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Samsung Galaxy Note 7 launches in South Africa in September

Galaxy Note 7

It’s tough to keep things a secret these days, and Samsung is no different. Between leaks and Samsung’s own teaser, we had a pretty good idea of what to expect from the Galaxy Note 7.

Now, the company has officially peeled the curtain back on the phone, revealing a device with the same fundamental design as the S7 and S7 Edge (review), for starters. So that means a water-resistant body (IP68), as well as a water-resistant S-pen stylus.

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In fact, it’s really tough to tell the phone apart from the S range in person, with the aforementioned stylus and larger screen being the only real differentiating factors at first glance. Speaking of glances, the phone also packs an iris scanner, and Samsung has confirmed that it’s teaming up with banks for authentication and security features.

The Microsoft Lumia 950 and 950XL featured iris scanners too, but it remains to be seen whether Samsung’s effort is faster and more accurate.

In the spec department, you’re looking at a phone with the same Exynos 8890 chip (four Samsung M1 cores at 2.6Ghz and four ARM Cortex-A53 chips at 1.6Ghz), 4GB of RAM and a 5.7-inch 2560×1440 dual-curved display with Gorilla Glass 5 — no traditional flat screen here. 

The similarities extend to the camera experience as well, offering an identical 12MP f/1.7 main camera and a 5MP front-facing shooter with a large f/1.7 aperture. The rumoured selective slow-motion feature (allowing you to slow down specific subjects/objects in a video) wasn’t available on demo units though, so that’s one rumour that turned out to be false, I would assume.

The Samsung Galaxy Note 7 will be available in South Africa from 1 September, but no pricing details as yet

On the juice side of things, the phone packs wireless charging, USB Type-C (there is a Type-C to microUSB adapter in the box though) and a 3500mAh battery. The latter is large but 100mAh less than the smaller S7 Edge. Strange…

In a rather welcome move, the phone is only available in a 64GB expandable storage variant (no 32GB model here). We say “welcome move” but the hope is that it’s priced at a 32GB level.

Whatever the case may be, US networks are all charging a not insignificant US$850 for the device.

South African details

Samsung Mobile South Africa confirmed that the phone would be available in the country from 1 September (the first markets get the phone on 19 August), but didn’t give any pricing details. It did however reveal that people who preorder the Note 7 will receive a “Starter Pack”, featuring two screen protectors, the new Gear VR headset, a “fast charging wireless stand” and phone case.

Samsung’s Craige Fleischer added that it was working with banks and other parties to bring Samsung Pay to the country. The representative said they were aiming for a Q1 2017 window for availability.

“We’re hoping that during quarter one of next year we’ll be able to bring Samsung Pay to South African consumers as well,” Fleischer explained.

In wider company news, it refused to divulge its marketshare for South Africa, but added that the S7 and S7 Edge were its most successful flagships yet.

Disclaimer: Samsung paid for flights and accommodation for the Johannesburg launch event

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