Tuesday, 12 July 2016

Samsung Galaxy Note 6 Specs And Price Review

Samsung's Galaxy Note has filled that niche for five years, and it's alost time for a new one. With hype building by the day, plenty of juicy details have leaked out onto the web.

Naturally, not everything out there is true. We're pretty positive Samsung isn't ready to add 4K displays and PC-pounding processors to its phones just yet. And before you get your hopes up, all the unfamiliar pics in this article are concepts and renders - not the Note 6.

Rumours are still handy for painting a rough picture of what we can expect from Samsung's next latest and greatest handset, though.

We've got the most likely details here, and will keep this preview updated with all the latest news, as and when we get it.


There's no question a new Note is on the way, but the biggest mystery right now is whether it'll have the same gorgeous curved screen currently making iPhone owners jealous on the Galaxy S7 Edge.

If the early rumours were true, even Samsung hadn't decided as recently as March and April. According to Dutch site GSM Helpdesk, both flat and curved screens were in development, but only one of them is going to make it to market.

The leaked event invite (head further down the page) leads with the line "The next edge is just around the corner", suggesting we will indeed be getting a curved Note on launch day.

Either way, it's looking set to arrive with a 5.7in Super AMOLED screen. Hopefully that'll be based on the already excellent OLED panels doing the rounds in the rest of the Galaxy range.

Resolution probably won't be jumping up from QHD/2K, though. It's what turned up on the last few Note phones, and has filtered down to the regular Galaxy line too, but smartphones just aren't powerful enough to make the switch to 4K.

Serial (and reliable) phone-leaker Evan Blass, better known by his Twitter handle @evleaks, has posted an image that appears to show the Galaxy Note 7, front and back, in three different colour finishes - Black Onyx, Silver Titanium and Blue Coral. It also appears to have a curved screen in the images, which look like official press shots of the device.

A sensor, which may be an iris scanner, can be seen on the upper right of the phablet's front.

Our gut feeling, giving Blass' past form, is that this is the real deal; we'll be pretty shocked if these pics don't accurately represent the final design of the Note 7.


A phone with a bigger screen usually has a bigger battery to match, and Samsung doesn't look set to disappoint with the Note 7.

A hardware specs leak on Chinese social network Weibo (as reported by SamMobile) seems to confirm that the Note 7 will carry a gargantuan 4000mAh battery with support for fast charging.

There's probably going to be a USB Type-C port on the bottom, too. Samsung has resisted the new connector so far this year, but the Note 7 could be when it finally gives in and follows the rest of the Android crowd.

Go back a couple of years and the Galaxy Note was literally the fastest phone you could buy. Samsung might have its work cut out to keep that title in 2016, but you can bet the Note 7 won't be a slouch when it arrives.

According to a Chinese leak, there will be two models: one with a Samsung-built Exynos 8890 CPU and the other with Qualcomm's Snapdragon 821 inside.

The 8890 already powers the Galaxy S7, and that thing is seriously quick, so it would be great to see it reappear here.

The Snapdragon 821, a quad-core chip with 2.3GHz speed, looks to be the general successor to the current 820. The 820 has rocked up in the HTC 10, LG G5 and Sony Xperia X Performance, but switching to better silicon might be Samsung's way of one-upping the competition. Earlier rumours suggested a Snapdragon 823 would be the main chip, but that seems less plausible now.

You should expect a whopping 6GB of RAM for serious multitasking, and 64GB/128GB/256GB of internal storage (with microSD support, allowing you to expand) and Android N running the show.

According to the same Chinese leak, the Note 7 will carry a 12MP Dual Pixel phase detection autofocus rear camera and a 5MP front camera. It sounds very much like the same camera setup as the Galaxy S7/S7 Edge, which is no bad thing - this is probably our favourite smartphone camera right now, performing brilliantly in almost any situation and focussing extremely quickly.


The Galaxy Note 7 is bound to come with Samsung’s TouchWiz user interface draped over Android like a second skin, but it might not be TouchWiz as we currently know it.

Italian tech site (via SamMobile) has posted a 15-minute video preview of what it claims is the beta version of the new UI, and if it’s real (which we strongly suspect it is), it represents quite a drastic change from the version we’re using now.

As you can see from the video above, we’re talking a less cartoonish overall style, support for more customisation, richer notifications and improved settings shortcuts, and an image gallery that looks a lot more like Google Photos than the current edition.


It makes sense that Samsung's next phablet will be the Galaxy Note 6 - after all, the Galaxy Note 5 (shown) came out last year, and we had a new number for each year prior going back to the original. Thing is, we've been hearing whispers of something different for months.

It started with a curious report out of Korea that suggested Samsung would leapfrog the Note 6 and call its new phone the Galaxy Note 7 instead. Why? Well, it's all about perception: the Galaxy S7 is Samsung's core flagship line, and releasing a phone with a smaller digit in the title might give the idea that it's less capable.

Then there's the confusion added to the mix if Samsung releases a Galaxy S7 Edge+ alongside the new Note, as it did last year with the Note 5 and Galaxy S6 Edge+. An industry source says Samsung has already made the decision to jump up to Note 7 naming instead.

That has been backed up by a leaked invite to Samsung's Unpacked 2016 event, which is apparently kicking off in August rather than September.

It's not like Samsung is going to scrap this year's phone and release next year's ahead of schedule: it would still be the intended Note 6 at heart, just given a new name to better unify the brands. Hey, Microsoft jumped the line with Windows 10 (after Windows 8), and it worked out pretty well there, right?


Samsung has form when it comes to launching new Note phones. They're almost always revealed at IFA, the Berlin tech show held every year in early September.

There are a few nefarious rumours doing the rounds that the date could change this year, and there could be an announcement as early as July. In fact, @EVleaks (normally a man in the know) tweeted the Galaxy Note 6 would be getting a US launch on "the week of August 15" - a lot sooner than Samsung's usual IFA event.

There's some precedent here: it's roughly the same week Samsung launched the Note 5 a year ago. A US announcement seems to point towards the Note 6 not getting a UK or European release, though. Based on how quickly our Twitter feeds filled with moans when it was confirmed the Note 5 woudn't be hitting the UK, we were betting Samsung wouldn't make the same mistake again, so this might not be good news.

The most recent leak seems to point to an August 2nd reveal event, with phones likely going on sale shortly after. It looks pretty realistic, but until we get any concrete facts we're still holding out for a September launch, and are keeping our fingers crossed for a much wider release this time around.

Prices are still up in the air, though. Unlike Apple, which tries to keep consistent from year to year, Samsung isn't afraid to play fast and loose with decimal points. The Note 5 ended up at US$740, and if a successor gets any big new features, the Note 6 could end up costing even more.

Still, there's no way to tell until everything's official - we've got our eyes peeled, and will keep you up to date if any more news drops before Samsung reveals all.

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