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Why I bought a Galaxy Note 7 (and maybe why you should, too)

by Todd Haselton | August 5, 2016August 5, 2016 11:45 am PST

I’d like to start this article off with a small request: don’t tell my wife I bought the Galaxy Note 7. Now that we’ve covered that part, let’s dive into exactly why I bought one.

I guess I don’t really need it; I bought the Galaxy S7 Edge back in February, and have the OnePlus 3 and iPhone 6s Plus as other options in my arsenal. The Galaxy Note 7 was a must-have in my book, though, because Samsung continues to push the boundaries of what a phone is capable of with each release.

In my role covering the mobile industry, I need to use as many of these phones as possible in order to compare them to one another. Sometimes that means using review units, but often it means buying them out of my own pocket, keeping them as daily drivers for as long as possible, switching out SIM cards when new features are released and more. I also need to be using the new features in an effort to understand how well they work and where the industry might be going. In the case of the Galaxy Note 7, I’ll want to know how well the iris scanner works and, if it works great, try to figure out if that’s something that other manufacturers are going to want to launch, too. If they do, what will that mean for you and I as consumers?

That’s the simple reason I bought it.

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I ordered a Galaxy Note 7 just before turning off the lights for bed last night. I’ll probably order an iPhone 7, too, when it hits the market in September, but Samsung’s device is already leaps and bounds ahead of what we’re expecting from the iPhone 7. Android and iOS fanboy wars aside, the Galaxy […]

The other is that the Galaxy Note 7 offers an array of features that can’t be found on any other smartphone on the market. It borrows what I love from the Galaxy S7 Edge – the curved screen, the IP68 water and dust rating, the Quad HD display and the microSD card slot – and then continues with even more options. It now has a USB-C port for faster data charging, for example, and the aforementioned iris scanner. It also has new S Pen features and increased sensitivity that should provide the most accurate experience to date. I can even write in the rain (that’s a joke… but I could).

If you’re like me, and you want the very best that’s out there, I think you’re safe in pre-ordering a Galaxy Note 7, too. We haven’t seen the new Nexus smartphones yet, which are certainly going to be tempting when they launch, but I think we’re going to be safe with the Galaxy Note 7’s massive feature set.

As I argued earlier this week, the Galaxy Note 7 is already miles ahead of the iPhone, and I suspect that will hold true even when Apple releases the iPhone 7 in September. Apple may have an impressive new processor, but it still isn’t going to have a VR experience, it won’t have expandable storage and it won’t have a stylus for input. I’m not sure the stylus is necessary, but those are just three of several areas where I think the new iPhone 7 will fall short. Back to my first point, I’ll probably buy the iPhone 7, too, but not for the same reasons that I’m buying the Galaxy Note 7. Instead, I suspect I’ll buy one just to see how Apple has pushed the envelope against its own products, instead of against the industry as a whole.

There are always the possibilities that the Galaxy Note 7 is a letdown and that I ultimately end up returning it. I can’t count the number of times I’ve been let down by tech products ranging from new smartwatches to tablets and phones. But I think Samsung is really knocking this one out of the park. My device should ship right around August 16, so I’ll let you know where I stand once it arrives.


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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