Galaxy Note 7 is rare

Samsung is not Apple. This is a mundane finding, but it is important. This has seldom been as clear as when the new Galaxy Note 7 was presented. Anyone watching an Apple keynote - or simply following what is happening on the Internet during the time - gets the impression of being part of a quasi-religious event. Millions around the world pay homage to their tech gods, cheer every megapixel and gigabyte of the new iPhone and wait with breathless excitement for "one more thing".

On Tuesday, Samsung presented a new luxury smartphone. The target group of the Note 7 certainly overlaps with that of Apple, but the public interest was manageable. A few German and English-language tech blogs showed the event in a live stream, but there were no detailed preliminary reports, weeks of rumor mills and live tickers in all major media.

Samsung and Apple are definitely comparable; at least as far as the economic success of the corporations is concerned. In the past quarter, the South Koreans overtook their US competitors in terms of sales (45 to 42 billion US dollars), while Apple is slightly ahead in terms of profit (7.8 to 7.2 billion US dollars) - still. Samsung sells televisions, refrigerators, and washing machines, but the cellular phone business alone also makes almost four billion dollars in profit, and Samsung is way ahead of Apple in terms of the total number of smartphones sold.

Leaks, leaks, leaks

Admittedly, the great tension was already out before the performance. On Tuesday morning, the self-proclaimed "Tech Leaks Superstar" Steve Hemmerstoffer spoiled the game and tweeted pictures of the packaging of the Galaxy Note 7. The photo contains many central technical details: processor (eight cores, 64-bit), working memory (4 GB), internal memory (64 GB), display (5.7 inches, AMOLED), camera (12 megapixels, dual-pixel technology ), Front camera (5 megapixels) and IP68 certification for protection against dust and water.

Most of it was already known at this point. Several leaks had made the rounds for weeks, including the price (849 euros). That should have been in the spirit of Samsung, because every mention in advance means attention. In any case, the days are long gone when bare numbers were the most important selling point for electronic products.

The technical data have become relatively unimportant

For smartphones, storage space and battery life play a role at most (the battery of the Note 7 is quite large at 3500 mAh; tests will show how this affects the real operating time). The number of megapixels says nothing about the quality of the camera, the size of the working memory is not directly proportional to the performance, and even high-resolution displays can distort colors or have poor viewing angles.

So it's a very bad idea to buy a smartphone just because your data looks good on paper. What matters is how it performs in everyday life. With its two top models, the Galaxy S7 and S7 Edge, Samsung has already presented two of the best Android smartphones currently available. The Note 7 looks as if it could become similarly popular and successful.

Within its Note series, Samsung is skipping a number with the new model and switching directly from 5 to 7 in order to be on a par with the S devices. In terms of design, the Note 7 is similar to the S7 Edge: It is slightly larger, but also has a display that is rounded on both sides ("Dual Edge") and a camera that protrudes less than a millimeter from the case. Only the corners are a little less rounded than on the S7 Edge.