The Galaxy Note 5 landed as Samsung’s latest phablet flagship back in mid-2015, and over the last few months the rumor mill has starting to spin up new ideas about what we may see in the Note 6. Here’s what we’ve heard so far about what the next-generation Samsung phablet will offer.
Galaxy Note 6 specs
Phones with 6GB of RAM aren’t exactly commonplace, but they’re not new either. Samsung’s Galaxy Note 6 is rumored to have 6GB of RAM, but it may beat the competition if the Korean tech giant uses its latest 6 GB LPDDR4 DRAM chip.
The chip was unveiled at a mobile conference last week, according to The Next Rex, and uses a 10 nanometer manufacturing process, which allows the smaller chip to use less battery. The timing of this move could point to the company using this chip in the Note 6, which is rumored to launch in a few months. Of course, Samsung could also hold off on using the chip for a later device, so take this information as mere speculation.
Before this, there were other hints that the Note 6 would use 6GB of RAM, according to a Chinese blog.
Foregoing RAM, many Galaxy fans were disappointed that Samsung didn’t utilize a USB Type-C port in the Galaxy S7 and S7 Edge. Since most manufacturers have already made the switch, it seems more than likely the Korean giant will do the same very soon. Good news! Sam Mobile reported in early May that the Galaxy Note 6 could be Samsung’s first phone with such a port.
It’s unclear whether it’ll be USB 3.1 or something older. We’re hopeful that if this rumor is true, Samsung will go with 3.1 since it would be able to transmit HDMI or Display Port video signals and support fast charging.
In an unrelated note, the adoption of a Type-C connector could mean that a new Gear VR is on the horizon since the existing headset only works with Micro USB.
Samsung always makes its Note hardware special, and ensures there’s plenty of power inside too. While the Snapdragon 820 is used in the Galaxy S7 and S7 Edge, there are rumors the Note 6 may use a revised version of the chip known as the Snapdragon 823, which will apparently run at speeds up to 3GHz.
But there’s no evidence Qualcomm is working on such a processor, and there has been no official announcements yet.
Another early launch possible
Last year, we saw the Note 5 launch in August, several weeks earlier than the typical September Unpacked event that coincides with the annual IFA tech convention in Berlin. This year, we may see an even earlier unveil date, if the latest rumors prove true. In fact, according to notorious leakster @evleaks, AKA Evan Blass, the Galaxy Note 6 could launch as early as the week of August 15.
Samsung Galaxy Note 6 US release scheduled for week of August 15th.
— Evan Blass (@evleaks) May 11, 2016
The reason Samsung may opt for an earlier Note 6 launch may lie in the Galaxy S7 and S7 Edge’s apparent success, with Samsung revising its earnings forecasts due to “better than expected operating profit” from the Galaxy S7, according to an analyst speaking to Bloomberg in April. In the same piece, Strategy Analytics Neil Mawston said, “We expect Samsung to release the Note 6 a month or two before the Apple iPhone 7.”
Traditionally, new iPhone models arrive between September and November each year, which puts the potential Note 6 launch between July and October, depending on Samsung’s level or preparation. Previously, unnamed sources familiar with the matter told The Bell, a Korean website, that Samsung could launch the Galaxy Note 6 in the middle of July.
Again, this is a rumor that we can’t verify, so take it with a grain of salt. What’s especially interesting is that the Note 6, codenamed Grace, may run Android N out of the box, according to The Bell. It’s quite possible, considering Google surprised everyone when it released the Developer Preview for the upcoming Android version early. Google said it hopes to finish and hand off Android N to manufacturers in the summer — which means it’s easily in the realm of possibility that the Galaxy Note 6 could be one of the first phones to come equipped with Android’s latest operating system.
New software features
It’s appears to take cues from BlackBerry Hub in that it incorporates a bunch of apps in one place. However Samsung looks to be emphasizing productivity apps rather than messaging apps.
