back to article Samsung Note 7: Probably the best phone in the world. Yeah – you heard right

Samsung unveiled the world’s best Android phone yesterday and I doubt if it will be bettered by anyone this year. But Samsung didn't name a price, nor assure us that the Note 7 will actually be available in the UK. (Its predecessor the Note 5 wasn’t and isn’t a UK product, we got the Edge 6+ instead, which doesn’t have all the …

  1. Select * From Handle

    Still doesn't have front facing speakers..

    So no, not the best Android phone imo.

    1. Charlie Clark Silver badge

      Re: Still doesn't have front facing speakers..

      Obviously the most important criterium for any phone…

      1. Shaha Alam

        Re: Still doesn't have front facing speakers..

        he never claimed it to be the 'most important' feature so your arsey sarcasm is misplaced.

        given the common use of these devices as video players (and anyone who's used the htc m7 knows how great front facing speakers can be), yes, having decent speakers on the front is actually a really important requirement on a device of this type.

        1. Charlie Clark Silver badge

          Re: Still doesn't have front facing speakers..

          given the common use of these devices as video players…

          Almost never used my phone for watching videos as the ergonomics are dead against it: to get the most out of it you have to hold the phone close enough to strain your eyes.

          That said: stereo front speakers are great if you've got them. But looking at HTC's sales, it doesn't look like they're the biggest argument for most people.

          1. goldcd

            Yep - even HTC have canned them on the latest revision.

            Something that's pissed me off.

            I think the problem is that they're fantastic if you've got a need and experienced them.

            My user-case is flat on my back in bed, with the phone sitting on my chest - work wonderfully.

            Problem is that it's pretty hard to be sold on this, when standing in the middle of CPW.

        2. Triggerfish

          Re: Still doesn't have front facing speakers..

          I'm not sure really important I hardly ever use the speakers. I think it's a case of preference like the OP says.

          Does not even register as a buying choice for me though when looking at phones.

        3. Carl W

          Re: Still doesn't have front facing speakers..

          Front-facing speakers also brilliant for conference calls.

      2. dajames
        Headmaster

        Re: Still doesn't have front facing speakers..

        Obviously the most important criterium for any phone…

        Criterion. As in the theatre.

      3. goldcd

        erm... you've not had them have you?

        I got them (without noticing or caring when purchasing) with my original HTC One - and assuming you watch video in landscape without headphones - were a revelation. Loud sound in stereo.

        Now I'm quite prepared to admit that it doesn't seem to be a big deal for most people (HTC have dumped it in their latest version) - BUT definitely now is a purchasing decision for me

        (e.g. my shield tablet has stereo speakers).

        As I said, maybe not a deal breaker - but definitely a nice to have (along with OIS, SD Card, Fingerprint reader and all the rest).

    2. Dave 126 Silver badge

      Re: Still doesn't have front facing speakers..

      Front facing speakers are only useful for watching video in a private place. So yeah, if you travel a lot a find yourself catching up on TV shows in hotel rooms, good front facing speakers are nice. However in your own home you'd probably being using a bigger-screened device.

      -Audio-only podcasts: rear speaker is fine

      -Public transport: headphones

      -Best sound quality: headphones or bigger discrete speakers

      -'House party': Big discrete speakers

      All design and engineering is compromise, and Samsung have evidently decided that that the 'cost' (weight, space) of including front speakers wasn't worthwhile, given the limited circumstances in which a user might use them. The weight/space etc budget will have been spent on other features such as a bigger battery, or a front panel layout that makes the phone more comfortable to hold.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Still doesn't have front facing speakers..

        Do you own a samsung by any chance, personally after years of having mono speakers on a phone and moving to a nexus 6p mainly for the forward facing speakers. Video is so much better and using it for a little background music in the shower, kitchen etc stereo despite not a lot of separation just sounds better. Rear speakers are so stupid, your heads on the front, i got so sick of cupping my old (reflecting the sound) phones to be able to have a low volume level and make out what was being said on something as the audio was firing away from me. I had samsung devices for a long time until the s3 and they screwed me on updates time and time again. Im so glad i moved this last time to a nexus device, even when google officially ends support i wont have to wait on someone to reverse engineer a closed source driver before i can get a working device on a later operating system. And if your going to use the argument samsung didnt do forward speakers because of cost... they included a curved screen, how much extra does that cost to produce... I dont really see any real world usefulness from having a curved edge screen, all your doing is introducing a weak spot for when you drop it.

