Samsung unveiled the large-screen Galaxy Note 7 "phablet" with a stylus pen on Tuesday, in an attempt to capture the premium end of a slowing smartphone market, boost profits and poach customers from rival Apple.
Samsung's Galaxy Note 7 has a number of key features taken from the S7 and S7 Edge – its flagship smartphones. The key features include:
- A slightly curved 5.7-inch display
- S Pen stylus
- Retina scanner to unlock the phone with your eyes as well as fingerprint scanner
- Water resistant display and S Pen
- Support for High Dynamic Range (HDR) video streaming. Images shot in HDR essentially make the contrast between light and dark colors even more prominent so the white highlights are even brighter. The purpose is to make the image on screen look more realistic. It's one of the first phones to support this.
- 12 megapixel rear camera and 5 megapixel selfie camera
- A 17 percent increase in battery capacity versus the Note 5
- Expandable storage up to 256 gigabytes
- Edge display – the same as the Galaxy S7 Edge
The last Note device, the Note 5, came out in 2015. Samsung skipped the Note 6 in order to bring the handset in line with its flagship S7 models. The Note '"phablet" was a category Samsung has been credited with creating when it launched the first version in 2011. It accounts for around 6 percent of the company's total smartphone shipments, but analysts said it is an important device because it's one Samsung can make a larger margin on.
Margins have come under pressure in the low-to-mid-end of the smartphone market where Chinese players have been able to bring high-spec but low-priced devices to market. At the same time, the overall smartphone market has been slowing. Samsung has been focusing on winning in the premium smartphone space where it competes again the likes of Apple and Huawei.
"What we're finding…is the premium end of the smartphone market is the part that's growing. So we took a strategic decision to focus on the premium segment with the…S6 and S7 series…and they have done incredibly well for us and put real momentum into our smartphone business again," David Lowes, chief marketing officer for Europe, told CNBC in an interview ahead of the launch.