[TechRadar] Updated: Samsung Galaxy Note 7 release date, news and rumors
Updated: Samsung Galaxy Note 7 release date, news and rumors

Updated: Samsung Galaxy Note 7 release date, news and rumors

Samsung Galaxy Note 7 release date and rumors

Update: New Samsung Galaxy Note 7 rumors pin that as the official name, not Samsung Galaxy Note 6, and the release date is said to be at the top of next month. Its Android interface may be in for a fresh design and unlock with a nifty iris scanner. Here's the latest news.

While the Samsung Galaxy S7 Edge almost stretches into phablet territory, Samsung fans will have to wait for the Galaxy Note 7 for a true 2016 large-screen Android smartphone from the company.

It's a highly anticipated phone, especially in Europe where Samsung made the bizarre decision not to launch the Galaxy Note 5, leaving would-be buyers hungry for their next S Pen hit.

Samsung Galaxy Note 7

Just don't expect it to be called the Samsung Galaxy Note 6. All recent rumors indicate that Galaxy Note 7 is the name of the next phablet. It's thought the company wants to bring it in line with the name of the Galaxy S7 series - and the forthcoming iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus.

But while the Note 6 or Note 7 probably won't launch for another month, we're hearing plenty of rumors about it. We've also cooked up a wishlist of things we want to see.

Cut to the chase

  • What is it? Samsung's next phablet
  • When's it out? Likely to be an August 2 launch date
  • What will it cost? It's sure to be very expensive

Samsung Galaxy Note 7 release date

The Samsung Galaxy Note 7 release date is Tuesday, August 2, according to the latest leaks that cite an apparent advert shared with SamMobile says.

Note 7 advert

Supposedly the announcement will happen at 11am EDT. That's 8am PDT, 4pm GMT or 1am on August 3 AEST. Of course the advert could be a fake, but the date almost lines up with earlier rumors.

Twitter leaker @evleaks previously suggested the Galaxy Note 6 – or Note 7 – will be announced in the week commencing August 15, but he's since received updated information suggesting it'll be announced around August 3. That's a little under two weeks earlier in the year than the Galaxy Note 5 announcement.

Plus a Korean news source believes production to be starting in July - so it makes sense for an August announcement.

Samsung typically launches its Galaxy Note flagships during IFA, which this year is happening in early September, so it's possible that we'll have to wait until then though.

Samsung Galaxy Note 5

The good news is that, according to a TechRadar source high up at one of the UK's major networks, this time it should make its way to the UK as well.

  • Let us know what feature you'd most like to see in the Samsung Galaxy Note 7

Samsung Galaxy Note 7 design

The Samsung Galaxy Note 7 design is poised to be more than just a bigger, S-Pen-included version of the Samsung Galaxy S7. In fact, there may be no flat version of the phablet at all.

The jury is still out on the Edge-only Note 7 rumor. There's less dispute on the new unlocking feature that's said to be built into the handset: an eye-catching iris scanner.

Samsung Galaxy Note 7

Samsung may use the novel approach of unlocking the Note 7 with your eyes, though we've seen it before in Androids like the ZTE Grand S3 and Windows 10 Mobile phones like Microsoft Lumia 950.

It's a neat party trick, but not very practical. We'll have to see where Samsung takes the technology, if it does make the cut on August 2.

We're hearing a number of other rumblings about the design of the Galaxy Note 7. Rumblings like the possibility that it will be waterproof and dust-resistant. A Weibo post echoes those claims, saying it will be IP68 certified. That's one rumor that seems likely, given that the Samsung Galaxy S7 is.

Leaked renders from OnLeaks have suggested the phone will look very similar to the Galaxy S7 Edge, but it will feature room for an S Pen and a slightly larger display as well. You can watch the video below to see the leaked renders and how the phone will look.

YouTube : https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NdyH22ojXyU

Samsung Galaxy Note 7 screen

The Samsung Galaxy Note 7 screen is said to be large and curvy, with a 5.7-inch Quad HD Super AMOLED display, according to phone leaks expert Evan Blass.

It could get a tad larger, though. Word from both Weibo and GSM Helpdesk points to a 5.8-inch screen at the same 1440 x 2560 resolution, with the latter also claiming the display might be curved.

We're hearing similar rumors from another Weibo post, which claims the Samsung Galaxy Note 7 will have a 5.8-inch screen in both curved and flat varieties. Everything we're seeing says it'll be big.

Certainly it's going to fill that space with at least a QHD resolution, given that the Samsung Galaxy Note 5 is, and 5.8 inches would only be marginally bigger than that phone's 5.7-inch screen.

