Note 7: the Always-on display gets an upgrade, becomes much more useful

Note 7: the Always-on display gets an upgrade, becomes much more useful
With the Galaxy S7 and Galaxy S7 edge, Samsung introduced the Always-on display — when in standby, the device's AMOLED screen is still entirely black, though, a small part of it is dimly lit and displays time and basic notifications, such as missed calls, messages, and battery. Not a very useful feature, many might argue, as it doesn't support notifications from 3rd party apps, and there isn't much one can do with the display when it's in this state — it works more like a clock than anything else.

Well, with the Note 7, Samsung is taking things a step further. As can be seen in the demonstration video below, the Always-on display will now, finally, support notifications from 3rd party apps. This means that if you have a Facebook message waiting for you, you should see the Messenger icon drawn there, if it's an Instagram follow request, you should see the Insta icon, and so on. The clip also shows that we will be able to crop any of our own personal pictures and place it on the Always-on display — dimmed, but in full color. We can't imagine this not being bad for the device's overall battery life, however.

Most excitingly, the Always-on display is now actionable! Double-tapping on any of the notifications will take you straight to its app (after passing an unlock, if the phone is secured), and tapping on the music playback picture will open a mini music control centre for play/pause, next, and previous song controls. Writing down an Action memo with the S Pen on the standby screen will let you pin it to the Always-on display, staying there as a reminder for whatever it is you need to not forget today.

So, while it may still not be the best feature to keep activated due to battery concerns, it definitely looks like the Always-on display has become a much more useful feature on the Note 7. Let's hope it lands on the S7 and S7 edge via a software update some time soon!

Related phones

Galaxy Note 7
  • Display 5.7" 1440 x 2560 pixels
  • Camera 12 MP / 5 MP front
  • Processor Qualcomm Snapdragon 820, Quad-core, 2150 MHz
  • Storage 64 GB + microSDXC
  • Battery 3500 mAh



1. kiko007

Posts: 7521; Member since: Feb 17, 2016

.......Meh. If I were a Note 5 owner, I wouldn't really see much of an upgrade in this year's offering.

5. ColinW

Posts: 413; Member since: Jun 04, 2014

I am a Note 5 user and there are many reasons to upgrade and will do as soon as I can.

6. Carlitos

Posts: 684; Member since: Oct 23, 2011

Well I have a Note 4 so I see a lot of reasons to upgrade. And microsd is back!!

11. bobby84

Posts: 595; Member since: May 13, 2016

too many to count, VR will have a wider view, stronger glass, cruve features, more and better s-pen features, sd card VR use a lot of space, water resistance and the usual software and hardware updates.

12. maherk

Posts: 7026; Member since: Feb 10, 2012

Yet you found it reasonable to upgrade from an iPhone 6 to the 6s. I just love it how the majority of comments today have came from Apple fans, or should I say employees?

13. kiko007

Posts: 7521; Member since: Feb 17, 2016

"Yet you found it reasonable to upgrade from an iPhone 6 to the 6s." A) How do you know what I upgraded from? B) At least Apple had the sense to change up the internals of the phone from the phone they released in an earlier cycle. "I just love it how the majority of comments today have came from Apple fans, or should I say employees?" And I just love Samsung Knights coming to defense of their beloved Korean organization as soon as anyone questions them. Makes me wonder which group has the more devoted following lol. BTW, keep your snide comments to yourself, cuz I didn't say anything derogatory.

20. MrElectrifyer

Posts: 3960; Member since: Oct 21, 2014

B) So in other words, you did the usual and turned a blind eye to all of the following additions over the Note 5, when drawing that initial conclusion: 500 mAh added battery capacity + LTE Cat.9 brings faster data + Better Screen to Body Ratio + 64 GB Base model + MicroSD Card Expansion + Waterproof + More precise Active digitizer pen + IRIS Scanner + Gorilla Glass 5 + Better Camera + Faster Processor + Problematic Type C Port

2. abdoualgeria

Posts: 928; Member since: Jul 27, 2015

Samsung is making iphones looks like trash

3. jellmoo

Posts: 2660; Member since: Oct 31, 2011

Yes. The Galaxy S7 edge + pen has completely revolutionized things. It is such a breath of fresh air. They really showed Apple how to do minute iterations! Take that Apple! You'll have to work twice as hard at making your upgrade seem as small as possible!

4. kiko007

Posts: 7521; Member since: Feb 17, 2016

So.Much.Sarcasm!!!! :)

7. Pattyface

Posts: 1658; Member since: Aug 20, 2014

Yes because tech changes so much in 6 months. Point is this... There is no better phone on the market period

8. jellmoo

Posts: 2660; Member since: Oct 31, 2011

Jeez. Since you said "period", I guess I can't argue with that.

19. TechieXP1969

Posts: 14967; Member since: Sep 25, 2013

You can always argue. But it wont change the fact. But it may not be the best for you. But it is the best phone on the market, whether you own it or not, think so or not. For the category the Note created, no phone called a "phablet" has equaled or surpassed it.

10. teerex42

Posts: 221; Member since: Jun 14, 2012

They have for a lot of years now bud!!!

9. sks1969

Posts: 108; Member since: Mar 04, 2012

Maybe a first on Android, but I don't think it is revolutionary, seen this 5 years ago on a Nokia N8.

17. catze86

Posts: 731; Member since: Dec 07, 2015

Screen savers? Night Clock on Note Edge way better.

14. Romantico3pe

Posts: 180; Member since: Sep 14, 2015

Screen burn in is coming

15. Bankz

Posts: 2550; Member since: Apr 08, 2016

Never believed this phone would be so underwhelming. After all the bragging on here about 6gig ram, dual cameras, 4,000mah battery, sd821.. Whoever has the Note5/s7/Edge should better save his/her money for something better. Yet we all have the guts to say the ip7 will be boring? Lol, I can probably list 3 solid features in the new iphone already. Form dual cameras, to smart connectors, to true wireless charging to 3d touch..

16. catze86

Posts: 731; Member since: Dec 07, 2015

-Dual cameras is old technology. -Low end lumia have smart conectors. -There are no true wireless charging since the power sources have A LOT of wires. -3D Touch? I never understand why Apple name it 3D when no 3D in it. wew....

18. TechieXP1969

Posts: 14967; Member since: Sep 25, 2013

AOD is just a useless battery draining gimmicky feature. I rather just turn in the display and get everything I want. If I only want to know the time, I have a watch for that. AOD is stupid!

21. TrackPhoneUser

Posts: 256; Member since: Oct 21, 2015

Isn't always on display a software thing?

22. tuannguyenht

Posts: 1; Member since: Aug 03, 2016

AOD is just a softwave thing. You can have these features on all Android phone from another softwave like Glance Plus long time ago.

23. rdvikas

Posts: 1; Member since: Feb 16, 2017

after nougat update you can double tap on notifications icons to directly open app. And finally now you can CONTROL ANY MUSIC PLAYER FROM AOD (always on display). check this out

Latest Stories

This copy is for your personal, non-commercial use only. You can order presentation-ready copies for distribution to your colleagues, clients or customers at or use the Reprints & Permissions tool that appears at the bottom of each web page. Visit for samples and additional information.
FCC OKs Cingular's purchase of AT&T Wireless