Like it or not, Galaxy Note 7 will be one of the best selling smartphones in 2016.
Although Galaxy Note 7 have almost identical hardware specs as Galaxy S7 edge (except S Pen and iris scanner), Galaxy Note 7 is a major udpate for Galaxy Note 5.
As explained in Galaxy Note 7 specs post, Galaxy Note 7 is a major update for Galaxy Note 5, not for Galaxy S7 (or S7 edge).
In this post, let’s explore top 7 Galaxy Note 7 new features .
These top 7 new features in Galaxy Note 7 makes the phone apart from previous generations of Galaxy Note devices, mainly, Galaxy Note 5 or Galaxy Note 4.
1. Iris scanner: the most noteworthy Galaxy Note 7 new feature, but is it just a fad?
Before Galaxy Note 7 was announced, Samsung deliberately leaked the iris scanner as one of the top Galaxy Note 7 new features.
But many long-time Samsung customers (you should NEVER trust experts…..) had thought the new feature would not work well until 2 or 3 generations later.
If you can remember the awkward (and inaccurate) fingerprint scanner in Galaxy S5 and Galaxy Note 4, you would think iris scanner probably would be an usable feature in Galaxy Note 8 or Galaxy S9!
It seems most of us are wrong.
Iris scanner in Galaxy Note 7 works surprisingly well: both fast and accurate.
But the question is whether this new feature makes any sense.
Currently, iris scanner in Galaxy Note 7 can be used:
- to unlock the phone. It is not as natural or easy as using fingerprint. You also have to wake up the screen to use Galaxy Note 7 iris scanner. Of course, iris may be more secure. But do we need such a security for the lock screen?
- to use secure folder. This is simply a folder secured by your eyes. Technically, it is similar to use password to encrypt a folder.
- to authenticate your Samsung account, or to use in Samsung Pay.
Anyway, the good thing on Galaxy Note 7 iris scanner is that it works pretty well.
The bad thing is probably you will never or seldom actually use it after a few weeks.
It will still take some time for Samsung and developers to find better usages of iris scanner for the mass.
2. Water resistant: Everybody likes it. But Samsung warranty does not cover water damage.
Galaxy Note 7, including the S Pen, is the first Galaxy Note device with water and dust resistant. It comes with a IP68 rating, which means the phone can be immersed in water (up to 1.5m) up to 30 mins.
Technically you can swim with your Galaxy Note 7 in swimming pool.
This is obviously one of the most welcomed Galaxy Note 7 new features.
Don’t abuse this Galaxy Note 7 feature which is more or less for protection (e.g., in case you drop Galaxy Note 7 to swimming pool). Galaxy Note 7 is not designed for using in water or any extremely-humid environment.
And normal Samsung warranty in most regions does not cover any water damage. Actually, it does not cover any damage.
Remember chemicals in water (especially seawater) may cause may more damage than water itself.
Anyway, enjoy a waterproofed Galaxy Note 7 now.
3. Returning of SD card: Samsung corrected the mistake they deliberately made
Samsung proudly removed SD card in Galaxy Note 5 (and Galaxy S6, S6 edge and S6 edge+).
Now, they understand how stupid the decision was. It did hurt sales.
Some Galaxy Note 4 owners skipped Galaxy Note 5 because of lacking SD card support.
Now, Samsung corrected this stupid mistake in Galaxy Note 7 (and Galaxy S7 and S7 edge as well) with micro SD card support (up to 256GB) as one of the new features in Galaxy Note 7.
You may hear adoptable storage in Android Marshmallow (i.e., use micro SD card as internal storage).
But don’t be excited too early because Samsung does NOT support adoptable storage in Galaxy Note 7 (in Galaxy S7 as well). You can only use the SD card as portable storage in Galaxy Note 7.
Of course, Samsung offers some workarounds allowing you to move some apps to the SD card in Android Marshmallow. You may check this guide on how to use micro SD card in Galaxy Note 7.
4. Bigger battery: users always want more.
Another mistake Samsung made in Galaxy Note 5 is smaller battery. Galaxy Note 5 battery capacity is only 3000mAh which is about 7.3% smaller compared to that of Galaxy Note 4.
