EVERYTHING YOU NEED TO KNOW ABOUT THE SAMSUNG GALAXY NOTE 6
The Samsung Galaxy Note 6 could be one of 2016's biggest smartphones, so it's time to get excited. Here's everything we know about the Samsung Galaxy Note 6, including the Galaxy Note 6 release date, specs, features and price.
While most Samsung fans are beholden to the Galaxy S-series, the Samsung Note handsets have successfully carved out a niche of power users. That's because Note handsets are big, powerful and feature-heavy – just the way we like them.
The good news is that Samsung is rumoured to be plotting a mid-August launch for the Galaxy Note 6. That release date was tipped by reliable leaker Evan Blass, and seems likely. After all, the previous two Galaxy Note handsets launched in August. However, this rumour does contrast with previous speculation that Samsung was actually working towards a mid-July release.
A recent leak out of China – via social media network Weibo – suggested that the Galaxy Note 6 specs would be as follows:
- 5.77-inch display
- 2K (QHD) screen resolution
- Qualcomm Snapdragon 823 processor
- Adreno 530 GPU
- 6GB RAM
- 256GB storage
- 4,200mAh battery
- IP68-certified waterproof/dustproof body
However, Samsung is yet to reveal any official details about the Galaxy Note 6, so there is a chance that the device doesn't even exist. Nevertheless, we've rounded up the latest in news, rumours, and leaks – plus a healthy helping of speculation to boot.
Here’s what to expect:
LATEST SAMSUNG GALAXY NOTE 6 NEWS
When does the new Galaxy Note 6 come out? Rumoured mid-August
What’s new about the Galaxy Note 6? Rumoured 4K display, 256GB storage, 6GB RAM
How much will the Galaxy Note 6 cost? About £625
Watch: All you need to know about the Galaxy Note 6
Related: Samsung Galaxy S7 Edge review
SAMSUNG GALAXY NOTE 6 RELEASE DATE UK & US – WHEN WILL THE NEW GALAXY NOTE 6 COME OUT?
Samsung is inconsistent when it comes to Galaxy Note release dates, so it makes the next one difficult to guess. The most recent rumour – via @Evleaks – points to a mid-August reveal. That contradicts early reports from South Korean media that pointed to a mid-July launch instead.
Until more specific details are released, our best guess is either August (most likely) or September (less likely) – maybe October, at a push.
That’s based on previous launches, which were as follows:
Galaxy Note 5 – 21 August (release)
Galaxy Note 4 – 13 August (reveal), October (release)
Galaxy Note 3 – 4 September (reveal), 23 September (release)
Whatever the case, it seems likely that a Galaxy Note 6 is in the pipeline. That’s according to two reports (TechRadar, Forbes) that cite an unnamed source at a major UK phone network as saying:
“Samsung isn’t going to launch the S7 Edge+ in the UK. I got the impression that it had been a bit of a disappointment sales-wise and that the decision to keep the Note 5 out of Europe is now considered a mistake. So our information is that the Note 6 will launch in the UK in August and that there will be no S7 Edge+.”
When asked for comment, Samsung told us: “We can’t comment on these types of article, which are based on rumour and speculation.”
SAMSUNG GALAXY NOTE 6 FEATURES – WHAT’S NEW ABOUT THE GALAXY NOTE 6?
There are plenty of upgrades rumoured for the Galaxy Note 6, although we don’t have any official details just yet.
First, it’s tipped to include a 6-inch 4K/UHD display, which seems ludicrous for a smartphone – but this is the Note, after all.
Then there’s talk of serious memory upgrades. Most notably, it’s suggested we’ll see 6GB of RAM, plus hyper-fast UFS 2.0 memory on a 256GB chip.
Excitingly, there's also a rumour that the Galaxy Note 6 will feature Google's new Android N as its launch software.
Further details are sure to leak over time, so bookmark this article and check back for regular updates on what to expect from the Galaxy Note 6.
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SHOULD I WAIT FOR THE GALAXY NOTE 6?
The Samsung Galaxy Note 6 is sure to be a niche pick; it will be both powerful and expensive. This isn’t likely to be a handset for someone who just wants to make phone calls and play Crossy Road.
