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With the August 19 release of the new Note 7, Samsung will get a jump on Apple who won’t have their new smartphone available until sometime in October. DJ Ko, President of Samsung’s Mobile Communications, calls the Note 7 the most intelligent smartphone ever.
Samsung started the move to large screen smartphones with the introduction of their Note series back in 2011. At that time they also introduced the S Pen stylus to the smartphone arena. The new Note 7 (they skipped the number 6) continues the Note tradition with a 5.7” Super AMOLED screen and an improved S Pen.
The Note 7 takes its inspiration from the popular Galaxy Edge 7 having similar dual curved edges and a rounded back and being covered with Gorilla Glass 5. It comes in the usual black, silver and gold. However, Samsung has also added a striking new metallic slate blue color, as well.
New features are impressive. Both the S Pen and the entire phone are water and dust resistant. Like the Samsung Galaxy Edge 7, the Note 7 is rated IP68 which means it can withstand water up to 5’ for 30 minutes. This is quite a feat considering that this phone has a removable micro SD card slot as well as the removable S Pen stylus which creates difficult areas to keep dry.
The card slot can accommodate cards up to 256 GB and the phone itself has 64 GB of internal memory. In fact, Samsung seems to have focused on usability. Like the Samsung Galaxy 7, a phone that I really like, the Note 7 has a high quality camera with dual pixel technology and autofocus which is excellent in low light.
The biggest surprise from Samsung in this announcement is that the Note 7 will support iris scanning with some of the latest technology. Samsung is the first to deploy this technology on a phone worldwide.
Samsung has really beefed up the S Pen. Samsung has spent several years of working with Wacom, the company that pioneered the stylus, to improve the S Pen. It is now both more responsive and more precise. It is also water and dust resistant. It now has a thinner tip which is only .7 ml thick. Samsung has given the S Pen more capabilities including an easier way to erase and a more realistic feel. The new Samsung Notes App will corral all of the S Pen apps in one place. The pen itself has also increased its intelligence with the ability to do on-the-spot translations, to pin notes to the always on display, and to easily create clips of GIFs which
The Note 7 has a strong 3500 mAh battery that supports wireless charging. Samsung has made the move to the USB “C” port that made its debut in the iPhone. When Apple made that move everyone had to either purchase new accessories or purchase an adapter to use their old accessories. Samsung will have buyers smiling when they realize that Samsung has included the adapter in the box. The Note 7 also has an audio jack which is reported to be missing from the upcoming iPhone.
Samsung is providing a new cloud service with 15 GB of free storage for Note 7 purchasers. They are also focusing on privacy and security. The new iris scanning is the first line of defense. Also, like the other new Galaxy phones, the Note 7 has KNOX, Samsung’s defense-grade mobile security platform embedded at the chip level.
I love the idea of the new Secure Folder where you can store apps and files that you want to keep private even if you lend your phone to a friend. With the new iris scanning technology, this folder will truly be “for your eyes only.” It can even be hidden from view.
The Note 7 runs Marshmallow 6.0 on a 2.15GHz, 1.6GHz, Quad-Core processor. It goes without saying that this phone will have all of the other expected features like Accelerometer, Barometer, Fingerprint Sensor, Gyro Sensor, Geomagnetic Sensor, Hall Sensor, HR Sensor, Proximity Sensor, RGB Light Sensor, NFC, and Bluetooth 4.2.
Samsung might also have a few surprises. Ko announced that they are working with Amazon to bring HDR content to mobile. The Note 7 will have a standing cover, interactive motion wallpaper and new games using the Vulcan API.
Of course, we will wait for the next iPhone before we call this the best smartphone ever. We can attest, however, that Samsung is definitely giving Apple some strong competition.