Rumor Roundup: Samsung Galaxy Note 7

It is the time of the year again when much of the smartphone speculation turns to what will undoubtedly be one of the most important smartphones of the second half of 2016, the latest Samsung Galaxy Note. This will easily be one of the most popular smartphones to emerge this year and as a result the level and frequency of rumors relating to the next-gen Note device are already coming in thick and fast. While rumors are typically based on a number of unconfirmed, possibly inaccurate and highly speculative reports, together they do start to provide a clearer oversight of what can be expected from the next S Pen touting smartphone and here we are taking a look at a number of the Galaxy Note 7 rumors that have come through so far.

The Name

It seems weird to think that the latest Galaxy Note device will not follow in the traditional footsteps but that is exactly what is now expected to be the case. While the smartphone is still expected to be a ‘Galaxy Note’ it seems Samsung is skipping a year by leapfrogging the Galaxy Note 6 in favor of the Galaxy Note 7. The logic being that this will fit neater with the Galaxy S range (and presumably the iPhone). Therefore making 2016, the year of the 7s - although there is an argument that the Galaxy S7 was too far ahead with 2016 making more sense to be the year of the 6s, 2017 the year of the 7s and so on. Either way, it is widely expected that the next Note will be the Samsung Galaxy Note 7.

The Display

When it comes to smartphone displays, few do them better than Samsung. In fact, as much can be said for Samsung’s tablets, TVs, watches and just about anything else the company releases which comes with a display. As a result the display on the Galaxy Note 7 will be a big deal. However, it is also unlikely to be prone to exceeding (or unfulfilling) expectations. At present, the rumors as well as the general consensus is that on offer will be a Quad HD Super AMOLED display. This means we are looking at a 2560 x 1440 resolution and much in the line of what is available already with the Samsung Galaxy S7.

However, where there is room for debate is on the likely size of the display (and therefore, the size of the Note 7 as a whole). This is a Note after all and that does mean it will be big or at least big by Galaxy S standards, but the question will be how big? Rumors at the moment are pointing towards either a 5.7-inch or a 5.8-inch device. Which essentially means we are looking at a display which is pretty much exactly in line with the display on the Galaxy Note 5 which also comes with a 5.7-inch Quad HD Super AMOLED display. So if correct, while sharper and while coming with some tweaks which Samsung will be happy to explain, the big improvements will come elsewhere.

The Design

When talking about the design of the Galaxy Note 7, the first and likely most interesting aspect could have been discussed in the display section, as this is display-related. However, if the rumors are correct then this will likely be the single biggest design feature on the Galaxy Note 7, curved edges. Yes, if the rumors are correct the Galaxy Note 7 will only be a Galaxy Note in name as in terms of the display and design, this device is expected to be a direct upgrade from the Galaxy S7 Edge. Most rumors do seem to be agreeing on the fact that the Note 7 will come sporting Edges. This also seems to very neatly resonate with the rumors beyond the Note 7, which heavily imply that the Edge is the new norm in Samsung’s eyes. Implications which heavily lean on Samsung focusing more and more on Edge-based devices and less on the standard design of devices like the Galaxy S7 (non-Edge version). That is, at least for their flagship lines as it stands to reason that the rest of the Samsung smartphone pack will still make use of the non-Edge displays going forward.

Moving past the display and assuming Edges are in effect, it should be expected that the rear of the device will also come boasting curves on each side as well. The body in general is also thought to be similar to the style, presentation and materials used with the Galaxy S7 and so it could be the case that we are looking at a glass-based device with the two glass panels (front and back) joined by a metal frame. It is also worth noting that like the Samsung Galaxy S7, it seems almost guaranteed that the Note 7 will come offering waterproof qualities. Samsung has received a lot of criticism about the lack of waterproofing in the past and is thought to be one of the reasons why waterproofing made a comeback on the Galaxy S7. So expect an IP68 rating for dust and water-resistance to be included this time. You can check out a render video which is supposedly based of the Galaxy Note 7 leaks below, as well as additional renders that have recently come to light.

The Insides

While smartphone internals do seem to be standardized at the flagship end of the spectrum, due to likes of the OnePlus range which constantly boasts the very highest of specs and being released before the Note range, Samsung generally speaking do not lead the pack in this respect. However, they also typically do not follow for too long either and like the OnePlus 3 most rumors are pointing towards 6GB RAM being on offer with the Galaxy Note 7. Where we will see a difference between the Note 7 and the OnePlus 3 though could be on the processor level as rumors are suggesting that the Samsung Galaxy Note 7 will come packing a Qualcomm Snapdragon 821 processor. In fact, like the Samsung Galaxy S7 it seems the Note 7 will come in two variants and these will differ at the processor level. With the Snapdragon model already rumored to see an upgrade from the Galaxy S7’s Snapdragon 820 to the 821, the Exynos model is also said to be seeing an upgrade from the Exynos 8890 to the Exynos 8893.

The Cameras

When Samsung released the Galaxy S7, like other manufacturers they departed away from the numbers game and did not include a numerically higher megapixel count and instead opted for a 12-megapixel rear camera along with a 5-megapixel front-facing camera. Adding to the growing understanding that megapixel count is not everything. In terms of the Galaxy Note 7 most of the rumors seems to be of the consensus that we are looking at very similar camera capabilities to the Galaxy S7 with a 12-megapixel and 5-megapixel rear and front camera combination included.

