Samsung Galaxy Note 7 Review - The Best Phone For 2016?

Several weeks ago, Samsung Invited us to the announcement of the successor of the Galaxy Note line! We personally love the Galaxy Note 5, and we were so excited to see what has Samsung cooked up within the past year. Let's check it out shall we?
Could possibly the best phone on the market today!

For the review part 1: Samsung Galaxy Note 7 First Impressions - The Most Exciting Note Yet!

Display Quality

The best mobile phone screen today!

The Curved 5.7 inch 10 point multi-touch Super AMOLED QHD Display of the Samsung Galaxy Note is the best display on the market today. 
10 points of touch!
10 points of touch!

At 60% brightness, the display is bright enough to be used on an average day outside with great viewing angles all around. The color reproduction is good but may be a little saturated for my tastes while the sharpness of images because of the high pixel density makes reading text on the phone a dream. Tapping, selecting or swiping is a dream because of the preciseness and accuracy of detection which is made even better with the S-Pen.

The always-on display allows for most of the screen to be turned off except or some pixels that show the date and time. You can customize further to add small notification icons and a calendar and ultimately it does not noticeably drain the battery while still giving you an idea of what's happening with your phone. 

Audio Quality

The Note 7 (Above) is noticeably thinner and smaller than the Note 5 (Below)
The Note 7 (Above) is noticeably thinner and smaller than the Note 5 (Below)

The Note 7's main speaker grill at the bottom beside the USB type-C while the ear piece speaker for calls are on top bezel. The main speaker is clear with fine details, and can get pretty loud without distortion at max volume. Our only problem with it is that the sound can easily be snuffed out by accidentally covering the grills with your fingers or the like, like when watching movies at landscape mode.
Note 7 audio output is very clean!
The other drawback with the Note 7 is that it doesn't have an amp for those who love to use headphones, but otherwise for most in-ear monitors, this is one of the better ones in the market. We barely notice any hiss or any problems with the highs, mids and lows. It is also very clean sounding!

Detail separation is decent while instrument placements are easy to distinguish. Soundstage is not that wide but decent at least.

The earpiece speaker and the microphone are both clear with fine details and with good sound reproduction across the board. We almost never encountered a problem with a person we were speaking to through a call.

Battery

It's good to know that the battery has improved!

As a Note 5 user, the 3,000 mAh may sound big but it was a little lack luster in real life when we used the phone extensively, and the phone itself could barely last a full day from being unplugged at 6 PM and nearing 10% at 9PM. Fortunately, the Note 7 has fixed this with both the increased 3,500 mAh battery and refinements to the touchwiz. We found ourselves getting 7 hours of on screen time with benchmarks and a full day of use with around 15 to 20% battery after heavy use of SMS, calls, YouTube, Chrome, and Social Media (Facebook, Instagram and Twitter).
Two different Power saving modes to fit your needs!
Two different Power saving modes to fit your needs!

They also added multiple Battery Saving options to cater to your needs. Both lowers the performance of the phone while One lowers the resolution to 1080p FHD while the other to 720p HD. 

Related: Samsung To Recall All Galaxy Note 7 Globally Due To Faulty Batteries

Camera

Possibly the best camera on a phone today!
Possibly the best camera on a phone today!

Samsung was confident with its S7 and S7 Edge camera sensor to use it again on the Note 7. It was the correct move because now they could focus on their software which was refined even more. It is easier to swipe between the main and the secondary camera. It is also easier to swipe to the different camera modes, filters and camera settings with one swipe.

Most smartphone cameras perform their best in bright conditions and the Note 7 Camera does not disappoint. In contrast, smartphones cameras falter in low-light conditions, the Note 7 Camera on the other hand excels! There is still some grain but you barely notice it because of how great the camera performs with great colors, sharp details because of how good the f/1.7 aperture coupled with the OIS.

Stills photography on the other hand is also mind blowing because of how accurate the colors are reproduced and how fine the details are even when shooting fast moving objects. What makes this even greater is the dual pixel autofocus system that is FAST and ACCURATE when using the tap to focus feature. What blew us away even more was the AUTOFOCUS TRACKING, because we tried walking along the shaded walkways of Ayala and chose to track a moving person and it was able to track the person the whole time!

The added modes and filters are easy to access by swiping to the sides while switching to the secondary camera is as easy as swiping to top. It helps with one handed camera use. To be honest, we barely paid attention to the added mode because the standard AUTO mode was good enough to detect which settings to use at most of the situations we used the camera in.

