Opinion

The Galaxy Note 7 is already breaking and setting records – and it hasn’t even been announced yet

Usually, when one discusses breaking and settings records, it’s done with the assumption that the item, product, and even person (in the case of sports records, for example) exists. Some would say that the Galaxy Note 7 doesn’t exist yet, but this claim would come from a very naïve perspective that doesn’t consider that phones can only have component leaks, colors, similar model numbers, and demo videos because they already exist. Sure, it won’t be announced for the consumer public until August 2, 2016, but the item must exist prior to that date in order for an announcement to take place (no smartphone manufacturer has time to concern itself with “unicorns”).

So, it is in the context of the Galaxy Note 7’s prototypical existence that we can confidently say it is breaking records, though it hasn’t even been announced yet. Well, consumers have a general expectation that with each next-generation smartphone, the technology will progress beyond that of the current or previous generations of smartphones. So, this makes sense, but just how much technological progress the Galaxy Note 7 has over its predecessors will blow you away.

So, without further ado, we present to you the Galaxy Note 7’s record-setting achievements.

The Galaxy Note 7 will be the first Galaxy Note to showcase the Always On Display 

The Always On Display (AOD) first arrived on Samsung Galaxy smartphones with the arrival of the Galaxy S7 edge, but Samsung will bring this feature to the Galaxy Note 7 this Fall.

The Always On Display lets you view some notifications such as Samsung email and text messages with a recent update, in addition to a dual-clock mode that lets you place up to 4 time zones on your AOD (though there’s still no third-party support).  The AOD on the Galaxy Note 7 will set a record because it’ll be the first Note to feature the second screen, but it will also break the record of having the Note display go “black,” only to reveal – you guessed it – nothing.  It’s something to celebrate: to see a second screen arrive on the Galaxy Note 7 that has some productive purpose. The dual-edge curves will provide some utility, too, but we’ll get into that later on.

Sure, you can always put the phone in and out of standby mode to view the time, but it’ll be hard to go back to that once the time is automatically displayed on the AOD.

The Galaxy Note 7 will be the first Galaxy Note to have 64GB of minimum storage 

The AOD has its appeal for some people (others could care less), but 64GB of  minimum storage just might make you sit up and pay attention. For years, the Galaxy Note line has always had double the minimum storage of the Galaxy S line: the Galaxy S line gets the old 16GB model, and the Galaxy Note line would get 32GB as its starting base storage. Flash forward to 2015, and the Korean giant started to make a change: the old 16GB models were tossed out, and the Galaxy S6, Galaxy S6 edge, Galaxy S6 edge+, and Galaxy Note 5 all had a minimum of 32GB of storage. Well, the Galaxy Note 5 continued its 32GB base storage, but the lead it had over the Galaxy S line in storage had come to an end.

That is, until this year.

Samsung is now looking to “up the ante” for Galaxy Note customers who never get enough storage. The Galaxy Note 7 will showcase 64GB of storage out of the box, which sets the record because it’s the first Note to feature this much storage out of the box (goodbye 32GB, hello 64GB!).  This also breaks the record of the long-lived 32GB storage model as the base model for the Galaxy Note lineup. Now, you’ll get 64GB of storage from the start (even if you don’t know what to do with all of it).

64GB of storage, for inquiring minds, will get you around 15,000 photos, with a microSD card getting you double this number. Keep in mind that 11GB of the 64GB will be set aside for the system memory, so you’ll have somewhere around 11,000-12,000 photos on 64GB of storage (could be more or less, depending on photo size and consumer choice to customize your camera’s megapixel count). As for songs, 64GB of storage will get you somewhere in the ballpark of 12,800-16,000 songs, and a microSD card of the same size (64GB) will net you double these numbers. 128GB microSD cards will provide even more.

We’re glad to see Samsung provide 64GB of minimum storage for moderate smartphone users who want to do more with their phones than they’ve been able to, currently. And for those who need to know, you won’t see the entire 64GB available out of the box. 10.97GB of the Galaxy S7 edge (Verizon USA variant) is devoted to system memory, with about 50GB left for personal use. With that said, though, a 32GB device would only have about 20GB left — so 50GB is far better than 20GB, right?

The Galaxy Note 7 will be the first Galaxy Note to feature IP68 water and dust resistance  

We know our readership has deep respect and love for Samsung’s Galaxy Note lineup, but the Korean giant has teased us with water and dust resistance. When Samsung released the Galaxy S5, it had water and dust resistance; many Galaxy Note customers assumed they’d get to engage in underwater photography, but that didn’t happen. Year after year, Galaxy Note customers have had to see Galaxy S and Active customers get something they’ve wanted but couldn’t have.

