When Samsung shipped over their new Galaxy Note 7 for me to review, I was lying in a hospital bed with a broken leg and shoulder following a skiing accident.
What eventuated was a unique opportunity where I was able to test this device in a true professional business environment.
Let me explain.
Being confined to a bed and still having to deal with business issues demonstrated the unique capabilities of this device.
For example, when a surgeon was able to send me real-time MIR scans of my fractured knee and shoulder I suddenly realised how practical the 5.7-inch screen really is when it came to viewing not only the static images but the video images from an MIR scan.
Using the new S Pen, I was able to send notes back to my surgeon as well as the doctor who was treating me.
I was also able to configure this device so that I could easily access my Microsoft Office 365, my Asana workflow management system and our CRM system giving me instant access to the same tools and resources I normally have on my office PC.
I was also able to easily access Skype which on the large screen of the Note 7 made business and personal calls to my family extremely easy and functional.
And if you are thinking as to how I have managed to type this story up with one hand I have to confess that I’m now using the latest version of Dragon Voice along with the latest Jabra business headphones on a PC, this make dictation extremely easy in fact it’s an investment I should have made years ago as dictation is extremely easy.
What I discovered is that Dragon Voice has been significantly improved to the extent that it makes very little mistakes.
As for the Note 7 the combination of the large clear screen and a host of new software capabilities seriously demonstrated for me the need for this type of device especially for professionals looking for cutting-edge technology in their hand.
AU$1,349 from Telstra, Optus, Vodafone, Virgin Mobile, JB Hi Fi, and Harvey Norman this device is not cheap but it is worth every cent to a person who wants simply the best smart phone available today.
This 5.7-inch phablet, has several new unique features from a new multi-talented stylus and a new built-in iris scanner, to new configurations and capabilities among some of the most basic features whether it be contacts, diary management, to video enhancement.
After configuring this device with my own settings I suddenly realised I had a unique opportunity to put this device to the test as a portable office that could be used even from a hospital bed.
In the hand this device feels unbelievably comfortable, the smooth edges and the unique edge design puts this device will in a class of its own it has no equal. The Samsung Galaxy Note 7 was launched globally with 4GB RAM and 64GB storage. The model I reviewed was a sleek looking Black Onyx.
Like the Galaxy S7 Edge before it, the Note 7 and its curved edges allows the display melt into the metal rim so that you feel as if the entire display is frameless.
It’s also waterproof, as I found out by leaving it in a glass of water for several minutes, the gorilla glass is also extremely tough and at one stage I dropped the device and despite falling a fair distance there was no damage to the glass casing.
Configuring this device was extremely easy, and when it came to security settings I chose the pattern configuration. I also configured Google Voice. This is the first time I have ever configured a device using the Google Voice activation software.
After going through an exercise to recognise my voice I can now open my Note 7 by simply saying okay Google. This also led me to start using the Google voice recognition software built into this device whether it was for calling up a contact or getting instant access to a map location.
Because this device has expandable storage expandable storage, with a MicroSD card slot located in the top edge, I was easily able to install a new 64 GB Sim card which I now use to store all images voice recordings as well as the Notes I make using the new S pen.
I’m not going to go on about the camera except to say It’s got the same 12-megapixel camera that beats the pants off the iPhone 6s camera in low light. The battery is 17% larger than its predecessor.
Because I was in hospital I was constantly using the Note 7 to communicate all day long with my office. Using Skype, I was able to do conference calls as well as communicate with clients and on each and every day I have had a good 35% to 40% power left in my device.
One night I watched a Netflix 4K movie on my Note 7 it was extremely sharp and both the audio and vision was excellent. The 5.7-inch Super AMOLED display comes with that Edge-style curvature – there’s no ‘flat’ option like there is with the S7.
It’s still quad-HD which is all you need to get excellent display resolution.
Colours are bright, but not oversaturated, text is crisp and blacks are inky. The screen also comes with new ‘Mobile HDR’ capability.
Mobile HDR is a riff on the high-dynamic range feature that makes high-end televisions look so good. It gives you increased contrast and brightness, with a wider differentiator between light points and dark points.
The Galaxy Note 7 is also the first Samsung Galaxy flagship phone with a USB Type-C interface, which can provide better two-way transfer of data and power. This was noticeable when I came to recharge the device.
It also appears that Samsung has significantly improved the Wi-Fi and Bluetooth capability with this device.
Another key feature of the Note 7 is an iris reader, which lets you unlock your phone-and the contents of a secret folder-with your eyes.
A new infrared camera on the front reads the patterns in your iris when you hold it up to your face.
There’s a small sensor above the display that, once set up, will read your eyes and unlock the phone. It sounds simple but at this stage I see no practical use of this technology which I believe is in its infancy. When I tested this capability I found it frustrating and at this stage not very practical however as new technology is involved I believe voice and iris scanning will be a key part of devices going forward.
The one feature that I really like about the Note 7 is the new stylus. This is a feature that takes a little bit of getting used to but once you master and start using the stylus on a regular basis you will not want to put it down.
The pen on this model is slimmer, with a more precise tip and improved pressure sensitivity.
You can use it to jot Notes on the screen, even if the phone is locked.
The stylus on the new Galaxy Note 7 allows people to jot notes, paint with pressure-sensitive brushstrokes and even translate text. It can also serve as a magnifying glass.
In the past I have attended press conferences and used the pen to take pages of notes. You can also draw using different pen tips and colours and a sense that the improvement in the technology is going to allow certain trades to send illustrations and drawings that are quite detailed.
Samsung’s strategy of investing in innovation and the evolution of technology is clearly demonstrated with this device.
Wherever you navigate around this device you find effective improvements whether it be the way contacts can managed or the ease with which one can access information. In the hand this device looks stylish is stylish and there is no better smart phone out that when it comes to design.
Under the bonnet this device has a lot of grunt it processes quickly but above all it is the software innovations this sets this device apart.
If I was Apple I would be seriously worried about the Note 7 as it is the new benchmark that makes the latest Apple iPhone look like yesterday’s technology.
5.7-inch, quad-HD Super AMOLED display
64GB internal storage
Fingerprint and Iris scanner
Fast and wireless charging
3,500 mAh battery
IP68 water resistance
153.5 x 73.9 x 7.9mm, 169g
12MP camera, f1.7 aperture
5MP selfie camera