The 6th-gen Galaxy Note 7 (don’t mind the number 7) was finally unveiled at an Unpacked event in New York City as Samsung had initially promised.
Samsung skipped a number for marketing reasons as the company believed some users thought a Galaxy Note unit released the same year as a Galaxy S handset was older than the latter, for instance, Galaxy Note 5 and Galaxy S6 as well as Galaxy Note 4 and Galaxy S5.
There are many people out there still wondering whether to upgrade to the new phone or stick with the already proven Samsung Galaxy Note 5. One thing that is for sure that Samsung usually upgrades its handsets year in year out. As a result, there is no doubt that the Galaxy Note 7 is a definite upgrade over the Note 5, but in what sense exactly? Here’s an early look at the Galaxy Note 5 vs Galaxy Note 5.
Design and display
You will come across a similar unibody design made of metal and glass on the Galaxy Note 7 as that used on the Galaxy Note 5. But of course, Samsung has included some delicate variations along the way, just like it did with the Galaxy S7 with respect to the Galaxy S6. In this respect, the new Note 7 feels a lot nicer and despite its size, it is still comfortable to hold.
Samsung ditched the flat screen and chamfered edges used on the Galaxy Note 5 and instead went for a rounded metallic frame on the edges as well as a curved dual-edge design, much like what you see on the Galaxy S7 Edge. However, the Galaxy Note 7 is slimmer and lighter than the Note 5. Despite these differences, the screen size and quality is the same. You get a 5.7-inch Super AMOLED QHD panel on either phone. In terms of quality, these two are at par, but the design is different as the Galaxy Note 7 has a curved dual edge as compared to the flat screen of the Galaxy Note 5.
Samsung tried to tweak the curves as seen on the Galaxy S7 Edge, but they are still noticeable. However, the Edge UX has been carried on from the S7 Edge to the Note 7, which means things like People Edge, Apps Edge, and Tasks Edge will just be a simple swipe away. Another thing the display of the Galaxy Note 7 beats the Note 5 is the Always On feature. This feature debuted with the S7, and it has made its way to the Note 7, meaning you won’t have to press any button in order to check the little details on your phone, for instance, dates, time or notifications.
Hardware and performance specs
Even though Samsung did not change anything about the location of ports and buttons, the Galaxy Note 7 finally ditched the microUSB connectivity in favor of the future-proof USB Type-C. Fast, wireless charging has been retained, but the battery capacity has been upped from 3000mAh to 3500mAh.
With the microSD card making its way back to Samsung flagships, Galaxy Note 7 gets an edge over the Galaxy Note 5 thanks to the presence of expandable storage. But still, you get more storage options of 32GB, 64GB and 128GB on the Note 5 as opposed to the 64GB option of the Note 7.
Samsung has also reverted to the water and dust resistance features for the Galaxy Note 7, which has an IP68 certification like the S7 and S7 Edge. This protection extends to the S Pen stylus, meaning you can still scribble notes on your Note 7 even when in the rain, shower or underwater, but don’t go deeper than 1.5 meters and beyond the half-hour mark. These are the capabilities the Galaxy Note 5 lacked, something should help up the sales of the Note 7.
To improve on privacy and security, in general, Samsung packed the Galaxy Note 7 with an iris scanner. This is in addition to a fingerprint scanner that is located on the Home button. The Galaxy Note 5 has no iris scanner, but you still get to use your finger to unlock and authenticate transactions online.
As for the specs under the hood, the changes are also evident. There is a new Exynos 8890 in place of last year’s Exynos 7420. Last year Samsung dropped the Snapdragon 810 due to its overheating issues, but Qualcomm corrected its mistakes and came back strongly with a Snapdragon 820, which has been used in a huge number of 2016 flagships, including the Note 7. As for the RAM, there is no change as both handsets have 4GB.
Camera, software and S Pen stylus
Last year’s Galaxy flagships came in with a 16MP rear snapper and 5MP selfie camera. The story is the same this year as Samsung has retained the camera specs used on the Galaxy S7 and S7 Edge, meaning you get a 12MP snapper on the back and a 5MP selfie sensor. The reduced pixel count means that each megapixel now occupies a larger space than before. As a result, more light is allowed to enter, thus producing great photography regardless of the situation.
In terms of software, the two handsets are running on the latest Android 6.0.1 Marshmallow with a TouchWiz UI on top. The experience is the same, but there are some nifty touches here and there with respect to the new Galaxy Note 7. It gets even better with the S Pen stylus. Other than being able to work perfectly under water, the S Pen stylus on the Note 7 has also received some interesting features.
For starters, everything you do with the Note 7 S Pen stylus will be saved in a single app known as Samsung Notes, eliminating the likes of S Note, Scrapbook and Action Memo that are available on the Galaxy Note 5 for the same purpose. Furthermore, the Screen-Off Memo feature that came with the Note 5 has been taken to the next level. With Samsung Galaxy Note 7 featuring an Always On display, it means the scribbled notes will stay on the screen permanently (if you wish), hence you won’t need to unlock the phone in order to see them, which is the case for the Note 5.
You will also have more room for content on the screen since the Galaxy Note 7’s memo is scrollable. At the same time, there are features that let you hover the S Pen stylus over words or texts in order to magnify or translate them to a language of your choice. Who knows, these features might make their way to the Galaxy Note 5 via a software update, just like the Screen-Off Memo made its way to the Galaxy Note 4 via the same route.
So, there you have it! Do you think the Galaxy Note 7 is worth ditching the Galaxy Note 5? Let us know your views in the comments section below.