Updated: August 3, 2016 9:03:39 am
Samsung Galaxy Note 7, the latest version of what is arguably the most productive Android smartphone, has been launched. Yes, there was no Note 6. Maybe because Samsung wants to go one up on the Apple iPhone, which will have to wait for a month before it gets to version 7.
Samsung has really pioneered the category, and made it successful enough for everyone to take note and follow. However, with the latest version Samsung seems to be pulling back on cutting edge innovation again. Of course, they added edge screen to the new phone. But that is not really new, given that the Note 4 had an edge version, in fact the first smartphone to sport a functional edge. The other new features are clearly the much-improved S Pen and the Iris scanner, already available in other phones like the Lumia 950 series.
But the new Samsung Galaxy S7 series was also not at the pinnacle of innovation. What that smartphone flagship did for the user was offer a more perfect Android phone, one which ticked all the boxes when it came to performance, camera and battery. What that did for Samsung was pull out the best quarter in two years, thanks to the popularity of the phone.
Samsung seems to be gradually moving away from gimmicky features, which were sold as USPs, to perfecting its products in such a way that it satisfies the customer. Something Apple too seems to be focusing on these days. Yes, the edge screen’s functionality is questionable, but it’s not a gimmick anymore given that it’s already there on a few other phones.
So may be the innovation curve for flagships is dead. May be the focus will now move to perfecting smartphones and creating devices that just work when you want it to and are the best in whatever they do. This also means the shock and awe that a flagship used to bring to at least some of us geeks is long gone.
The “latest in smartphone innovation” is no longer about bringing in new features, but bettering features that you already have, adding depth and muscle in terms of storage, memory and battery life.
Of course, you will see a very innovative device come across once in a while, but they will be few and far in between. The innovation will now be on the price, and what more you can give. Here is hoping that innovation is good enough to awe us.
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