Reports are suggesting that the Galaxy S7 will include micro SD provision, and this is likely to be reflected in the Galaxy Note 6 as well. It would make particular sense for Samsung to include the technology that enables storage to be boosted in the Galaxy Note 6, as this handset could be the first from the Korean manufacturer to embrace 4K resolution.
4K Galaxy Note 6 mooted
Samsung has been linked with this already available screen resolution technology in its mobile range for sometime. And the fact that Sony has released the first mass market 4K smartphone may focus the resolve of the Korean corporation to follow suit. Some analysts even expect 4K capabilities to be included in the Galaxy S7, but regardless of whether or not this is the case, the larger phablet that is the Galaxy Note 6 would be an obvious candidate for this powerful and immersive display technology.
The Galaxy range has been a significant force for Samsung over the last couple of years, as it has received a particularly strong critical reaction. Although the Galaxy S series really remains the flagship for the Korean manufacturer, there is also no doubt that the Galaxy note range has significantly closed the gap in terms of public perception. This means that Samsung is increasingly keen to try out new innovations and specifications with the Galaxy Note range, and it is likely that the Galaxy Note 6 handset will indeed benefit from this trend.
Considering the quality of the Galaxy Note 6, it has become something of a favorite with consumers in the last few iterations. And the latest rumors suggest that the Galaxy Note 6 might arrive slightly earlier than the previous editions of the phablet. With Samsung looking to push the release date of the Galaxy S7 forward to possibly before the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, this suggests that the schedule for the Korean consumer electrons giant will be different in 2016 from previous years.
This points to a Galaxy Note 6 release at some point during the third quarter of 2016, with fans of the device already excited about the newest update and innovations included in the smartphone. One such suggestion is that Samsung could arm the next generation device with a USB Type-C port. This was conspicuous by its absence in the Galaxy Note 5, which was perhaps somewhat surprising considering Apple has already introduced it to the MacBook range of laptops.
Samsung usually tries to get the jump on Apple in terms of packing its devices with high specs and innovations, but it could be that it still has the opportunity to do this with the Galaxy S7. Nonetheless, if this is not the case, the Korean company may indeed release the Galaxy S6 before the iPhone range, and this would enable it to debut USB Type-C before Apple.
Another report on the Galaxy Note 6 suggests that the phablet will include a new stylus when it releases in 2016. This has been a notable aspect of the Galaxy Note series, with the S-Pen proving to be particularly well-received. However, it seems that the Galaxy Note 6 will include a new stylus with a sleeker design. Whether Samsung would continue to label this as an S-Pen remains to be seen, and the capabilities of the unit are also not yet known at the time of writing.
It seems a logical move for Samsung to improve its stylus, as Apple has declined the opportunity to make such a device central to the iPhone range, although the company has, of course, just introduced the Apple Pencil. If Samsung is to significantly improve the S-Pen then this could force Apple to include the Pencil as part of an overall iPhone package, rather than marketing it as an added extra.
Although it is extremely early days to predict precisely what will be included in the Galaxy Note 6, some of the specifications being linked with the device are pretty jaw-dropping. One of the most notable is that the phablet is being linked with as much as 8GB of RAM. Samsung’s fast-charging technology is also likely to be included, while the corporation will also fit the handset with a larger battery in order to cope with the potential 4K resolution display.
Reports have also suggested that Samsung could fit a 16-core processor in the Galaxy Note 6 in order to make this the most powerful mobile device on the market. This would be a mouthwatering prospect for fans of the Galaxy Note series, ensuring that its processing reached new levels of speed and efficiency.
Another area where Samsung is likely to significantly improve the Galaxy Note 6 is with regard to the camera included in the phablet. This is an increasing battleground for the smartphone marketplace, with Apple apparently considering numerous interesting new innovations for the iPhone series. It has been particularly prominently reported that the consumer electronics giant could include either a DSLR standard professional snapper in the iPhone series, or possibly a unique periscope design. It is also reported frequently that Apple will up the megapixel rating of the iPhone series still further when the iPhone 7 becomes available.
Samsung will look to respond to this possibility with the Galaxy Note 6, and it is already suggested that this device could feature a pretty staggering 30-megapixel rear camera. With optical image stabilization, 3D features and autofocus also included, this will be an extremely capable photographic device.
The front-facing camera is potentially even more impressive, with reports suggesting that Samsung will include a 16-megapixel front unit, capable of producing 4K resolution. This would be a pretty incredible inclusion in the Galaxy Note 6 series when one considers that the Apple iPhone series is yet to even reach this megapixel level with its rear-facing snapper.
So the Galaxy Note 6 could be one of the most impressive mobile releases ever when Samsung unveils the handset, in what is likely to be relatively early in Q3 2016.
Sony has launched the Xperia Z5 Premium smartphone (which sports an eye-popping 5.5-inch 4K display) in Canada, where local carrier Bell is selling the flagship device for $749.99 outright or $299.99 on a regular 2-year contract.
Although not officially, the smartphone is already on sale in the United States, where third party retailers including Amazon and Expansys are currently selling it for around $780 for the standard model.
The handset is also available for purchase in Europe through Sony as well as third party retailers. As for the price, it carries a tag of £629 in the UK, €829 in Italy, €899 in Greece, and €799 in most other countries. The device is also on sale in Taiwan.
From launch day, the Xbox One has been carrying a performance deficit when compared to the PlayStation 4. Hardware choices made during the design stage by Microsoft meant a games console that can’t quite match Sony’s offering. Much has been done in the last two years by Microsoft’s engineers to try and close the gap, but it looks as though Sony is about to unlock more performance and pull further ahead.
Both the Xbox One and PS4 use an 8-core AMD processor, but initially two of those cores were reserved in either console for background operations and the operating system to function. In order to close the performance gap Microsoft unlocked more GPU bandwidth and the 7th core on the Xbox One late last year. While this did give developers more performance to use, it meant losing a few features including voice commands and disabling Kinect functionality.
Since then, the Xbox One performance has been closer to PS4, but still can’t match it in most games and games run at a lower resolution. The bad news for Microsoft is that Sony has quietly rolled out a new Software Development Kit (SDK) to developers and it does the same thing: unlocks that 7th processor core.
The impact of this change won’t be seen immediately, but games in development for Sony’s console right now should be able to take advantage of the extra performance this will offer. The end result seems inevitable: the PS4 will increase the performance gap to its rival.
The performance comparisons between the two machines won’t stop any time soon, and will happen every time a multi-platform release hits the shelves. There’s very little else Microsoft can do to close that gap, so it probably won’t be a major focus for them. Instead it’s the games that count, and in particular exclusive games. Not timed exclusives such as Tomb Raider, but Xbox-only releases if they can be secured.
[Images courtesy of iFixit]