Samsung announces Galaxy Note 7, includes iris scanner, long list of new features

For now, it seems like Samsung Galaxy Note 5 users have one too many reasons to upgrade.

Samsung just announced its Galaxy Note 7, the successor to its Note 5 series (yes, it skipped on 'Note 6' altogether). The smartphone adds to the long lineage of the Note series of smartphones (or phablets). The smartphone will go on pre-order today and sales in the US officially start from the 19 August.

Samsung Galaxy Note 7 Silver Titanium front

We have seen plenty of leaks and rumours in the past, but surprisingly, Samsung did manage to keep a few secrets. And this Note unlike many in the past, comes with one too many 'firsts' to battle whatever Apple will have to unveil in September with the iPhone 7 Pro (or Plus).

There are some new innovations here while others may simply be new to Samsung's Note series.

Gorilla Glass 5

Samsung Galaxy Note 7 Black Onyx back

Yes the just launched Samsung Galaxy Note 7 packs in plenty of new stuff but this one is first for all smartphones out there. In what appears to be a tie up, Samsung happens to be the first customer of Corning's recently announced Gorilla Glass 5 screens on both the back and front of the smartphone. According to Samsung, these two panels are symmetrically curved sheets of Gorilla Glass 5 which should make for a slippery, but great feel when held.

HDR video support

Yes we have seen QHD super AMOLED displays in the past, but Samsung's 5.7-inch new display panel is the first mobile display to feature HDR video support. HDR video support is a new feature that is showing up on 4K TVs these days that lets users see more colours and scenes with high contrast.

S Pen

Samsung Galaxy Note 7 Lifestyle S Pen

The new S Pen may look like the old one, but it packs in an almost ball-point pen like experience. According to Samsung, it can detect 4000 levels of pressure and you can even write with it under water!

IP68 rating

Samsung Galaxy Note 7 Lifestyle waterproof IP68

Something that seems to be borrowed from the Samsung Galaxy S7 models, the Note 7 also becomes the first Note to be waterproofed. Not just that, the IP68 certification will even let you take this smartphone to depths beyond 1 meter.

Iris scanner

Samsung Galaxy Note 7 Lifestyle Iris Scanner

Samsung has also included an iris scanner in this year's Note. It will be used to secure Samsung Pay, Knox and some personal files as well. The fingerprint scanner is available as well, which makes us think about whether Samsung has trust issues with its fingerprint reader. Why would you need to biometric sensors on a consumer smartphone? Well, ask Samsung!

USB Type C

The Note 7 is the first Samsung smartphone to feature a USB Type C port. Yes! A year late, Samsung finally decided to switch to Type C reversible port and it comes with quick charging and wireless charging as well.

Apart from this we have the usual flagship specifications like Snapdragon 820 or an Exynos 8890 chipset (market dependent), 4GB RAM and a standard 64GB of internal storage with a microSD card slot. You get Android 6.0 Marshmallow. You also get the same 12MP dual-pixel camera from the Galaxy S7 on the back and 5MP selfie-camera on the front. Powering it all is a 3500mAh battery.

While there may be a few 'misses' like the much-expected Android 7.0 Nougat, you still get a revamped TouchWiz UI. For now, it seems like Samsung Galaxy Note 5 users have many reasons to upgrade.

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