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(Pocket-lint) - With the launch of the Galaxy Note 7, Samsung added a number of fresh features and updates to its stylus-toting phablet.

If you've had a Note before, there are plenty of reasons to upgrade to the new one, especially if your last taste was the Note 4 from two years ago.

In fact, even if you managed to get your hands on the Note 5, the 7 could still be a worthy hardware update for you. Here is everything that's new in the Samsung Galaxy Note 7.

Samsung Galaxy Note 7: S-Pen hardware

Undoubtedly the Note's biggest unique selling point is the bespoke stylus. The S-Pen has set the standard for natural and reliable on-screen scribbles. In fact, it's hard to think of any smartphone stylus that's as enjoyable to use as the Samsung-made tool, and this year's is even better.

New touchscreen technology has enabled Samsung to make some changes to the design. Specifically, the screen is now twice as responsive as the Note 5 with 4,096 levels of pressure. That means they've been able to make the tip smaller, and build a pen that's now just 20mm wide and weighs practically nothing at 3g.

The pen itself is now IP68 water resistant, so you can write on the screen even when it's raining, or submerged. And, because the phone detects when the stylus is out of its silo, and where it is, it can ignore water contact on the screen and just accept the input from the pen. It's virtually as accurate when wet as it is when dry.

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Samsung Galaxy Note 7: S-Pen software

As well as the new hardware features for the S-Pen, the software has been revamped with a number of new tricks designed specifically for the new tiny stylus.

While lock-screen scribbling was available on the Note 5, this year's improvement will allow you to write directly on your standby screen, and then pin (or save) the notes to your lock screen. That means you can access them anytime from the always-on display, without unlocking your phone. A small icon appears under the clock or calendar on the lock screen.

The Air Command menu which shows up when the S-Pen is removed has a few new features too. Glance lets you preview apps by hovering your pen over their thumbnail.

You can also now create GIFs from any video playing onscreen. Simply draw a rectangle around the video, then set it to record, and your phone will make a GIF. It's a cool tool, just be careful not to break any copyright or licensing laws.

Also among the new Air Command menu options is a new translate feature. A little like Google's translate app, you can draw over one word at a time on the web, or in photos, and the phone translates it to a language of your choice. As well as that, you can magnify web pages up to 300 per cent using the S-pen.

The new Air Command features are all welcome additions to the S-Pen's software arsenal, as is the new ability to customise what shows up in the menu. You can remove features you never use, or add ones that aren't automatically included.

There's also a brand new Samsung Notes app, which acts as a hub for any clips, scribbles or notes you make with your S-Pen. In essence, it's all the old S-Pen optimised apps turned in to one single app. Some of the new paint tools found in the Notes are genuinely breathtaking. You can mix colours, and it can detect how hard your pressing and adjust the stroke onscreen to match that pressure. 

Samsung Galaxy Note 7: Iris Scanner

It's not the first time we've seen an iris scanner in a smartphone, but it is the first time on a mainstream Android device. Samsung's iris scanner can quickly recognise your iris on setup, and then unlocks your phone almost instantly when you're in good (but not too good) indoor light.

You can read more about the iris scanner in our explainer feature, but in essence, it's an infrared camera that quickly recognises the individual pattern in your eye.

Because it's infrared, and your iris pattern is so unique, it can be thrown off by many types of condition changes. Thankfully, the phone still has the home-button fingerprint sensor for those times when the eye-scanner is thrown off by bright light, sunglasses or contact lenses.

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Samsung Galaxy Note 7: Design

The easiest way to describe the Galaxy Note 7's design is to say it looks like a slightly bigger, squarer version of the Galaxy S7 Edge. Its front and back glass panels are curved towards the edges so that it looks symmetrical from almost any angle.

Colour wise, unlike last time out, we're getting three colours and none of them are white. Samsung will launch in three subtle hues, all with slightly pearlescent finishes: Black Onyx, Silver Titanium and Blue Coral.

Of all of them, the blue finish is the newest, with a stunning blue colouring offset with an almost gold finished metal frame. It's truly beautiful in both images and in person.

Samsung Galaxy Note 7: Mobile HDR

HDR video content is the future of home entertainment, and Samsung wants to make sure its most powerful smartphone is up to date with the latest video technology. The Note 7 isn't just Samsung's first phone with Mobile HDR built in, but the first ever smartphone launched with the feature. 

HDR means High Dynamic Range, and brings moving images to life in a way that offers better colour depth, and better distinction between light and dark. In many ways, it's far more important than how many pixels are onscreen, and it's coming to your next smartphone. 

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Samsung Galaxy Note 7: USB Type-C

The Galaxy Note 7 is the first mainstream Samsung smartphone to feature a USB Type-C port.

We were surprised when it wasn't included in the S7 and S7 Edge, but they were kept as Micro-USB most probably because Samsung would have had to redesign the Gear VR headset. Which they have now done for the Note 7.

Which leads us nicely to…

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Samsung Galaxy Note 7: Gear VR for Note 7

Samsung has redesigned the Gear VR headset to include a UBS Type-C connector for the Note 7, but also and perhaps more importantly, to make it easier to wear and watch content.

The new all-black finish is designed to cut out any errant reflections which could otherwise ruin your viewing experience. There's a redesigned home button on it, to make it easier to go back to the home menu, as well as a more comfortable head strap.

As you can tell, then, there's plenty about the Note 7 to make it a tempting proposition. If your last phone was the Note 4, you're going to love this one.

Writing by Cam Bunton. Originally published on 1 August 2016.