[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: Samsung is hosting an event tomorrow and it looks almost certain it'll be the launch of the Galaxy Note 7. TechRadar will be there reporting live from the launch in both New York and London with all the latest. But in the meantime, read on below for the latest leaked Galaxy Note 7 S Pen features and a close up comparison with the Galaxy S7 Edge.

The Samsung Galaxy Note 7 is the large-screen phone for 2016 that Android power users have been waiting to upgrade to, and its official launch event is tomorrow!

Sure, the Samsung Galaxy S7 Edge stretched out fingertips into phablet territory too, with a 5.5-inch display earlier this year. But it didn't have two Note series staples: a 5.7-inch screen and an S-Pen stylus.

Samsung Galaxy Note 7

Note 7 rumors point to a phone that maximizes the screen space, while minimizing the body and bezels. Returning features like a microSD card are welcome and the unconfirmed iris scanner will turn heads.

It's especially anticipated in the UK and Europe, as Samsung made the bizarre decision not to launch the Galaxy Note 5 outside of the US and a few other countries. Their S-Pen upgrade is long overdue.

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.

No time for text? Get all the best news and rumors in our video roundup below:

YouTube : https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZtHs3PY5MB8

Cut to the chase

  • What is it? Samsung's next phablet
  • When's it out? Expect a release tomorrow, August 2
  • What will it cost? It's sure to be very expensive

Samsung Galaxy Note 7 release date

The Samsung Galaxy Note 7 announcement is set for tomorrow - Tuesday, August 2 - according to a Samsung Unpacked invite. We got one and will be there in both New York and London.

Samsung Galaxy Note 7

The official announcement will happen at 11am EDT. That means you can expect all of the Note 7 news to start at 8am PDT, 4pm GMT (or 1am the next day, on August 3 AEST).

The good news is that Samsung has confirmed the Note 7 will be coming to the UK, corroborating a TechRadar source high up at one of the UK's major networks.

TechRadar's take: The evidence is overwhelmingly in favor of an August 2 launch.

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

Samsung Galaxy Note 7 design

Hottest leaks:

  • A glass back and metal frame
  • Water and dust resistance

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, although a question mark remains on the Edge-only Note 7 rumor.

Samsung Galaxy Note 7

The image above, shared by techtastic.nl, gives one of our closest looks yet at the phone and mostly matches other images, though some lack the Samsung logo on the front. Since then another even clearer shot, which you can see below, has been shared by the same site.

Samsung Galaxy Note 7

The shape in these shots is a lot like the Samsung Galaxy S7 Edge, complete with a physical home button and a likely metal frame. The back, based on other leaks, appears to be glass, which makes sense since it was on the Galaxy S7 range. However, it might be slightly more curved at the back than the S7.

Another recent leak claims it looks a lot like the Galaxy S7 Edge and that it's thicker than the 7.6mm thick Note 5, but apparently doesn't feel it.

Leaked renders from OnLeaks have also 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 probably look.

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

We've also now seen shots of the Galaxy Note 7 next to a Samsung Galaxy S7 Edge, thanks to @OnLeaks. This close comparison shows that the corners of the Note 7 are less curved, but that the back is seemingly more so.

Note 7 and S7 Edge

Water resistant

We're hearing a few other rumblings about the design of the Galaxy Note 7 too. 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.

TechRadar's take: It would make sense for Samsung to stick with the popular Galaxy S7 Edge design for the Note 7 and that included waterproofing, so expect to get that here too.

Samsung Galaxy Note 7 colors

Hottest leaks:

  • Four colors at launch
  • More may be added later

Before we get into the design, let's talk about the Samsung Galaxy Note 7 colors. It may come in three hues, according to an early July leak that made the new Android phone look especially convincing.

Samsung Galaxy Note 7

Options include Black Onyx, Silver Titanium and, the highlight of the bunch, Blue Coral. However, we've since seen another leak, showing the Note 7 off in a gold shade, so we may get four colors at launch.

