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Samsung Galaxy Note 7 comes with iris scanner

It offers an alternative to fingerprint ID, which doesn't work well when fingers are wet

Published: Updated:

Samsung revealed its latest smartphone on Tuesday, which features an iris scanner.

You will be able to unlock the Galaxy Note 7 by just looking at it. The iris scanner matches patterns in your eyes with what was detected by your phone during setup.

Samsung isn't first, though. Microsoft's Lumia 950 phones had it. It offers an alternative to fingerprint ID, which doesn't work well when fingers are wet. Of course, the four-digit passcode will still work.

The Note 7 also expands on a feature to give sensitive files an additional layer of security. You'll be asked for an iris scan, fingerprint or passcode to access documents you place in a Secure Folder.

Samsung typically releases its regular-size phones in the spring and jumbo phones in August. This time, Samsung has just one large model, which stays at 5.7 inches.

It will have curved edges, a well-liked feature limited to a special "Edge" model before. The Note 7 will be available in the US starting August 19. Prices haven't been announced.

The updates in the Note 7 are mostly enhancements, such as a stronger glass screen and more storage, 64 gigabytes, or double what Samsung usually offers, plus a slot to add more.

The Note 7 comes with a better camera, but it's the same one that the smaller Galaxy S7 phones got in March, save for interface enhancements to access settings and switch between the front and rear cameras more easily.

Samsung had lost its mojo after Apple matched the company on size with the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus in 2014, but thanks to the popularity of the S7, Samsung just reported its best quarterly financial results in two years. The new Note 7 phone comes weeks before Apple is expected to announce new models.