Samsung Galaxy Note 7 to the test: We survived it

The expectations for the Samsung Galaxy Note 7 are immensely high after the brilliant start of the smartphone manufacturer in the year 2016th Both the Galaxy S7 and the Galaxy S7 edge reaped great acclaim from the users as well as by the press and are undoubtedly among the best devices available on the market. Can the Galaxy Note 7, the already outstanding S7 edge overtrump? And what is with the (exploding) battery? Our detailed test provides answers.

Samsung Galaxy Note 7 to the test: We survived it

In short: When the Honor 8 and the OnePlus 3, the flagship killer, then the Samsung Galaxy Note is the flagship 7, the horse to beat there. The design is a sensible development of Samsung Galaxy and Galaxy S7 S7 edge and because of the significantly better handling in itself perform a reason for some users to upgrade. The performance is as usual at a high level, although the new Grace UX is in need of improvement in some places - but the software was at Samsung has always been a point at which opinions were divided. In return, the manufacturer should not Schnitzer in all mandatory functions such as the display, the phone functions as well as the camera. The battery life is at a high level, although the reports of exploding batteries currently account in the press around and confuse so many prospects could. As a smartphone, the Samsung Galaxy Note 7 is purely hardware but technically close to perfection.

If the Samsung then once arrives Galaxy Note 7 but (with safe batteries) in the local market, it is likely to be the first choice for many users, because it is actually still a corner better than the previous leader, the Samsung Galaxy S7 edge. The advance it has next to the design that is also the reliable functioning iris scanner, and of course the characteristic S-Pen, Samsung has even improved considerably compared to the previous generation. Who the rich prize of 849 euros to pay is willing receives the Galaxy Note 7 an outstanding piece of technology that is unique in this combination on the market. Shame that you currently talking about mainly as a source of fire and explosion potential carrier.

  • Excellent design and quality workmanship
  • Hardware equipment leaves nothing to be desired
  • S-Pen and iris scanners are unique selling points
  • Camera shoots reliable very nice photos
  • Very good battery life
  • GraceUX need of improvement in terms of performance and menu logic
  • Very high price

The sequel is here! Samsung Galaxy Note 8 in the test

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(9 pictures)

Samsung Galaxy Note: A review of six years phablet history

Gallery: Samsung Galaxy Note 7

Gallery Samsung Galaxy Note 7 Test (Silver)

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Samsung Galaxy Note 7: The technical data at a glance

display5.7 inch Super AMOLED with 2560 x 1440 pixels (WQHD, 515 ppi)
processorExynos 8890 octa-core (4 x 2.3 GHz; 4 x 1.6 GHz), 64-bit, 14 nm
random access memory4 GB (LPDDR4)
data storage64 GB (via microSD card expandable to up to 256 GB)
cameraMP 12 with dual-pixels, f / 1.7 aperture
front camera5 MP with f / 1.7 aperture
battery pack3500 mAh
connectivity 4.2 Bluetooth LE, LTE, NFC, dual band WLAN 802.11 a / b / g / n / ac (2.5 and 5 GHz), ANT +, GPS
dimension153.5 x 73.9 x 7.9 mm
mass170 grams
operating systemAndroid 6.0.1 with TouchWiz Marshmallow
particularitiesIris scanner, fingerprint sensor, USB Type C, stylus, water and dust proof to IP68 standard, wireless charging (WPC and PMA-Standard)
To dyeBlack Onyx, Coral Blue, Silver Titanium, Gold

Processing, feel and design of the Samsung Galaxy Note 7 in the test

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Samsung has certainly not reinvented the wheel when designing the Galaxy Note 7 - but that was not necessary, because basically the look of the Galaxy smartphones was quite high since the S6. The rounded display edges of the Galaxy Note 7 ensured prior to the presentation of numerous prophecies of doom (including from our editorial from colleagues Kaan), many users felt this feature on the Samsung Galaxy S7 edge rather than just a gimmick, which is sometimes a hindrance even when operating ,

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The is not the Galaxy Note 7 as follows: Besides the fact that, Samsung prevented by software that incorrect entries are made at the margin, the Grade 7 is symmetrical only very slightly rounded on the front and back. This gives the impression is not only visually awakened to keep a borderless device in their hands, and tactile results from the Edge display a distinct advantage.

