Samsung has already announced two flagship smartphones this year but chances are that won’t be the last we hear from the company and its smartphone arm before 2016 is out.
The Galaxy S7 and Galaxy S7 edge both debuted at Mobile World Congress in March, but rumours began floating around for the company’s larger smartphones before the event in Barcelona was even confirmed. Now it’s well and truly over and focus has turned towards what Samsung will launch next.
The Samsung Galaxy S7 edge+ and the Galaxy Note 6 have both been speculated upon but the latter device is what this feature is focusing on. This is everything we know about the Galaxy Note 6 so far, but as usual, we will be adding to this feature as more leaks and rumours appear so keep casting your eyes back for the latest.
Samsung Galaxy Note 6 / Note 7: Name
The obvious name for the next Galaxy Note device to be called is the Galaxy Note 6, given that last year we had the Galaxy Note 5, the year before the Galaxy Note 4 and the year before that, the Galaxy Note 3. You get the gist. It sounds like that won’t be the case however.
There have been a couple of rumours to suggest Samsung will actually call the next Note the Galaxy Note 7, rather than the Galaxy Note 6, jumping a digit. Apparently, the change in name is to ensure the Note device lines up with the two other flagship devices Samsung launched in March – the Galaxy S7 and Galaxy S7 edge. Samsung has yet to confirm whether it will be skipping a digit and jumping straight for the Galaxy Note 7, but it would make sense.
For the sake of this feature, we will be referring to the next Note as the Note 6 for now until its name has been confirmed.
Samsung Galaxy Note 6 / Note 7: Release date
The Samsung Galaxy Note 5 launched on 13 August 2015 alongside the Galaxy S6 edge+, but the Note wasn’t destined for European waters in a bid to push the S6 edge+ as the phablet to consider instead.
Reports suggest Samsung considers this to be a mistake though and it has since been suggested that the Galaxy Note 6 will bring the Note device back to the UK in favour of the Galaxy S7 edge.
Sources claim the Galaxy Note 6 will launch in Europe in August 2016, which fits with the company’s previous release cycle from last year. On 2 June, renowned leakster Evan Blass tweeted: “Galaxy Note 6/7 launch event is almost exactly two months away.”
This suggests we can expect Samsung’s next device to debut within the first week of August, more than likely 2 August following a recent leak of an alleged screenshot of the Unpacked event invite. The invite also makes the Galaxy Note 7 name more plausible. Previous to 2015, the Note device used to launch at the beginning of September at IFA, which takes place at the beginning of September.
As for when the Galaxy Note 6 will hit store shelves, Blass has claimed it will release in the US on the week of 15 August, suggesting a couple of weeks after its announcement.
OnLeaks / USwitchOn Leaks : U Switch
Samsung Galaxy Note 6 / Note 7: Design
The Samsung Galaxy Note 5 arrived with an all-metal build, moving away from the faux-leather and plastic materials offered by its predecessors. It measures 153.2 x 76.1 x 7.6mm, hits the scales at 171g and comes complete with the S Pen.
When it comes to the Note 6’s design, rumour has it the device will look similar to the Galaxy S7 edge with the addition of an S Pen. There have been reports of both curved and flat versions over the last few months but more recent claims, from the Electronic Times, suggest we will only see a curved model with no flat model offered. This has been supported by a leaked Samsung-looking teaser that reads “Write on the edge of something great”.
Based on some blueprints from @OnLeaks, sourced for USwitch, the Note 6 is said to measure around 153.5mm x 73.9mm x 7.9mm, putting it around the same size as the Note 5. It is also rumoured to be coming with IP68 water and dust resistance, something both the S7 and S7 edge added when they arrived in March.
Additionally, it has been claimed an iris scanner will be on board the Note 6. This is something the blueprints from @OnLeaks suggested, as well as a leaked screenshot from Samsung’s Galaxy Beta Program. Further details have been scarce though so it isn’t clear if it would be infrared like Fujitsu, a light like the Lumia 950, or something more advanced. Or none of the above.
The one feature that will almost certainly appear is the S Pen as we mentioned but other than that, it’s a guessing game at the moment. It has been claimed the S Pen will be called E S-PEN for the next model but it isn’t clear what this actually means as yet. We suspect it will mean it is more advanced and capable though.
Samsung Galaxy Note 6 / Note 7: Display
The Samsung Galaxy Note 5 arrived with a 5.7-inch display offering a 2560 x 1440 resolution that delivered a pixel density of 515ppi. The Note series has always been praised for its display, with the AMOLED technology delivering vibrant, punchy colours and deep blacks.
Rumours suggest the Note 6 will continue the Super AMOLED trend but it looks like the display size could increase very slightly to 5.8-inches. The resolution is said to be sticking to Quad HD which if all true, would mean a slightly lower pixel density of 506ppi. This however, will not be noticeable to the human eye so you can still expect a great display experience from the Note 6.
Sammobile has also reported a 5.8-inch Super AMOLED display with a Quad HD resolution, supporting other rumours but it also suggests a curved display, which a Weibo user also reported. This could mean the Note 6 takes cues from the S7 edge, but that would also make the idea of an Galaxy S7 edge+ redundant.
It could also mean more than one Note 6 device arrives, perhaps a curved and a flat option like the S7 and S7 edge, and there has also been talk of a Note 6 Lite. This latter device is said to be coming with a 5.8-inch display too but the resolution is reported to drop to Full HD.
