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Samsung's Galaxy Note 7 Drawing Rave Reviews So Far

Has Samsung finally come up with a giant killer of a mobile device that can give it genuine leverage against Apple in that market? If the early reviews of the Galaxy Note 7 are any indication, that just might be the case.

The Samsung Galaxy Note 7, set for release this week, has drawn almost unanimously positive reviews from technology media outlets. The Galaxy Note 7 is the large-screen phone that Android users have been eagerly awaiting. The screen size of the new phone is 5.7 inches and it comes with an S Pen, a stylus that slides into the phone.

Looks Bigger, Feels Smaller

Reviewers have lauded the Note 7’s combination of metal and glass, symmetrical sides, and rounded corners. But they’ve also mentioned that the design is functional as well as aesthetically pleasing. In addition, Samsung has minimized the trade-offs that often come with a large display by giving the device state-of-the-art functionality while at the same time giving it the feel of a normal phone, the reviewers noted.

Part of that is due to the fact that the Note 7 is really smaller than other phones in its class: 4.7mm shorter and 4mm narrower than the iPhone 6s Plus, 5.8mm shorter and 3.9mm narrower than the Nexus 6P, and 2.2mm narrower than Samsung’s Note 5.

Jan Dawson, chief analyst at Jackdaw Research, told us that the reviews for new Samsung products are always generally positive, although those for the Note 7 do seem especially effusive. Does that mean the new phone poses a genuine challenge to Apple’s place in the market?

Market Is Finite

“At this point smartphone OS affiliation is pretty tribal, and there’s generally relatively little movement from iOS to Android, and slightly more from Android to iOS,” said Dawson. “I suspect this phone will sell very well, but mostly because of people upgrading from earlier Samsung devices and to some extent other Android devices, rather than because it drives lots of switching from iOS.”

With the new iPhones due out in less than a month, the competition is about to get a lot stronger and most people will probably want to hold off and see how Apple’s new phones compare, Dawson added.

The Note 7 features a 5.7-inch, 2560×1440 display, 4 GB of RAM and 64 GB of storage that’s expandable via microSD. It boasts a 2.15 GHz quad-core processor, improved battery and added security features.

Priced at around $800, the Galaxy Note 7 likely isn’t for everyone. But the combination of those specs and the phone’s easy-to-manage form factor might prove as irresistible to many consumers as it has to tech reviewers.

“Competition at the high end of the smartphone market, especially in fairly saturated countries like the [United States], is only going to get more intense as growth evaporates,” said Dawson.

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