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Compared to other devices in the display category from 5.5 in the Note 7 is very narrow and can be kept comfortable. Hand operation, while still has limitations, but it must be noted that there is hardly a more ergonomic phablet than the Galaxy Note. 7 In direct comparison, the Samsung Galaxy 5 looks almost crude note; the Galaxy S7 edge like a uncosted prototype. When using the S-Pen we found no restrictions by the curved screen edges, because who writes about on a sheet of paper on the very edge?


in the test we had the silver version, the more chrome-colored, shimmering almost golden - that's certainly not for everyone, just as the version in traditional Clearly it goes to in the colors black and white "Coral Blue.". The back of the note 7 is as usual made of glass, which makes the device prone to fingerprints - but not as strong as one would expect. While it is still fairly smooth, apparently Samsung has however worked on the coating. That it slides without Case permanently from the desk, we did not observe in the test, and the stop was felt slightly better than the S7 (edge). So who is looking for a high quality smartphone with glass and metal components, is well advised with the score 7 - it has the familiar Samsung design, but for the first time in perfection.

Display of the Samsung Galaxy Note 7 in the test


The display is a category in which Samsung for several years reliable dusting the top grade. Also, the Galaxy Note 7 is no exception: Who still believes that OLED displays to fight an unfaithful color display, with burn-in effects and compared to good IPS displays have darker displays, should all these prejudices quickly overboard toss. The presentation of content on the Samsung Galaxy Note 7 is brilliant and thanks WQHD display razor sharp. Most in the Gear VR, which was launched with the mark of 7 in a new version, some pixels can be identified on the display.


Also in terms of contrast and white display - here the tone in direct comparison with its predecessor is not yet a tick brilliant &# 8211; convinced the Samsung Galaxy Note 7. There is in the settings even more options for customizing the presentation, but we were compelled to do something about the preferences at any time. particularly impressed us in the test, the extremely high brightness. If you manually sets the display to 100 percent, one is blinded by the screen almost. In automatic mode, in direct sunlight but the score 7 achieves top figures of more than 1000 nits and also provides on summer days allowing full insight. There is not much to report: The display of the Samsung Galaxy Note 7 is in every way the best on the market.

R.I.P. TouchWiz, Hello Grace UX software of the Samsung Galaxy Note 7 in the test

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Samsung and software - a topic worthy of debate that one can certainly. For many die-hard Android fans just TouchWiz is one of the reasons why they reject vehemently Samsung devices despite excellent hardware - especially since the South Koreans intervention by custom ROM by Knox, locked bootloader and other security mechanisms have made almost impossible. Therefore, one should not hope for CyanogenMod for the Samsung Galaxy Note. 7

But what is now offering the new software the peak phablets from Samsung? In addition to a new name so much has compared to the previous models, done: The new interface of Samsung has been optically clear purifies again, setting the entire setup menu has been revamped. Where was before or at the top to see a small selection of the favored setting items The site now &# 8230; nothing before. Samsung gets rid of all the menu top points and robbed so both beginners and experienced Android veterans all sense when it comes to searching for specific settings.

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Even more: If you have already used an Android device - be it with TouchWiz or stock Android - is noted that the South Koreans have changed the menu structures in many places for some unknown reason. Usually not for a good way out: To the lower point of the mobile networks of the example, was separated data usage, although the two settings are related thematically closely. After all, who does not find the item sought immediately, automatically gets below the setting to be seen points suggestions for potentially relevant menu items.

Apart from such orientation problems also exist in the performance of the user interface for improvement - clear, these are to complain at a high level, but at this price it is quite appropriate. Not that the smartphone would stutter in every nook and stutter - that would certainly ruin the user experience beyond recovery regardless of the excellent hardware. But compared to a OnePlus 3 or other devices with stock Android, the Grade 7 just feels a bit slower. This is reflected not only subtly when navigating between different apps where it's all about fractions of seconds:

  • The new launcher has an additional news feed when you wipe hard left. This updates itself with each call, each time small stuttering occur. solved anything but beautiful and one of the reasons why we would strongly recommend the use of an alternative launcher such as Nova.
  • Due to the unusual menu structure we were repeatedly forced to use the search function. That would only be half as bad if they would take no part more than five seconds to display the search results. In most other smartphones the entries are displayed as you type the search term.
  • The battery statistics hide behind a new menu item called "equipment maintenance." This requires a few days of use but also painfully until it releases the data on electricity consumption.
  • From time to time the device restarts for no apparent reason, in our test period of about two weeks this has happened three times. The Samsung keypad crashes occasionally.

