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Samsung Galaxy Note 7 - Is Bigger Always Better?

By: Anthony Garreffa | Phones in Mobile Devices | Posted: Aug 25, 2016 12:05 am

4 Days With The Galaxy Note 7


After three months of exclusively using the iPhone 6S, moving from its 4.7-inch display up to the massive 5.7-inch display on the Galaxy Note 7 should've felt gigantic, but it didn't. My wife and nephew both have the Galaxy S7, which feels like the in between in terms of size between the iPhone 6S and Galaxy Note 7. The Galaxy S7 feels cheaper in comparison, with the Note 7 feeling like a more premium device. I think this comes down to the slight change in design and the dual curved display which flows off of the edge of the smartphone.




While the Galaxy Note 7 has a dual curved display with the same 'edge' features that the Galaxy S7 edge has, the top of the display is virtually flat. The curves are subtle, tapering off the edge of the Galaxy Note 7 so that the phone feels smooth and soft on all sides. It's a smartphone you want to run as naked as possible, without bulky cases that take away from the beautiful design and craftsmanship of high-end smartphones these days.



I found the size of the Galaxy Note 7 wasn't a problem for me, as the weight is distributed incredibly well through the smartphone, allowing you to use it one-handed and not feel like it's unbalanced or heavy.


You'll have to personalize the keyboard for two-handed typing, as your hands and finger sizes will be different to others who might find harder or easier to type on depending on the size of the keyboard. You can adjust this with the stock keyboard, but SwiftKey is an excellent software keyboard that works across iOS and Android and has five different keyboard sizes to choose from. This is an incredibly important thing to personalize, as one of the most-used parts of our daily smartphone use is typing into the phone.


Notes on the Galaxy Note 7


Instead of the usual style of review, I've chosen to move into a more 'experience' path with the Galaxy Note 7. These are some of the things that are noticeable to my experience with the Note 7:


Battery Life


I was using the Galaxy Note 7 as my daily for four days before writing this review, and it has definitely improved over the days, where I'm now achieving around a full day of use.




In that, I'm doing 30-60 minutes of video, 1-2 hours of social media (personally, and for the site), 1-2 hours of chatting and emails, and another hour or so general browsing in between those various apps. The iPhone 6S definitely has better battery, especially when it comes to lasting throughout the day, but only by 1-2 hours - and that's a lot these days.


Fast Charging


On the first day, I charged the phone up from its out-of-the-box 41% charge, right up to 100% charge in just 41 minutes. I had it down to 32% at 10:07 pm, and had it sitting on 100% by 11:10 - 53 minutes for a full charge from 1/3, not bad.




But if we consider that the Galaxy Note 7 has a larger 3500mAh battery, and can charge it within an hour or so it's good, but bad at the same time because even with the larger battery, I don't get a full day with it.


Wireless Charging


If Apple released their new iPhone and it had wireless charging capabilities, it would be heralded as the next big thing in smartphones. Well, Samsung has had wireless charging technology in the last couple of generations of smartphones, with the new Galaxy Note 7 included.




It doesn't come with a wireless charger in the box, but it is well worth it for convenience, especially if you have more than one Galaxy smartphone owner in the house.


The Pen Is Mightier Than The Sword


You know what? I actually used the S Pen more than I thought I would, and it's for two main reasons. Firstly, I have been pushing into Instagram Stories quite a lot - and the stylus is perfect for drawing or writing on my Stories. I also found myself using the S Pen for quick reminders, with the Note 7 letting you quickly pull the stylus out and write on the locked homescreen, leaving a quick note or reminder for later.




That's right, you can write on the locked homescreen without swiping or using the fingerprint or iris scanner to unlock your phone - just draw on your display. I was out the front of my house just before writing this review putting my rubbish outside in the bin, and I remembered about that feature and wanted to remind myself to write it in my review - a perfect way of displaying a non-forced, reaction to a new but very useful feature on the Note 7.


The Camera


Samsung has been leading the camera game for a little while now, with the Galaxy S6 and S6 edge having some truly great rear-facing cameras, with the work continuing into the Galaxy S7, the S7 edge, and the new Galaxy Note 7 smartphones. I was comparing the Note 7 against the iPhone 6S and Galaxy S7 and noticing that the Note 7 is a gigantic leap better in color and low light conditions than the iPhone 6S.




Comparing the same 12-megapixel cameras in the Galaxy S7 and Note 7, taking pictures on the Note 7 looked just a bit better in low light, especially with HDR enabled. During the day both of the cameras were virtually identical, they just appear a little clearer than the S7 because of the larger, much brighter display than the Note 7.


TouchWiz UI


I forced myself to use Samsung's custom Android skin that ships on their smartphones, TouchWiz UI, for the first two days before switching it out for Nova Launcher. The custom launcher is much better on the eyes and the hands, as you can adjust the amount of icons in the taskbar, or on the screen itself.


As for TouchWiz UI, it wasn't as obtrusive as I thought it would be. It has definitely been scaled down since the Galaxy Note 5, but I experienced bloat slowing down the Galaxy Note 7 at times - and I'm sure this will only get worse. Major points off here, Samsung.


64GB + 256GB Expandable Storage


Samsung has the base model of the Galaxy Note 7 packing 64GB of fast onboard memory, while providing a microSD card slot at the top of the phone that can take a 256GB microSD card. Take that, Apple.




Dem Feels


The Galaxy Note 7 feels awesome to hold, with a premium feel that weighs perfectly - it's not too heavy, and it's not unbalanced. I used to walk around with my iPhone 6S in my hands at times, but I don't think I'd do that with the Note 7.




It's a little too big to be constantly holding, but when you do use it, it feels amazing. The dual curved display just falls off the edge into nothingness, with the premium feel going right around the phone to the way that the S Pen can be pressed and ejected out.

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