Samsung Focus will show all your calendar appointments, emails from multiple accounts, and memos for all your reminders. It will also categorize all of this information per contact and allow you to manage notifications by priority contacts or keywords. Click here to read more about it.
Galaxy Note 6 Lite rumored
Samsung usually commits to one Galaxy Note phone per year, but the company might change it up for 2016. According to a leak in early May on the popular Chinese social media site Weibo, Samsung might be prepping a second version of the Note 6 that some are referring to as the Galaxy Note 6 Lite.
According to the leak, this phone will be the same size as the Note 6, but won’t be as powerful, in an effort to make it more economical. Although the display would be the same size as Note 6, this lite version could get a drop in resolution to 1080p or 1,920 x 1,080 pixels. It might be powered by the Snapdragon 820, which is the same processor used in the Galaxy S7 and S7 Edge. Finally, instead of a whopping 6GB of RAM, the Note 6 Lite could get 4GB, which is still very high considering the Galaxy S7 and S7 Edge have the same.
Smartphone manufacturers generally use more midrange specs when offering a more economical version of a phone, so we are a little surprised at how good these rumored specs are. Of course, all of this is just a rumor, so not only is it unknown if Samsung is really working on such a phone, but the specs could very well be different in the final product as well.
Waterproofing likely for Note 6
Rumors continue about the next Samsung phablet, and these latest reports suggest a new set of interesting features for the Note 6. We may very well see water resistance come to the Note 6, reports SamMobile.
Since IP68 water resistance come to the Galaxy S7 this past fall, it wouldn’t be surprising to see Samsung bring the same protection to its larger phablet. It was already surprising that the Note 5 didn’t offer any water resistance, after Samsung opted for a sealed battery and removed the MicroSD card slot from the phablet last September. If the Note 6 gets IP68 water resistance, the device would be able to withstand 30 minutes under up to 3 feet of water — just like the Galaxy S7.
It may have an iris scanner
SamMobile also reported rumors that an iris scanner may add more security to the Note 6. An iris scanner recently appeared on a list of materials purchased for research and development, the publication reports. Of course, even if Samsung is researching iris scanners, that doesn’t necessarily mean that the Note 6 will feature an iris scanner. However, the addition of the eye-scanning tech wouldn’t be surprising, either. Samsung likes to differentiate itself from the crowd with new tech, as we’ve seen with Samsung Pay and other novel features on its flagship phones. It’s still speculation at best, though, so don’t hold your breath for a Windows Hello-like unlocking experience just yet.
Rumors suggest a slightly larger display
In the phablet department, Samsung has experimented with screen sizes anywhere from 5.7 to 6 inches and beyond for its device displays. While the Note series has been consistently 5.7 inches in size for some time, the same rumor suggesting 6GB of RAM is also showcasing a slightly larger 5.8-inch display for the Note 6. According to the rumor, the Quad-HD Super AMOLED display will get a fraction of an inch larger screen with the same resolution.
Some other features rumored in the Chinese blog post include a 12-megapixel camera with something called “Super OIS,” as well as 64GB or 128GB of storage.
We’ll keep our eyes peeled and let you know as learn more new rumors and news about the next Galaxy Note.
Updated on 05-23-2016 by Julian Chokkattu: Added in the possibility of Samsung using a new 10 nanometer chip with 6GB of RAM.
Updated on 05-11-2016 by Christian de Looper: Added launch date leak by @evleaks
Updated on 05-10-2016 by Robert Nazarian: Added in rumors of a new app called Samsung Focus.
Updated on 05-06-2016 by Robert Nazarian: Added in rumors of a Galaxy Note 6 Lite.
Updated on 05-02-2016 by Robert Nazarian: Added in rumors of a USB Type-C port.
Updated on 04-12-2016 by Andy Boxall: Added in rumors of the Snapdragon 823 chip and 8GB of RAM
Updated 0n 04-11-2016 by Joshua Sherman: Added in further news of possible waterproofing and a new lineup
Updated 0n 04-07-2016 by Andy Boxall: Added in further news of a possible early Galaxy Note 6 release