MANILA, Philippines (UPDATED) – The Samsung Note7 is a grand phone with grand ambitions.
Its specs speak for themselves: a 5.7-inch 2560x1440 display, a 64-bit octacore processor, 4GB of RAM, 64GB of storage space that's expandable up to 256GB through a microSD card, a 12-megapixel camera at the back, a 5-megapixel camera up front, and a 3,500 mAh battery. It screams flagship.
But what Samsung must've known is that the numbers don't readily impress consumers as much as they used to. Any phone maker can cram all the number-crunching power into a phone handily nowadays. The challenge for manufacturers now is, how do you convert all those dizzying numbers into something that's actually usable for the consumer?
For the Note7, Samsung presents several: a waterproof and dustproof body and S Pen, with an IP68 rating; the out-of-the-box ability to make GIFs out of videos; HDR imagery; and a fit-for-a-spy feature in its iris-scanning security technology. Previous S Pens weren't waterproof, so with the Note7's, you may scribble down all of your #ShowerThoughts and securely use it at, say, the pool without worries. It's a great addition for the active types.
Photo by Gelo Gonzales/Rappler
With the S Pen, you also get the ability to make GIFs straight out of a video. For a phone that once seemed to have an all-out productivity slant, it's great to see it loosening its tie for a fun made-for-millennials feature. The phone also adapts Samsung's high dynamic range technology from its TV line, for crunchier visuals and a wider color gamut.
The iris scanning technology is the highlight of Samsung's security suite for the Note7. The phone has a dedicated secondary camera for the tech that beams an infrared light into your eyes, and authenticates the user. Samsung says it's more secure than fingerprint scanning – a feature that's still very much available in the Note7 along with Samsung Knox and Secure Folder. Knox safely separates your personal data from work data while Secure Folder gives you a dedicated folder where you can keep private files behind an extra layer of protection.
For anyone looking for a high-spec model, those 4 features, among others, currently give the Note7 considerable uniqueness in the market. It's also very good-looking, with the curved front and back akin to an edgier S7 Edge providing oomph.
Oomph. The official launch of the Note7 definitely had some of that too. Held at the Grand Ballroom of Shangri-La at The Fort on Monday, August 15, the launch reiterated the specs and features expected of the flagship device to a very agreeable crowd.
Kevin Lee, president and managing director of Samsung Philippines, said they are bringing "new technology, new innovations, new products in the market in order to differentiate [the brand from other] competitors, inspire consumers, and help partners."
Present at the launch were actress Solenn Heussaff, model Georgina Wilson, and restaurateur Erwan Heussaff who serve as brand ambassadors.
Bianca Gonzalez-Intal, also a brand ambassador, was the host for the lavish evening gala. A Samsung user since 2014's Galaxy S4, Bianca said she's currently using 2015's S6 but is planning to get the Note7. She told us about her favorite features of the new phone in a short interview:
The Samsung Galaxy Note7 is available for pre-order for P39,990. Store availability of the Samsung Note7 has been moved from August 20 to sometime in September due to great demand for the units, according to Samsung Philippines. Official release date to be posted once details arrive. – Rappler.com
(Editor's note: The megapixel ratings listed for the front and back cameras here have been corrected. Initially, the article said that the Note7 "has a 12-megapixel camera up front, and a 5-megapixel camera at the back." The correct figures: the Note7 "has a 12-megapixel camera at the back, and a 5-megapixel camera up front.")