Monday, July 25, 2016

S-Pen coming for underwater use on the Samsung Galaxy Note 7

Samsung's upcoming new and improved tablet phone will have little hardware overhaul as the world's top smartphone vendor is focused on highlighting some improved software-related features.

Edge screen, water resistance and iris scanning could be the three main points that Samsung plans to highlight at the company's unpacked event on Aug. 2 in New York, said officials, last week.

"Simply put, the Note 7 is an expanded version of the Galaxy S7 edge smartphone. The Note 7 will only be available with a curved screen in accordance with Samsung's latest strategy to promote mobile devices with breakthrough form factors," said a Samsung official.

The large-display phone with a stylus for handwriting is expected to have a 5.8-inch screen.

The Note 7 will be the first in the Note series to have the water-resistant feature.

More importantly, users will be able to use the "S-Pen" even underwater, according to executives at Samsung's first-tier local component suppliers.

The new product will also be equipped with iris scanning recognition technology, although initial use of the software is expected to be limited given the scarcity of services using the eye-scanning technology.

It's unlikely that the Note 7 will have a dual-camera as the company's strategy is to cut manufacturing costs. The S-Pen will be embedded in the bottom of the device.

The Note 7 will support the Samsung Pay service.

The Note 7 is the successor to the Galaxy Note 5. Samsung has already confirmed that it will skip the name "Galaxy Note 6" in order to line up its next device with the Galaxy S7 and Galaxy S7 edge flagships.

But it remains to be seen whether the Note 7 will appeal to consumers if it does not awaken idling demand for Samsung devices in target markets.

The unit price of the Note 7 will be between 7 percent and 8 percent higher than the previous version. 

Given some new additions, such a price hike won't greatly kill consumer appetite as Samsung plans to offer subsidies to mobile carriers in countries where the Note 7 will be available.

Samsung introduced the Galaxy Note 5 for 890,000 Won in Korea and $699 in the United States without subsidy plans.

The company said its mobile chief Ko Dong-jin will handle the upcoming unpacked event. 

"Samsung's premium handset replacement program ― Galaxy Club ― will be applied to the Note 7," Ko said in a recent meeting with local reporters. 

The executive remains confident the Note 7 will compete with Apple's soon-to-be-released mobile phone ― tentatively named iPhone 7 ― in major markets. The "iPhone 7" is expected to be released in the latter half of the year.

"We have to admit that Samsung's smartphone business is under pressure. But I think Samsung will be fine," said the senior executive, adding an upgraded Gear VR headset will also be launched soon.


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