Is it already time for the annual gadgetry battle between Apple and Samsung? Well, paint us silver and call us a herd of idiots cosplaying as Macbooks. It is indeed that time once more. With buzz already mounting rapidly for the iPhone 7’s alleged September 16, 2016 release leaked recently by Bloomberg, Samsung has hardly missed a beat across metaphorical Best Buy aisles nationwide countering with its own reveals introducing the Galaxy Note 7’s own highlighted features.
Already touted as “The Smartphone That Things Big”, Samsung’s latest entry in the only line of phones to consistently give Apple a run for consumers’ money sports a versatile new dual-curved screen in front and a boldly redesigned, rounded back. Both the newly enlarged, more responsive 5.7-inch display and a rear casing shaped for a more comfortable grip while drawing, swiping, and writing are design considerations inspired by a revamped S Pen with its own notable improvements.
The Note’s signature companion peripheral went through an ergonomically minded redesign committed to perfectly pairing its every function with the device’s virtually bezel-free screen and improved grip of backside curves that now flow seamlessly right into the phone’s display. In the interest of more effortless drawing and writing, Samsung considerably thinned its tip from 1.6mm to 0.7mm for the utmost intuitive functionality. Taking the S Pen out is enough to activate Air Command as a words-to-images translation tool, menu for quick GIF creation, and note-jotting without having to bother with unlocking the screen. In the event of a mistake the side button instantly converts the stylus into an eraser. Like the Galaxy Note 7 itself, the S Pen is also resistant to both water and dust for unquestionable durability.
The Samsung Notes app will serve as the new central hub for storing notes, memos, and images annotated by the S Pen, in addition to S Pen files transferred from previous devices by the Smart Switch app and documents and drawings directly shared to the PEN.UP network. When using the Screen-Off Memo function, pinning notes and sketches using the Always On Display screen keeps notes visible as the Note’s equivalent to a Post-It note. Meanwhile, selecting Scroll Capture from Air Command’s Screen Write options allows users to save an entire article or image as a single file, complete with multilingual translations, added annotations, and other enhancements.
The Galaxy Note 7 may prove to be the quintessential smartphone for habitual multitaskers. Users can toggle back and forth instantly between two open apps with the Glance function, which brings windows to the front just by hovering the S Pen over each app. The S Pen can also magnify part of any display with a similar action and even translate words between languages instantly, including writing within images.
The parallel front and rear curves feel impressively natural and comfortable when picked up from a flat surface, almost as much so as when held in the palm of one’s hand. As if outsizing the 5.5-inch iPhone 6s wasn’t enough, the perfect transition between the two sides maximizes the usable display area for the utmost freedom to write, draw, and swap.
From a more dynamic standpoint, simply tilting the phone wakes up the lock screen’s menus and icons for instant browsing. Swiping down brings up the Quick Panel settings and a few more swipes quickly accesses several camera modes.
Speaking of, Samsung likens the coordination between the improved brightness of the Galaxy Note 7’s F1.7 lens and its 12MP dual pixel sensor to the fast, accurate focus of human eyes, and we can see why. The upsized 1.4µm pixels result in vivid, sharp photos in any setting at any time at any speed. Pro Mode provides an array of fine-tuning settings for truly exceptional images, including the option to tweak Exposure, ISO, Shutter Speed, Color Tone, Focal Length, and White Balance as needed to maximize the clarity and color of any shot. Selective Focus adds the ability to manipulate a shot’s foreground and background after the still has been captured for almost unprecedented precision from a smartphone.
Finally, there’s the stunning quality of 4K video mode and the accompanying slow-motion function, for maintaining the ultimate HD resolution even with instant changes in the action in front of you. When you’re ready, browse your captures with the swift, simple tab-based organization of the gallery, including keyword tagging for easier searches.
Whatever you may need to store, it’s all backed by 64GB of internal memory with up to 256GB of optional expandable microSD space and the additional option to swap the hybrid SIM tray’s cards as necessary – all without ever needing to shut the Galaxy Note 7 off. Accommodating all this newly upgraded functionality and processing power compelled Samsung to pump up this Note’s battery power from 3000mAh in its previous generation to the Note 7’s 3500mAh without prolonging charge time.
Oh, about charging…did we mention its now wireless? Because, hell yes, wireless charging.
As processing power goes, the Galaxy Note 7 is a juggernaut. Just start with the 4GB of RAM and fueling a respectively 31% more powerful upgraded processor and GPU that’s 58% more capable than the previous generation, then throw in a multi-directional USB Type-C cable for easier plug-in and “upside-down” charging, and you have a phone that’s built to handle everything expected of its improved features without breaking a sweat.
Oh, and the innovative iris-scanning optical security is just one of the ways you can keep your phone secured tight as a drum, along with pattern-drawing, fingerprint scans, password protection, and numeric pin options. Top everything off with HDR-compatible streaming video for the height of premium image quality and the incredible resolution of Vulkan-based gaming on the go, and the Samsung Galaxy Note 7 is our pick for the hottest gadget to hit stores by Christmas 2016.