Samsung Galaxy Note 7
The Samsung Galaxy Note 7 features an edge-to-edge display and iris scanner Samsung

The Samsung Galaxy Note 7 has been launched at media events in London and New York. The new smartphone is the latest installment in Samsung's popular 'phablet' series, which offers larger screens and more features than the mass-market Galaxy S range.

With a 5.7in screen, the Note 7 is significantly larger than the 5.1in Galaxy S7, but shares a similar glass and metal design. Although the Note's screen is still curved at the edges, it doesn't wrap around the sides of the phone quite as much as as it did on the Galaxy S7 Edge earlier in 2016, or the Note-sized S6 Edge Plus from 2015.

The biggest feature of the Note 7 (and a first for any mass-market smartphone) is an iris scanner, which lets users unlock the phone by simply looking at it.

The seventh-generation handset also retains the Note's main feature, its updated S-Pen stylus. New for the Note 7 is the ability to write on the screen when the phone is locked.

It even works underwater, and is now twice as sensitive as before, with 4,096 levels of sensitivity. The width of the nib has been cut from 1.6mm to just 0.7mm, making it feel more like a real pen or pencil.

The phone comes with Android 6.0.1 Marshmallow installed, and will be eligible for upgrade to version 7.0 Nougat once that software is released by Google later this year. The Galaxy Note 7 shares the same 4GB of RAM and a similar 64-bit, octa-core processor as the Galaxy S7, and its screen resolution is also the same, at 2560 x 1440. The camera resolutions are also the same as the Galaxy S7, with 12MP on the back and 5MP on the front.

Also shared is the Note 7's IP68 water- and dust-resistance rating, which means it will survive up to 30 minutes submerged in 1.5m of clean water. There is 64GB of onboard storage, plus a microSD card slot for adding up to 256GB more.

A first for Samsung's flagship smartphones is the Note 7's USB Type-C port. Already used on phones like the LG G5 and HTC 10, Type-C is a reversible connection which offers faster charging and data transfer times. Thankfully, the Note 7 comes with a Type C adaptor in the box, which lets you connect the phone to MicroSD devices.

Pre-orders for the Note 7 will open in the UK on 16 August, before going on sale on 2 September. The phone is priced at £749 SIM-free. Colours include black, titanium and blue, as well as gold in some markets.

IBTimes UK is at Samsung's Unpacked event in London and will be bringing you our hands-on first impressions of the Note 7 very soon.