        1. Charlie Clark Silver badge
          Facepalm

          Re: Still doesn't have front facing speakers..

          I dont really see any real world usefulness …

          In learning how to spell and punctuate?

        2. Dave 126 Silver badge

          Re: Still doesn't have front facing speakers..

          >Do you own a samsung by any chance

          No, not since the 'feature phone' days.

          >Video is so much better...

          For sure. It's just that if I'm at home, I use a bigger screened device (TV, laptop, tablet), and if I'm in public I'd use headphones out of courtesy to the people around me.

          >...using it for a little background music in the shower, kitchen etc stereo despite not a lot of separation just sounds better.

          I don't listen to music on small speakers. I'm not an audiophile, but if there isn't a minimum level of fidelity I don't bother. If I'm in the shower I might use a rechargeable Bluetooth speaker for spoken-word content. Mine was a tenner from Aldi, friends swear by their Bose speakers.

          >Rear speakers are so stupid, your heads on the front

          Only if you're looking at the screen at the same time - hence my statement that the front speakers are for video. Podcasts etc work fine with the phone placed downwards.

          >, i got so sick of cupping my old (reflecting the sound) phones to be able to have a low volume level and make out what was being said on something as the audio was firing away from me.

          For sure, if watching video is your use-case, then prioritise front-facing speakers. Otherwise headphones are your friend. Or a discrete speaker.

          >I had samsung devices for a long time until the s3 and they screwed me on updates time and time again.

          I'm sorry to hear that

          > Im so glad i moved this last time to a nexus device,

          I hear it's a good phone.

          > I dont really see any real world usefulness from having a curved edge screen, all your doing is introducing a weak spot for when you drop it.

          Nor me, which is another reason I haven't bought one. I'm not sure how it would work with a case, either. Still, it might actually be tougher than the ABS plastic that is used for the bezels of some phones.

          Be well.

        3. Dave Fox

          Re: Still doesn't have front facing speakers..

          I have owned an HTC One M7, M8, and M9, and currently own a Nexus 6P and a Samsung S7 Edge.

          Whilst the front facing speakers on the HTC's and the Nexus 6P are "better" than the single speaker on the S7E, in my opinion, they are really no substitute for a bluetooth speaker or some half decent earphones.

          If they were loud enough and clear enough to be used in a car as a hands free set, or to listen to an audiobook/podcast in the same environment, or to use in the bathroom whilst showering, they would easily justify their existence for my usage, but none of the phones I've listed above can do that which means the front facing speakers are little more than a novelty to me.

          Your mileage may vary of course, and that's fine, but to me all the front facing speakers I've used on phones "sound" great in theory, but in practice still not good enough.

        4. goldcd

          plus you forgot the curved screen

          means you can't nicely fit a decent glass screen protector.

      2. goldcd

        I've no f'in idea where these downvotes are coming from

        I agree with you entirely - I most benefit when slumped on a hotel bed just wanting to relax, or in my own bed finishing off something on Netflix etc.

        Stepping back from the stereo aspect, having loud speakers is handy for making an impromptu speakerphone you can chuck on a desk.

    3. Dr Fidget

      Re: Still doesn't have front facing speakers..

      Nor replaceable battery

    4. asdf

      best for me includes security

      Wouldn't the best phone have prompt security updates and excellent software support for years to come (regardless of your carrier choices)? That El Reg article in the last few days did a good job of showing how there is the Nexus line and everyone else when it comes to security updates in Android land and lets be honest Android's security is well not one of its stronger points. Best hardware perhaps.

      1. asdf

        Re: best for me includes security

        This one. Nexus or pwned if your phone has a snapdragon (like the Note 7).

        http://www.theregister.co.uk/2016/08/02/android_august_patch_bundle/

      2. Naselus

        Re: best for me includes security

        "That El Reg article in the last few days did a good job of showing how there is the Nexus line and everyone else when it comes to security updates in Android land and lets be honest Android's security is well not one of its stronger points. "

        Actually, Sammy tend to be pretty good on that front compared to most of the other vendors. My S6 continues to receive OS updates very promptly - including the one listed in the Nexus or Bust article.

        Sony are the ones who are really bad at it; I know of a few Sony models that never received any updates ever.

  2. A K Stiles

    Got a Note 3 at launch...

    and it's still my main phone now. Works well and does everything I need (not actually saying 'why did they bring out another phone when I don't need it' - just don't see the need to upgrade personally whilst this one still works).

