With Samsung looking to close the gap on the market-leading Apple in 2016, the Galaxy Note 6 will play a major role in its overall strategy. The phablet range has been hugely praised over the last couple of years, and thus Samsung is expected to once again arm this phablet with outstanding specs.
Galaxy Note 6 – Design
Information has already seeped out from Korea regarding the design of the Galaxy Note 6, and thus we don’t know whether Samsung is considering a serious redesign of the phablet. But the general consensus, considering how well received recent Galaxy iterations have been, is that the consumer electronics giant will largely retain the design of the previous Galaxy Note 5.
Expect the Galaxy Note 6 to inherit the metallic and glass design of previous iterations, but with a few minor tweaks to be added. Although it has been suggested that Samsung could consider an edge-to-edge display for the Galaxy Note 6, such a radical alteration is perhaps not likely.
However, it does seem probable that the Galaxy Note 6 will be an IP68-certified phone, in common with the Galaxy S7 from earlier this year. It has been reported that waterproofing and dustproofing will be a particular emphasis of the Apple smartphone range in 2016, and Samsung needs to respond to this eventuality.
Other reports have indicated that the Galaxy Note 6 will be armed with an iris scanner to provide additional security to the smartphone range. Hardware leaks that have apparently been branded “IRIS CAM” have catalyzed this particular whisper, and it seems that Samsung may not rely on the fingerprint scanner alone in the Galaxy Note 6.
The first reasonable assumption regarding the chipset of the Galaxy Note 6 is that Samsung will likely revert to its previous policy of two different models for two different markets. This would mean that the East Asian marketplace, and other geographical areas in proximity, will benefit from a Samsung Exynos version, while the Snapdragon 820 will be intended for the Western market.
It is possible that the Snapdragon unit included in the Galaxy Note 6 will be capable of clock speeds up to 3.0 GHz; an improvement over the standard rates of the existing 820. However, price considerations will come into play for Samsung as well, which could mean that this particular suggestion is something of a red herring.
RAM and storage
With an increasing pressure on the amount of memory and storage in smartphones, Samsung is likely to significantly upgrade the capabilities of the Galaxy Note 6 in this department. Some reports have even suggested that the Galaxy Note 6 will feature 8GB of RAM, but a bit minimum of 6GB seems to be a certainty.
Meanwhile, there are a raft of suggestions related to the storage in the device. Firstly, the notion of whether Samsung will include a micro SD card slot has been a subject of contention, considering that the Galaxy S7 reintroduced this technology to the Samsung series earlier this year. This would potentially enable Samsung to deliver a 256GB version of the handset, which is predicted to be in line with what Apple will deliver with the iPhone 7 later this year.
However, reports have even indicated that there could be an ultra-fast 256GB native storage version of the Galaxy Note 6 released, with Samsung having already commenced the mass production of chips required to deliver this. This would be a pretty fantastic technical achievement, and would silence critics of the company, with many suggesteing that storage was a little on the paltry side in the Galaxy Note 5.
There is still debate taking place over the screen resolution that will be included in the Galaxy Note 6, with some analysts believing that 4K resolution is a certainty, while others suggest that this would offer little in the way of improvements while being prohibitively expensive.
Regardless of whether Samsung does indeed to decide to upgrade the resolution in the Galaxy Note 6 to 4K, it seems that the screen may also be slightly increased in size. Reports indicate that the Galaxy Note 6 will benefit from a 5.8-inch display, although some figures have indicated that a 6-inch screen could also be possible. The latter figure would strongly imply that an edge-to-edge display is being contemplated, Ss there is still the possibility that the Galaxy Note 6 could be a significant departure in design terms.
After years of churning out smartphones with incredible megapixel ratings, Samsung took something of a divergence from this approach with the Galaxy S7, with the megapixel rating of the camera actually being downgraded from previous releases. But the 12-megapixel snapper in the Galaxy S7 also included dual-pixel technology which vastly improved it shooting in darker conditions.
It is certainly expected that dual-pixel will migrate to the Galaxy Note 6 later this year, but it is also possible that Samsung will not settle for a mere 12-megapixel unit. Earlier in 2016, it had been suggested that the Galaxy Note 6 would feature a staggering 30-megapixel camera, and just recently leaks have pointed to a 25-megapixel unit. But this seems unlikely if dual-pixel is to be implemented. Perhaps we could see a 16-megapixel snapper with the low-light shooting innovation included as well.
One of the interesting rumors related to the Galaxy Note 6 is that it will include a foldable S Pen which has the ability to double as a rather nifty kickstand. Samsung will certainly retain the S Pen, but this increased functionality could be an attractive proposition to consumers.
The overwhelming consensus of opinion regarding the release date of the Galaxy Note 6 is that Samsung will move it forward somewhat in comparison to previous devices in the series. Certainly this was Samsung policy with the Galaxy S7, and it seems that Samsung is increasingly attempting to create a demarcation in the calendar between its products and the stratospherically successful iPhone series.
So the Galaxy Note 6 could debut as early as July 2016 with the latest version of Android, but we should expect it in early August at the very latest.