Samsung’s Galaxy Note 7 is finally here

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Samsung announced the long-awaited Galaxy Note 7 during its Unpacked event in New York City today. We’ve heard rumors and leaks of the handset almost daily over the past month or so, but now we have all the official details from Samsung.

Be sure to hit the break to find out all about Samsung’s next big foray into the smartphone market.

It’s worth noting that, as far as internals go, the Galaxy Note 7 is identical to the Galaxy S7 and S7 Edge. You’re getting the same quad-core Snapdragon 820 processor and 4GB of RAM. The only real difference is that the Note 7 has a smaller battery than the S7 Edge at just 3,500mAh.

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It’ll be interesting to see how the battery performs, as it’ll be powering a hefty 5.7-inch Super AMOLED display. Similar to  the S7 Edge, you have edges on both sides of the Note 7, though they’re supposedly not as pronounced as the S7 Edge. Since it has these edges, you’ll get many of the same edge-specific features that came with the S7 Edge.

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As far as the camera goes, you’re getting the same 12-megapixel Dual Pixel rear camera found on the phone’s siblings from earlier this year. It’s also sporting an IP68 water resistance rating and has a slot for a 256GB microSD card in case the stock 64GB of internal storage isn’t enough.

The biggest change in the Galaxy Note 7 is a move from micro-USB to USB Type-C. Yes, that means your old charging cables will not work with the Note 7. You’ll have to use a Type-C cable (which comes in the box, obviously). On the other hand, Samsung didn’t ditch the auxillary port like Motorola did, so that’s a plus.

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Additionally, we’ve heard rumors that Samsung was going to include an iris sensor on its phones for years. But now, that iris sensor is finally here. As you might imagine, you’ll be able to use it to unlock your smartphone as well as content that you’ve secured. You’ll also be able to use it to log into accounts and authenticate Samsung Pay transactions, but neither of those features are quite available yet.

Moving onto the S-Pen, not a whole has changed here. The updated S-Pen is water resistant, and we’re assuming that there aren’t any design flaws from the get-go where the S-Pen gets stuck if you insert it into its slot backwards. This happened on last year’s Galaxy Note and was quite a disappointing situation for many users.

While there wasn’t many changes to the S-Pen, there is some new software focused around the stylus. For instance, you’re now able to magnify the screen up to 3X. Not only that, but there’s Google Translate integration, where you can use the S-Pen to translate words to your native language. It sounds a bit wonky right now, as you can only translate a single word at a time.

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Being that Samsung moved away from the micro-USB port to the USB Type-C port, previous versions of the Gear VR virtual reality headset aren’t going to work with the Note 7. With that in mind, Samsung announced a new version of the Gear VR during today’s Unpacked event.

This new variant will obviously have the USB Type-C port for the Galaxy Note 7, indicating that all future flagships will have that Type-C port as well. Beyond that, aside from some minor design changes, not a whole lot has changed with the Gear VR.

As far as availability within the US goes, Samsung is looking to launch the Galaxy Note 7 in Blue Coral, Gold Platinum, Silver Titanium and Black Onyx on August 19. Pre-orders from many carriers and retailers will start tomorrow, August 3.

Pricing will obviously vary between carriers and retailers, but should cost around $850 outright. And, of course, there will be payment plans available from most carriers, allowing you to get the latest from Samsung at a much more manageable price.

Be sure to look out for different promotions as well. Many carriers will be offering different incentives for purchasing a Galaxy Note 7, just like they did earlier this year with the Galaxy S7 and S7 Edge.

About the Author: Brad Ward

Brad is a tech enthusiast, writing and tinkering with all things technology since 2011. He currently bounces between the LG G3 and his beloved Moto X! His interests include reading, entrepreneurship, the gym, and of course, queso.

  • polis148

    As i currently have the Note 4. have waited a long time for the Note 7 but if you can’t swop out the battery I shall have to ditch the Note series for good. Cos no matter how good Sammy tells you their phones are they still drain power. So with most features running you will never get more than half a day use, so what’s the point of killing most of the features just to get a full days usage.

    • Nakrohtap

      For anyone having a swappable battery at the top of their phone requirements, obviously Samsung is not for you. Unless you are off the grid for days on end or on your phone every minute of the day, who needs a swappable battery nowadays? There’s quick charging and portable power banks now. This issue probably affects less than 1% of the users. Most of those can adapt with the times.

      • Mathew Michel

        Well said, I understand swappable batteries but that’s why we have alternatives now. There are phone battery cases as well if that’s your flavor (and battery packs can be huge, relatively portable, or super portable (like a credit card).
        Also, I assume most people who have swappable batteries have a bag, so most battery packs should work fine.

  • ZBlade

    I am a bit disappointed on the fact that the internals is exactly the same as the S7 and has a smaller battery than the S7 Edge. In the past, the Note series was always a tiny bit better than the S series when released, the biggest let down is the battery size. The Note 7 is pretty much exactly the same spec as the S7 Edge but has a smaller battery, and the Note series has always been featured as a smartphone for productivity, with tag line like that, you would think it would have at least the same size battery as the S7 Edge.

    But realistically, at the end of the day its not going to make a huge difference in real world application. I just hope that they can keep the price of the Note exactly the same without any inflation to the price.