The Samsung Gear VR has positioned itself nicely as an affordable, accessible entry point into the (often expensive, inaccessible) world of virtual-reality hardware. With the upcoming release of the Galaxy Note 7, there are now rumours that Samsung will release an updated version of its VR headset.
The reports stem from a list on shipping website Zauba. Spotted by PocketLint, the shipping site has a record for a product with the model number SM-R323. The original Gear VR headset had a model number of SM-R322, so this is being taken to relate to the follow-up. The listing also makes specific reference to Gear VR, so it’s a convincing argument.
This doesn’t mean the Gear VR 2 – or Gear VR 4 if you’re counting the Innovator Edition devices – will launch alongside the Note 7, but it would chime with reports that the upcoming handset will have a USB Type-C connection. The current Gear VR headset doesn’t have this, only a micro-USB, so an update may be needed if the Note 7 is to work for virtual reality.
If you want to get hold of the current Gear VR, you can grab it on Amazon.
Samsung Galaxy Note 7: Render leaks reveal full phone design
A set of Samsung marketing renders, allegedly of the Galaxy Note 7, have surfaced online – showing the upcoming handset in three different colours.
Tweeted out by renowned tipster Evan Blass, the press renders show the front and back of the Note 7 with black, silver and blue colouring. The curved screen and rear camera placement match what we’ve previously heard about the Note 7, and the renders intriguingly feature three lenses in the top bezel.
These would seem to be for the much-rumoured iris scanner. Previous leaks have similarly hinted at the presence of this module in the Note 7. First picked up by Android Authority, a photo captured last week by tipster @OnLeaks shows what is allegedly the front panel of the Galaxy Note 7. It has a dual-edge screen, is said to measure 5.8 inches, and – most intriguingly – has three extra cutouts on the top bezel.
Android Authority reckoned at the time that these new circles are evidence of the much-rumoured iris scanner. The site pointed to a patent application filed by Samsung for iris-scanning technology, which illustrates the need for three different lenses. The logic is three holes equals three lenses, equals iris scanner.
This isn’t ironclad proof that there will be an iris scanner – and keen eyes will spot a seeming disparity between the number of holes in the top bezel between the render and the front panel, as well as the presence of Samsung branding – but it makes sense given there’s not much else those lens-shaped holes could be for. They’re probably not speed holes.
Why is 6 afraid of 7?
The Galaxy Note 6 name has been taken for a long car journey, then left in the middle of a field while Samsung makes a hasty exit. That, at least, is according to tipster Evan Blass, who took to Twitter to claim Samsung’s next device will in fact be called the Galaxy Note 7, and will come with an iris scanner.
Blass put out a series of tweets, purporting to confirm already-rumoured details about the next Galaxy Note device. The first is an image of Samsung Galaxy Note 7 branding.
The second tweet simply “confirmed” iris scanning would be a feature, while the third reeled off a list of specs:
- 5.7in screen
- QHD Super AMOLED display
- 64GB storage plus microSD slot
- 12-megapixel (Dual Pixel) primary camera
- 5-megapixel secondary camera
- IP68 waterproof body
- Black, silver, and blue colour options
In terms of the iris scanner, Blass didn’t give any more details about what shape this would allegedly take in the Galaxy Note 7. If true, it will be interesting to see whether it functions as a practical (slightly sci-fi) addition, or whether it ends up being an unwieldy gimmick that’s too slow to be any use.
Production of Galaxy Note 6 reported to start in July
Citing an anonymous industry source, tech site ETNews claims Samsung will manufacture 2.5 million handsets next month, with five million then produced in August. This adds weight to rumours that Samsung will launch the new Galaxy Note in August.
A leaked invitation for the Galaxy Unpacked 2016 event suggests the Galaxy Note 6 will be announced on 2 August 2016.
First reported by SamMobile, the invitation says “the next edge is just around the corner”, below five curved lines that look somewhat like the number seven. This suggests that the new handset will be the Galaxy Note 7 edge, bringing the numbering in line with Samsung’s Galaxy S7 and S7 edge.
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