    Intrigued by the battery on the new one though - mine is 3200mAh (12.16 Wh @ 3.8V) and that was 3-4 years ago so either their battery tech isn't advancing as quickly as might be hoped or they've opted for a smaller battery to cram more (stuff?) into pretty much the same form factor.

    Also, is that silvery back case actually metal, or just chromed plastic? That's the one thing that started to mark quite quickly on my Note 3, and the thinner parts around the edge buttons are starting to split.

    1. Charlie Clark Silver badge

      Re: Got a Note 3 at launch...

      so either their battery tech isn't advancing as quickly as might be hoped

      It isn't advancing at all. Which is why Tesla is spending so much money on a factory for Li-Ion batteries in the expectation that nothing significantly better is going to come along any time soon.

      I think Samsung also understands that more and more people are extending their replacement cycles. This favours its approach of continual improvement and integration over Apple's more tick-tock ones, which is why it's moving towards flagship releases every six months or so (first Galaxy then the Note). This is typical for consumer electronics where people can be expected to replace model X with model Y at some point, even if it isn't every two years.

      1. Charles 9

        Re: Got a Note 3 at launch...

        "I think Samsung also understands that more and more people are extending their replacement cycles."

        If that were true, they'd make the battery replaceable since that's one of the first things to go. I've replaced the battery on my S4 twice now to keep it going strong.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Charles 9

          Your thinking like a customer, not a seller. If they make the battery replaceable, how will they sell you the Note 8?

          It is the only thing keeping me on the fence in replacing my Note 3. New battery for that is what? £20-£40? A swap out at a repair centre for a Note 7 will be how much? :(

          1. Charles 9

            Re: Charles 9

            "Your thinking like a customer, not a seller. If they make the battery replaceable, how will they sell you the Note 8?"

            They can't. I look for a phone that ticks all the boxes, and then find the cheapest one. And for me, a non-replaceable battery (and a lack of microSD) is a deal-breaker based on firsthand past experience.

            So until they cater to the customer (which as the adages go is #1 if the law is not involved), I'm not buying.

  3. fnusnu

    Still using my Note 2

    Thanks to the excellent work by Ivan Meler it runs Marshmallow. The battery life was flagging a couple of months ago, so I bought a new one for £15.

    Will only stop using it when it fails to function.

    1. T_o_u_f_ma_n
      Unhappy

      Re: Still using my Note 2

      Congratulations on getting Marshmallow working on it: I had failed to locate a suitable replacement for the latest Kitkat 4.4.3 update which was pushed to regular users 2 years ago. Even Cyanogenmod gave up on the Note 2 so I decided to buy a new phone instead. Can you still use the pen and note after the update ?

      Sadly Samsung cannot be bothered with releasing security updates for their flagship models after a couple of years so that's why I couldn't be bothered with their hardware this time around, despite the features and the quality. Planned obsolescence and all that jazz... I expect the Note 7 to become unsupported quite quickly which is unacceptable at the Apple-like prices they will sell.

      1. Danny 14

        Re: Still using my Note 2

        Note 3 here with replaced battery and 128gb card. Runs marshmallow beautifully and no reason to upgrade.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Still using my Note 2

          Same here. Have three spare batteries, and a 20000 powerbank which I find pretty useless as it's just not practical running that from a backpack when hiking etc. I'd love the updated screen etc, but lack of removable battery is just killing me :-(

      2. rfrazier

        Re: Still using my Note 2

        Hmm. My Note 2 seems to be running Cyanogenmod 13 (Android 6.0.1). Indeed, it seems that it is the only Note phone (as opposed to tablet) for which CM13 is available.

        Best wishes,

        Bob

      3. fnusnu

        Re: Still using my Note 2

        S Pen works and you can use S Pen commander to do the funky things.

        Ivan Meler's ROM is here: http://forum.xda-developers.com/galaxy-note-2/orig-development/rom-cyanogenmod-13-0-n7100-t3267758

        1. handle

          Re: Still using my Note 2

          @AC "which I find pretty useless as it's just not practical running that from a backpack when hiking etc"

          Chasing Pokemon, you mean. :)

  4. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Smartphones are horrible phones

    Just about every smartphone available is surpassed by any 10-15 year old mobile as a phone. Horrible antenna-designs makes coverage so bad you almost have to carry your own base-station, and call-audio is miserable. Recent smartphones are potent computers, but hardly any of them qualify as a mobile telephone.