These waiting times is certainly not a disadvantage, which makes the use of the Samsung Galaxy Note 7 to an utter fiasco, but who spends 849 euros for a smartphone, would expect a first-class performance in all areas. The fact is: Take a breath of ultrafast Android, should continue as the set as the Nexus series or devices from OnePlus or Motorola, which are based close to stock Android. Although the Samsung Galaxy Note 7 is by no lame duck, but sets the benchmark software performance but no standards.

It bears the new Grace UX as it were, tolerably. Really innovative developments or bonus features found in Grace UX also rather less; Rather, Samsung seems to be striving to keep the software as lean and uncluttered, was why, after all, thankfully largely dispensed with bloatware. Android enthusiasts will probably not be happy with the score 7 - as the outlook for custom ROMs are rather poor due to the aforementioned reprisals.

Special features of the Samsung Galaxy Note 7: iris scanner, S-Pen and fingerprint sensor in the test


First of all, the mark of 7, like its predecessors has a home button flanked by two capacitive keys. A fingerprint sensor is located in the middle button that unlocks the smartphone quickly and safely. Basically nothing has changed here compared to its predecessor. Some will prefer a rear-positioned fingerprint sensor that unlocks the device directly, if possible - but that is a matter of taste.

Iris scanner: Somewhere between exciting innovation and luxury gimmick

is much more exciting because the new iris scanner, at least on paper. Samsung has launched the first mass producer an Android device with such a feature on the market and boasts accordingly with it. After having scanned his eyes and registered - in fact, this only works with a single pair of eyes at the same time, so you can not register multiple users via iris scanner - you have to wipe the lock screen still upward to unlock via iris scanner, the machine to.


This works very reliably and quickly, in fact: the device is unlocked Basically, as early as the moment when his eyes go to the designated area for scanning. Still, however, the required swiping makes unlocking via iris scanner unintuitive, also it is possible even in bright sunlight is not always easy to scan the pair of eyes. Primary is the iris scanner in our eyes (pun!) Is a nice added gimmick that you can possibly use to hedge most important data. Basically, but most users should be able to do without this feature without difficulty.

S-Pen: Unrivaled and better than ever


Quite different is the situation in which S-Pen, which is a unique feature of the Note series has always been. In Note 7 a further improved variant is used, which provides a much finer tip and twice as many pressure levels (4,096 vs. 2,048), as has the previous model. And indeed, even laymen should notice very fast compared with the grade 5 that it writes a bit more comfortable and faster with the new pen and sketched. but the pen is useful not only for artistically gifted people, even navigating through menus works with the S-Pen in some situations simply pleasant - especially when the appliance about the trip at the beach used underwater. Since the Samsung Galaxy Note 7 and the S-Pen are waterproof to IP67 standard, is a dive in theory nothing to prevent. We have let the appliance swim a few laps under water and could not hear any damages (no, no explosions) find thanks to S-Pen also the control in wet Display is functioning properly.

In keeping with the S-Pen, there are also software: the new note-taking app from Samsung is kept much simpler and tricked the user already more inclined they actually use. The previous approaches from Samsung were there quite often a little too overloaded; now the company has indeed removed some features and previously combines four notes apps into one, but this has definitely helped the overview. but professional artists will still want more work with Autodesk Sketchbook or the Infinite Painter; the possibilities of Samsung note-taking app as a whole rather limited. Nevertheless, Samsung is in 2016 about the only manufacturer still building devices with stylus, so the grade devices in this regard are unrivaled anyway.

Performance of the Samsung Galaxy Note 7 in the test

Despite the somewhat lame launcher (which you should replace quickly) and occasional pauses in the settings, the Samsung Galaxy Note 7 actually thanks to the Exynos 8890 processor and 4 GB RAM highly efficient and correspondingly in all other everyday scenarios and liquid to use. In principle, so that all current Android games can cope easily with the heat generation always acted even under permanent stress in tolerable. For all fans of benchmarks we have the corresponding values ​​from AnTuTu, GFX Bench, CF Bench and Futuremark:

Gallery Samsung Galaxy Note 7 Benchmarks

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the score 7 can at the top of the leaderboards not put - there are already the top models with 6GB of RAM in your way - overall results are but quite remarkable. A true assessment of the actual performance benchmarks do not give off though, but you can be pretty sure when purchasing the Note 7 to keep one of the currently most powerful devices on the market in the hands.

