Everything you need to know about the Samsung Galaxy Note 7
Phablet fans rejoice, the Samsung Galaxy Note 7 is coming. And it’s coming soon. Samsung has confirmed the Galaxy Note 7 release date for August 2, with a launch taking place in New York City along with an extra event in London, England. This will kick off at 16:00 (BST) and we’ll be there live.
If you’re eager to find out everything about Sammy’s latest phablet then you’ve come to the right place. Here’s all the features, specs and pricing information you need to know.
The Note line is often seen as the top phone in Samsung’s line-up. It’s not as mass-market friendly as the Galaxy S series, but it often pushes things further with better specs. Likely features this year include a 5.7-inch Quad-HD Super AMOLED display, 12-megapixel Dualpixel camera and a water-resistant body, but you should also be expecting a price of around £725/$1087,5
You might now be wondering what happened to the Galaxy Note 6. Did you accidentally oversleep and skip a whole generation of Samsung phablets? Fear not: it looks like Samsung has decided to ignore the Note 6 name completely.
Apparently (and this is definitely an ‘apparently’, not confirmed), Samsung is keen to bring the Note branding in line with Galaxy S-series. And the iPhone. Both of which are on ‘7’ in 2016. It makes sense…sort of.
For all of the details – some official, some not – on the Samsung Galaxy Note 7, read on.
LATEST GALAXY NOTE 7 NEWS:
When does the Galaxy Note 7 come out? August 2, 2016
What’s new about the Galaxy Note 7? QHD screen, 256GB storage, Android N, Always-on screen
How much will the Galaxy Note 7 cost? £600/$900-725/1087,5
SAMSUNG GALAXY NOTE 7 RELEASE DATE UK & US – WHEN WILL THE NEW GALAXY NOTE 7 COME OUT?
The Samsung Galaxy Note 7 release date is August 2, 2016. That’s not strictly confirmed, but it’s as good as.
Samsung is hosting a dedicated Samsung Unpacked event here in London, with proceedings kicking off at 16:00 (BST). On the invitation, Samsung included a stylus graphic captioned with the text ‘7 UNPACKED 2016’. If that isn’t confirmation, we don’t know what is.
Perhaps the more pertinent question is when the phone will actually be released. Samsung’s previous Note release dates have been mixed:
- Galaxy Note 5 – August
- Galaxy Note 4 – October
- Galaxy Note 3 – September
As such, it’s hard to pin down an exact release date. However, rumour has it that the Galaxy Note 7 will go on sale the same day as the announcement. That doesn’t fit with Samsung’s traditional launch style, but anything is possible. We’ll find out for sure on August 2.
SAMSUNG GALAXY NOTE 7 DESIGN – WHAT WILL IT LOOK LIKE?
Rumour has it that Samsung is expected to use a metal-and-glass design for the Samsung Galaxy Note 7. That’s not a big surprise; the company has long since ditched its plasticky aesthetic.
We’re still not clear on exact dimensions. Depending on who you listen to, it’s either going to be 153 x 74.5 x 7.8mm or 1535 x 73.9 x 7.9mm. Neither are hugely different, and they’re both fairly svelte.
Perhaps the biggest design change is the screen. Samsung is reportedly planning to offer the Galaxy Note 7 with a curved dual-edge display, just like the Samsung Galaxy S7 Edge. Importantly, it’s expected that there won’t be a traditional flat display variant at all. This isn’t confirmed of course, but worth noting.
And finally, we’re expecting Samsung Galaxy Note 7 colours to include black, silver, and blue.
SAMSUNG GALAXY NOTE 7 SCREEN
Many suspected that Samsung would finally make the leap to a 4K/Ultra HD display with the Galaxy Note 7. Unfortunately, it seems like Samsung will instead stick with a QHD panel.
The best evidence we have so far is a tweet posted by prolific tipster and journalist Evan Blass, who has a reliable track record for leaks. According to Blass, the handset will feature a 5.7-inch QHD (2,560 x 1,440 pixels) Super AMOLED display.
The Samsung Galaxy Note 5 shipped with a 5.7-inch display with a QHD resolution, which worked out at a 518-ppi pixel density. The screen went down well with consumers, so we see no immediate reason why Samsung should switch up its strategy.
Perhaps the only real incentive for Samsung to finally adopt a 4K panel would be for virtual reality. Samsung has already shown its interest in the sector with Gear VR, and it’s widely accepted that higher-density displays are far better for virtual reality, mainly due to the proximity of your eyes to the display when a phone is docked in a headset.
It’s also worth noting that the Snapdragon 820, the processor the powers a healthy chunk of Samsung Galaxy S7 devices, already supports native 4K displays running at 60fps. The Galaxy Note 7 will be using an equivalent – or maybe even newer – processor, so there’s no risk of the chip not supporting a 4K screen.
