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Galaxy Note 7: Your questions answered!

by Todd Haselton | August 3, 2016August 3, 2016 1:00 pm PST

We brought you our hands-on with the Galaxy Note 7 earlier this week. We’re getting a lot of question on our YouTube channel, however, so we thought it might be best to address them in a post. Let’s begin, shall we?

1. Is there a fingerprint reader?

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The Galaxy Note 7 uses both a fingerprint scanner and an iris scanner. You can use either to unlock the device, though Samsung Pay doesn’t support the iris scanner just yet. As far as we know, the fingerprint scanner uses the same technology in the Galaxy S7 and Galaxy S7 Edge, so performance should be about the same.

2. Does the iris scanner work with glasses?

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Yes! The Galaxy Note 7’s iris scanner works just fine with glasses and contacts, we’re told. We even saw a demonstration where glasses worked just fine. The experience is incredibly fast and similar to Windows Hello in Windows 10. Just look at the designated area on your screen and, boom, you’re in!

3. How fast is the unlock process?

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This builds on the last answer a bit – it’s crazy fast. We set up a Galaxy Note 7 to recognize our eyeballs and we purposefully had to look away from the phone just to capture the experience on film. The Galaxy Note 7 unlocked in the… wait for it… blink of an eye.

4. Don’t you mean Galaxy Note 6?

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Nope. Samsung skipped the Galaxy Note 6 entirely, jumping from the Galaxy Note 5 to the Galaxy Note 7. It said it did this to bring its portfolio of products more in line with one another, since its Galaxy S series is currently at the Galaxy S7. It certainly sounds less confusing than having a Galaxy Note 6 and a Galaxy S7. Finally, Samsung said the phone borrows core features from the Galaxy S7 (processor, cameras, etc.) so the naming fits.

5. Is the camera the same?

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Yes and no. The hardware is the same – you’re getting the same great 12 megapixel camera on the back and a solid 5-megapixel selfie camera up front. The software UI is a bit different, though. You can swap between them with a quick swipe of the screen, or access other options, instead of poking different icons. We liked it better in our brief hands-on tests.

6. What are the key differences between the Galaxy Note 7 and Galaxy S7 Edge?

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Glad you asked. Check out our spec shootout for more details. Otherwise, the Galaxy Note 7 has a slightly smaller battery (yes, you read that correctly) at 3,500mAh instead of the 3,600mAh pack in the Galaxy S7 Edge. You get the S Pen, obviously, and the base model starts at 64GB of storage instead of 32GB in the Galaxy S7 Edge. There’s 4GB of RAM, too, which we hope is enough to keep things running smooth for the life of the phone.

7. We didn’t get the Galaxy Note 5 last year, is the Galaxy Note 7 coming to Europe?

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Yes! Samsung admitted it upset fans by witholding the Galaxy Note 5 from a launch in Europe. The Galaxy Note 7 will indeed launch there, with pre-orders starting a bit later than in the U.S. on August 16. Better late than never, right?

8. Does the Galaxy Note 7 have an IR blaster?

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Not the kind you’re thinking of. It employs infrared for lighting up your iris while scanning, the infrared is what helps it work in low-light conditions, but it doesn’t feature the “IR blaster” that earlier Galaxy S and Galaxy Note models offered. That means you can’t control your TV as if you were holding a remote control. Sorry!

9. Does the Galaxy Note 7 have a removable battery?

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Nope. Samsung ditched that idea last year and continued it this year. We did get a microSD card slot for expandable storage, though!


Todd Haselton

Todd Haselton has been writing professionally since 2006 during his undergraduate days at Lehigh University. He started out as an intern with...

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