As such, if you’re thinking about buying the Note 6, you probably already know whether it’s the phone for you.
That said, there are plenty of great alternatives to the Note 6. The Samsung Galaxy S7 and the LG G5 both offer formidable smartphone experiences.
And don’t forget the smartphones that are yet to launch. Apple’s iPhone 7 seems assured to land at a similar time to the Note 6. And Google’s next Nexus device will be arrive soon after that.
SAMSUNG GALAXY NOTE 6 SPECS
Samsung tends to use a split strategy for its smartphone processors; different chips will feature in different markets.
It’s rumoured that the Galaxy Note 6 will run on a custom-built Exynos 8890 in the East Asia market. However, western markets are rumoured to get a Galaxy Note 6 that boasts Qualcomm’s new Snapdragon 820 SoC.
A more recent rumour, this time courtesy of Chinese gossip hotbed Weibo, suggested that the Galaxy Note 6 will run on the Snapdragon 823. Qualcomm hasn't officially announced this chip yet however, so take this report with caution.
Related: Snapdragon 820 vs 810 vs 808
There’s also talk that Samsung will opt for a huge 6GB RAM module in the Galaxy Note 6. That’s an impressive amount of memory for a smartphone, but it’s sure to appeal to the Note’s power-user niche. Crazier still, the Weibo report that suggests we'd see a Snapdragon 823 processor also claimed the Note 6 would feature 8GB of RAM. We'll believe it when we see it, folks.
In terms of storage, we’re expecting at least three options: 32GB, 64GB, and 128GB. However, we’ve heard that Samsung might also include its UFS 2.0 memory chips in the Galaxy Note 6. That would put 256GB of hyper-fast storage at the disposal of Note users. Not bad, eh?
Finally, there’s talk of a 20-megapixel rear-facing camera on the Galaxy Note 6. That doesn’t tell us much, since image resolution is only a small part of a camera’s functionality. However, previous Galaxy Note handsets have offered impressive photography performance, so we’d be surprised if the Galaxy Note 6 was any different.
A recent report from PhotoRumors claimed that Samsung is working on a new 1/1.7-inch CMOS camera sensor. It would feature a f/1.4 aperture, which is much wider than the f/1.7 aperture that appeared on the Galaxy S7, an excellent snapper in its own right. Aperture is, of course, the hole that lets light through the lens to the image sensor, so a wider aperture is generally better.
Unfortunately, we haven’t seen any rumours about the front-facing camera thus far, but stay tuned.
SAMSUNG GALAXY NOTE 6 BATTERY LIFE
There’s only so much we can say about prospective Galaxy Note 6 battery life until we actually test the device.
It’s rumoured that the Galaxy Note 6 will feature a 4,000mAh battery. That’s a significantly higher storage capacity than the 3,000mAh cell used in the Galaxy Note 5. As such, we’d expect better battery life.
Bundle that with the power improvements offered by the Snapdragon 820 – rumoured to feature – and it’s all looking good.
However, the display could be a serious drain on battery. It’s rumoured that the Note 6 will ship with a 6-inch 4K screen, which would be horrendously power-hungry. What’s more, we wouldn’t be surprised to see Samsung’s "Always On" screen tech – debuted on the Galaxy S7 – also featuring on the Galaxy Note 6. That could burn the battery for an extra 1% per hour, or perhaps even more, if it’s included.
With all that in mind, we’ll simply have to wait for the handset to arrive in the office before making any judgement on battery life.
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SAMSUNG GALAXY NOTE 6 SCREEN AND FEATURES
The Samsung Galaxy Note 6 is rumoured to feature a sizable 6-inch display.
What’s more, it’s tipped to be the first Samsung handset to offer a 4K/UHD screen resolution, which is still a rarity in the smartphone market.
By contrast, the Galaxy Note 5 shipped with a 5.7-inch display, with Samsung opting for a 1,440 x 2,560 QHD screen resolution – that’s a 518ppi pixel density.
We’d be more inclined to believe Samsung will opt for a repeat of last year’s screen, especially considering the handset’s relative success critically.