We’re also expecting to see the Always-on display plucked from the Galaxy S7, so you’ll be able to spot your notifications directly from the lock-screen with touching any buttons.
SAMSUNG GALAXY NOTE 7 SPECS
Processor: Samsung has recently adopted the strategy of using different chips in different markets. It’s rumoured that the Galaxy Note 7 will continue that trend.
Nothing is confirmed, but we’re expecting that Galaxy Note 7 handsets sold in East Asia will feature the Exynos 8890, a custom-built chip manufactured by Samsung. In western markets, meanwhile, the Galaxy Note 7 is instead tipped to feature Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 820. Both chips are about as good as each other, so put the pitchforks down folks.
Interestingly, Qualcomm recently unveiled the Snapdragon 821, which is marginally faster (by about 10%) than the Snapdragon 820. We don’t have a definitive launch date for the chip (Qualcomm says the second half of 2016), but it’s already been confirmed for use in the Asus ZenFone 3 Deluxe.
Could it feature in the Galaxy Note 7? Absolutely. Although the chip has only just been announced, it’s likely that manufacturers have been, at the very least, savvy to its existence. We certainly wouldn’t be surprised to see it featured in the Galaxy Note 7.
RAM: After the OnePlus 3 launched with an impressive 6GB of RAM on board, speculation that the Galaxy Note 7 would match the offer soon followed.
Earlier this year, Samsung unveiled a 10nm 6GB RAM chip, which many assumed would make its way to the Galaxy Note 7. That said, the case for having a 6GB RAM module in a smartphone isn’t great. It’s arguably more of a future-proofing feature than a necessity, at least by 2016’s standards.
We’d expect to see 4GB or 6GB. Unfortunately, we can’t pin down which one just yet.
Storage: The main storage rumour is that Samsung will load an incredible 256GB of memory into the Galaxy Note 7, with a base option 64GB for more frugal users.
But wait, it gets better. It’s also been widely reported that the phone will feature UFS 2.0 (Universal Flash Storage), which is an ultra-fast embedded memory standard. It’s reportedly 2.7x faster at reading files than eMMC 5.0 you find in most smartphones, and consumes about 50% less energy.
We already know that Samsung is capable of manufacturing this sort of module. In fact, the company recently released a 256GB UFS 2.0 card that looks set to trample all over MicroSD as the mobile memory standard. The good thing is that old MicroSD cards should still work.
In other storage news, a report from Sammobile published in July claims that Samsung is doubling the amount of built-in storage from 32GB to 64GB. The site obtained an image showing model listings from mobile network giant South Korean Telecom, seemingly revealing a newly lofty base storage. However, it’s not yet clear if this would be true across all launch regions.
USB-C: Pretty much every phone launched in the last year has been rumoured to carry the new USB Type-C standard. And yet most flagships still aren’t using it. Samsung failed to adopt the technology with the Galaxy S7, so the Note 7 is the next likely candidate.
But what is USB-C? It’s just a new physical connection, intended as a replacement for older systems like Micro USB. It’s reversible like Apple’s Lightning cable, and has the potential to offer faster charging, faster file transfers, and generally greater utility than alternatives.
SAMSUNG GALAXY NOTE 7 CAMERA
One of the best Samsung Galaxy S7 features was its 12-megapixel DualPixel camera. This exceptional snapper has consistently been ranked as the best smartphone camera that money can buy right now. We’d be very, very, very surprised if Samsung didn’t use the same camera in the Galaxy Note 7.
It’s also been rumoured that the Galaxy Note 7 will offer a 5-megapixel front-facing camera.
Earlier this year, reports out of Taiwan suggested that the Galaxy Note 7 would feature a dual-lens camera, as cited by China’s ZOL industry news site.
Samsung has already designed its own dual-lens camera under Samsung Electro-Mechanics Co., a part of Samsung Group. When the news broke back in March, the company reportedly had plans to begin mass-manufacturing of the dual-lens module as soon as July this year.
This move wouldn’t be a surprise. After all, Apple’s iPhone 7 Plus – also rumoured for launch this year – has been tipped to feature a dual-lens camera. Both LG and Huawei recently debuted the technology on the LG G5 and Huawei P9 smartphones.
Dual-lens cameras offer a number of benefits compared to conventional single-lens arrangements. These potential improvements include wider-angle image capture, better zoom, adjustable post-capture focusing, and improved lighting.
SAMSUNG GALAXY NOTE 7 BATTERY LIFE
Battery life is a tricky metric to talk about before a device launch, because it’s affected by so many different factors. But do we know anything at all?
Well, it’s rumoured that the Galaxy Note 7 will feature a sizeable 4,000Ah battery. That’s significantly higher than the 3,000Ah cell used in the Galaxy Note 5. As such we’d expect better battery life, especially if the device launches with the efficient Snapdragon 820 (or even 821) processor.