    1. K

      Re: Smartphones are horrible phones

      " Recent smartphones are potent computers,"

      I have a 95% internet/reading to 5% calls ratio.. I suspect its the same for most people, so I don't see that as an issue (aside from when you actually make a call!)

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Smartphones are horrible phones

        I have a 95% internet/reading to 5% calls ratio.. I suspect its the same for most people

        Not quite.

        Email: 70%

        Messaging (mostly secured): 20%

        Phone: 15% (likely to go up soon)

        Internet: 5% or less (only really to look something up - I normally use a laptop or a tablet for that)

        This use profile has an extra advantage: I can set mobile networking to 3G, and avoiding 4G delivers rather impressively extended battery life :)

        1. Shades
          Trollface

          Re: Smartphones are horrible phones

          "Not quite."

          Your total usage of a smartphone is 110%, thats quite an impressive feat! I also didn't realise footballers visited El Reg?!

          However, now correct me if I'm wrong, last time I checked isn't email and mostly secured messaging (which by default must mean mostly not SMS messaging?) all routed via, y'know, the internet? So using your percentages that is actually 95% internet use, 15% phone.

          "Yyyyyeahno, I can't take all the credit, its a team game and it was a team effort, we gave it 110%. Towards the end there we were running out of energy, but we held on, y'know?"

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: Smartphones are horrible phones

            Your total usage of a smartphone is 110%, thats quite an impressive feat! I also didn't realise footballers visited El Reg?!

            No need to get insulting - I merely gained 10% of use by not using the calc app, which turned out to be false economy :). So that's 65% email then.

            What you call "Internet use" is what I call web surfing, which is IMHO not a very useful thing to do on a smartphone as it's small (my sight has something to do with this as well). That's really interactive and thus needs the 4G speed. Messaging and email are not that dependent on blazing amounts of bandwidth as they're asynchronous in nature, which means that 3G is usually more than enough to make it work.

            In any case, not everyone uses a smartphone the same way. I prefer a decent size screen for surfing, also because I can install some filters so that I don't lose any screen estate and precious bandwidth to &^$ advertising.

            1. Shades
              Pint

              Re: Smartphones are horrible phones

              "No need to get insulting" - The chosen icon was not for no reason. If you think I was being insulting you may perhaps need to dial the sensitivity down a little Mary. See now that was insulting (if only to prove a point dear fellow. Please don't get all butthurt, we're generally all friends around here. Well, except with Matt. No-one really likes Matt.)

              "What you call "Internet use" is what I call web surfing" - You can call it Wizzlewub Shimphonging for all I care, but its still all internet use. You can't alter the definition of things just because it suits your case. Well, not unless you want me to suggest you're a politician now instead of a footballer? ;)

              Look, there is a Beer icon somewhere over there >>>>>>>>>

              How much more of an obvious gesture do I need to to make for you to get that I was, and still are, partaking in a bit of friendly leg pulling?

              1. Anonymous Coward
                Anonymous Coward

                Re: Smartphones are horrible phones

                Hey, have a beer back - I left out the smiley after the "no need to get insulting" so there was no need to apologise (nice of you, though, appreciated) :).

                I'm all for leg pulling, both on the giving and receiving side - it's what makes social interaction interesting. An evil sense of humour is essential in our work...

    2. Simon Buttress

      Re: Smartphones are horrible phones

      *Sniff*...*sniff*

      I smell shiiiiiiiiiiite

      1. Danny 14

        Re: Smartphones are horrible phones

        Well mine runs as satnav in the car, email, internet,sits in a waterproof bag when walking with anquet map, shows films, netflix and books when commuting plus ive been known to take calls (and sms) on occasion.

        The only thing my old 6310 did better was have longer battery life. Granted i use a power brick these days.

        1. Sandtitz Silver badge

          Re: Smartphones are horrible phones

          "The only thing my old 6310 did better was have longer battery life."

          It did. (I had a 6310i and it was good)

          Replacing the battery was also very simple, and I obtained a personalized name plate for it from Nokia!

          I however didn't use it for gps, email, internet, films, camera, books, games; it didn't have background tasks; it had a 0.006Mpixel mono display; those are probably the reason why the battery lasted easily for over a week. If you had used it for occasional 2.5G tethering (as I did) the battery was depleted much faster.

          Disable data and force your current phone into 2G mode (and disable all other radios and data, minimize the background light and only use your phone for SMS and calls. Feel the difference.