Telephony and audio on the Samsung Galaxy Note 7

Call quality is on both sides faultless, but it was actually to be expected from a flagship smartphone. Also at the reception, Samsung makes no blunders, either in telecommunications still under o2 / E-Plus network, we found difficulties here. Acoustically makes the Samsung Galaxy Note 7 is also a good figure - at least when using the appropriate jack for headphones or speakers.

The built-in speakers on the bottom sounds good and is also more than sufficiently loud, but can not keep up high with stereo speakers competitors such as the HTC 10th Nevertheless, one can also hear one or another song about it, without immediately risking an acute hearing loss. However, those who used the device under water, should be patient: The speaker is thus namely a long while almost completely useless, because the volume on contact with water is reduced to a minimum.

Connectivity and memory of the Samsung Galaxy Note 7

Of course, the Samsung Galaxy Note 7 supports all the necessary LTE bands and can also use the common standards such as Bluetooth 4.2 and - you guessed it - WLAN come up. In fact, there were some rumors regarding the integration of MIMO technology, which still should enable faster transfer data over wireless networks in Note 7 in advance.

Officially, Samsung has in this respect eventually nothing can be announced, in practice, the speeds of the Galaxy Note 7 on the wireless network our editorial but for example in the Play Store in the app download is much faster than with the Samsung Galaxy Note 5. Note you will but this probably only when the bandwidth of the wireless network is very large.

Another advantage over the Galaxy Note 5 is the microSD slot. From the factory, the Grade 7 has been impressive 64GB of memory. If that's still not enough is (are effective after deduction of the system and pre-installed applications are still around 52 GB free), can extend through microSD (assuming appropriate card) memory without problems by up to 2 TB.

Battery and everyday life with the Samsung Galaxy Note 7

With a 3500 mAh battery, the Samsung Galaxy Note 7 compared to all direct predecessors nominally the highest capacity, but has to admit defeat on paper the Samsung Galaxy S7 edge. This has a battery with a capacity of 3,600 mAh, the difference being basically in practice is negligible.

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Like the Samsung Galaxy S7 edge should actually also the Samsung Galaxy Note 7 just about every workday survive without problems. In everyday life scenario with three to synchronize e-mail accounts, Facebook, WhatsApp and Co. as well as 30 to 60 minutes gaming 3D games like Vain Glory or HIT, the Samsung managed Galaxy Note 7 about 4 to 5 hours Screen-on time , The brightness we let this always automatically regulate what worked reliably and quickly.

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Who looks many videos on his smartphone, will no doubt be creating eight or more hours Screen-on time; a complete film with 2 hours runtime on Amazon Video mastered the score 7 with a loss of just 20 percent time. It is worth noting that Samsung this creates a always-on display, the quasi-permanent displays important information on the off-screen. If you switch this off, the battery life would prolong some circumstances; significant differences are not noticed during normal use. Presumably the differences only become apparent when one device be really rare in active use and standby times are particularly long.

Exploding batteries?

We have the Samsung Galaxy Note 7 during the trial period with the charging adapter of the Samsung Galaxy Note 5 operated since the tester made available to us was only provided with a UK-Charger. Charging was very smooth with the adapter, after about 80 minutes, the phone was fully charged. we could explosions or excessive heating, although no notice, but it concerns with the reports about exploding copies of the Samsung Galaxy Note 7 definitely a serious issue, now indeed admitted to Samsung itself and has started a recall campaign. Those who buy a Samsung Galaxy Note 7, should pay, among other things on the green battery icon; so secure devices to be marked by the manufacturer namely. Who 7 has been a Samsung Galaxy Note (without a green battery icon), you should turn off immediately and replace as quickly as possible to a secure unit.

The camera of the Samsung Galaxy Note 7 in the test

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Meanwhile, the smartphone has already been successfully replaced the digital camera in the minds of most users - taking pictures of top notch artists such as the Samsung Galaxy S7 (edge), the HTC 10 and the LG G5 make this possible without the great loss in image quality (if is dispensed with optical zoom) has to accept. The camera of the Samsung Galaxy Note 7 provides on paper "only" 12 MP, which may at first seem strange to one or other long-standing supporter - after all, the manufacturers supplied for a while a contest to see who the most megapixels in its Smartphone can obstruct camera.

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Samsung has, however, re-thought and focused instead on a better quality picture. This is also technically sensible, since an increase in megapixel count usually more of a deterioration of the picture brings in a consistently small sensor with it. The Note 7 comes with a dual-pixel sensor, and a large aperture of f / 1.7. Especially in low light the image quality to be superior to the competition by the higher light absorption capability yet, which is also largely true.