What’s more, if Samsung decides to stick with a QHD display rather than upgrading to a 4K panel, we’d expect even better battery life. A 4K panel would be a significant drain on juice, after all. Don’t forget that if Samsung’s ‘Always On’ screen feature returns, you’ll be looking at an extra 1% battery burn per hour. Of course, you can always just turn it off.
But wait! A 4,000mAh battery is by no means guaranteed. A new leak, first reported by, suggests a smaller battery may be in order. The site published a screen-grab from mobile giant South Korea Telecom, which seemingly posted a number of Galaxy Note 7 specs online prematurely. According to the leak, the Galaxy Note 7 will feature a 3,500mAh battery. That’s 100mAh smaller than the one featured in the Galaxy S7 Edge, although it’s bigger than the 3,000mAh cell used in last year’s Galaxy Note 5.
SAMSUNG GALAXY NOTE 7 WATERPROOF
One of the best features of the Samsung Galaxy S7 was its waterproof chassis. So we’re hoping the Galaxy Note 7 follows suit with an IP68-certified body.
What does IP68 mean? Well, IP stands for ‘Ingress Protection’. It’s a rating system put forward by the International Electrotechnical Commission to let consumers know how (1) waterproof, and (2) rustproof, a device is. If a handset is IP-68 certified, it can be submerged in water at a depth of 1.5 metres for up to 30 minutes. By contrast, an IP67 is only rated to depths of one metre.
Considering the success of the Galaxy S7, we’d be very surprised if the Galaxy Note 7 didn’t nick as many of its features as possible. Cue, waterproofing.
It’s also worth noting that prominent (and reliable) leaker Evan Blass has reportedly “confirmed” with sources that the Galaxy Note 7 will be fully waterproof. Huzzah!
SAMSUNG GALAXY NOTE 7 SOFTWARE – MARSHMALLOW OR NOUGAT?
The Samsung Galaxy Note 7 is almost certainly going to run on Google’s Android 6.0 Marshmallow software.
Google announced Android 7.0 Nougat earlier this year, but it’s still early days for the new version. As such, it’s unlikely to appear on OEM handsets for quite some time. What’s more, Galaxy Note handsets have always initially launched with the previous generation of Android on board, so it would be curious if the Note 7 broke that trend.
However, there have been some reports – and even a benchmark test readout – that suggest the Note 7 might ship with Nougat straight out of the box. This would be an impressively quick turnaround, but considering the fact that the Android N developer preview is already live, it’s not impossible.
In any case, a Galaxy Note 7 running Marshmallow is no bad thing. The Android 6.0 update brought a hefty helping of improvements over Android 5.0 Lollipop. It’s a formidable operating system that’s undeniably on par with Apple’s iOS.
You can read all about the software in our Android 6.0 Marshmallow features guide.
SAMSUNG GALAXY NOTE 7 PRICE – HOW MUCH WILL IT COST?
Hardware is always easy to predict, but pricing is a little more difficult. All we really have to go on are previous handset launches, and last year’s Note 5 has a quirky price that doesn’t fit the trend due to its delayed UK launch.
Here are launch pricing details for Note handsets in the UK:
- Galaxy Note 5 – £450/$675 (converted from dollars as it wasn’t officially released in the UK)
- Galaxy Note 4 – £629/$943,5
- Galaxy Note 3 – £619/$928,5
If you ignore the Note 5, it seems that somewhere around £625/$937,5 would be a sensible price for the Galaxy Note 7. But £30/$45 either side of that wouldn’t be a huge surprise.
But wait! There’s a spanner in the works. We’ve already had our first pricing leak, courtesy of Sammobile (citing anonymous sources, as usual).
According to the site, the Note 7 is set to start at 849 euros, which is 50 euros more than the S7 Edge retailed for at launch. That translates to roughly £725/$1087,5 before tax, and doesn’t account for the current state of the UK economy. With that in mind, it wouldn’t be impossible to see the Note 7 pricing as high as £749/$1123,5
SHOULD I WAIT FOR THE GALAXY NOTE 7?
The Samsung Galaxy Note 7 is sure to be a niche pick; it will be powerful, big and expensive. This isn’t a phone for someone who just wants to make phone calls and play Crossy Road.
As such, if you’re thinking about buying the Note 7, you probably already know whether it’s the phone for you.
But bear in mind that there are plenty of great alternatives to the Note 7, including the Samsung Galaxy S7 and the HTC 10. Plus, don’t forget that Apple’s iPhone 7 is mere months away, and the Google Nexus 2016 device is set to arrive shortly thereafter.
SAMSUNG GALAXY NOTE 7 IMAGES, CONCEPTS, AND LEAKS
To close out this article, here are some of the best image leaks we’ve seen so far:
Images leaked by Steve Hemmerstoffer on July 22, 2016:
Case-maker Spigen unveiled its Samsung Galaxy Note 7 case collection over a week before the phone’s launch, giving us an early look at the new handset. Whoops! Check out some of the shots below: