Announced earlier this week, Samsung’s Galaxy Note 7 is a big old betsy of a phablet, a 5.7-inch monsterphone that brings the super-powered performance of its existing S7 Edge device to its Note range. The Android powerhouse that giant-handed fans have been waiting all year for – and the biggest rival to Apple’s iPhone – it’s slick, premium as all hell and launches September 2. Here’s everything you need to know about the Galaxy Note 7.
You unlock it just by looking at it
The Note 7 is one of the first phones to include an infrared iris scanner as a means of unlocking the device (some Windows 10 phones have been eyeball-unlockable for a while) meaning you can glance at the screen with either one of your peepers and have it ping to life in seconds. It’s ideal for those times when your fingers are covered in grease or you’ve been buried up to your neck in sand.
The stylus can do lots more
The S Pen is twice as sensitive as the stylus that came with the Note 5 (incidentally, if you’re wondering where the Note 6 went, Samsung skipped it to keep the numbering neat). It can jot notes on the screen even when the phone is locked, create gif animations of anything that’s on screen and instantly translate any text it touches.
You can splash it and dunk it
The phone is waterproof to depths of five feet for up to half an hour, so if you drop the Note 7 in the bathtub you’ve got time to go make a cup of tea and read a chapter of a book before retrieving it. The stylus is equally waterproofed and works on the screen even when both are soaking wet, an engineering feat that took Samsung three years (and presumably a small pile of damp and broken pens) to develop.
Its insides are only slightly more powerful than the S7 Edge
For a long time Samsung’s Note series has way outperformed its smaller and more mainstream phones, but as the S7 was such an unexpectedly beefy little handset to begin with, the Note 7 simply copies much of that phone’s existing specifications while adding a few small improvements. The 12 megapixel camera with f/1.7 lens is the same found in the S7. It’s got the same Qualcomm Snapdragon 820 processor and 4GB of RAM. With 64GB of memory, the Note 7 has twice the internal storage however, and a larger battery that’s used to power the bigger screen. This can be expanded with a MicroSD card, a feature missing from the Note 5. This is also the first Samsung phone to make the leap to USB Type-C, the kind with a convenient charging cable that fits either way around.
It fits into a new VR headset
The Gear VR has been updated to work with the Note 7 and now features a USB Type-C port and a wider field of view.
The screen is curved and the back is made of treacherous glass
Another similarity to the S7 can be seen in the screen’s curved edges, a design that’s mirrored on the rear panel of the phone too to create a pleasing front-and-back symmetry. The Note 7 has Gorilla Glass 5 on both sides, so just like the S7 it will glide frictionlessly across even the most slightly inclined of surfaces, stealthily inching its way towards table edges unnoticed until you hear the clatter of your phone hitting the floor.