Note 7 leak

It's also looking ever more likely that there'll be a curved screen version of the handset, as a teaser leaked to PhoneArena shows just such a display and also suggests that you'll be able to write on the edge. The image could easily be fake, but a Samsung patent for exactly that has also been unearthed by SamMobile, so it's possible.

Samsung Galaxy Note 7 camera and battery

Samsung Galaxy Note 5

A tipster on Weibo claims the Samsung Galaxy Note 7 will have a 12MP camera with Super OIS Plus. Though we'd always advise taking Weibo posts with a pinch of salt. Then again, GSM Helpdesk also claims we'll get a 12MP camera, so it could be true, especially as the Galaxy S7 has the same spec snapper.

While most camera rumors are pointing to a 12MP lens PhotoRumors claims Samsung is working on a new sensor that will be between 18MP and 24MP and have a wide f/1.4 aperture, which should allow it to take in a lot of light.

Even if Samsung is working on such a sensor that doesn't mean it will debut on the Galaxy Note 7, but it's a possibility.

Whatever spec camera we get it may have an infrared autofocus for speedy focusing according to a post on Weibo.

The same post claims that it will have a huge 4,200mAh battery, which would be far larger than the 3,000mAh juice pack in the Galaxy Note 5 and slightly bigger than the 4,000mAh it had previously been rumored to be.

Samsung Galaxy Note 7 OS and power

Note 5

There's talk out of China that the Galaxy Note 7 will use a 2.6GHz quad-core Snapdragon 823 chip, which is so new it hasn't even been announced yet. That chip, if the rumors are right, will essentially be a slightly faster version of the Snapdragon 820, albeit with support for up to 8GB of RAM.

Though given that the Snapdragon 820 already allows for 6GB that doesn't mean Samsung will stick that much in its next phablet, but 5GB or 6GB seems likely and indeed 6GB has been rumored and is now looking ever more likely, as Samsung has announced its own 6GB RAM chip.

Various tipsters on Weibo have also claimed the Samsung Galaxy Note 7 will have a Snapdragon 823 chip, along with 64GB, 128GB and perhaps even 256GB of storage. It would almost certainly be the first handset out there with Qualcomm's latest chipset.

The Galaxy Note 7 release date is said to be August 2, so it'll likely miss out on Android N and instead run Android 6.0 Marshmallow. However, the good news is that Samsung is said to be experimenting with a new TouchWiz interface that's looks cleaner already-spruced-up S7 menu system.

Samsung Galaxy Note 7 other features

Samsung patent

Patently Mobile has uncovered a patent which points to a Samsung phablet device being used to power a laptop. Patents aren't products, but it's within the realms of possibility that Samsung could launch a laptop dock as an optional accessory for the Galaxy Note 7.

Other rumors include talk of a USB Type-C connector, which seems a likely bet. It'll be a way for the company to almost soft launch the new connector before it hits its next flagship, Samsung Galaxy S8.

Samsung trademarks for "Samsung Iris" and "Samsung Eyeprint" point to the aforementioned new way to unlock the Note 7 with your eyes, and the company is said to be importing iris scanning modules.

Since then the company has even released a tablet packing an iris scanner- though only in India and aimed at government and enterprises rather than consumers.

Since then the company has even released a tablet packing an iris scanner- though only in India and aimed at government and enterprises, rather than consumers. It's likely to be a whole lot more with those trademarks and modules.

Samsung iris leak

Most recently we've seen a screenshot supposedly taken from a beta version of Samsung software, which, once translated into English, says 'use iris' as a security method. There's no guarantee this is taken from a Note 7, but it seems to be from a phone rather than a tablet and the Galaxy Note 7 would be an obvious choice for such cutting-edge tech.

Samsung Galaxy Note 7 price

None of the leaks so far have given a clear idea of price for the Samsung Galaxy Note 7. We'd expect a similar price to the Galaxy Note 5 though, which didn't come cheap. In the US the phone retailed at about US$700 on day one, so we'd expect over £500 or AU$950.

Samsung Galaxy Note 7 competition

Best phablet

The Samsung Galaxy Note 7 is going to be pitted against some very tough competition. There's the Samsung Galaxy S7 with a 5.1-inch display and then there's the 5.5-inch Samsung Galaxy S7 Edge, which is basically a phablet already.

There may also be a Samsung Galaxy Note Edge as well. We'd expect a 5.8-inch curved screen on a new Note Edge with an S Pen for extra functionality over the Galaxy S7 Edge.

Apple has the iPhone 6S Plus at the moment, but around the time of the Note 7's launch we'll probably also get an iPhone 7 Plus.

Then there's the LG G5, HTC 10 and many other phones that will prove tough competition for the Galaxy Note 7 when it's officially announced.

