Samsung Galaxy Note7 Review: Thinking Big

By 09:25 Tue, 17 Aug 2021 Comments


All remarkable speeches start with carefully prepared notes. For yet another year Samsung has taken the role of a modern-day orator, pushing for a return to personal handwriting against the trdiscontinue of detached digital text.

It's the S Pen that gives the Galaxy Note7 and its predecessors their unique identity and writing on the classy screen with the recent S Pen feels the most natural yet. And with this generation, you can even scribble notes where the classy screen is off and it would happily venture where most electronics would not dare - underwater.

The Note7 also represents the first major design change in the flagship Galaxy line since the S6 (the S7 was just a thicker version of that). The symmetrical dual-curved design makes the lovely classy screen appear borderless while making a gigantic phone feel smaller than it is.

Key features

  • S Pen stylus; 4,096 levels of pressure, 360Hz tracking; works underwater
  • Curved 5.7" Super AMOrganic Light-Emitting Diode (OLED) display of 1440p resolution; 518ppi; Always On capabilities; HDR
  • Gorilla Glass 5 front and rear panels; metal frame
  • IP68 certified - dust proof and water resistant (a first for a Note)
  • 12MP f/1.7 main capturing camera with dual pixel autofocus, optical image stabilization, Light Emitting Diode (LED) flash
  • 2160p video at 30fps; 1080p@60fps; 720p@240fps; HDR
  • 5MP f/1.7 front-facing camera, 1440p video recording at 30fps
  • North America model: Snapdragon 820 chipset - quad-core Kryo processor (2x 2.15Giga Hertz (GHz) and 2x 1.6Giga Hertz (GHz) cores); Adreno 530 GPU; 4GB of RAM
  • Global model: Exynos 8890 chipset - octa-core processor with four 2.6Giga Hertz (GHz) Mongoose and four 1.6Giga Hertz (GHz) Cortex-A53 cores; Mali-T880 MP12 GPU; 4GB of RAM
  • Android 6.0 Marshmallow at launch; 7.0 Nougat later
  • Iris and fingerprint scanners; Knox and Secure folder; Samsung Pay
  • 64GB of built-in storage (~52GB user available); microSD slot up to 256GB (hybrid slot)
  • Optional dual-SIM; up to Cat. 12 4G LTE (600Mbps); Wireless Fidelity (Wi-Fi) a/b/g/n/ac, Bluetooth 4.2, ANT+; NFC; GPS, GLONASS and Beidou
  • Universal Serial Bus (USB) Type-C; Universal Serial Bus (USB) On-The-Go
  • 3,500 mAh non-removable battery, quick charging (wired, wireless); wireless charging (Qi/PMA)
  • Heart-rate monitor, barometer, SpO2 sensor

Main shortcomings

  • Unless you need the S Pen, the S7 edge offers the same specs for less money
  • Iris scanner needs you to hrecent the phone awkwardly close to your face
  • Hybrid slot means people using the dual-SIM model can't expand the storage (64GB should be enough for most, though)

While the S Pen is undoubtedly the heart of the Note experience, the classy screen is a close second. The Edge features that debuted with 2014's Note Edge were perfected through the S6 edge and S7 edge of the following years. Even the Always on classy screen was improved, despite being only months recent (perhaps it was just waiting for the S Pen, their interaction is the best recent feature).

Samsung Galaxy Note7: Onyx Black • Silver Titanium

Some things may not sound particularly exciting, but users have waited a long time for them. The S5 was waterproof, but there hasn't been a waterproof Note before, the Note7 is the first one. The microSD slot came back after only a year of absence but to some Note 4 users looking for an upgrade that was a year too long.

Then there are features that are completely recent to Samsung phones in general - the iris scanner, the Universal Serial Bus (USB) Type-C port, and the HDR video capable display. We think at least two of those will become a mainstay of flagship phones.

Samsung Galaxy Note7: Grecent Platinum • The recent Coral Blue

Perhaps we mentioned the Note5 too often for an intro to the Note7 review. But you have to understand that the 5 was the distress child of the family, and it left a void, especially in Europe, where the S6 edge+ had to replace it.

And it didn't do too fine with the Note crowd, which swears by their S Pens. But the dual-curved classy screen stuck and that's how the Samsung Galaxy Note7 was born.

The Galaxy Note7 is available with two different chipsets - Snapdragon 820 and Exynos 8890. We're covering both with this review.



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