But with rumours of a 4,000mAh battery in store, we begin to wonder what all that extra charge might be needed for.
Features are sure to be in abundance with the workhorse Galaxy Note 6, but the main question will be whether the Galaxy Note 6 will include the S-Pen stylus?
We’d be very surprised to see the S-Pen not included with the Note 6, especially now that Apple is peddling its own Apple Pencil stylus.
And while we're on the matter of productivity, there's also a claim circulating online that Samsung will ship the Galaxy Note 6 with a phablet dock that turns the handset into a miniature laptop hybrid.
We're not convinced.
Whatever the case, we can’t say anything for sure until Samsung officially announces the handset, so we’re in the dark for a while.
One of the more recent rumours is that the Samsung Galaxy Note 6 will be IP68 certified, which means it will be waterproof up to a depth of 1.5 metres for 30 minutes.
That's according to SamMobile, which suggests that Samsung was impressed with the feedback on waterproofing with the Galaxy S7. The same report also notes the possible inclusion of an iris-scanner. Pinch of salt at the ready, folks.
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SAMSUNG GALAXY NOTE 6 SOFTWARE: ANDROID 6.0 OR ANDROID 7.0?
Many of you will be wondering what version of Android the Galaxy Note 6 will run on. Fortunately, it’s easy to answer: Android 6.0 Marshmallow.
While Google is sure to announce Android 7.0 – a.k.a Android N – launch details this summer, it seems unlikely to appear on OEM handsets for quite some time. What’s more, Galaxy Note handsets always initially arrive with the previous generation of Android on-board, so it would seem unlikely for the Note 6 to break from that trend.
Interestingly, a recent rumour from South Korean media suggested that the new Galaxy Note 6 would ship with Android N straight out of the box. That would be an impressively quick turnaround, but considering the fact that the Android N developer preview is already live, we're inclined to believe it might actually happen.
When prompted for comment on the matter, Samsung told TrustedReviews: "Samsung doesn't comment on rumour or speculation"
Alternatively, the Galaxy Note 6 will run on Google’s Android 6.0 Marshmallow OS, which is no bad thing. Marshmallow brought a hefty helping of improvements over 5.0 Lollipop, and Lollipop made plenty of gains in terms of design. That means Android 6.0 is a formidable OS that’s undeniably on par with Apple’s iOS.
You can read all about the software in our Android 6.0 Marshmallow features guide.
Watch: Trusted Explains – What's new in Android Marshmallow?
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SAMSUNG GALAXY NOTE 6 – USB TYPE-C?
Phone makers are quickly succumbing to the USB-C revolution, and there's no reason why Samsung shouldn't be next in line to adopt the burgeoning new standard.
And that's just what Samsung will do with the Galaxy Note 6, at least according to a new report by Sammobile.
The Samsung-focused publication claims to have "exclusive" knowledge that the Galaxy Note 6 will feature a USB-C port, although details are light.
"We can now exclusively confirm that the Galaxy Note 6 will feature a USB Type-C port, reversible connector and all," reads the report. However, Sammobile does admit: "We don't know whether it will be USB 3.1 or an older standard."
Perhaps the main obstacle to Samsung's USB-C adoption however, is virtual reality. If Samsung does move to USB Type-C with the Galaxy Note 6, it means the handset will not be compatible with existing Gear VR headsets, all of which currently support Micro USB connections only.
It's likely that if – or perhaps, when – Samsung finally adopts USB-C, it will also be forced to roll out a new, second-generation version of the Gear VR with USB-C support.
SAMSUNG GALAXY NOTE 6 PRICE
Like the release date, the Galaxy Note 6 price isn't easy to predict.
All we really have to go on are previous handset launches, and last year’s Note 5 – which had curious pricing as a result of a delayed launch – doesn’t fit the trend.
Here are launch pricing details for the UK:
Galaxy Note 5 – £450
Galaxy Note 4 – £629
Galaxy Note 3 – £619
Ignoring the Note 5’s weird price, we’d say the Galaxy Note 6 is most likely to cost around £625. But £30 either side of that wouldn’t be a surprise either.