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: Smartphones are horrible phones

            Disable all the PHONE features, and even a phone with a dying battery will last for a week of music, games and video.

            Did this with my old P780, put it in flight mode and removed the SIM after loading it with suitable games and music, and gave it to my 2 y/o daughter to play with.

    3. Triggerfish

      Re: Smartphones are horrible phones

      Really?

      I disagree, recent uses of my smartphone on my hols.

      # Being able to book hotels rooms, while sitting round drinking coffee, sitting on trains etc.

      # Emails while chilling in hammock.

      # Messenger contacts etc with friends in country, including things like facebook messenger etc. Quite handy.

      # A multiple whats app chat between friends over new year as we were in different places, UK, Germany, Hanoi, Thailand, (was quite cool being able to send a photo of Hanoi at new year to what was effectively a private message board of your mates).

      # Sat Nav between Hue and Hoi Ann on a scooter, and finding the Hai Van pass.

      # Useful apps such as grab taxi, which means you can work out if someone is trying to rip you off for on a taxi fare,

      # Navigating the streets of Hanoi with google maps, it's a maze you can get lost remarkably easy.

      # The odd photo when sitting round in a bar and not carrying the good camera.

      # A small tablet to read stuff on and surf the web when sitting round in hotel.

      # A portable drive to swap some things with mates on travels.

      # MP3 player

      # Calculator

      # Translator

      # Oh and phone calls.

      I may actually have missed something. No signal problems either, call quality fine lots of different accents in coversations and no troubles, only place I lost signal was a few miles offshore surrounded by limestone karst type cliffs which I figure is acceptable, roughly two days battery use.

      Quite frankly they have changed travel a lot.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Smartphones are horrible phones

        I hereby nominate @Triggerfish for the most tedious humblebrag of 2016. Well done, Sir.

        1. Triggerfish

          Re: Smartphones are horrible phones

          Actually I was trying to point out why a smartphones useful, didn't realise it was a humblebrag not actually sure why it is, my apologies.

          edit: ok did some reading on what a humblebrag is...yeah fair enough I guess.

    4. 68K

      Re: Smartphones are horrible phones

      Definitely, although the missus and I are now using WhatsApp more and more to talk to each other. The call quality/voice messages are so much better than standard 2G phone quality.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Smartphones are horrible phones

        Definitely, although the missus and I are now using WhatsApp more and more to talk to each other.

        You'd want to switch to Threema. Same functionality, but with privacy..

      2. Arctic fox
        Joke

        @68K "missus and I are now using WhatsApp more and more to talk to each other."

        Have you guys considered counselling? *

        *That really was a joke, honest!

  5. alain williams Silver badge

    I might buy one ...

    when the Note 8 comes out and these are then available at 1/3 of today's price (whatever that is) -- that is if my current 2-3 y/old 'phone needs replacing by then.

    1. Dave 126 Silver badge

      Re: I might buy one ...

      I was looking at a Note 4 for my old man - a big screen for his sausage fingers, and a good camera. However, the LG V10 is now on the shortlist - a very similar beast, but without the stylus. £100 cheaper.

      I hadn't heard of the V10 until recently - all the noise around LG has been around their 'G' series phones, which can be a little novel. The V10 seems to be a 5.7" phone flagship-spec phone with a good camera but without too much weirdness.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: I might buy one ...

        Your husband's wide fingers might not enjoy using the narrow second screen on the V10.

      2. tiggity Silver badge

        Re: I might buy one ...

        Plenty of phablets around for your old man, especially good value if you are prepared to risk less well known names & a bit of plastic look some quite cheap.

        I had to get a replacement spare phone recently (always like backup phone in case hassle with main phone as can set it all up in advance with contacts etc ready to go ) Marshmallow, 5.5 screen, 3Gb RAM, over 4000 mAh battery, OK front & rear cameras, dual sim & SD card separate (usually dual sim have multi use SD/SIM slot so 2 sims means no memory card) (prices around 100 quid retail)

        http://www.cubot.net/smartphones/dinosaur/

        1. Dave 126 Silver badge

          Re: I might buy one ...

          Aye, there are many phablets, it was just becoming a chore digging through for camera reviews. The Note 4's camera was given good reviews. My dad just gets annoyed with trying to type on a 5" Nexus 5 phone and kept threatening to just buy another handset, and I noticed that he had made it his primary photographic tool, too - so figured a 5.7" screen and good camera would fit the bill - not too fussed about other specs or price.

