The Galaxy Note line premiered the curved screen design on the Galaxy Note Edge (that came alongside the Note 4) but then lost it to the S line. Samsung has had a change of heart and went all in on curves - there's no flat Galaxy Note7, just ones with a curved screen.
The 5.7" Super AMOLED display is curved on both sides (think S6 edge and S7 edge - the Note Edge had a different approach), which helps make it 2.5mm narrower than last year's Note5.
Ergonomics are further improved by reduced thickness and weight plus a more pronounced curve on the back compared to the Note5. The Galaxy Note7 feels like a plus version of the S7 edge, except this time the S-Pen stays.
Samsung has been loosening up the business casual colors of the earlier Notes, but this year it upgraded from 'casual' to 'beautiful' with the Blue Coral option.
It combines Gold (bordering on Rose Gold) for the metal frame and accents with sky blue for the panels that sit below the glass on the front and back. Other color choices include the usual Black Onyx, Silver Titanium and Gold Platinum (no pure white this time, though).
HTC explored dual-tone phones before, but it seems to have abandoned the idea, at least in the flagship segment. We found the Galaxy Note7 in Blue Coral very attractive and really arguing who did it first is beyond the point here.
Colors aside, the materials of the Galaxy Note7 are as premium as ever. The metal frame holds up two 2.5D shaped panels of Gorilla Glass 5.
The phone is waterproof with an IP68 rating. Formally, this means it can dive beyond 1m of water for longer than half an hour, on top of being dustproof.
Touchscreen never played well with water, but the separate digitizer for the S Pen has no such issues. That's right, you can use the S Pen to control the phone, a feature outdoor types will surely appreciate.
Samsung seems to think that you'll get your Galaxy Note7 wet often. It gave an example where you use the new iris scanner after you come out of the shower. Wet, pruney fingers don't work well with fingerprint readers either, not just touchscreens.
The iris scanner uses an IR light and a dedicated iris sensor, so it will work in any condition - light or dark, wet or dry, with or without reading glasses.
Samsung was the first to jump on microUSB 3.0 but eventually dropped the odd-looking connector. It has been quite conservative since then and only now adopts the new USB Type-C standard.
The port supports USB On-The-Go so you can hook up accessories. Type-C ones are fairly easy to find these days, but just to be safe, Samsung includes a Type-C to microUSB 2.0 adapter in the box.
The Samsung Galaxy Note7 packs a 3,500mAh battery, which is surprisingly smaller than the S7 edge battery (3,600mAh). It's a tiny difference and the S7 edge got great battery life, so the Note shouldn't be too bad, but it probably won't break any records.
Samsung redesigned the power saving modes. Gone are the regular and Ultra power saving options, Medium and Max power saving modes take their place.
They are fully customizable and can limit the screen's brightness, change its resolution (e.g. drop it to HD to ease the stress on the chipset), limit the chipset and stop background data.
When you're done tuning both modes to your liking, their Apply button gives you an estimation of how much battery life you've added.