Hands On: Galaxy Note 7 Unpacked in Singapore

The Galaxy Note 7 was unveiled mere hours ago as Samsung Singapore kindly brought the media together for a live streaming event. We had a first hand experience to try out The Next Galaxy at pretty much the same time as those at the New York launch.

What’s New?

This days, top notch specs are expected, and the Note7 doesn’t disappoint. In a way, it is quite similar to the Galaxy S7 Edge, with the dual curved screen, added IP68 water / dust resistant capabilities, dual SIM slot, expandable memory (hybrid SIM/Storage). The new build feels excellent in hand, and the Note7 feels comfortable to use even in 1 hand. It’s great that the storage has been expanded to 64GB. The processor and RAM are the same as the S7 and S7 Edge, but surprisingly, has a smaller battery, 3500 mAH vs 3600 mAH on the S7 Edge. This is despite having a larger screen.

The Note7 S Pen works underwater too!
The Note7 S Pen works underwater too!

In addition, the new big feature is the IRIS scanner. It is snappy, and works great when I tried it. That being said, on the S7 or S7 Edge, unlocking the phone with the fingerprint sensor requires pressing the HOME button (1 touch), while here technically requires to press either POWER or HOME button (1 touch) followed by a swipe (1 touch) to trigger the IRIS recognition. Lastly, those that frequently change coloured contact lens, or wear transition lens, reflective sun glasses might find it problematic.

An individual’s iris cannot be cloned or forged, ]this article says iris is the way ahead for security](http://www.computerworld.com/article/2484968/security0/forget-fingerprints–your-iris-is-your-new-identity.html).

Biometric security is definitely better and more secure than PIN or password unlock. But, between IRIS and Fingerprint scanner, I think fingerprint is good enough for me. The IRIS scanner on the Note 7 works fast, but unlike the physical contact of pressing a button / sensor, having to align the IRIS scanner to my eyes, and ensuring that it is the right distance away doesn’t seem to be that straight forward initially. For such technologies, the most important feature other than security, would be convenience, and I don’t think it is at that stage yet. Btw, the IRIS scanner will work at night since it operates based on the IR spectrum.

S Pen is even more precise than before with a finer tip, and there’s also new Air Command functions, such as Magnify, Glance and Translate. The writing apps are improved, with Samsung Notes offering a unified location for all S Pen related creations, and also new paint brushes options which

Building on last year quick note via screen write feature, the Galaxy Note7 improves by allowing you to have it displayed on your Always On Display. Keep an important reminder, or just use it to personalise your phone.

The new Galaxy Note7 uses a USB-C connector, but Samsung will include a free micro-USB to USB-C adapter so that you can still use your existing cable and accessories. There will be a new Gear VR launched with the Note7, with improved lens, ergonomics, and USB-C connector. It will remain compatible with the S7 and S7 edge

With Singapore telcos no longer supporting 2G network in a year’s time, the Galaxy Note7 Dual SIM capability will be upgraded from the present 4G/2G support to 4G/3G networks in Q4 later this year. This will be via a software upgrade.

Specifications

  • Exynos 8890
  • 4 GB of RAM
  • 64 GB of storage (UFS 2.0)
  • Dual curved, 5.7-inch display AMOLED display
  • Quad HD Resolution (2460 x 1440, 518 ppi) with HDR support
  • Gorilla Glass 5
  • MicroSD Slot (tested up to 256 GB)
  • 7.9 mm thin
  • 3,500 mAh battery
  • 12 MP camera (same as the S7)
  • Fingerprint Sensor and iris scanner
  • IP68 Water Resistant (including the S-Pen!)
  • Thinner S-Pen tip (0.7mm)
  • 4,096 levels of pressure sensitivity
  • USB-C (3.1) with OTG support (comes with a micro USB adapter)
  • Android Marshmallow 6.0.1

Singapore Pricing and Availability

The Galaxy Note 7 will be available from 20 August 2016. Priced at $1,168, it is also the most expensive Galaxy yet. It will be available in colour options of Black Onyx, Gold Platinum, and Silver Titanium. It will be available at all telcos, Singtel, Starhub, M1, the usual suspects, and also Lazada Singapore. Of course, early bird adopters will enjoy a free Galaxy Note7 Lens Kit, which includes a lens cover, wide-angle lens, and telephoto lens.

Sean

Sean is a tech geek and star wars fan. He loves playing with new gadgets, writing little code snippets in Python, JS, and dabbling with Android programming from time to time, while keeping a lookout for the next biggest happening in the world of tech!

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