First look: Samsung's Galaxy Note 7 big-screen stylus smartphone

By David Flynn, August 3 2016
First look: Samsung's Galaxy Note 7 big-screen stylus smartphone

  • Samsung Galaxy Note7: on sale in Australia on August 19 for $1,349
  • Pre-sales order August 5 with bonus 256GB MicroSD card (valued at $299)

Samsung's new Galaxy Note7 brings the stylus-equipped smartphone in line with its slightly smaller Galaxy S7 Edge sibling in what many consider a pre-emptive strike against next month's launch of the iPhone 7.

The Galaxy twins now share the same sleek design with a wrap-around glass screen which curves like an infinity pool around both sides of the thin unibody metal chassis.

Their common parentage extends under the covers, too.

Not only does the Note7 get the S7's meaty innards – from the nimble Qualcomm Snapdragon 820 powerplant to a sharp 5.7 inch Super AMOLED screen with Quad HD resolution – but it also inherits plenty of creature comforts such as support for Samsung Pay, a water-resistant case, fast-charge battery and a microSD memory card slot to supplement the Note7's internal 64GB of storage.

There's also the 'Always On' screen mode, which displays the time and other notes – but with more options than on the S7 – using a power-efficient display mode.

Samsung also continues to refine its TouchWiz software which sits atop Google's Android OS – it's both less intrusive and more useful than earlier iterations, which tended to invoke a "Get out of my face!" response from users.

So exactly what does the Note7 come with over the S7, apart from that digital stylus and a higher price tag?

Samsung has doubled down on security, adding optical recognition alongside the phone's fingerprint scanner.

A small camera scans your eye using an infra-red beam (it'll work with glasses and contact lenses) and memorises the unique pattern of your iris much as it would your fingerprint, after which you've got a fast look-and-unlock routine.

But this is about more than just convenience: the eye-scanning tech can also lock down documents, files and even apps stored in a 'Secure Folder' feature.

There's also a wide range of accessories, from a novel 360° camera to a clip-on keyboard that's bound to appeal to former and indeed current members of the BlackBerry brigade.

And in a sign of things to come for the Galaxy S8 generation, the Edge7 drops the microUSB port for the modern USB-C socket that's becoming all the rage.

(And if you're a Note 5 user and wondering if you slept through the Note 6 era, relax: Samsung skipped the sixth-gen numbering to bring the Note line into sync with the S7, as well as ensure Samsung's not seen to be a step behind Apple when the iPhone 7 lands in September.)

Follow Australian Business Traveller on Twitter – we're @AusBT


David Flynn is the Editor-in-Chief of Executive Traveller and a bit of a travel tragic with a weakness for good coffee, shopping and lychee martinis.

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

21 Aug 2014

Total posts 502

Being an Apple user I have to admit that this year Samsung has really thrown Apple out of the water with their Galaxy S7 and now the Note 7. iPhone 7 is going to be a flop, but I am certain Apple has a few tricks up its sleeve for the iPhone 8 next year which will also happen to be the 10th anniversary of the iPhone.

Virgin Australia - Velocity Rewards

29 Dec 2012

Total posts 21

With almost no bezel on the edges, it will be interesting to see how many accidental calls users will make while holding it. I know I had similar issues with my Samsung Galaxy S7. Nevertheless, a remarkable phone!

21 Apr 2011

Total posts 42

I think Australia gets the Exynos SoC based Note 7, and not the Snapdragon 820 version. 

18 Aug 2016

Total posts 1

Samsung is competing Apple in a great manner. Waiting to see how Samsung Galaxy S8 compete with the iPhone 8.

Hi Guest, join in the discussion on First look: Samsung's Galaxy Note 7 big-screen stylus smartphone