The Galaxy Note 7 is here. It’s big, it’s beautiful, and it’s bloody expensive.
We’ve already spent some time with it for our hands-on review, and some of us think it could be the best phone in the world. Whatever side of the fence you lie on, there’s no denying it’s making waves.
Having spent a bit more time with it at Samsung’s launch event, we’ve come up with a list of things we love and dislike about Samsung’s latest superphone.
Things we love…
1) It’s got an amazing screen
The Galaxy S7 Edge’s screen is superb. Its 2K resolution and AMOLED panel result in a super-sharp display with punchy colours and deep blacks, while its curved edges give it a certain je ne sais quois.
The Note 7 takes this incredible screen, and bumps it up to 5.7 glorious inches of viewable real estate, making it ideal for movies, gaming, and browsing. What’s not to love?
2) It’s got a really clever stick
Well, a stylus. Well, an S Pen, if you want to get really specific. This little wand is what sets the Note 7 apart from every other flagship smartphone in the universe, letting you draw, doodle and scribble notes in an instant.
Apart from the fact that it’s more accurate than ever, it’ll let you translate words on websites (or even from photos), create GIFs from YouTube, and it’ll even work underwater. Speaking of which....
3) It’s ready for bath time
Yep, like it’s Galaxy S7 and S7 Edge siblings, the Galaxy Note 7 is IP68-rated, which means it’ll survive full immersion in sinks, baths, toilets and rain.
The S Pen shrugs off water with ease too, which means you can doodle in the bathtub too, though we’re not sure why you ever would. Still, who knows when inspiration will strike.
4) It’s got heaps of storage space
The Note 7 lands with 64GB of in-built memory, which should be plenty for most people. If you’re a media hoarder though, then you can up the ante by slotting in a microSD card, which Samsung thankfully decided to include.
Cards up with up to 256GB of memory are supported, so it’s safe to say that storage space will never be an issue. Sorted.
5) It’s got the same camera as the Galaxy S7
Yep, the Note 7’s rocking the same 12MP camera that’s currently embedded in Samsung’s existing flagship handsets, and that’s a very good thing indeed.
Super-fast autofocus, clear shots, and Optical Image Stabilisation (OIS) for improved performance in dim conditions all make for one of the best - if not the best - cameras currently available on any smartphone. Not too shabby.
Things we don’t…
1) TouchWiz returns
Samsung’s Android skin and customisation bonanza - more commonly known as TouchWiz - returns. While it’s far, far better than the colourful, laggy abomination it used to be way back in the early days of Android, we still prefer the cleaner, simpler, less bloated wares of stock Android.
Still, at least you can download your own launcher to make your Note 7 your own.
2) Eye can’t believe it
Yes, the Note 7 has an iris scanner, and yes, it works. It’s snappy, it’s fast to set up, and generally gives you something to brag about when you’re playing ‘who has the best phone’ when you’re sinking a few pints down the pub.
The trouble is, you have to awkwardly hold it up in front of your face for it to work. While it’s fast, it’s just an unnatural movement for most people, and the fingerprint scanner is still probably the best way to go, judging from what we’ve seen so far.
3) More juice please
The notes innards are as powerful as ever, matching the Galaxy S7 in both processing power and RAM, but we’re a little disappointed by the 3500mAh battery.
That’s actually smaller than the 3600mAh battery found in the Galaxy S7 Edge - and that has a smaller 5.5in screen to boot. Let’s hope Samsung’s improved it’s software optimisation, eh?
4) How much?!
The first SIM-free pricing for the UK points to a whopping £749 sticker price. It’s fair to say that most of us will view this as a fairly hefty sum for a smartphone, and we expect the contract pricing to be at the top end too.
You get what you pay for, we suppose, but our wallets still have every right to be unhappy...