Galaxy Note 7 launch

Galaxy Note 7 with S-Pen

In its Unpacked 2016 event held today, Samsung Electronics Ltd. unveiled its Galaxy Note 7 device. Samsung is skipping the “6” for its large-screen Galaxy Note series to be more in line with its Galaxy S7 and S7 Edge devices. It will be available from major carriers in Canada Aug. 19.

Big screen, high resolution

Galaxy Note 7 - HDR screen

The 5.7″ screen will also support high dynamic range (HDR) content. It’s a quad-HD Super AMOLED screen. “I promise you’ve never seen anything like it on a smartphone screen,” says Justin Denison, Samsung’s senior vice-president of product strategy and marketing.

More biometric scanners

iris scanner

The headline new feature on the Galaxy Note 7 is an iris scanner. Similar to how other Galaxy devices can use your fingerprint to unlock the device and login to websites, an iris scan can now serve the same purpose. Five years in development, the feature uses the camera to scan your iris and encode it into a digital signature.

S-Pen upgrades

galaxy note 7 - s-pen

The S-Pen has been upgraded with the new Galaxy Note 7. Its tip is now a finer 0.7 mm wide (down from 1.6 mm) and you can hold down the side button to switch to eraser mode. A Samsung Notes app will serve as the home for everything you’ve done with the S-Pen.

Translate with a tap

S-Pen translator

The new S-Pen can also be used to translate words. Just highlight the foreign-language word you want translated and a pop-up will display it in your native language, with the offer to hear the pronunciation too. The S-Pen has also been made to be water and dust resistant, just like the Galaxy Note 7 itself.

Games beyond Pokemon Go

Galaxy Note 7 - screen

Samsung’s focus on providing a great gaming device continues with the addition of the new Vulkan API, which Denison says will allow developers “to bring console-quality games to mobile.” Powerful specs, including a quad-core 2.15 GHz dual and 1.6 GHz dual Qualcomm Snapdragon 820 and 4 GB of RAM, should help run them.

Familiar camera

Galaxy Note 7 - camera

The rear camera on the Galaxy Note 7 is the same one that Samsung included on its Galaxy S7 devices. It’s a 12-megapixel camera, with an aperture of f/1.7 and optical image stabilization, which also supports 4K video recording. The front camera is 5 megapixels.

Curvy design

Galaxy Note 7 - under water

Samsung is also bringing the dual-curved Gorilla Glass screen to the Galaxy Note 7, giving the new device a symmetrical design that should fit well in your hands. Some design updates to the operating system include softer colours and rounded icons.

More storage

Galaxy Note 7 - top

The Galaxy Note 7 will come with 64 GB of on-board storage and supports up to 256 GB of expandable memory via a micro SD slot. It connects to a computer or charger with a USB-C input, and Samsung has included a micro-USB to USB-C adapter with the phone. It’s also launching Samsung Cloud for storage and backup purposes, and is giving Galaxy Note 7 buyers 15 GB of free space.

But what will it cost?

Justin Denison, SVP product strategy and marketing, Samsung

While Denison announced on-stage that the Galaxy Note 7 will be availabile on Aug. 19, and said pre-orders would be starting in many countries within a few days, he didn’t mention a price tag. A new case will also be available for the device, including a prop-up stand, and Samsung is also releasing a portable power case that wirelessly charges the device and is also water and dust resistant.


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