Samsung Galaxy Note 6 / Note 7: Camera
The Samsung Galaxy Note 5 comes with a 16-megapixel main camera and a 5-megapixel front-facing camera, both of which offer an aperture of f/1.9, which is wider than the Note 4.
According to a Weibo report, the Note 6 will be coming with a 12-megapixel main camera offering “Super OIS Plus”, while another Weibo user suggested it would feature infrared-based autofocus. Industry sources talking to China’s Zol have also claimed the Note 6 would have dual rear cameras.
There has also been a report to suggest the South Korean company is working on a new technology called Smart Glow. It is claimed to be a ring of light surrounding the rear camera that will light up to communicate notifications and more to the user when the device is lying face down, or when a selfie is being taken using the back camera.
The front-facing camera sensor hasn’t been detailed on any reports as yet. Both the Note 4 and 5 were both praised for their camera capabilities so we’d expect the Note 6 to follow suit, although we’d expect laser autofocus to be more likely.
The Galaxy S7 and S7 edge both have 12-megapixel rear cameras and a 5-megapixel front camera so perhaps the company will use the same sensor for the Note 6. This would make sense given the praise both the S7 and S7 edge have received. Both the front and the rear snappers offer an aperture of f/1.7 to help them excel in low-light conditions so we’d like to see the same capabilities in the Note 6 at the very least.
That said, there have also been claims to suggest Samsung is working on a new 1/2.3-inch sensor that will be accompanied by a lens with an aperture of f/1.4, which is said to offer 17 per cent more light, plus the extra light the bigger sensor will bring. It isn’t clear if this new camera will be ready for the Note 6 but fingers crossed.
Samsung Galaxy Note 6 / Note 7: Hardware
The Samsung Galaxy Note 5 has an octa-core Exynos chipset, 4GB or RAM and 32GB of 64GB of internal memory. The aluminium body means microSD support was removed as was a removable battery, the capacity of which dropped to 3000mAh from the 3200mAh of its predecessor.
The Galaxy Note 6 is said to be coming with either a Qualcomm Snapdragon or Exynos chipset depending on the region, along with 6GB of RAM, according to Weibo. The same site has suggested it will be the Qualcomm Snapdragon 823 chip, which is capable of supporting up to 8GB of RAM.
Samsung’s S7 and S7 edge both come in two models, one of which offers the Qualcomm SD820 chip and the other of which uses the in-house Exynos Octa 8 processor so the suggestion of two variants depending on region is plausible, although whether it the support will be 6GB or 8GB of RAM is unclear. Interestingly, Samsung unveiled a new 10nm LPDDR4 6GB RAM chip in China in May 2016, so perhaps it will adopt that for the Note 6.
Storage options have been touted as 64GB and 128GB in one Weibo report, while another claimed 256GB of storage would be on board. Neither report confirmed whether microSD support will be reintroduced but if the 128GB and 256GB storage options are accurate, it’s unlikely we will see microSD accompany them.
If the Note 6 arrives in a curved and flat version, chances are they will both offer the same specs, like the S7 and S7 edge do. The Note 6 Lite on the other hand is reported to be coming with the Qualcomm Snapdragon 820 processor and 4GB of RAM.
Samsung Galaxy Note 6 Note 7: Battery
According to SamMobile, the successor to the Galaxy Note 5 will feature a USB Type-C port, something which the Galaxy S7 and S7 edge missed off their spec sheets and something which can be seen in the @OnLeaks renders. Samsung is expected to adopt the reversible connector for the Note 6 though, but it’s unknown if it will support USB 3.1 or an older standard. If the Note 6 were to support USB 3.1, the connector would provide USB Power Delivery 2.0 for faster device charging as well as the ability to deliver HDMI and Display Port video signals.
Battery capacity has been rumoured to be around 4000mAh, as well as 4200mAh, but it isn’t clear whether the Note 6 will return to offering a removable battery like previous Note devices before the Note 5. We suspect not.
The Note 6 Lite is also rumoured to be coming with a 4000mAh battery capacity, which if true means it might only take a hit on the display resolution and processor in comparison to the main device.
Samsung Galaxy Note 6 / Note 7: Software
The Samsung Note 6 will almost certainly launch with Android Marshmallow 6.0 along with Samsung’s TouchWiz interface over the top and the various feature extras that complement the S Pen.
We’d suspect a look towards the Galaxy S7 and S7 edge will offer a good indicator as to what we can expect from the Note 6, although no doubt there will be some improvements and refinements.
SamMobile has claimed Samsung is working on a BlackBerry Hub-type feature called Samsung Focus, however. The BlackBerry Hub was one of the best features of BlackBerry, pulling in notifications from various services including email, messages and social networks into one place. Samsung Focus will apparently do something similar, pulling in email, calendars, contacts and memos.
SamMobile says the aggregation of emails will be one of its major features working in a similar way to Google’s Inbox app. The site claimed there would be a main screen for important events and a list of the day’s plans, along with a dedicated contacts page.
Samsung Galaxy Note 6 / Note 7: Conclusion
Based on what we have heard so far, we’d expect the Note 6 to be called the Note 7 and to arrive in August 2016 with a similar design to the Note 5 including S Pen functionality.
It wouldn’t be too surprising to see a curved model instead of a flat model and an iris scanner is looking more likely based on the rumours than it was a few months ago. There have also been reports of a Lite model but it’s not clear for now if this will appear.
Hardware specs are likely to improve over the Note 5 including a faster processor, possibly more RAM and an improved camera experience. We will update this feature as more leaks appear so hang tight for now.