Ahead of its official launch, a fresh set of photos allegedly showing of a prototype version of the Galaxy Note 7 have been published online. Renowned leaker Steve Hemmerstoffer pushed a collection of photos to his Twitter account, allegedly showing a pre-release model, and revealing much of what we've already come to expect. 

It's not the first time images of the Note 7 have been published. Not long ago, the front panel leaked showing an array of circular "windows" for the front-loaded sensors - particularly the iris scanner - near the earpiece.

These don't appear in the first image leaked by Hemmerstoffer, and aren't anywhere to be seen in the leaked press renders published by @evleaks, but curiously do appear in a follow-up set of images of the alleged prototype.  

There are, of course, a number of plausible explanations for the differing sensor set up on the front panel. Firstly, there's a very real chance that Samsung has been working on several different prototypes. Secondly, one (or more) of these images might not be genuine products.

It seems as though, perhaps, the panel and subsequent phone leaks show an earlier prototype device, while the Samsung branded model without all the sensors is close to final design. It would certainly explain why the leaked press renders match one of these leaks and not the others.

It's been rumoured that Samsung will unveil the next Note-series phone at an event next month, and that it will likely feature a 5.7-inch to 5.8-inch Quad HD resolution display. We're also expecting the phone to be powered by the more powerful Snapdragon 821 processor recently announced by Qualcomm, along with at least 4GB RAM and with a redesigned S-Pen. 

Regardless of exactly when the phone launches, it's almost certain that Samsung's Galaxy Note launch this year will kick off a flurry of activity in the smartphone market as several manufacturers start pushing out new devices in time for the holiday season. Apple will likely launch its iPhone 7 series, new Nexus phones are due, and HTC could be launching the mid-range Desire 10. 

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