Samsung Galaxy Note 7 was released a few days ago in Pakistan. After the not-so-well-received (comparatively) Galaxy Note 5, Samsung fixed the flaws with its successor the Note 7 to make it a better flagship.
They made a ton of improvements with Note 7. It has a microSD card slot, waterproofing (can take notes underwater as well), and also includes the future-proof USB type-C slot. Fortunately, Samsung also fixed the S-Pen slot issues and made the stylus much better than before.
That being said, lets take a look at 4 issues that plague the Samsung Note 7, now that its out in the users’ hands that is.
Galaxy Note 7 is available in Pakistan with prices varying from Rs 85,000 to Rs 1,00,000. No matter which way you look at it, the price is too high for any regular person to buy.
Granted, a premium phone like Note 7 is geared towards the high-end phone buyers, but in the era of cheaper alternatives by Xiaomi, Huawei, OnePlus and Oppo among others, paying top dollar (or rupee in our case) for a phone doesn’t make as much sense as it used to.
Every year when a new Note device is released, it is priced well above what its predecessor was priced at when it launched. In other words, Samsung increases the launch price of the phone every year.
Along with the release of the newer model, the older Note’s price decreases considerably. The Note 5 is currently selling for around Rs 52,000 online (with prices varying between retailers). Additionally, Samsung’s Galaxy S7 Edge is also available for around Rs. 65,000.
This begs the question – is the Note 7 really worth buying over the S7 Edge or even the Note 5 when you consider the price difference?
To answer that question plainly, no. At least not unless you require the 0.2″ bigger screen or the S-Pen. The price alone can be a major reason to not go for the Note 7 since it has more or less the exact same specs as the S7 Edge.
However. if you compare these phones in all other aspects, that should help you decide better between the two Note flagships and the S7 Edge. In the newer flagship’s defense, it comes with a higher 64GB of built-in storage, Gorilla Glass 5 and only a curved option.
We won’t sway you into buying the Note 5/S7 Edge over the Note 7, but we do recommend doing plenty of research before spending north of Rs 85,000 on a phone.
Gorilla Glass 5 – Does Newer Always Mean Better Protection?
The Note 7 uses the newer Gorilla Glass 5 (GG5) screen protection technology. The previous gen Note 5 and the S7 Edge both use the Gorilla Glass 4(GG4).
The company behind Gorilla Glass, Corning explains the durability of GG5 as below:
Introducing Corning Gorilla Glass 5, a new glass solution that raises the bar for protection against drops higher than ever, surviving 1.6-meter, shoulder-height drops onto hard, rough surfaces up to 80% of the time. And the best part is even though Gorilla Glass 5 is so much tougher, it still provides the damage resistance, optical clarity and touch sensitivity Gorilla Glass is famous for
This should mean that GG5 (in theory) offers similar or better damage resistance and shatter resistance than the older GG4.
The scratch test
It doesn’t seem like this is the case though. JerryRigEverything, a popular YouTuber, performs durability tests on phones to check various degrees of the phone’s toughness, including scratch resistance.
He uses several picks with different degrees of hardness, (hardness is measured according to Moh’s scale), to try and scratch a phone’s screen. Simply put, any GG material with hardness of 4 on Moh’s scale will be able to scratch something with a hardness of 3 on Mohs scale and so on.
Here’s the test on Note 7:
The YouTuber notes that this phone is not as scratch resistant as Note 5 or the S7 Edge, which were tested prior to this. That does run counter to Corning’s claims.
In its defense, Corning says that what may appear as scratches in the durability test is in fact “material transfer” and not actual scratches. Jaymin Amin from Corning explains:
Material transfer on the test substrate is not necessarily a scratch but it can appear to the untrained eye as a pretty visible scratch. We don’t know whether or not that is what is being seen in the video. Certainly in the testing we’ve done internally, we don’t see that issue at all with similar picks on the Mohs hardness scale.
Even if its not a “scratch” and is material transfer, it is very hard to remove and may as well be an actual scratch on the device as far as the consumer is concerned. You can read more about Corning’s response here.
The evidence isn’t conclusive by any means, but experts suggest that increasing the phone’s impact resistance may have reduced it’s resistance against scratches. However, as new phones are released sporting GG5, we’ll get to know for sure whether there is really an issue or not. Or if its just an isolated case.
Either way, an expensive phone that is susceptible to scratches is going to make people stand up and take notice.
Comparison on Storage Read/Write Speeds on Note 7
While using your phone you may open and use several apps at a time, or watch TV shows and record 1080p/4K video on it. How fast a phone can do this depends on the read and write speeds of the storage medium in the phone.
A phone like Note 7 requires blistering fast read/write speeds.
There are two major types of read (accessing data) and write (creating data) operations a computer/laptop/smartphone does. These are sequential reads/writes (for big files i.e. recording videos) and random reads/writes (loading apps, accessing any file at random).
Here’s the comparison between Note 5, Note 7 and S7 Edge and a Class 10 microSD card for Sequential I/O operations:
The Note 5 wins by a small margin in the writing test. However it loses its lead in the read test.
As for the Note 7, it comes out at the bottom in both these tests. This would not translate into any major difference in day to day usage though. However, you might feel it if you copy a lot of stuff onto your phone from another device.
Here are random I/O operations of the three devices:
There is a notable difference between the three devices in the random read and write operations. The Note 5 has a huge lead compared to the newer S7 Edge and Note 7.
It seems as though Samsung has downgraded the chips when it comes to random I/O operations. The difference is about 55% in read speeds and 20% in write speeds when comparing the Note 5 with the newer Note 7.
In real world performance, the effects will become noticeable as the storage fills up and the Note 7 performs slower than its predecessor.
Benchmarks Courtesy: GsmArena
With the Note 7, Samsung upgraded the battery to 3,500mAh, which is about 500mAh more than its predecessor.
On paper, the phone should last longer than the S7 and its predecessor Note 5. Despite coming with nearly the same set of specs as the S7 and S7 Edge, the Note 7 has a lesser battery life.
Tests have revealed that Samsung’s devices with Exynos chips are outlasting Snapdragon chips in terms of battery. However, where the difference is negligibly small in the S7 and S7 Edge, the Note 7 comes with a massive difference in battery endurance.
Its Snapdragon variants suffer a loss of 2 hours less than the Exynos variant in a marathon web browsing test and call test. Even in normal usage, the Snapdragon variant lasts far less than its counterpart.
The “Always On” screen feature adds to the battery drain and you get about 50% less standby time when the feature is turned on.
Sporting a bigger battery, the S7 Edge lasts much longer than the Note 7. Even the normal Galaxy S7 and the older Note 5 outlast the new Note 7 in battery tests.
We can only assume that Samsung is facing a software bug that is causing the Snapdragon variants to last much less, especially more so in the case of Note 7. The phone shows an above-average battery performance despite coming with such a huge battery pack.
We certainly can’t say Note 7 is bad device by any means, it’s faster and better than all devices on the market in almost all areas. However, we used these few tests to compare the Note 7 with a few of its siblings.
The tests only show the downsides of the device, but rest assured there are plenty of advantages with the upgrade as well. In any case, this comparison will assist you in deciding on which of the three phones are the best when it comes to everyday usage, battery life and overall durability.
As mentioned at the beginning, always do plenty of research before buying your next phone. After all, you are going to spend at least the next couple of years with it.
What do you think about the Note 7? Do you have a better phone in mind? Do tell us in the comments.