Note 7 leak

It's also possible that Samsung will add additional colors to the mix after the initial sales rush, to revive interest in the phone. In fact, a recent leak claims the phone will initially launch in just black and silver, with blue and gold added later.

Techradar's take: Samsung limited the Note 5 in the US to three colors: Black Sapphire and White Pearl at launch and, eventually, Gold Platinum. However, there was a Silver Titanium color too, but it didn't launch in the States. So it's not clear whether all four of these colors will launch in all locations or not.

Samsung Galaxy Note 7 screen

Hottest leaks:

  • 5.7 or 5.8 inches
  • Curved screen
  • Always-on display

The Samsung Galaxy Note 7 screen is said to be large and curvy, with a curved 5.7-inch Quad HD Super AMOLED display, according to phone leaks expert Evan Blass and another recent leak. That's our best guess, too.

Sure, it could get a tad larger. 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. But another source citing the same Chinese microblogging website keeps it at 5.7 inches, as shown below.

Samsung Galaxy Note 7 news

Anything bigger seems like a literal stretch, but one thing is certain: Everything we're seeing says it'll be big.

It's also going to fill that screen space with at least a QHD resolution, given that the Samsung Galaxy Note 5 uses a Quad HD display already.

But our money is on a 5.7-inch screen in the end. After all, the Samsung Gear VR might not be able to fit anything bigger, unless Samsung is shaving off .2 inches from the already-thin Note 5 inner bezel.

Curves are coming

Samsung Galaxy Note 7

Not only will the Note 7 be big, but almost certainly curved, 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 more than possible.

Samsung Galaxy Note 7

Writing or no writing, the screen, in at least one version of the phone, will likely be curved though, as we've also now seen case shots, posted on MobileFun, which show a curved display.

Note 7 flat screen

It was starting to look like there might not be a flat version at all, but two recent leaks suggest one could still be in the works, with photos showing a flat screen prototype. Of course this could have just been something Samsung was toying with and decided against, especially as most leaks still refer to a curved version.


An always-on display was one of the major features of the Samsung Galaxy S7, and unsurprisingly it looks like it's making a return for the Samsung Galaxy Note 7, with a leaked image showing the screen in action.

Note 7 always-on screen

Hopefully it's going to be improved this time around, with more useful information and less drain on the battery.

TechRadar's take: The Note 7 will likely have a 5.7-inch curved screen with an always-on display and no flat model. The resolution will probably stay at QHD.

Samsung Galaxy Note 7 iris scanner

It looks very likely that the Samsung Galaxy Note 7 will have a big new feature, namely an eye-catching iris scanner.

Samsung Galaxy Note 7

Samsung will probably offer the novel approach to unlock the Note 7 with your eyes, as hinted at by the abundance of sensors in the leaked image above and images of how the software will work too.

Iris scanning is a feature we've seen before in Android phones like the ZTE Grand S3 and Windows 10 Mobile phones like the Microsoft Lumia 950.

It's a neat party trick, but not very practical in these two cases. We'll have to see where Samsung takes the technology on August 2. Remember, the LG G5 was tipped to have the same feature, but an iris scanner never materialized (not even in modular attachment form).

Prior to the above leaks, we'd seen Samsung trademarks for "Samsung Iris" and "Samsung Eyeprint", and the company had been said to be importing iris scanning modules.

Samsung has also released a tablet packing an iris scanner- though only in India and aimed at government and enterprises rather than consumers.

Note 7 iris scanner screenshot

We reported on some product documentation that recently surfaced stating that the iris scanner will not work properly for those who wear glasses, or contact lenses when used in a dimly lit environment. It may also not work properly in bright sunlight or if the phone isn't held steady, according to some leaked screenshots.

TechRadar's take: The evidence strongly points to the presence of an iris scanner on the Samsung Galaxy Note 7, but it will probably still have a fingerprint scanner too.

