Most of you that have been following us here on the site know I try my best to stay unbiased when it comes to devices. I just like NEW. Doesn’t really matter to me who makes it or what logo is on it. I think there has always been key features back and forth as new upgrades are made to Apple and Android be it devices or software. So before iPhone users start coming out of the woodwork trolling all over DHTG…yes there is an iPhone 6S in my pocket. Now with that said….the Samsung Note7 is the best phone made to date….BOOM.
Opening our review box from our friends over at NFM the very first impression in the box is it looks very much like the S7 Edge. Upon taking the phone out of the box that immediately changes. Samsung has gone out of their way to take the sexy look of the S7 Edge and do what it needed…MAKE IT EASIER TO HOLD. They have rounded the edges of the devices so that the curve is on both sides and it feels wonderful. The Note series is known for rocking the largest of displays and the 7 coming in at 5.7 inches is no small phone. Samsung did a great job on the feel to make it seem smaller in the hand. The screen itself almost looks like it wraps all the way around the device. It was a pleasure to hold while activating.
The Note7 (yes Sammy jumped over the 6 to what I can assume is to bring everything current to the S7 lineup) has a few differences that are new to the Note series. First thing you will notice is the charging port is now USB Type C. This made me extremely happy as I cannot wait until everything moves to this single, reversible, fast charging port. Samsung has those of you that are not ready to switch to USB Type C covered by including a micro USB converter, so all of your other 8,000 cables and chargers will still work as well. The Note7 is still rocking fast wireless charging as well for those of you that choose (you should) to charge this way.
My personal favorite change they have made to the Note series is adding in the water resistance of the S7 and S7 Edge. I love knowing that if I drop my phone in the sink it is perfectly fine. Yes the phone is rated IP68 meaning that technically you are able to keep the phone submerged up to 5 feet for 30 minutes. Now with that said….why do it? This feature is there as a backup if you were to drop it, not go scuba diving with it. Be aware of your fine print and make sure that you are covered before getting overboard crazy with it.
Samsung has also upped the screen durability with Gorilla Glass 5 up from 4 on the last model. Now according to where you are looking on the internet this has mixed feelings. From what I have gathered is it holds up better to drops compared to the earlier version from Corningware but cannot handle scratches as well. Not sure if that is something I would have wanted to trade-off and to be honest I am not going to test it. I recommend throwing a screen protector of some sort on it just in case.
Once we dove into our Sprint review model (bloatware fully installed) I started to play around with the dreaded TouchWiz software that most of us could totally do without. To my amazement Samsung has really refined most of the UI and it actually flows really well. It also looks great with more rounded icons and easy smooth colors to make it all actually decent to use. There have been some enhancements to the pull down notification menu as well as in the main menu. I thought everything was very easy to get to and it was even better after I got in and customized the menu to things I use frequently.
Just as with all of the “Edge” phones you do also get the edge menu. I am not a huge fan of this but do take advantage of it for my spotify and a few other apps. Some people love it others just ignore it.
Use your eyes….or whatever
Samsung also went as far as to add in a few extra layers of security this time around. The Note7 does include one of the first Iris scanners built-in the device. When setting this feature up it scans your eyes and then all you have to do is look at the device to unlock it. Now this sounds really great…and it actually works, but there are a few hiccups which I expected with it being the first of its kind. I wear glasses and it throws off the Iris scanner most of the time. You are only able to set one set of eyes to the program in comparison of five different fingerprints. Speaking of fingerprints yes it is there and actually works with the Iris scanner so if you do not feel like using your eyes you can use your fingers or even your pin. Lots of choices to unlock. I hope to see this Iris feature really perfected as it is fast and nice when it actually works.
You also have the new secured folder that you can actually set up to hold all of your secret agent work (yes we found you out). I love this folder. Not really to hide anything but using the KNOX software, the folder after unlocked runs independently. So say you want to use a second Snapchat account, this is a great way to do so without signing out and back in again. Plus everything in this folder does have that extra layer of security so great if you have a work/personal device. I feel like we will see this feature added to some of the older Samsung devices as time goes or at least I hope so. You can also hide the folder so it is not the first thing people want to break into…yeah you know who you are out there. 🙂
The main feature of the Note series is always the S-Pen. This is the stylus that comes with the device and is the reason you actually are opting for the Note lineup. Now the S-Pen has always been decent in my eyes. It is always one of those things I use like crazy when I first get then end up using less and less because I can just use my finger. This year they have actually made all of the changes I have been hoping for in order to make me want to use the pen more. They sharpened the tip which gives it more accurate pointing on the screen. I love this change. It feels more pencil like and gives a really great feel sliding across the glass. With 4,096 levels of pressure, artists will be able to really get down and have some fun with stylus on the display with the built-in software or even third-party apps out there as well. Samsung also made the new S-Pen waterproof to fit the water resistance of the phone itself. You can actually use the pen while the phone is submerged if you felt the need to do such a thing.
With the changes to the new S-Pen it is by far the best stylus I have used to date and Samsung really has figured out what people want that are looking at Note taking or even using a stylus.
The Note7 is didn’t really make many changes into the display. They took the already beautiful Super AMOLED Quad HD display of the S7 and S7 Edge and stretched it out a bit to 5.7″ on the Note7. However the new Note is rocking HDR video which Amazon currently has a few titles to really show you what that HDR video really looks like on such an amazing display. Currently the HDR videos I have found have been on Amazon Video and Netflix. Prime membership required on Amazon and on Netflix you will need to have the 4-screen subscription in order to partake in 4K or HDR viewing. I imagine we will see more and more popping up as more devices become capable.
Speed and Internals
The Note7 is not lacking in power. Samsung went with the Snapdragon 820 with 4GB of RAM to power the beast. Although I would have liked to see 6GBs on the device it really is enough to make everything and run smooth. There has been a few rumors of a beefier 6GB version that will launch but rumors also say not in the states. The Note has 64GB internal storage and can handle up to a 256GB memory card. I am sooooo happy they brought this feature back. Just feels good popping my 200GB chip in and knowing I have tons of space. Samsung went with a 3,500mAh battery in the Note7 which was a little step down from the S7 Edge but still gives me a full day of juice. With the fast wireless charging battery really isn’t an issue as off 30 minutes of charging I had 45% battery.
There are so many great features that we could discuss the Note7 really could have three or four full reviews. With new apps like Samsung Notes and Samsung Cloud, Samsung really is starting to consolidate so much of what can seem confusing and really buckle down and make the Note7 as useful as it should have always been. With the feel and durability from drops and water this not only is a beautiful phone, but one that could potentially last way past that upgrade date. From the time that I have opened the device to what is now five days later I have been in love with this device. It has made me realize the flaws in all other devices not just iPhones. If you are looking for a phone that will bring all of the features to you and of course a big screen, the Note7 is going to be your best bet. At $849 be prepared to pay for it though.