In daylight - especially in the summer sunshine - can the Samsung Galaxy Note 7 convincing in every respect. Sharpness, image dynamics and contrasts are at a very high level. Even in comparison with the already excellent camera of the Samsung Galaxy S7, the Grade 7 thanks to adjustments in the software does not seem as strong to eliminate details in landscape photography by sharpening, so photos themselves (on the big screen and not just on the smartphone screen ) look excellent.

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Although night scenes at night are still subject to a significant noise, which the software algorithm tries halfway effectively counteract. For this, the noise is very low and only noticeable in dark areas when Ranzoomen at dusk or indoors. In light sources in the dark or in general in backlight, however, the sensor has occasional problems to produce a sharp image; Shooting in direct backlight have about often a light white veil.

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In particular, the rapid autofocus must be highlighted commendable, which ensures that one can produce very reliable and respectable sharp images with the device. In general, the camera of the Samsung Galaxy Note 7 is convincing not only in image quality but also in terms of reliability. Who frequently taking shots from the hip will be pleased that snapshots with the Galaxy Note 7 succeed often because of the excellent autofocus and the fast start the camera app.

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This also Samsung typical shortcut helps: When you double-click the Home button takes you to the fraction of a second directly from standby into the camera app. In the surface of the camera Samsung has made a significant purification, which acts somewhat cumbersome compared to other manufacturers: Many options, as far as the resolution is not found directly in the interface of the camera app, but in the settings menu. Ambitious photographer could interfere, and the manual mode provides in terms of the ISO (only 100 to 800), white balance and focus adjustment, only very rudimentary ways. After all, the exposure time can be adjusted to up to 10 seconds, which is likely to be for shooting long exposures at night beneficial. Without a tripod you should not necessarily make fullest despite the principle well-functioning optical image stabilizer, because the images are otherwise strongly blurred.

Gallery Samsung Galaxy Note 7 test photos

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Video quality of the Samsung Galaxy Note 7: tune the picture and sound

Also in the video quality, Samsung does not provide the Schnitzer Galaxy Note. 7 Here are 4K shooting at up to 30 fps and full HD recording with up to 60 FPS possible - the latter appear much more fluid and same stuttering by the user of better and so despite lower resolution the end result is usually considerable than the 4K -Recordings. This one should perform at best with a tripod despite OIS, because can compensate for shaky hands or the running step, the optical image stabilization that is not quite right.

The continuous autofocus during video recording is very reliable and also manually can to focus when required certain levels with a tap. Neither is a pulsation of the autofocus to hear another sound in the video recording. Speaking of particular convinced the audio quality when shooting - at least if the noise level does not reach the level of a concert hall.


Samsung Galaxy Note 7: 4K test video


Samsung Galaxy Note 7 Test Video: Full HD (60 FPS)

Conclusion for the Samsung Galaxy Note 7

The Samsung Galaxy Note 7 would probably be one of the best, if not the best smartphone in 2016 passed into history - when the scandal surrounding the explosions would not have been. Samsung has made the grade 7 almost everything right and still put down a significant improvement compared to the Galaxy and Galaxy S7 S7 edge especially in the design. Iris scanner and S-Pen may be just nice gimmicks for some users, but give the already well-equipped device even more unique features.

The switch from Samsung Galaxy Note 4 is - should not insist on a replaceable battery man - definitely justified. If you own a Samsung Galaxy S7 edge, for the design and of course the price is likely to be decisive, a change in should be considered. The Galaxy Note 7 makes sure no jumps in performance, and certainly not in the battery capacity, but it is - has been as expected - the best ever smartphone that Samsung has been put on the market. Whether the price of 849 euros is justified, any technology enthusiast has to decide for themselves; clearly offer OnePlus and Honor comparable performance for half the price, but in the overall envelope for the Galaxy Note 7 is ahead nevertheless. If the Samsung Galaxy Note 7 for the same price as the flagship Killer sold, it would definitely our favorite - but the high price makes it the flagship model of the year 2016, to beat it.

Our test rating for the Samsung Galaxy Note 7

  • Processing, feel and design: 5.5
  • display: 5.5
  • Software: 5.3
  • Performance: 4.5
  • Telephony and Audio: 5.5
  • Connectivity and storage: 5.5
  • Battery and everyday life: 5.5
  • Camera: 5.5

Rating: 92%

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Tuan Le

"Samsung Galaxy Note 7"

92 out of 100 points

(23 September 2016)

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