          I'm not afraid of lesser known brands (hell, the important bits, i.e the SoC, camera hardware and screen all come from the usual suspects anyhows). Personally I'm using a Huwaei so cheap it's almost disposable (yet really not annoying).

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: I might buy one ...

      "when the Note 8 comes out and these are then available at 1/3 of today's price"

      Stick with the 4. It has official Marshmallow support (meaning root-aware apps like Android Pay work on it) AND you can remove the battery in it.

  6. Daniel Hall
    FAIL

    4GB? Really

    See title.

    1. Tom 38
      WTF?

      Re: 4GB? Really

      4GB RAM not enough for you?

    2. ThomH

      Re: 4GB? Really

      That's 4 gigabytes of RAM — pretty much the same as most of the other current Android flagships, and plenty for the 2016 software stack.

      1. Danny 14

        Re: 4GB? Really

        I imagine future proofing. 3gb on my note 3 is plenty at the moment but there are probably apps out there that use more.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: 4GB? Really

          there are probably apps out there that use more

          Just don't install anything made by Microsoft and you should be fine.

          :)

          1. P. Lee

            Re: 4GB? Really

            >Just don't install anything made by Microsoft and you should be fine.

            Indeed. That's the same as my daughter's surprisingly serviceable macbook air.

            For a phone.

            Now I'm torn. I like the fact that it isn't hobbled hardware, but what on earth do those little applets need 4GB ram for? Is android that inefficient?

            1. Anonymous Coward
              Headmaster

              Re: 4GB? Really

              No. 4GB Ram is for app caching. It speed it up without having to access the internal SD. It can also be more power efficient at times (when in use all day, but is less power efficient if not used for long periods. Which is why Android now clears cache automatically if not used for around a day).

              That and of cause, use and experience changes. Perhaps some apps do use it all, or we will be using it all with the next big thing.TM.

  7. Khaptain Silver badge

    Could be great

    If they also remove the Samsung Nagware and "Samsung Automatically Downloaded Apps",,, ggggrrrrrr.

    I still don't know why I am "forced" to have MS Office on my phone, I have a laptop, tablet for that.

    1. Danny 14

      Re: Could be great

      Bootloaders arent usually locked so just root and remove.

      1. Charles 9

        Re: Could be great

        Thanks to SafetyNet and dm-verity, more apps are root- and custom-aware, so going stock is the only option for those situations. Plus don't Samsung devices have KNOX, which customizing also breaks?

  8. Fuzz

    Payment and iris recognition

    Microsoft have payment services with iris recognition in the anniversary update. It's US only at the moment so I have no idea how well it works or what level of acceptance there is but Samsung aren't the only ones with this feature.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Payment and iris recognition

      I'm not sure why a payment system that uses iris recognition is any better than one that uses fingerprint recognition. Neither is 100% secure, or close to it. Neither has any way to revoke the biometric data if someone steals it - though at least if you want to change fingers you have 10 to choose from, versus only two eyes. Fingerprint is faster since you don't need to line it up with your face. Each has an Achilles heel - sunglasses for iris, gloves for fingerprint.

      I suspect the only reason Samsung did it is to be different, not because there's any reason to think it is superior. But I'm sure their marketers will try to imply it is.

      1. GitMeMyShootinIrons

        Re: Payment and iris recognition

        "I'm not sure why a payment system that uses iris recognition is any better than one that uses fingerprint recognition."

        Easier to damage your fingerprint (or at least temporarily render it unreadable) than your iris.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Payment and iris recognition

          You can program more than one finger you know.

          Anyway, you can always use your password instead if your fingerprint is "temporarily unreadable". I imagine similar things are possible for the iris - you could get a scratch on your cornea for instance.

  9. Anonymous Coward
    Joke

    Oh dear. This is dreadful...

    I was under the impression this phone had no expandable memory. And even though 64gb is more than enough for me, hot swapping memory cards with media is so useful I was considering not getting it...

    ... now I see it has expandable SD card slot, my wallet is going to sack me!

  10. Quotidian

    Stealing Is Easier Than Innovating

    It does not look enough like an iPhone so Samsung needs to steal more stuff.

    1. James Hughes 1

      Re: Stealing Is Easier Than Innovating

      Just out of interest, what is the latest phone innovation worth talking about.

      I reckon there haven't been any real innovations for years.

  11. Stuart Halliday
    WTF?

    So, I've got a Note 4. bought in 2014. The Note 7 is just in time for my contract renewal at Xmas.

    But I don't see much to get excited about over the Note 4.

