Samsung Galaxy Note 7 Review – A Phenomenal Phablet, But Still Not Perfect

Galaxy Note 7

Samsung Galaxy Note 7 has already begun shipping in some parts of the globe, with some users in the U.S. apparently reporting this change.

There is no doubt that Samsung is still showing its class in the phablet world, but does this make the Galaxy Note 7 a definite go-to phablet for anyone looking for a new, stylish handset out there? Let’s take a closer look at where Samsung got it right and where things might have gone wrong for the South Korean tech giant.

Design and build

A look at the Galaxy Note 7 will tell you that it is a phone that shares a home with the Galaxy S7 and S7 Edge released in March. When the Galaxy S7 Edge came in with improvements from last year’s Galaxy S6 Edge, expectations were high that the five-month gap between March and August will bring even more revolutionary changes to the Galaxy Note 7. However, this did not happen, but still, Samsung managed to keep hold of the top-notch design that has made the March handsets such a success over their short period of existence.

You will come across a glass and metal design with symmetrical sides and nicely rounded corners that give the Note 7 a magnificent look. Despite the huge size of the phone, it still feels normal to hold in your hand. Samsung chose a curved dual-edge design like that on the much-loved Galaxy S7 Edge, which adds further to the nice-looking aspect of the phone.

The S-Pen

Take away the S-Pen and the Galaxy Note 7 is just a slightly larger S7 Edge. There are new and nifty features and capabilities the device has received, but for those who are not into it, the Note 7 might not be the phone for you. But still, this pointing and interacting device is one of the few features that are exclusive to this Note 7 and other Note series units before.

Galaxy Note 7

A larger Galaxy S7 Edge?

As noted earlier, when you take away the S-Pen, the Galaxy Note 7 is a mere S7 Edge with a slightly larger screen. However, the fact that you also get an iris scanner on the former could also act as an added advantage for the new phone. More on this technology later.

But still, with the rest of the spec sheet remaining the same, including a Snapdragon 820 SoC, 4GB RAM, Adreno 530 GPU, 12MP DualPixel primary camera and 5MP secondary camera, some may think twice about upgrading to the new handset. There have been rumors that Samsung is planning to give the Chinese market a surprise by unveiling a high-end version of the Galaxy Note 7, featuring 6GB RAM and 128GB onboard storage. If this happens, it will send a clear message that the South Korean company could have upped its game in term of hardware, but it chose otherwise. Could this have an effect on the sales of the Galaxy Note 7? Only time can tell.

Iris scanner is just a mere selling point

Even before the Galaxy Note 7 was here, talk of the iris scanning technology that the phone eventually came with was dominating the rumor mills. While Samsung has similarly been hailing this technology to be 100 times more secure than using a fingerprint scanner, it is far from being perfect. Being the company’s maiden attempt, there are some irregularities that hopefully will be taken care of in future. For starters, it makes no sense to be required to use your finger to swipe first before opening up the iris scanner to scan your eye. Furthermore, everyone around you will for sure know that you are busy trying to unlock your phone. In short, it’s somehow too conspicuous. It might get even worse for those with glasses, where one might be required to remove them first in order to give the scanner direct access to the iris, but on other occasions, the thing works perfectly.

Galaxy Note 7

What about when you want to check out a something when walking down the street? Well, since it is hard keeping the Galaxy Note 7 steady in your hands while you walk, you may be forced to stop a little bit to scan your eye before going on. At this point, you should have already switched back to the quicker and more convenient fingerprint scanner.

Last but not least, the Galaxy Note 7 still comes with a TouchWiz UI on top of Android 6.0.1 Marshmallow, although heavily trimmed when compared to previous versions, will definitely put off some buyers who prefer stock Android OS. Some may also have to look at the $850 price tag of the Note 7 and feel that getting the slightly cheaper Galaxy S7 Edge, which costs $100 less, is the real deal.

Are you among the latter group? Let us know your views in the comments section.

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