Samsung unveiled the Galaxy Note 7 during a press conference in New York City this morning, finally showing the world its new flagship Android smartphone. The Galaxy Note 7 features incredibly impressive hardware and software, much of it unmatched in the space, but we wanted to highlight some of the main features you should know about.
1. Iris scanner
This is so freakin’ cool. If you’ve used a Surface Pro 4 or a Lumia 950/Lumia 950 XL, you’ll have a pretty good idea of how this works. Basically, you’ll register your eyeballs with the Galaxy Note 7 and then, whenever the phone is locked, you’ll simply need to look at the small iris scanner above the display to unlock your Galaxy Note 7. You can even lock a special encrypted folder full of apps and private files. Since it employs an infrared sensor, it’s incredibly accurate and can be used in daylight or in the dark without a problem. Look for Samsung Pay support in the future, too.
2. Expandable storage
Samsung may have upset a few potential customers last year by removing the expandable storage and removable battery that were beloved by Galaxy Note’s fanbase. Have no fear, though. Expandable storage is back this year, and Samsung is boosting the onboard storage of the entry-level model up to 64GB, so there’s plenty to get you started. I don’t believe it fully supports Adoptable Storage, which lets you use the microSD card and your onboard drive as one space, which is a bit of a bummer, however.
3. GIF maker!
I know, I know, a GIF maker might sound pretty dumb, but this function is actually really awesome. Samsung added a new on-screen recording capability that lets you create a GIF out of anything that isn’t protected. Maybe you want to grab something funny from a YouTube video, for example. Just highlight the area, hit play, hit record and, boom, moments later you have an editable and shareable GIF.
4. IP68 rating
Like the Galaxy S7 and Galaxy S7 Edge, the Galaxy Note 7 is water-resistant. That means you can jump in a pool or leave it in about 5 feet of water for up to 30 minutes. It should survive just fine, and the submersion won’t damage the S Pen at all, either, which is pretty fantastic. In fact, during an early hands-on with the Galaxy Note 7, I found that it’s extremely easy to write on the display under water. Neat!
5. New S Pen features
The S Pen is now more accurate than ever with increased pressure sensitivity, but that’s not all. Samsung has a new one-stop place for all S Pen functioning apps on the Galaxy Note 7, allowing you to quickly take advantage of apps for drawing, painting, taking notes and more. Support for the Always On Display will also let you leave notes for viewing at any time, which is pretty awesome.
Those are just a few of the new features out of dozens added to the Galaxy Note 7. Samsung included a new night mode that removes blue light from the screen as you get sleepy, support for Mobile HDR streaming and much more. Check out our hands-on for a closer look.