    I don't intent to get it wet, to use the Iris scanner, etc.

    I would like the multi-windows feature to work better, tends to crash apps,

    I suspect I'll need the Note 7 to really run Android 7 well and that's all.

    1. Charles 9

      I wouldn't count on anything to run Android 7 well until after Android 7 itself comes out. This one looks to be a doozy in terms of changing the core functions, if you'll recall, since Google has been forced into a security focus with this update.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        doozy?

        What the frig is a doozy?

        1. Charles 9

          "Watch that first step! It's a doozy!"

          As in it's a pretty big one. One with a lot of substance to it. Term based on the old Duesenberg cars that hit their heyday in the 1930's and affectionately coined the phrase, "It's a doozy!" as a way to say, "Now here's a REAL car!"

          Because of Stagefright and so on, Google's been forced to pay a lot of attention to security with Android N: particularly the ability to patch core functions of the OS that normally get obfuscated by carriers. In order to avoid getting investigated by governments for still letting hopelessly-vulnerable-and-unpatchable devices be approved, they need to slam that door hard. That's why you have things like seamless updates, which means updates don't take forever to install, and why IINM he core framework is being separated from the user interface (which is what the manufacturers and carriers want to control).

          I still haven't heard any call for requiring the use of root-proof tech like ARM TrustZones and Secure Elements; this may have to do with catering to low-end device makers, though.

  12. Really Anonymous Coward

    Usb-c?

    What was the point of the EU insisting on a charging standard only for it to change?

    Happy s7 owner (10 years on HTC couldn't stomach a 10)

    1. Francis Boyle

      Re: Usb-c?

      USB is still USB and the C connector is backwards compatible so this is really a non-issue.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Usb-c?

        It is a replacement cable, not replacement charger. It seems every manufacture went to usb style bricks and usb socket cables, with the phones connector (usb micro/mini/Apple lightning etc) on the other end.

        Less waste as only the cables need replacing. Is also cheaper to replace if you break a connector like I have around 3 times on my Note 3. Thankfully that thing is built like a brick! :D

  13. A. Coatsworth Silver badge
    Pint

    Probably the best (...) in the world

    As in "Carlsberg"?

    Going by that advertisement, I'll pass, thanks.

    1. Youngdog

      Re: Probably the best (...) in the world

      I remember seeing the hoardings last year saying that, in a taste test, 7/10 people preferred Carlsberg to Stella.That struck me as a bit like saying you think horse p**s tastes better than cat p**s - you're still drinking p**s!

    2. handle

      Re: Probably the best (...) in the world

      Clickbait.

  14. Hippomenes
    Windows

    Grot reinvented

    Hideous looking screen- right up there with the Apple Watch and German SUVs.

  15. john devoy

    Given the estimated price it should be the best, even seems a little underwhelming given the cost.

  16. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Samsung v Xiaomi

    SWMBO has a Note4 and I have a HongMi 3G; despite the Xiaomi hype, the Note 4 has a far superior camera, but other than that, the HongMi is not only a better phone, it is ~1/3rd the price - and I still get regular OS and security updates (about 5-6 so far this year).

    The current Xiaomi Note offering has been tainted by the new ex-Samsung development leader; hopefully the NEXT one will return the removable battery and microSD slot - then I will probably buy it.

    BTW, a spare battery and usb battery charge charger for the phone cost me £3.40.

    1. Tony Paulazzo

      Re: Samsung v Xiaomi

      My Note 4, not rooted / cyanogised has recently updated itself to Android 6.0.1 (Marshmallow) - so pretty up to date...

      1. Charles 9

        Re: Samsung v Xiaomi

        It's one reason I finally decided to retire my S4 for this (used in good condition), as S4 is off the Lollipop list, let alone Marshmallow (OTOH, my S5 is already there). It just took a while for the US carriers to catch up: T-Mobile most recently in June. I think AT&T is the only holdout.

  17. Ian Watkinson

    A what?

    a person who leaves one place or country, esp a native country, to settle in another Compare immigrant. (as modifier): an emigrant worker.

    "This took off with non technical users – there’s a niche of emigrants for whom this is their main computer"

    So Samsung Notes are popular with people who leave the country?

    I always wondered why Samsung had an Experience Store in Marbella....

  18. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    "Qualcomm Snapdragon 820 (two 2.15GHz and two 1.6GHz Kryo cores and Adreno 530 GPU) in the US, Samsung Exynos 8890 (four 2.3GHz and four 1.6GHz cores and Mali-T880 MP12 GPU) everywhere else."

