Last week Samsung announced the Galaxy Note 7, the successor to last year’s Galaxy Note 5. Counting the Galaxy Note Edge as an individual model, the Note 7 is actually the seventh Galaxy Note device to be released by Samsung.
As expected, the launch was huge, something that could be reflected in the sales of the handset later this year and early next year. The Galaxy Note 7 packs the best specs available with respect to flagship smartphones, however, quite a lot has been retained from the Galaxy S7 and S7 Edge. The Note 7 comes with a 5.7-inch Super AMOLED screen with a QHD resolution of 2560 by 1440 pixels. The slightly curved dual-edge screen is protected by the latest Corning Gorilla Glass 5, which is 1.8 times stronger and better than its predecessor.
Under the hood, the Galaxy Note 7 packs a Snapdragon 820 SoC or Samsung’s Exynos 8890 (depending on the region) that is paired with a RAM of 4GB, 64GB of expandable onboard storage as well as a decent battery unit of 3500mAh. As for the cameras, Samsung kept the same 12MP and 5MP snappers used on the Galaxy S7 and S7 Edge. However, the Note 7 gets an upper hand with its S Pen stylus as well as iris scanner, a feature that will help with unlocking the phone using eyes. You don’t come across such a feature on any other day.
As usual, the Galaxy Note series is meant for the high-end family. With this in mind, the Galaxy Note 7 comes with a high-end price tag, with the least price pegged at $849.99. But is this price tag worth it, especially now that the Google Nexus 2016 is just around the corner? Well, it is not possible to bring up a direct specs comparison between the flagship Nexus 2016 and Samsung Galaxy Note 7, especially since the latter has yet to see the light.
One thing that is for sure is that the Galaxy Note 7 is better than the current Nexus 6P and far much better than the Nexus 5X, all of which are almost a year old. However, current rumors point towards an equally powerful Google Nexus 2016 handset that might make the Galaxy Note 7 sweat for its money. According to the latest reports, HTC is working on two devices – Marlin and Sailfish. While the former is the flagship device, the latter is believed to be the low-end model. Given the standards set by the Galaxy Note 7, we’ll focus more on the high-end handset codenamed Marlin.
Apparently, this Google Nexus 2016 flagship will pack the latest Snapdragon SoC and pair it with a RAM of 4GB, just like what you get with the Galaxy Note 7. You also get more storage options of 32GB and 128GB, but unlike the Note 7, there is no room for microSD card expansion. HTC will reportedly reduce the size of the screen used on Nexus 6P from 5.7 inches to 5.5 inches when coming in with this year’s Nexus phone. Still, Samsung will be the business partner when it comes to supplying the AMOLED QHD panels to be used on the flagship Google Nexus 2016 handset. The battery capacity will be 3450mAh, which is just 50mAh short of what the Note 7 has, but it will be charged via a similar USB Type-C port.
It is likely that HTC will retain the great cameras used on the Nexus 6P – a 12MP main camera and 8MP secondary camera. However, their apertures could be improved while the rear snapper could finally get OIS. It is important to note that these specs are based on rumors, which further point to an October release, even though Android Nougat is expected to be here before the end of this month.
With the Galaxy Note 7 and Google Nexus 2016 (Marlin) probably packing the same hardware specs, there will be a lot to look on when it comes to the software side. In actual sense, this is where the differences are. The former just launched with Android 6.0.1 Marshmallow out of the box, but this won’t be the case with respect to the latter. Still, Galaxy Note 7 users might find themselves waiting until late this year or even early next year before finally getting a taste of the new software. Google is also expected to bake things like Daydream VR into the new Nexus 2016 phones, something that Note 7 users will miss on. Furthermore, those on the Nexus handset will be promised of timely software updates as compared to the Samsung device, which has to go through company-based optimizations first before being released to the masses.
Google Nexus 2016 handsets will reportedly sell at reduced prices, with the flagship variant staying below $500. Well, this is unconfirmed, but if it materializes, it will be interesting to see how long Samsung will hang on the huge $850 price tag it has slammed on the Galaxy Note 7.