Yesterday, Samsung lifted the curtains on the highly anticipated Galaxy Note 7. As expected, the Note 7 shared many characteristics with another Samsung flagship released earlier this year, the Samsung Galaxy S7 edge. Despite the similarities, however, the Note 7 remains to be a powerhouse for productivity thanks to the inclusion of the S Pen.
The Note 7 is also defined by some other unique features. An iris scanner now accompanies the fingerprint sensor as an additional way to keep your device secure (although you can’t use both at the same time – it’s one or the other). The Note 7 also has a larger display with a 5.7-inch screen, as opposed to the S7 edge’s 5.5-inch display. When you delve deeper into the device’s settings, the Note 7 also has some interesting settings that other Samsung devices have yet to implement. The coolest one discovered, at least in my opinion, is the fact that you can actually scale down the screen’s resolution in the phone’s Power Saving Mode settings to increase battery life.
This isn’t a setting for everybody, but I feel like I stopped caring about screen resolution a long time ago. I’ve mentioned a few times in past articles that the last time I ever looked at a screen and thought to myself, “Wow, that’s a nice screen,” was with the Apple iPhone 4S. The device’s Retina Display is actually part of the reason that I decided to switch from Android to iOS for the first time. But after that, I can’t remember looking at a screen and thinking, “Wow, that’s a nice screen,” ever again. I know that screens have become remarkably better, but I have just never taken notice. They're all just "nice displays" now. To this day, I still think that the iPhone 4S has a pretty nice display.
The Galaxy Note 7 comes with a 1440 x 2560 Quad HD display, which has a 515 PPI (Pixels Per Inch). That's an amazing display quality, especially for people who are interested in VR. However, a lot of people out there, like me, won’t notice much of a difference between QHD and a 1080 x 1920 Full HD display, which comes in at 386 PPI. Lowering the resolution would extend battery life quite a bit if having a 2K screen resolution isn’t part of your top priorities in a smartphone. Fortunately, the Note 7’s Power Saving Mode settings allow you to switch between the two – and actually adds in a third option of displaying a basic 720 x 1280 HD display at 258 PPI to save even more battery.
You’re able to switch between the three by having Power Saving Mode toggled “Off” for QHD, “Mid” for FHD, and “Max” for HD. The power saving modes will also limit background service functionality depending on which mode you use, and you can even customize your settings. For example, say you wanted to severely limit background performance on your phone, but you wanted to use the QHD display. You can do that! In a sense, Samsung is allowing you to have your cake and eat it, too.
I love this feature. I’ve had to sacrifice resolution for battery life when playing games on my computer more than a couple of times, and in the end I’m always happier with the extended battery life. Of course, decreasing the quality of the display isn’t going to be for everybody. On the flip side, there are a lot of people out there who could care less about having such a high density of PPI, and would rather trade that quality out for better battery life. Additionally, it’s cool that Samsung allows so much customization in Power Saving Mode settings.
I hope it’s a feature that more manufacturers will include soon. If bigger batteries aren’t going to happen anytime soon, this seems like a good solution in the meantime.
Readers, what are your thoughts on this? Would you rather have a lower resolution display in exchange for better battery life? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below!