lots of enhancements, like a Power Management UX in Smart manager, new S Health app, and beefed up KNOX security. There is also Samsung Cloud, which gives users 15GB of free cloud storage.

The Galaxy Note 7 measures 153.5 x 73.9 x 7.9mm and weighs 169g. It will be available in four colors, Black Onyx, Blue Coral, Gold Platinum, and Silver Titanium, starting August 19. Pre-orders kick off today in US. At T-Mobile, for instance, it will be available to pre-order at 9:01pm PST, costing $849.99 outright.

There will also be a line of accessories dedicated to the Galaxy Note7, which includes an S View Standing Cover, and a water-resistant backpack for charging on the fly.

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