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Galaxy Note7 business review: A fabulous phone with a few flaws

Galaxy Note7 business review: A fabulous phone with a few flaws

If Samsung's Galaxy Note7 isn't already on your radar, you're simply not paying attention. This enterprise-oriented Note7 review details the high-end Android phone's many enterprise strengths and spotlights a few shortcomings.

Galaxy Note7 enterprise limitations

Note7 is expensive — and pricey to repair

The new Note isn't cheap, so if price is a concern, you and your team may want to look elsewhere. The Note7 is available off-contract from AT&T for $879, Verizon Wireless for $864, and both T-Mobile and Sprint for $849.99. (Prices may vary based on financing options and customer credit.) For context, Apple charges $849.99 for its also pricey iPhone 6s Plus.

Large enterprises may not be too worried about spending $900 each on a handful of devices for executives and high-level staffers, but it's not just the cost of entry that should be a concern. The Note7's curved glass displays make it somewhat slippery in hand. And because it's so good looking, you might be tempted to forego a case for the sake of style. That decision could result in a bevy of broken displays or rear glass panels. And that damage won't be cheap to repair.

note7  5 Florence Ion

Customers who go to Samsung for Note7 screen repairs will pay $270 per device, according to UberGizmo.com. That's nearly twice the $149 Apple charges to repair smashed iPhone 6s Plus displays. Samsung offers insurance plans, and though related costs can add up quickly, they could ultimately be worth the money, considering the price of individual screen repairs.

Note7 curved display annoyances

The curved sides of the Note7's screen not only make it more slippery, they can impede certain gestures. Depending on how you hold the phone, and the size of your hands, it can be difficult to grip without accidentally touching the sides of the active display area. Touching the edges of the screen can accidentally trigger functions and stop others from working at all.

The most obvious example I've found occurs when I read ebooks using the Amazon Kindle Android app on the Note7. I tend to hold the device vertically, or in portrait orientation, in my right hand, and then turn pages in the app with a swipe of my right thumb. To do so without losing a grip on the phone, I need to softly squeeze it. When I squeeze the Note7, my palm touches the sides of its screen, and because the app sees that pressure as fingers on the display, I can't turn the pages. So I effectively cannot turn the page in a Kindle book until I loosen my grip and use my left hand to swipe to the next page.

The Kindle example is just one way one-handed use of the Note7, and accidental pressure on the display sides, can affect certain functionality.

Note7 iris scanner isn't reliable

When the Note7 iris scanner works, it works well. And because human irises are nearly impossible to duplicate, the iris authentication is more secure than any other device lock option on the Note 7, according to Samsung.

The problem is the dedicated IR LED and iris scanner are finicky, and they work only in certain environments. For example, if I'm in my office, where the light levels are consistent, and where there's no light overhead light to reflect off the device when I try to unlock it, the iris scanner works well most of the time. But as soon as I step outside the CIO.com office building on a nice day, the bright sunlight reflects on the display and stops the scanner from working at all. It also doesn't work well in the dark, at least not in my experience.

That means you can't rely on the iris scanner, so, even after three weeks, using it hasn't become a part of my routine. I still go to the fingerprint scanner instead, because it's more responsive. The finger reader also requires one less action to unlock the phone, so it's more convenient, as well. The iris scanner may be more secure, but I'd hate to have to try to scan my eyes multiple times every time I want to read a message. (I've heard from other Note7 users who say they don't experience the same issues, but I can only report on my time with the phone.)

Note7 cons: Everything else

As previously noted, the Note7 is available only with 64GB of built-in storage. If that's not ideal for you for some reason, you might want to look elsewhere.

In my experience, the Note7 battery life is good — but not great. It actually has a slightly smaller battery (3,500 mAh) than it's little brother, the GS7 edge (3,600 mAh). The Note7 will mostly make it through a full day of moderate-to-heavy use, but overall the battery life didn't wow me.

The Note's external speaker isn't as loud or as clear as I'd like.

Finally, a number of reports about Note7 processor speed and performance popped up during the past couple of weeks. I didn't experience any such issues, but I also didn't play any intensive games or other similar apps. Performance shouldn't be an issue for the average business user, but the reports are worth mentioning.

So, to sum it up …

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