With gorgeous curved glass, stellar specifications and cutting-edge features, Samsung’s new Galaxy Note 7 is raising the bar for smartphones.
Fans can’t wait to get their hands on the device, which makes its big U.S. debut today, and it’s easy to see why. Here are six features Apple needs to steal if it wants to compete with Samsung’s latest, greatest smartphone.
We use our smartphones all the time — even when we’re washing the dishes, relaxing by the pool, or soaking in the bath — so it makes sense to make them water-resistant. Samsung has been doing this for years, but Apple is yet to catch up.
The Galaxy Note 7 is IP68 certified, which means you can take it in up to five feet of water for up to 30 minutes and it won’t break. Some reports have claimed the iPhone 7 series will also be water-resistant, but they’ve been few and far between.
Maybe Apple will surprise with a water-resistant iPhone this year, then — and it really should now that many of its competitors are offering this feature — but don’t get your hopes up.
Apple popularized the fingerprint scanner when it introduced Touch ID, but Samsung believe iris scanners are even greater.
“While fingerprint and iris authentication both provide a high level of security, iris scanning is one of the most secure and reliable biometric techniques available today,” explains the South Korean company.
“This is because each individual has a uniquely different and highly intricate iris pattern in each eye, which is almost impossible to replicate.” Iris scanning also “results in fewer false acceptances than fingerprint scanning, according to some studies.”
Iris scanner are especially handy on water-resistant devices, because unlike fingerprint scanners, they can be used even when your hands are wet or dirty.
Steve Jobs hated styluses, but Apple Pencil has proven that iPad owners love them. Smartphone owners do, too — that’s why Samsung keeps improving upon its beloved S Pen stylus that ships with the Galaxy Note series.
Perhaps a stylus wouldn’t be quite as useful on smaller iPhones, but for the 5.5-inch iPhone 7 Plus, it could be a game-changer. Apple simply needs to steal some of Samsung’s software features to go with it and the iPhone becomes even more productive.
A stylus makes a massive difference when taking notes, sketching, and even selecting text. Samsung has also developed a bunch of useful “Air Commands,” like the ability to hover over foreign text to quickly translate it.
Wireless charging is a feature iPhone fans have been calling for for years, and like water-resistance, it’s one that’s now commonplace on rival smartphones. You might think you don’t need it if you’ve never used it, but that changes once you learn to rely on it.
Rumor has it Apple is working on a wireless charging technology of its own that will be even better than those we have now. It’s thought it will be capable of charging the iPhone at a distance, negating the need to use a wireless charging pad.
Whether or not this technology will be ready in time for the iPhone 7 series remains to be seen, but again, I wouldn’t get your hopes up.
If Apple can’t give us wireless charging yet, then it could at least give us faster charging. In comparison with competing smartphones, it takes forever to charge an iPhone, and that’s a problem if you need a quick top-up before shooting out.
In comparison, Samsung’s Adaptive Charging feature can charge the Galaxy S7 to 50 percent in just 30 minutes, while OnePlus’ new Dash Charge technology can give the OnePlus 3 up to 63 percent during the same time period.
A recent rumor promised Apple is going to deliver faster charging in the iPhone 7 this year, but it’s not yet clear if that’s true, or how it will compare.
Quad HD OLED display
Yes, we want sharper, more efficient displays on the iPhone.
When Apple first introduced the Retina display with the iPhone 4, it was way ahead of its rivals in display technology. Six years later the company is way behind, and iPhone displays are no longer the king of the hill.
Samsung’s latest AMOLED displays are not only sharper, but they also boast greater color accuracy, a wider color gamut, better viewing angles, and increased brightness. They’re also kinder to your battery life than LCD displays.
The Galaxy Note 7 can even playback HDR video.
There are other things Apple could steal from the Galaxy Note 7 that could make the iPhone even greater — like that stunning curved glass and expandable storage — but the six features I’ve mentioned above are probably the most important.
With the exception of the S Pen and the iris scanner, these are features that can be found on a number of high-end Android devices, and without them, the iPhone just isn’t quite as exciting. As demand falls, that’s something Apple needs to change.
If you could choose a feature that Apple should steal for the iPhone 7, what would it be? Let us know down in the comments!