The Samsung Galaxy Note 7 was revealed yesterday at Samsung’s Unpacked event in New York. It is the latest in a long line of phablets produced by the South Korean technology giant. By default, the handset should have been named the Note 6, but Samsung skipped a number to bring the Note range in line with its S-series of handsets and negate any possible confusion.

Galaxy Note 7 3 colors
Image Credit: Evan Blass (@evleaks)

From the handset launch yesterday, one feature of the new Note 7 which shone brightly above all else was its design. The event revealed that the rumors about its design were indeed correct as it does get the majority of its looks from the S7 Edge! However, it is still a Note, that much is evident, but how does it compare to the previous handsets in the Note range?

Designs compared

Starting with its direct predecessor, the Galaxy Note 5, this device measures 153.2 x 76.2 x 7.6mm and weighs in at 171grams, and although it is very much a Note handset, it was designed to have a more refined look than its predecessors and took some visual cues from 2015’s Galaxy S6 handsets.

Moving down a number, we come to the Note 4, which measures 153.5 x 78.6 x 8.5mm and is a wholesome 171grams heavy. As with all Note handsets, it offered the unique experience of an S-Pen and had a similar design to its predecessor, the Note 3, featuring a rectangular build.

The Note 3 measures at 151.2 x 79.2 x 8.3mm and is wider than the Note 5, 4, and the new Note 7. However, it does weigh the same as 2016’s model at 168grams. As for looks, this where the differences disappear as the Note 3 has a flat screen and no Edge notification area.

Stepping back another generation, we come to the Galaxy Note 2. Now this device was (in my opinion) not much of an upgrade from the first generation, but what it did offer was an increase in the length of the display. Measuring in at 151.1 x 80.5 x 9.4 mm, you can see that compared to the original Note, it lost some screen width. As for looks, Samsung decided not to let the apple fall very far from the tree with this one, so for the most part, it looks like a slightly longer version of its predecessor.

I am going to forgo the original Note for this article and instead go straight to the new Galaxy Note 7. It measures in at 153.5mm x 73.9mm x 7.9mm and weighs 169g, which is similar to the Note 5, albeit a tad narrower in the middle. As for how it looks, Samsung has decided to go with what works and has included visual cues found on the Galaxy S7 Edge, which means curved glass on the rear and front panels, but it retains the rectangular look of the Note line to make it obvious which handset range it belongs to.

So Samsung has finally moved away from the traditional flat screen design found on the Note, but that is only slightly, and with a much more sensitive S-Pen, there’s no doubting that this handset is a Galaxy Note.

Displays compared

For display, we will start with the Galaxy Note 2, which features a Super AMOLED panel. This was the first Note display to reach a size larger than 5.3 inches, and many critics were disappointed with it because the resolution shrank from 285PPI with the original to 265PPI.

The Note 3 was the Note handset that broke the mold and offered a 5.7-inch full HD AMOLED display at 386PPI and 4K video recording for the very first time.

The Note 4 also features a 5.7-inch AMOLED display, but this time, Samsung went even further than with the Note 3 and included a Quad HD panel, which pushed the pixel per inch resolution sky high to 515PPI. However, Samsung did not stop at that, as it also added the protection that Gorilla Glass offers to an already neat package.

As for 2015’s Note 5, it too features a 5.7-inch screen with a 2560 x 1440 pixel resolution, which, when all is said and done, offers the same as the Note 4 at 515PPI, and it also has Gorilla Glass to protect it from drops and scratches.

Now for what’s new, from an initial look at the specs, it seems as though Samsung likes 5.7-inch displays as it has decided to equip the Galaxy Note 7 with one too. However, there are differences from its predecessors, and one comes in the form of always-on screen technology, which means users can make notes on a darkened screen without having to unlock it.

Other differences include a curved display, which is new for a Note, although it is not entirely new to Samsung handsets. As far as what is the same, surprisingly, it is the resolution, which offers quad HD with a 515PPI resolution. Again, this is the same found on the previous two Note incarnations and, in my opinion, is a little disappointing!

Final thoughts

The Samsung Galaxy Note 7 has arrived with a few differences that make it stand head and shoulders above its predecessors. These include a curved design, waterproofing, more sensitive S-Pen, larger battery, USB Type-C, faster processor, and some very exciting new software features.

As for how this new handset will compare to other new handsets such as the iPhone 7, you will have to wait until next month to find out.