Note 7 cameras

Moving onto cameras and the Note7 follows in the footsteps of the Galaxy S7 phones with a 12Mp camera (down from 16Mp but that doesn't mean it's worse). It's a Dual Pixel camera with optical image stabilisation (OIS), a very impressive f/1.7 aperture and 1.4um pixels.

Like its S7 brothers, the camera will shoot in auto-mode by default with a 4:3 aspect ratio. You'll need to drop to 9.1Mp in order to get 16:9 and there are a tonne of different modes to play with including Pro, Selective focus and Virtual shot.

Note 7 test photo

Note 7 test photo

You can launch the camera quickly with a double tap of the home button (even when the screen is off) which is handy and the Note 7 is able to focus and take multiple photos quickly – no one wants to wait around before being able to take a second shot.

Don't worry if the Pro mode is unsettling because you'll get fantastic photos from the Note 7 without changing a thing. Like the S7, it offers excellent levels of detail and colour. It can cope well with a wide-range of situations and conditions.

Note 7 test photo

The video mode shoots in Full HD if you don't head into the settings and change it, but it's capable of recording in up to UHD 4K (3840x2560) which is worth trying out – although that will fill your storage up much quicker. You also get modes such as Slow motion (720p), Hyperlapse (1080p), Video collage and Live broadcast.

The front camera remains the same at 5Mp with features such as an f/1.7 aperture, wide-angle 22mm lens and the ability to record 1440p video. As with the S7 it's a great choice for selfies, offering good quality, easily fitting a few people into the frame and the ability to use the heart rate monitor as a trigger.

Note7 camera

Samsung Galaxy Note 7 review: Software and apps

It comes as no surprise that the Galaxy Note7 comes with Android 6.0 Marshmallow pre-installed but it's not Samsung's own TouchWiz user interface.Instead, it's a new skin called Grace UX, a redesigned version of TouchWiz.

We assume that it will get an upgrade to the upcoming Android 7.0 Nougat but official confirmation is yet to come.

Long gone are the days when TouchWiz was a bit too crude, complicated and generally a bit over-the-top. Nowadays, the user interface is much cleaner and closer to stock Android but with useful additions presented in an easier way to handle. Grace UX has subtle differences like softer colours in the icons all add up.

Some elements look very different including the drop down menu (including quick actions) and the settings menu. The latter we're not so keen on as you can't scroll horizontally through the icons, instead you have five and can then pull down to reveal more. You can organise it to you liking but it's more awkward than before.

Other parts of the interface remain the same such as the upday news feed (swipe right from the main home screen) and the recent apps menu.

Note7 software

As you would expect, you get all the features found on the Galaxy S7 including Multi-Window, the ability to run two apps side-by-side, Pop-up view which lets you run some apps in a smaller window and smaller ones like smart capture, direct call and smart stay.

The larger screen works particularly well for things like Multi-Window and some users may find themselves reaching for a tablet a lot less because of the Note7. We're also pleased about the dual edge display which can be used for a range of things, even if we didn't find ourselves using it loads on the S7 edge.

You can do various things with the edge screen software including get quick access to your favourite contacts, apps and tools with different panels. You can also use feeds to get info such as your step count and notifications - these scroll along the side - and lighting means you know who's calling when the phone is face down.

note7 edge software

One of the main reasons to buy the Note7, particularly in comparison to the S7 phones, is the S Pen stylus. Not a massive amount has changed here so you still pop it out of the bottom whenever you want to use it.

The Air Command menu gives you plenty of options but bear in mind that you can simply use the S Pen to navigate if you like which is great when you need to be precise (spreadsheets and the like) or you don't want to get the screen grubby when eating or similar situations.

New features of the S Pen include the ability to create gifs and translate language with it on the fly which is pretty cool. Like the phone, it's also waterproof, so you can use it even when the screen is wet although you're best off drying it first.

The phone comes with the Game Launcher as introduced on the S7 and pre-installed apps include Samsung's own as well as Microsoft offerings like Word and Skype.

Read next: Best new phones coming in 2017

Specs

Samsung Galaxy Note 7: Specs

  • Android 6.0 Marshmallow
  • 5.7in QuadHD super AMOLED display
  • Exynos 8890 processor
  • 4GB RAM
  • 64GB storage
  • Micro-SD card slot
  • Fingerprint sensor
  • heart rate monitor
  • Iris scanner
  • 802.11ac dual band Wi-Fi
  • Bluetooth 4.2
  • NFC
  • USB-C
  • S Pen
  • 12Mp rear camera
  • 5Mp front camera
  • 3500mAh non-removable battery
  • Wireless charging
  • IP68
  • 73.9x153.5x7.9mm
  • 169g

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