Oh, the change that 2 years can bring! Now with the Galaxy S7 and Galaxy S7 edge featuring IP68 water and dust resistance, consumers ask once more: will Samsung bring it to the Galaxy Note 7? Finally, after a two-year wait, the answer is “yes.” The Galaxy Note 7 will become the first Galaxy Note smartphone to feature IP68 water and dust resistance, and it will break the long-lived water risk of the Galaxy Note lineup (it would die when dropped in water). In IP68 water and dust resistance, Samsung’s Galaxy Note 7 is breaking and setting records.

The Galaxy Note 7 will be the first Galaxy Note to have Dual Pixel phase detection autofocus 

Samsung announced back at MWC 2016 that the Galaxy S7 and Galaxy S7 edge had Dual Pixel phase detection autofocus (PDAF), which works to get separate images of a picture, then bring them together to create the ideal photo. The Galaxy Note 7 will have Dual Pixel technology, with consumers using their smartphones once again to get professional shots on a device that lies in the palm of their hands — making it the first Galaxy Note to have PDAF.

Samsung’s Galaxy Note 4 was the first Galaxy Note to have optical image stabilization (OIS), the Galaxy Note 5 was the first Note to have video digital image stabilization (VDIS),  and the Galaxy Note 7 will be the first Note to provide Dual Pixel PDAF. With each new generation of Galaxy Note, the Korean giant shows consumers that the “Galaxy” is becoming a photography powerhouse.

The Galaxy Note 7 will be the first recent Galaxy Note to feature a significant battery boost 

The first-generation Galaxy Note featured a 2,500mAh battery, the Galaxy Note 2 a 3,100mAh battery, the Note 3 a 3,200mAh battery, the Note 4 a 3,220mAh, and the Note 5 a 3,000mAh. The largest battery boost in the Galaxy Note series to date has come from the first-generation Galaxy Note to the Note 2: a 600mAh boost between the two devices. Since then, there have been incremental boosts, though it must also be said that battery life has improved dramatically thanks to Samsung’s own software optimizations.

Well, here we are with the Galaxy Note 7, and it’s been said that the upcoming Galaxy will feature a 3,500mAh battery instead of the 4,000mAh battery previously predicted. Assuming this is true (and even if it’s not and the battery is larger), the Galaxy Note 7 will have one of the largest battery boosts we’ve seen from the Galaxy Note line since its inception. Only the Galaxy Note 2 can boast of a slightly higher battery boost (though the Note 7 may tie the battery jump if it gets a 3,600mAh battery).

The Galaxy Note 7’s 3,500mAh battery will break the record of the Note lineup because its battery will be significantly larger than the Galaxy Note 5’s 3,000mAh battery, the Galaxy Note 4’s 3,220mAh, Galaxy Note 3’s 3,200mAh, Galaxy Note 2’s 3,100mAh, and the first-gen. Galaxy Note’s 2,500mAh battery; it’ll also set a record because it has the highest-capacity battery (3,500mAh) of any Galaxy Note in the lineup’s history since 2011.

Sure, a 3,500mAh battery is not a 4,000mAh battery, but the Galaxy Note line has never seen a battery this size before – which makes an upgrade all the more commendable. Consumers can never get enough battery, and we applaud Samsung for moving in this direction. We would love to see the next-generation Galaxy have a 4,000mAh battery, though.

The Galaxy Note 7 will be the first Galaxy Note to showcase Samsung’s dual-edge curved design 

You knew this one was coming. The edge has become something of the Korean giant’s trademark phone design. Back in 2014, smartphone consumers gave Samsung something of a hard time when rumors about a metal unibody design were proven false with Samsung’s announcement of the as-yet-another-plastic Galaxy S5. Consumers wanted something different, and the Galaxy S6 and Galaxy S6 edge proved to be the “different” consumers wanted.

The Galaxy S6 edge, though, really stunned customers. At one point, there was 1 edge model sold for every regular Galaxy S6 sold, indicating that consumers liked the edge. Now, nearly a year later, the Galaxy S7 edge is still keeping the pace, leading Samsung to do what I think it should’ve done last year: go with the edge, live on the edge. Now, all of the “Galaxy” will live on the edge with the Galaxy Note 7.

