Galaxy Note 6 rumors hint at IR autofocus, USB-C connectivity, new Snapdragon SoC

A strong camera upgrade and support for the latest charging standard could help Samsung's next phablet stand out.

Smartphone makers always want to up the ante just enough to make you crave the next shiny thing.

We have some indications about just what Samsung may be preparing with the successor to the Galaxy Note 5. It looks like there are some important hardware plans in the works which could help the Note stand out in for those who crave a giant screen and a stylus.

The story behind the story: A series of reports indicates some pretty hefty specs going into the Note 6: a 5.8-inch screen, IP68 water-and-dust resistance, a camera with IR autofocus, a Snapdragon 823 SoC, and 6GB of RAM. The Note 5 was a pretty great phone, but such internal and external improvements might be tempting for those who crave the latest mobile technology.

Infrared autofocus

IR autofocus would help the camera quickly focus in more lighting conditions; it shoots a beam of invisible light (hence infrared) towards the subject. The camera can then measure the distance to get a more accurate calculation about how to adjust the focus. Samsung generally has a best-in-class camera with its Galaxy S series, and it may want to extend that prowess to the latest Note.

Internal improvements

There’s talk of Samsung using a newer Qualcomm SoC, the Snapdragon 823. It should be similar to the Snapdragon 820, only slightly refined and sped up a touch.

While Samsung makes its own line of chips, it often still uses those from Qualcomm depending on the region in which it ships out the devices. It also would make sense to go with the most capable SoC available, given that the Note is marketed as a high-end device for productivity and performance. In theory this would pair nicely with 6GB of RAM, but even that sounds like a tad much.

USB-C

One interesting idea is that Samsung may go with USB-C, ditching the microUSB port used in the Galaxy S7 and S7 Edge. This makes sense for a number of reasons, save one: the phone wouldn’t be compatible with the Galaxy Gear VR headset. This makes us wonder if a new model is on the way. Perhaps it could launch alongside the new Note, and Samsung could always throw it in as a promotion.

Sturdy and longer lasting

If the phone is really going to have a 5.8-inch screen, it’s going to need plenty of battery power. A 4,000 mAh battery would certainly help, but expect Samsung to stick with a non-removable option. In terms of other features, IP68 dust- and water-proof certification would match what we have in the Galaxy S7 and S7 Edge, so maybe there will be more commercials with Lil Wayne pouring champagne all over a phone.

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Derek Walter

Good Gear Guide
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