As 2016 continues to unfold, those with a particular interest in mobile technology are keenly awaiting the release of the iPhone 7 and Galaxy Note 7. In order to underline the rivalry between these two devices, Samsung has even skipped the Galaxy Note 6 generation, in order to ensure that this will be a 7 numeral shootout.

iPhone 7 Space Black Concept image
iPhone 7 Space Black Concept image

Power shift

Although Apple undoubtedly remains the biggest player in the mobile marketplace, there has been something of a significant shift towards Samsung in recent months. The Korean manufacturer has managed to deliver improved financial figures of late, while the Apple share price has taken a bit of a kicking on the back of sub-par sales data.

This means that the next major mobile releases from the two companies will be particularly critical in this ongoing battle. Apple has already predicted that it will shift less iPhone units in 2016 than during the previous calendar year, which would be the first time that this has occurred since the first iPhone was released back into 2007. Meanwhile, Samsung must be emboldened by its recent market successes, and this for a long time one-sided battle is about to get interesting.

iPhone 7 latest

The fact that the iPhone 7 features an entirely new number indicates that Apple intends for the smartphone to be viewed as an entirely new generation. However, if iPhone consumers are expecting a revolutionary experience when the iPhone 7 is released, they may ultimately be somewhat disappointed. Market analysts have indicated that Apple is likely to hold back some of the most innovative features in the iPhone range for the iPhone 8, which could retail as early as next year.

But Apple is still keen to deliver something out of the ordinary with the iPhone 7, and whispers regarding this forthcoming handset have been focused on these new features. Firstly, the latest reports suggest that the iPhone 7 will include what is described as professional class waterproofing. This latest suggestion regarding the next generation Apple phone comes from analysts at Deutsche Bank.

New physical features will include a redesigned antenna line for the handset, while Apple is also expected to eliminate the familiar 3.5mm headphone jack in favour of audio provided via the Lightning connector and Bluetooth headphones. While a major redesign of the physical iPhone unit is not generally anticipated, this could also be a slimmer version of the iconic phone, as Apple continues its mania for reducing the physical size of its devices.

Meanwhile, supply chain sources have apparently been collaborating with Deutsche Bank analysts, in suggesting that the next generation iPhone 7 will feature significantly improved water resistance. Moisture protection provides practical benefits for the average phone user, with Apple hoping to make the iPhone 7 considerably more usable in rainy conditions.

Considering that the existing iPhone 6S is also rather water repellent already, this suggests that the iPhone 7 will also be a health-related device. Apple is expected to place more emphasis on the health-tracking functionality of its products when the Apple Watch 2 is released, and the iPhone 7 could be viewed as very much an athletic companion to this smartwatch contender.

Headphone jack debate

The decision to eliminate the headphone jack will not find favour with all Apple owners, and indeed a petition has been launched on the Internet in order to entice Apple to include this well-known feature. But Apple requires to eliminate the jack for physical design reasons, and it is believed that the iPhone 7 will signify the end of this physical aspect of the iPhone range.

Meanwhile, Deutsche Bank expects the iPhone 7 to feature improved cameras, better audio quality, and an innovative Home button which simulates a click feel. Following on from the ethos of the Apple Watch, which offered owners a wide variety of strap and face options, the iPhone 7 will also be available in a new color, as Apple looks to make the smartphone more attractive to a wider range of consumers.

Other spec upgrades are also expected as Apple attempts to make the best of what could be a difficult year for the corporation.

Galaxy Note 7
Image Credit: Seeko.co.kr

Galaxy Note 7 contrast

By contrast, Samsung is known for cramming as high specs as possible into its products, and this is likely to continue with the release of the Galaxy Note 7. A recent leak from the Chinese social media site Weibo suggests that the Galaxy Note 7 will ship with at least three colors, feature an attractive and sleek all-glass design, retain the S pen stylus, and add an iris scanner for security functionality.

Interestingly, the Chinese leak also suggested that there could be two new Galaxy Note 7 models when the phablet releases later this year.

Aside from the standard black version of the Galaxy Note 7, it is also believed that the phablet will ship in silver and bright blue when it hits the stores. Samsung will include the super AMOLED technology which has proved so popular for the corporation in recent years, although it is not expected to stretch to a 4K resolution screen in 2016.

Samsung will also include a least 4GB of RAM in this smartphone, in order to ensure that it runs like clockwork, although some whispers have placed this figure as high as 6GB. The Galaxy Note 7 will come complete with an extremely powerful Exynos or Snapdragon processor, depending where in the world one purchases this phone.

It is also rumored that the battery in the Galaxy Note 7 will fast charge to 50 percent usage in just 20 minutes, while containing a 3,600mAh capacity. USB-C and a physical headphone jack are expected to feature, while it is increasingly rumored that the Korean corporation will also include an iris scanner in order to beef up security with this phablet.

With flatscreen and curved edge variants also available, this will undoubtedly be an attractive rival to the ever popular iPhone.