The Galaxy Note 7 will be the first Galaxy Note recorded in Samsung smartphone history (and world smartphone history) to feature the dual-edge curved design that has become something of a hit with consumers. The Note 7 will also break a record with the Note lineup in that it will go against the flat variants we’ve seen from Samsung over the last 5 years and will take the design of the single-edge curved Galaxy Note Edge even further with an edge on both sides of the smartphone display. If consumers invest in the Galaxy Note 7, future Galaxy Note phones will, like the Galaxy Note 7, continue to live on the edge.

Personally, I find the edge design with its small slithers of additional screen not so cumbersome that Note customers who prefer the flat variant couldn’t enjoy the Note 7’s edge design. Users can still write on the screen and write on the edge, and the experience will be just as enjoyable (if not more) than it was with the flat Galaxy Note 5. I’ve witnessed consumers say that they didn’t like something, only to see them turn around months later and retract on that statement. I have a feeling the Galaxy Note 7 will find customers liking the design as time goes on.

The Galaxy Note 7 will be the first Galaxy Note to feature a USB Type-C charging port 

The Galaxy Note phones past and present have all relied on micro-USB charging, but Samsung is getting set to endorse USB Type-C charging, a feature that is present on the Huawei Nexus 6P, LG Nexus 5X, OnePlus 3, LG G5, and HTC 10, among others. Samsung has said that it would endorse USB-C when the time was right; apparently, that time is now: the Galaxy Note 7 will be the first Galaxy Note to feature USB Type-C charging and the compatible charging port.

USB Type-C is said to have two advantages over micro-USB: 1) cables are reversible and can be charged with either end in the USB port (for those who watch movies in the dark), and 2) data transfer speeds and charging times are faster than the old USB charging standard, micro-USB.

Currently, though, the only tangible, real-life advantage of USB-C has been reversible cables, because I haven’t witnessed these so-called capable charging speeds of USB-C. I own both the LG G5 and the HTC 10, and the G5 has a 2,800mAh battery that charges in about 67 minutes via wall charger; the HTC 10 has a 3,000mAh battery that charges from 0 to 100 in 90 minutes.

Now, to put these charging rates into perspective, let’s take a look at the Galaxy Note 5: the Galaxy Note 5 has a 3,000mAh battery that charges in 81 minutes, making it 9 minutes faster than the HTC 10 and 14 minutes slower than the LG G5. We’re not surprised that the G5 charges faster (it has a smaller capacity battery, after all), but the USB-C-capable HTC 10 still charges slower than the Galaxy Note 5 – and the Note 5 is using micro-USB!

Even when comparing the micro-USB Galaxy S7 edge to the USB-C HTC 10, the S7 edge charges in around the same time but has to charge 600 more mAh than the HTC 10. Samsung’s fast charging speeds, even in micro-USB, show us that the Korean giant will knock fast charging out of the ballpark with the Galaxy Note 7. I don’t know what LG and HTC are doing with USB Type-C, but apparently, it’s not enough.

See? The USB-C advocates have been wondering why Samsung wouldn’t implement the new charging standard, but if these Android OEMs (and Google) can’t seem to get a handle on it, and Samsung’s micro-USB is faster, then Samsung customers haven’t really missed anything significant.

The Galaxy Note 7 will be the first Galaxy Note to feature an iris scanner 

The Galaxy Note 7 will set records in a number of areas, as I’ve said above. In addition to this, though, Samsung intends to bring an iris scanner to the Galaxy Note 7. The iris scanner will set a record as the first Galaxy Note smartphone to feature an iris scanner (though not the first smartphone on the market to do so), and it will break the record of having only an LED flash, camera, and heart rate monitor on the back of high-end Samsung Galaxy smartphones.

The iris scanner will allow users to unlock their smartphones using a scan of their retina(s), removing the need for many users to rely on fingerprint unlock detection methods any longer.  Some critics don’t see the need for an iris scanner and believe it to be nothing more than technology overkill, but it isn’t; for users who need to access their device information in their cars and find their hands on the wheel, for example, they can unlock their devices with a simple “stare.” For someone who has their smartphone flat on a desk or something and has their hands busy with paperwork or holding other objects, he or she could simply stare and unlock his or her smartphone.

The iris scanner is something out of the futuristic movie Minority Report, which makes it an even more exciting addition to what is already a first-class smartphone.

Conclusion

When the time arrives for a new smartphone unveiling, consumers wonder whether or not it is wise to buy a new smartphone, what features are necessary to their own experience, does the new smartphone “wow” them, and so on. Well, as can be seen from the evidence above, the Galaxy Note 7 is setting a lot of records and creating a lot of “firsts” for the Galaxy Note lineup. With the very best of Samsung in the Korean giant’s best design, the Galaxy Note 7 may well be the first smartphone you can’t put down.

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