Samsung Galaxy Note 7 camera and battery

Hottest leaks:

  • A 12MP camera
  • Infrared autofocus
  • A long-lasting battery
Samsung Galaxy Note 7

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, as does an import listing on Zauba, so it's looking like it's probably true, especially as the Galaxy S7 has the same spec snapper.

A shot supposedly showing the back of the Note 7 features a seemingly identical camera design to the Galaxy S7, complete with a slightly raised lens, so this also suggests it will have the same spec camera as the S7.

Note 7 camera

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. Round the front we're expecting a 5MP snapper, just like on the Galaxy S7, although an official teaser video suggests its low-light skills might be improved.

Plenty of juice

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.

But don't get too excited, as more recent rumors, this time from blogger Eldar Murtazin, suggest the battery might just be 3,600mAh. That's still bigger than the Note 5's battery, but it's the same size as the one in the Samsung Galaxy S7 Edge, which has a smaller 5.5-inch screen to drive.

Despite that though, Murtazin claims it can play up to 20.5 hours of video at maximum screen brightness. In our tests the Samsung Galaxy S7 Edge lasted around 10.5 hours doing the same and that was a strong result compared to most smartphones, so if the Note 7 can almost double it we could be looking at one of the longest-lasting handsets around.

But we'd take this with a pinch of salt, especially as it's not clear how the phone would achieve this remarkable feat.

We've even heard that there might just be a 3,500mAh battery in the Galaxy Note 7, which would be smaller than the Galaxy S7 Edge. As such we'd say that's unlikely, but if Samsung really has found a way to maximize the efficiency of it a juice pack of that size could still have a lot of life.

One way it might improve the life is giving users the option to drop the resolution to 720p, according to a recent leak. This obviously isn't an ideal solution, but could be a handy addition to a battery saver mode.

TechRadar's take: A 12MP camera seems likely. Samsung's approach to battery sizes is unpredictable, but the Note 7 should have room for a sizeable juice pack, so 4,000mAh or more would make sense.

Samsung Galaxy Note 7 OS and power

Hottest leaks:

  • Loads of RAM
  • 256GB of storage
  • A speedy Snapdragon 823 chip
Samsung Galaxy Note 7

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 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. However, we've recently reported on the leaked evidence that the Note 7 will only contain 4GB RAM.

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.

It's also possible that the Note 7 will sport the newly announced Snapdragon 821 processor, which is supposedly 10% faster than the Snapdragon 820. The Asus Zenfone 3 Deluxe is doing just that (claiming the "world's first" title that Samsung loves so much) by upgrading to the 821 chip.

benchmark photo

Whatever processor it has it looks to be an upgrade on the Snapdragon 820, as a shot posted to Weibo shows the phone benchmarked alongside the Samsung Galaxy S7 and three versions of the S7 Edge. As you can see, the Note 7 (which is on the far right) has a higher multi-core score than any of them.

Similar specs

But other recent benchmarks have suggested it might be no more powerful than the Samsung Galaxy S7, with a Snapdragon 820 chip and 4GB of RAM. It's now been benchmarked with that twice, while an unnamed source has also claimed there's 4GB of RAM on board. Or, oddly, it might even just have 3GB of RAM and a middling Exynos processor. We'd take these listings, especially that last one, with a huge helping of salt though.

One good thing that's mentioned by one of them is Android Nougat, but that too seems unlikely. The Galaxy Note 7 release date is said to be August 2, so it'll likely miss out on Android 7 and instead run Android 6.0 Marshmallow.

Note 7 interface

However, the good news is that Samsung is said to be experimenting with a new TouchWiz interface that looks cleaner than the already-spruced-up S7 menu system. You can see a brief view of it in action in the leaked screenshots above and in a video shared by MobileFunTV, though as always, this could be a fake and it doesn't reveal much other than the presence of TouchWiz.

A recent leak revealed that it will apparently have a new status bar, rounded app icons and a Samsung Cloud feature, which gives buyers 5GB of cloud storage.