Nowadays, most smartphone owners want longer battery life, not shorter.
Galaxy Note 7 now has a 3500mAh battery. This can lure many Galaxy Note 5 owners because 17% increase in battery capacity without adding any weight (actually Galaxy Note 7 is 2g lighter than Galaxy Note 5 as explained in Galaxy Note 7 specifications page).
I guess this is probably also one of the most welcomed Galaxy Note 7 new features.
5. New S Pen tricks: Galaxy Note 7 is simply a Galaxy S7 edge plus a stick
Galaxy Note 7 would be called Galaxy S7 edge+ if there were no S Pen.
It seems Samsung is running out of idea on how to use S Pen to improve productivity.
Most improvements of S Pen in Galaxy Note 7 are irrelevant to almost all S Pen users. I guess no S Pen users will feel the increase of pressure sensitivity levels. The smaller S Pen tip may make some graphic designers happier.
The bad design of S Pen in Galaxy Note 5, however, was carried over to Galaxy Note 7. Although you can no longer insert S Pen in wrong direction in Galaxy Note 7, the same stupid spring design for S Pen ejection will see more and more stuck S Pens. From Galaxy Note to Note 4, it is impossible to get S Pen stuck in the S Pen slot. But this changed with Galaxy Note 5. You will see more with Galaxy Note 7.
Samsung offers new S Pen features in Galaxy Note 7 through new air command. You can use S Pen to translate, to glance or to create GIF (through smart select) in addition to existing air command features in Galaxy Note 5.
6. USB type-C: Future proof is not free.
Some nerds may be excited about the USB Type-C feature in Galaxy Note 7.
Yes, USB Type-C is future-proof. But in next 1-2 years, micro USB will still dominate. Most Galaxy Note 7 owners will probably use newer phones in 2 or 3 years.
As a flagship phone, we must admit Samsung made the correct switch (from micro USB to USB Type-C). But this is for Samsung.
For most Galaxy Note 7 owners, we will not get any benefits from USB Type-C except for paying for new cables.
Please be aware of low-quality USB Type-C cables. They may damage your Galaxy Note 7.
7. Curved screen: the biggest mistake Samsung made in Galaxy Note 7
Curved screen is touted as one of the top Galaxy Note 7 new features. It seems the initial sales (pre-order) of Galaxy Note 7 is promising.
But did this change rejuvenate Galaxy Note series?
The answer probably is NO. In fact, Samsung is destroying Galaxy Note series.
Most loyal Galaxy note phone users choose Galaxy note for 1). bigger screen; and 2). stylus (S Pen).
But since Galaxy Note 4, Samsung refused to change screen size. It seems Samsung believes that 5.7″ is the limit. When most users are comfortable (actually, because there is no choice) with the 3.5″ screen, 5.3″ Galaxy Note is actually a disruptor. The guys laughing at 5.3″ phones in 2011 are probably holding a 5.5″ or 5.7″ phone now.
The S Pen has great potential. But Samsung lacks creativity on S Pen. The S Note always changes in each device without a road-map.
Now if you compare Galaxy Note 7 to Galaxy S7 edge, the major difference is only the S Pen (although the curvature of the curved scree is also different). But Samsung failed to offer vow features of S Pen. Will you grandma use S Pen in Galaxy Note 7?
Samsung is using Galaxy Note 7 to compete against its own Galaxy S7 edge! The sales of Galaxy Note 7 cannibalizes Galaxy S7’s.
Galaxy Note 7 screen should be bigger without curved edges.
The curved screen contradicts with the S Pen. S Pen is best for flat surface with clear boundary. Of course, S Pen users prefer larger screen.
I would rate curved screen as one of the worst Galaxy Note 7 new features.
It may attract more users from mass market who probably will never use S Pen.
But the curved screen (and small screen) will definitely alienate the core users of Galaxy Note devices.
What’s your thought on Galaxy Note 7 New Features?
Please share your thoughts on Galaxy Note 7 new features in the comment box below.
You can get the official Samsung Galaxy Note 7 user manual (user guide) in your local language in Galaxy Note 7 user manuals page.
For other detailed Galaxy S7 how-t0 guides, please check Galaxy Note 7 guides page.