Rear Camera Samples

Amazing details in this daylight shot
Amazing details in this daylight shot
Pop of colors
Pop of colors
An indoor shot sample
An indoor shot sample
Dim light? No problem
Dim light? No problem
Auto at night, still great
Auto at night, still great
Great for concerts!
Great for concerts!
Flash test!
Flash test!

For the secondary camera, it has the face detect autofocus and uses the huge 5.7 inch screen for its flash. It remains to perform better than most secondary camera out there and it does have added features like wide selfie which is basically Panorama mode for the selfie's portrait mode.

Selfie Camera Samples

Selfie daylight and night
Selfie daylight and night

Its main camera can capture UHD videos with 3840 x 2160 resolution. It isn't shaky and comes with fantastic focusing and color adjustments.

We were able to test the low light 1080P 60 fps video  mode at a concert we went to and well just see for yourself. Although admittedly you still have to keep your hands as steady as possible to get the best results. In front, it's one of the few to support up to 2K 2560 x 1440 resolution of selfie videos. The quality is also very good.

Video Samples




Related: First Photos And Videos Captured Using New Samsung Galaxy Note 7!

Performance

Competition is tough!
Competition is tough!

With an 134021 Antutu benchmark result, the Galaxy Note 7 is one the top performing phones CPU spec wise given that it also has a 5.7 inch QHD display. It shows when we were able to play Asphalt while using the built in gameplay recording feature. This shows that the processor and GPU can handle rendering the game at at least 60 fps while recording everything that is happening on the 5.7 inch QHD display!



We never encountered a hiccup or a slowdown when playing while recording our Asphalt 8 Gameplay which is a big deal and could be a sign of the future of mobile gaming!
TouchWiz is lighter and easier while the S-Pen gets a unified app!

On last year's Note 5, TouchWiz toned down to become lighter and easier to use but there were still so many features that had to be organized. This time TouchWiz is built upon this and made it easier by adding descriptions on what to find under each category. The UI is also a little more intuitive than before but it is still silky smooth. We do not see any slow down or frame-rate drops. 

They also updated the icons to make it pop out more but still maintain the  paper like design aesthetic.
S-Pen is love
S-Pen is love

The highlight of course is the S-Pen, because before you had to use 3 different app for different uses when utilizing the S-Pen. Now, Samsung has unified it into one app while still improving the accuracy, precision of the S-Pen's tip.

Security - The fingerprint scanner this time around is a lot more reliable than the Note 5. We experienced inconsistencies with our Note 5 but we are glad it is now gone with the Note 7. 

The Iris scanner that is new in the Note 7 is however a mixed bag. We can see that this could be the future of unlocking your phone but you have to properly open your eyelids wide open and be at a specific distance from your phone which could be time consuming. 

It is much more convenient to place your finger on the fingerprint scanner but we can see that the iris scanner can be improved to make it more practical in the future.

Connectivity - We never had problems with the connectivity features on this device. WiFi has great range, while the LTE is stable as long as you have a decent signal, and has the latest versio nfo bluetooth so the speed and power consumption are great. It also has GPS, Gyroscope,  SD card support and dual SIM card support.

With NFC, it was easy for us to pair the Note 7 easily with other phones, bluetooth devices and cameras with the NFC. It was quick and seamless. We couldn't imagine a world without this now. 

Special FeaturesThe note 7 also comes with new features like video to gif capture that adds to the screenshot experience. We found them very useful whenever we would want to share several seconds of videos. It has an option to record in standard quality and high quality for those who are conscious about storage space.

They also added a word translator where it would translate to your chosen language the word that is is being pointed at by the S-Pen. It works and has a lot of potential when developed further to be able to translate full sentences! We hope to see updates of this!

Pros - Best bisplay on the phone today, best camera for general and low light photography and for general and low light videography, best autofocus system for a mobile phone camera today, 4GB of RAM, S-Pen is still the best, fast Charging via wire or wireless is still the best on the Note 7, aluminum metal frame and glass build quality are top notch, IP 68 waterproof and dust proof protection, micro SD card slot
Cons - Glass build is slippery, battery gives a day of use with average use, speaker is easily snuffed out when hands or fingers cover the speaker grill

Verdict

The Note 7 is the best phone in the market today. In fact, if money is not an object, we highly recommend you get one right away because the Note 7 excels with most of its features, and with the Note 7 blowing away the competition with design, screen, performance, and low light photography and  low light videography which results into its versatility making it the phone to beat for 2016.

The battery is not the best but it can give you a full day of use. The S-pen is precise and you can't imagine using a phone without it after using it. The phone is versatile, and is our go to recommendation if money isn't an obstacle. Get it now.

GIZ Rating: 4.85/5 Stars
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