So we've finally got to see the Samsung Galaxy Note 7 in an official capacity. You know from a Samsung rep on a stage, rather than some semi-anonymous leaker on the interwebs. But now we need to ask the important questions, how does it compare to other phablets you can buy?
Let's take a look.
Click to embiggen
Let's get the most trivial comparisons out of the way first: thickness and weight.
In terms of the these, the Note 7 lives right in the middle of the pack. It's not the thinnest phablet out there, but it's certainly not the thickest. That award goes to the chunky 11.1mm Moto X Style, which is 3.2mm thicker than the Note 7's 7.9mm. Will you notice that, really? Maybe if you have A Sherlock Holmes-level eye for detail, but otherwise not.
In comparison to the thinner phones out there, the biggest competition comes from the S6 Edge+. But the difference is a single millimetre. Again, will you notice that? Not a chance. You definitely won't notice the fractions of millimetres that set it apart from the likes of the iPhone 6S Plus, S7 Edge, and so on.
You might notice the differences in weight, though. The heaviest contender is the iPhone 6S Plus at 192 grams, which is 23 grams more than the Note 7's 169 grams. The lightest competitor is the S6 Edge+ (I'm starting to see a trend here), which weighs in at 153 grams. Again, you might notice a 16 gram difference. In the long run, though, most of these phones will be slapped in a protective case that makes thickness and weight totally irrelevant. But in case you care, you know where you stand.
Now onto the more important stuff
You'll notice that the Note 7 is top of the list when it comes to screen size, with the same 5.7-inch display of the Galaxy S6 Edge+. So if screen size is important to you, it's definitely one of the ones you should be looking into. Unfortunately it doesn't have the best resolution out there. Don't get me wrong, the Quad HD/2K display is fantastic, but it doesn't change the fact that Sony's Xperia Z5 Premium has 4K.
If you need all those extra pixels for whatever reason (like VR, or Ultra HD Netflix), 2K doesn't really compare. That being said, Quad HD has been a staple feature on Samsung phones for a few years now, so they should have perfected the balance between high resolution and long-lasting battery. Plus, when it comes down to it, are you really going to notice the difference? Day-to-day, probably not.
That being said, it's probably worth seriously considering the Note 7's 2K screen over the full HD screens present in the iPhone 6S Plus and OnePlus 3. Particularly since the 6S Plus still relies on LCD technology. Get with the times, Apple. Same goes for you Sony. LCD 4K? What were you thinking...
For the camera, again we're right in the middle of the pack when it comes to specs. It doesn't have anywhere near as much pixel-packing power as the Z2 Premium, Moto X Style, Nexus 6P, or even the S6 Edge+, but it doesn't fall below any of the others. It has the same resolution specs as the S7 Edge and the iPhone 6S Plus, so on paper it's not all bad. Obviously those specs don't mean very much until we get to see what the camera is capable of in person, so make sure camera resolution isn't what you base your final decision on.
Storage-wise we've got nothing particularly special. 64GB of internal storage is certainly rather nice, though not entirely unheard of. I imagine that's going to boost the price a little bit compared to some of the competition, even those who also only offer 64GB models. If that's still not enough, you can always boost that storage with a microSD card (up to a whopping 256GB). Again that's not unheard of, but when you have phones like the iPhone, OnePlus 3, and Nexus 6P that still don't have expandable storage, it's an important factor to consider. It's also one of the failings of the 2015 range of Samsung phones, like the S6 Edge+. We're all grateful that this has been rectified.
Time to move onto the internal guts, which Samsung has always been very big on. There's not much change compared to the S7 that was released earlier this year, and it looks like phone phones have the exact same chipset. It worked for the S7 Edge, so it's likely to work now. The Exynos 8890 is supposed to be on par with the Snapdragon 820 that's inside the OnePlus 3, which makes sense since some North American models of the Note 7 and S7 Edge have that same CPU. The only real competition there is Apple home-built A9 processor. Benchmark tests show that despite the fact that the A9 is a few months older, it does outperform the Exynos 8890. So if you want the best computing power, it looks like Apple is the way to go.
Unfortunately the 6S Plus does have a shortcoming in that it only has 2GB of RAM. It's well worth reminding people that Android and iOS are very different systems, and that Android is more memory-hungry than it's fruit-branded counterpart. Still, the Note 7 has double the amount of RAM and that doesn't look too good for Team-Cupertino. The other two Samsung phones both have 4GB of RAM each, which is to be expected, and the other Android phones each have 3GB. That's not so good, so it's likely that the Note 7 is going to be a bit speedier.
As I say that, though, the OnePlus 3 has a ridiculous 6GB of RAM inside. Couple that with the Snapdragon 520 and you do have one fast little phone. If you emphasise speed above all else, the Note 7 can't really compete.
Onto the most important part of any spec sheet: the battery. For the time being we can't really say how good the battery life on the Note 7 is going to be, since nobody's been able to properly test it yet. That being said, it does have a nice hefty capacity that bodes well for performance. It's not the biggest battery on the list, that honour goes to the S7 Edge which is 100 mAh larger. That's not really a lot, if I'm honest, but it'll be interesting to see how that measures up in testing. Especially given that the Note 7 has to power a slightly larger screen.
But 3,500 mAh is a hell of a lot more than the iPhone 6S Plus, which has a pitiful-looking 2,750 mAh. Again it's important to remember that iOS and Android are different systems with different needs, but we all know battery life has never been Apple's strong point. The lower battery capacity is certainly going to play a significant role there.
A final couple of points here. The Note 7 has a fingerprint scanner, just like any good premium phone should (even thought the Moto X Style does not, for some reason). It also has some brand new biometric tech in the form of an iris scanner. You can read all about that in the phone's announcement post, but needless to say it's an interesting concept. It also has wireless charging, which none of the other non-Samsung phones seem to have. So if you don't like cables, you know who to give your money to. Surprisingly, even after all this time, it seems like wireless charging is still a fairly niche feature.
As for pricing, we can't really compare that because we don't know how much the Note 7 will cost. You shouldn't expect it to be less than £500, and don't be surprised if it costs more than £600. We'll find out just how much it costs on 16th August, which is when pre-orders open. The phone goes on sale on 2nd September, and participating retailers will be bundling it with the new Gear VR.