The Storage

Storage on Samsung flagship devices has been on quite the journey over the last couple of years. The company had previously placed great faith in their removable batteries and once they were removed, so was the ability to include a microSD card, albeit only for a short period. As a result flagship devices started becoming available in a wider selection of storage models including 32, 64 and 128GB. That all changed again this year though with the Galaxy S7 reintroducing a microSD card slot. The Galaxy Note 5 on the other hand was only available in a 32GB and 64GB model with no option to expand. This will likely change this year with the Note 7 expected to follow the Galaxy S7 and be available in a 32GB and 64GB model and with the option to expand via microSD. Although, it could be the case that not both storage variants will be available in all or even the same regions.

The Security

It is unlikely to be that surprising to hear that the Galaxy Note 7 will come with advanced security features as standard. Most smartphones nowadays come with some form of increased identification measures intact with the fingerprint scanner being the de facto option. However, what might be surprising to those who have not been following the rumor news of late is that Samsung might not only be including a fingerprint sensor but also might be including an iris scanner as well.

This is a rumor which has been gaining significant traction over the last few weeks and especially since a new tablet surfaced with the technology inside. Whether that means an iris scanner will be included with the Galaxy Note 7 is still up in the air, although the rumor mills do seem to be expecting this to be the case. One of the most recent confirmations on this came from a leaked screenshot which is said to be of the Note 7 settings and listing the iris scanner settings. On a side note, an included fingerprint sensor could actually be placed elsewhere if the recent suggestions that Samsung is changing the way the home key looks and operates are true.

The Battery

The battery on any phone is important, the battery on a Samsung phone is extremely important as this is another area which the company has again been heavily criticized on and especially since the company turned away from removal batteries - which looks to be the case again. In terms of the cold hard number, most rumor roads had led to a 4,000 mAh battery being included. This would have made the battery on the Galaxy Note 7 more powerful (in capacity terms) than on all previous flagship Galaxy devices including the Galaxy S7, S7 Edge and the Galaxy Note 5. However, the most recent rumor is now suggesting the battery capacity will be more along the lines of 3,600 mAh. Either way, it does seem likely that a 3,500+ mAh battery will be on offer.

Another battery-related change which is largely expected with the Galaxy Note 7 is the inclusion of USB Type-C connectivity. Samsung has been one of the few major companies who have so far shied away from introducing USB Type-C ports on smartphones, although that does seem certain to change with the Note 7. The market is expecting a USB Type-C port and the rumors do currently seem to support that expectation. Of course, with this being a Galaxy device there is also a number of additional charging features which will likely be in play. Specifically, fast charging, wireless charging and of course, fast wireless charging.

The Software

One thing you can count on with Samsung is that their devices will come with their own customized user experience. More commonly known as TouchWiz. The Galaxy Note 7 is highly unlikely to be different and will come sporting TouchWiz. However, the last couple of generations of major flagship smartphones has seen Samsung toning down the intensity of TouchWiz in favor of a slightly more refined UX. This seems to be exactly what is expected from this year’s Note model with the assumption being TouchWiz on the Note 7 will be cleaner and simpler. In fact, a rumor video even popped up recently showcasing what is said to be a beta version of the Galaxy Note 7’s TouchWiz UX.

It has also been suggested that new notification software that Samsung is reported to be working on and dubbed “Smart Glow” was likely to make an appearance on the Note 7. However, this seems less likely to be the case now with the latest rumors pointing to the first major flagship to sport Smart Glow being the Galaxy S8 in 2017.

The Stylus

Erm, yes, this one probably doesn't need much discussion as it is fundamentally understood that the Note 7 will come sporting an S Pen and will make use of stylus-dedicated software tweaks.

The Pricing and Availability

This particular category has seen the fewest rumors developing, although it is increasingly becoming more likely that the expected unveil date for the Galaxy Note 7 will be August 2nd. At the moment there are no pricing details, but it stands to reason the Galaxy Note 7 will be expensive. How expensive will largely be determined by the variants that are on offer. As it is believed Samsung will be including a microSD card slot, a larger 128GB model does seem unlikely to be offered (although there has been faint rumors of a 256GB model) with a 32GB and 64GB model selection more likely to be the case. As a result, it would stand to reason that prices are likely to fall in line with what the Galaxy S7 Edge launched for, $700 - $800 or thereabouts.

In terms of availability, again, it stands to reason that Samsung will want to hit the market quickly with the Galaxy Note 7 and certainly before the next iPhone is released and therefore it should be expected that a small window between announcement and release will be used. Some rumors are pointing to August 15 as the day (or the week) of when the Note 7 will go on sale. As is the case with Samsung in general, you can expect a variety of colors to be available at launch and even more color options and ‘special editions' filtering through in the following months, including Black Onyx, Silver Titanium & Blue Coral color options.

Wrap Up

So there you go. While it is still early there are enough snippets of information leaking through which does collectively start to paint a vague picture of what the Samsung Galaxy Note 7 will be like. In terms of its display we are likely looking at a device similar to the Galaxy S7 Edge, albeit one which comes packing an S Pen. Inside, it will be largely a numbers game with 6GB RAM, Snapdragon 821 & Exynos 8893 variants, a 12-megapixel rear camera, a 5-megapixel front facing camera. Storage will come in the form of 32GB and 64GB options, microSD card support included, USB Type-C, a 3,500+ mAh battery, IP68 certification and an iris scanner. Not forgetting of course, Android 6.0 (Marshmallow)...or on an outside chance, Android N.

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About the Author
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John Anon

Editor-in-Chief
John has been writing about and reviewing tech products since 2014 after making the transition from writing about and reviewing airlines. With a background in Psychology, John has a particular interest in the science and future of the industry. Besides adopting the Managing Editor role at AH John also covers much of the news surrounding audio and visual tech, including cord-cutting, the state of Pay-TV, and Android TV. Contact him at [email protected]
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