    Why is this?

    1. James Hughes 1

      SS always multiple source their SoC's so all their ranges although outwardly similar can have different internals. It's a PITA, and not really sure why they do it. Probably to keep everyone on their toes.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      CDMA?

      I thought the Exynos didn't have CDMA support, so in the US it's Qualcomm. (Is this correct?)

    3. handle

      Licensing issues too, maybe?

      1. Charles 9

        Probably also to do with spectrum. American phones need an emphasis on bands 4, 12, and 17 (as those are the LTE bands used by AT&T, T-Mobile, and MetroPCS the main GSM-based carriers, and this trend extends throughout the Americas). They're still pretty international-friendly, though, as they normally support band 3 and at least one other common band (usually 1, 5, or 7). Verizon and Sprint phones use less-common bands so require more customization.

  19. 27escape
    Thumb Up

    Available in the UK

    It would seem like it is anyway, they have a UK accessories page for it (in the article) as well as having a pre-order page http://shop.samsung.com/uk/galaxy-note7-black/.

    Shame I don't have any spare cash

    1. A Nonny Moose

      Re: Available in the UK

      Indeed, I happened to see it advertised on the EE and O2 sites yesterday.

      I didn't dare look at the prices though. I suspect I'll be hanging onto my S5+ come October

  20. DerekCurrie
    FAIL

    It's running Android...

    Therefore, it's NOT the best phone in the world. Simple as that. Android is the single most dangerous, least secure operating system available today. No software is perfect but Android's security continues to prove itself to be abysmal, every month like clockwork.

    1. DerekCurrie
      Holmes

      Re: It's running Android...

      Like clockwork...

      Black Hat 2016: Apple iPhone Updates Drub Android Counterparts

      http://www.investors.com/news/technology/black-hat-2016-apple-iphone-updates-drub-android-counterparts/

      "...Android's security posture depends on "obsolescence," Thomas said. The lion's share of iPhones are operating on the newest iOS, Apple's proprietary operating system, with a smaller group only lagging by a generation. Users of Android, a much-used open-source operating system developed by Alphabet (GOOGL) unit Google, are left more vulnerable."

  21. jason 7

    Using a Note 1

    ...as my hi-fi. Stripped down build, running Spotify Premium via the Samsung Note Docker into a little Fiio digital amp.

    Works a treat.

  22. Monty Burns

    Battery....?

    So, bigger screen that an S7 but with a smaller battery..... interesting....

    Are there any other flagship STYLUS phones available? All I can find is the LG Stylus but that's far from premium which is a shame as it ticks two big boxes for me (removable battery and SD cards).

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Battery....?

      As far as I know, the Note is the only one with an active Stylus.

      This is in part due to Wacom owning the patents on some/a lot(?) of the hardware.

      The only other competitor out there I know of is MS with their Slate, as they swapped from Wacom to in house tech. But I don't know how it compares.

      Wacom use a EM detection with an inductive active power to the pen. So it is really really accurate, while not needing a battery in the pen. ( https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wacom_%28company%29#Technology )

      Other phones just use a plastic stylus, which does not have active buttons.

      TL:DR: Basically there is probably an app called "Wacom Pen Driver" on the phone, and it seems to be the only one made by Wacom, there is nothing better and no compatition comes close as an alternative.

      1. handle

        Re: Battery....?

        Yes. And Samsung devices have a pen holster, so you don't lose it, unlike MS or Apple. If Apple had a holster, it could contain a connector to charge the battery the Apple Penci has to have.

  23. Crisp

    Nice to see that it's waterproof

    I for one like taking notes in the bathtub.

  24. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Price

    EE confirmed business price to us yesterday - £559. Expensive, but not as bad as feared.

    UK pre-order from the 16th of August with delivery from 2nd of September.

  25. Giles Jones Gold badge

    They need to STFU about Samsung Pay until they launch it in the UK.

    Bought their Gear S2 after reading it has Samsung Pay only to realise it hadn't launched in the UK.

  26. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Nice phone.

    Looks like a OnePlus 3 with gimmicks, a better screen and some slightly lower specs.

    It might not be upto some of the specs here, but ill be sticking with my OP3 for the foreseeable future.

    I used to love my GN3 but eventually Knox, Touchwiz, crap update cycle, heat, a warranty you can void by opening the packaging and the huge price tag sent me elsewhere.

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