Normally a niche smartphone, we attended the Note7 launch in Dublin recently to see if it might appeal to a wider audience. Spoiler alert: it does.
Samsung Note7 launch at the RHA Gallery
A great crowd in attended the launch of Samsung’s latest superphone at Dublin’s RHA Gallery. Hosted by Pat Kenny of Late Late Show fame, futurist Rudy de Waele delivered a great keynote on the importance of smartphones as our key to connectivity. A smart approach to launching a phone such as the Note7 as Samsung let the handset speak for itself in the demo hall.
Hands on with the Samsung Note7
The highlight of the event itself was the Note7. We recently outlined our reasons for being on the fence about this phone’s relevance in the market. After just a few minutes with the phone actually in-hand, opinions change a little bit.
Design of the Note7
The Note7 is slightly bigger than the Galaxy S7 Edge. On paper, that equates to a 5.7″ screen versus a 5.5″ screen. Side by side, you would be hard-pressed to tell the two handsets from each other. Holding the handset doesn’t make it any easier to tell the two apart. You wouldn’t notice the bigger Note7’s design as it fits really snugly in your palm. The curved edges of the screen is extremely subtle and the blue model is gorgeous – much nicer that the blue Galaxy S5 that we feared was being resurrected.
Unique features of the Note7
Lots of the hardware onboard the Note7 echoes the Galaxy S7/S7 Edge, but two big features stood out on the bottom of the device. Many of those accessories you have will no longer be directly compatible with the Note7 as Samsung finally opt for a USB-C charging port. For the user, this means faster data transfers, faster charging and the knowledge that the local pub is unlikely to be able to give you a charge.
If you are looking for the most exciting feature on the Note7, look no further than to S-Pen. While not a new concept, the Note7 boasts the greatest integration of a stylus with a device we’ve seen yet. The S-Pen makes it possible for you to really consider going paperless for taking notes and the like. You can even jot down notes on the screen when the phone is locked: adding to the convenience.
The S-Pen has been overhauled with lots of neat features, but the best by far is the clicky tip. The clicky tip features on the stylus for reasons.
— Goos3D (@Goos3D_IE) August 18, 2016
Iris powered security
You won’t feel like you’re living in a futuristic world until you unlock your Number26 bank account app using a fingerprint. With that said, we are excited to do the same by simply looking at the Note7. The Note7 is the arguably the first mainstream smartphone to feature technology which scans your eyes to unlock the device.
What else was on show
Samsung Gear 360
Production delays led to delays in the availability of the Gear 360. Such delays should be in the past now, as the latest in image capturing was on show at the Note7 event. Combined with the companion app, users can capture stunning 360 images with no visible stitch line. The Gear 360 is rumoured to be entering the market at £450 so whether or not it will be accessible remains to be seen.
The primary obstacle facing the Gear 360 is Facebooks integration of panoramas as 360 images. Sure the quality isn’t quite as good, but the vast majority of consumers aren’t looking for perfection in this area just yet. Here’s a 360 panorama shot we took at the event using a Samsung Galaxy S7 Edge.
Expect the Gear 360 to hit the Irish market in October.
Samsung Gear VR
Quite the opposite to the Gear 360 is the Gear VR. Coming in at just €99, the Gear VR is an affordable alternative to high-end virtual reality devices. The latest, black version, of the Gear VR will be much like the model that shipped with the Galaxy S7. Notable differences included an updated touchpad and interchangeable connections for micro-USB and USB-C.
Getting hands on with the Note7 has allayed any fears that this was just a phone for the sake of it. Director of Samsung Ireland, Gary Twohig, described Samsung’s goal of purposefully innovating in the industry – a mantra the Note7 fulfils. The Galaxy S7 Edge was and is a brilliant handset, but Samsung managed to include enough features in the Note7 to make it more than simply noteworthy.