Samsung Galaxy Note 7: What we want to see

1. A microSD card slot

With the Galaxy Note 5 Samsung finally gave us a phablet that looked as premium as it was, but that sandwich of metal and glass lost its microSD card slot.

No microSD card slot means significant limits on how much media you can stick on the phone and a phablet more than any other type of handset is built for media, so it was a real shame.

The good news is that Samsung reinstated the card slot for the Galaxy S7, so it's likely to put one in the Galaxy Note 7 too. We certainly hope it does.

2. A removable battery

Another casualty of the move to premium materials was a removable juice pack. This one might be harder to fix without a drastic redesign of the hardware and with a sealed battery in the Samsung Galaxy S7 too we're not optimistic about getting a removable one in the Samsung Galaxy Note 7.

But it would be nice if we did. A removable battery means any concerns about longevity can be muted by carrying a spare and, perhaps more importantly, if and when your battery starts to wear out you can just buy a new one, rather than buying a whole new phone.

3. A sharper screen

Note 5

The Samsung Galaxy Note 5 is almost pin sharp with its QHD display. But smaller phones like the Samsung Galaxy S7 also have a QHD screen, so with the extra space on the Note it could arguably benefit from some extra pixels.

Even if it's overkill for general viewing it would be enormously useful for any VR explorers. The Gear VR is a nice bit of kit, but it's held back by a lack of visual fidelity.

4. More compelling S Pen features

One of the main ways in which the Note range differentiates itself from other phablets is the inclusion of a stylus. Yet Samsung's S Pen could stand to be more compelling.

It's useful, but rarely as handy as an actual notepad would be. Solving that problem may not be easy, but hopefully Samsung's thinking about it for the Galaxy Note 7, because the S Pen needs to continue to evolve if it's going to be much more than a gimmick.

5. A waterproof build

Note 5

Knowing your phone is water resistant can be enormously reassuring, so hopefully the Samsung Galaxy Note 7 will be. It's looking likely, given that the Samsung Galaxy S7 is and that early rumors suggest it will be.

But we don't want Samsung to just recycle features from the S7. The Note 7 will be a newer handset, so we want newer, better things, like full waterproofing, rather than just water resistance. We don't just want to take the Galaxy Note 7 out in the rain, we also want to take it on a deep dive into salt water. Or at least we want to have the option to.

6. A new standout feature

Speaking of new things, it would be great to see a truly new feature in the Samsung Galaxy Note 7. Something that people can really get excited about beyond the obligatory spec bump.

It's rumored that it might have an iris scanner, so that would be something, but the Microsoft Lumia 950 already has one of them. Ideally we want the Samsung Galaxy Note 7 to go where no phone has gone before and have a truly revolutionary feature of some kind.

7. Tweaks to TouchWiz

Note 5

TouchWiz gets better every year, but it's still a poor substitute for stock Android. Some of the features are nice, such as the S Pen functionality we get with the Note, but we could do without the bloat and with a cleaner, more minimalist and more Material design inspired appearance.

8. A bigger screen

Now that non-phablets like the Samsung Galaxy S7 Edge are stretching to 5.5 inches there's room for the Note 7 to grow beyond 5.7 inches.

We don't want it to get massively bigger, otherwise we might as well just be using a tablet, but we wouldn't say no to an extra 0.1 or 0.2 of an inch. Rumors suggest we might just get that too, with the Samsung Galaxy Note 7 supposedly stretching to 5.8 inches.

9. A dual-lens camera

Galaxy Note 5

The Samsung Galaxy Note 5 already has a great snapper. In fact, it uses the same impressive 16MP sensor as the Samsung Galaxy S6.

But the Samsung Galaxy S7 has it beat with a 12MP camera that offers superior low-light performance. It's rumored that the Galaxy Note 7 will also have a 12MP snapper, complete with Super OIS Plus.

But while a similar camera to the S7 would be a good start we'd like to see it combined with a second wide-angle lens, like the LG G5 has, giving users a choice of which lens to use in any given situation.

10. A bigger battery

A removable battery would be nice, but it's not likely. So at the very least we want the Samsung Galaxy Note 7 to have a larger one. At 3000mAh the juice pack in the Note 5 is actually quite small for a phone of its size- it's the same size as the battery in the 5.1-inch Galaxy S7 and far smaller than the 3600mAh one in the Samsung Galaxy S7 Edge.

It would be madness for Samsung to put a smaller battery in the Note 7 than the S7 Edge, so we'd expect it will grow to at least 3600mAh, but hopefully it will be larger still.


It sounds fabulous to me, I've got a Samsung myself and am thinking of getting their latest.
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