TechRadar's take: Samsung always dials up the power with its Note handsets, so expect at least the Snapdragon 821 (or possibly a similarly fast Exynos chip in some regions) coupled with 6GB of RAM. 256GB of storage is unlikely though given that the Galaxy S7 has just 32GB, but 64GB or 128GB wouldn't be surprising.

Samsung Galaxy Note 7 S Pen

Hottest leaks:

  • Write underwater
  • Write on the edge

The S Pen is one of the standout features of Samsung's Galaxy Note range and this year it's rumored that Samsung is adding the ability to use if when the screen is wet, as well as allowing you to write on the curved screen edges.

Note 7 S Pen leak

We've also heard that it might get translation and magnifying glass abilities, as well as being able to write on the screen when it's off (if you have the always-on feature enabled) and for those scribblings to be permanently displayed as part of the always-on feature.

A new report from AndroidGalaxys.net suggests the Note 7 S Pen will come with three new features including Translate, which will allow you to read in foreign languages by just hovering over the words.

It may also include Magnify, which will make areas of the screen bigger when you hover over it as well as Glance that allows you to switch between apps by hovering your S Pen over a thumbnail.

Samsung Galaxy Note 7

TechRadar's take: Samsung is bound to add more features or at least more sensitivity to the S Pen, though the specific rumors about it so far lack much evidence.

Samsung Galaxy Note 7 other features

Hottest leaks:

  • USB Type-C
  • A laptop dock

Samsung Galaxy Note 7

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. With no other rumors pointing in that direction though it's looking unlikely.

New connections

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, the Samsung Galaxy S8.

USB C leak

We've also now seen images and even a video of a USB-C cable supposedly designed for the Galaxy Note 7, plus there's a hint of a new Gear VR, which could suggest Samsung is making one with a new connection.

Recently a source has echoed the USB-C sentiments, but claimed Samsung will also include a micro USB adaptor in the box.

TechRadar's take: USB-C would make sense and the evidence for it is there, but that laptop dock is very, very unlikely.

Samsung Galaxy Note 7 cost

Hottest leaks:

  • A higher price than the S7 Edge

Here's the big unknown about this big phone: How much will the Samsung Galaxy Note 7 cost? There are very few concrete rumors about the price right now.

The Samsung Galaxy Note 7 price in the US may be around US$250 on contract or US$700 unlocked. Recently, Samsung has delayed its unlocked phones for about four months, giving carriers like AT&T, Verizon, Sprint and T-Mobile a chance to sell them on contract first.

The Samsung Galaxy Note 7 UK price, since we believe the phone is coming out in all of Europe, could be between £600 and £760. That was the suspected price range for the Note 5 that never happened. Of course, the fluctuating British Pound could upend that historical trend. In Australia, the range is more like AU$940 - $1,149.

The only pricing leak so far is a rumor from SamMobile that the Galaxy Note 7 will cost €849 in Europe, which is €50 more than the Samsung Galaxy S7 Edge originally retailed for. That translates to US$800/£700/AU$1,350.

Whatever the exact price ends up being, expect to pay a lot. It only makes sense, as it'll be bigger and more powerful than the S7 Edge.

TechRadar's take: With a larger screen and more power the Note 7 is sure to cost more than the Galaxy S7 Edge, so roughly US$800/£700/AU$1,350 seems plausible.

Samsung Galaxy Note 7 competition

Samsung Galaxy Note 7

The Samsung Galaxy Note 7 is going to be pitted against some very tough competition. From its own camp there's the powerful 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.

iPhone 6S Plus

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, which is rumored to have another 5.5-inch display and high-end features like a dual-lens camera.


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. Outliers like the ZTE Axon 7 and OnePlus 3 offer many of the same specs for a cheaper price.

There's sure to be a lot more Samsung Galaxy Note 7 news coming in between now and launch, so we'll keep you updated on all the credible rumors and see if they sink or swim come August 2.

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 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 and thankfully the rumors suggest it will.


Looks really neat, slick and professional, I'd like to get one

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