Samsung pulled something of a Renaissance with the Samsung Galaxy S6 and S6 Edge last year. It was the first time the South Korean company redesigned its flagship with premium materials, a far cry from the cheap plastic it used to paste on the S Series. The end result – the S6 series became the style de joure for Samsung, letting people know that it too made the best phones on the planet. But the S6 was not without flaws – no expandable storage, poor battery life, lack of waterproofing, to mention a few.
This year, Samsung is finally launching the next big flagship with the Samsung S7 and S7 Edge. And it has learnt from the S6’s stumbles by keeping the same design, and improving on it both in terms of hardware and software. In fact, the features that went missing in the S6 are now back on S7 – and that is mostly a good thing.
Depending on where you live, the Samsung S7 comes with a Qualcomm Snapdragon 820 (in US) and Exynos (for international). This time you get 4GB of RAM.
Samsung has made the S7 more easy to pick off a table, and comfortable to use. It has gotten rid of the dreaded camera hump and it now comes with a flat-as-nails fingerprint scanner. And yes, it still bears a remarkable resemblance to the iPhone 6. The S7 comes with a 5.1-inch, quad HD Super AMOLED display.
But the S7 Edge is the one with the more updated design. Even though it still has curved display on the sides with quad HD Super AMOLED, its gotten some changes from its predecessor. For once, its smaller than other 5.5 inch phones, with a slight curvy design this time around. Its also a phone that most people can use with one hand, even given its spacious screen.
The S7 Series Fixes the S6 Annoyances
MicroSD card support is back, a much needed feature. And the S7 comes with IP68 water and dust resistance, meaning you can submerge it for 30 minutes in 1.5 meters of water at a time. This time there’s no fussy port covers to worry about, only sealed ports for waterproofing. The S7 Series bucks the USB Type C trend, a move that Samsung explains was needed to ensure compatibility with the Gear VR headset from last year.
However, Samsung has not brought back the removable batteries with the S7, a move it started with last year’s model. To address the battery life concerns that plagued its predecessor, Samsung has upped the ante with increased battery size. This time around you get:
- S7: 3,000mAh instead of 2,550mAh
- S7 Edge: 3,600mAh instead of 2,600mAh
The S7 also retains the adaptive fast-charging and wireless charging features from Samsung that debuted with S6.
The camera has undergone some significant shifts in this year’s model. The S7 comes with a new 12-megapixel camera (lower than last year’s 16MP). However, Samsung reveals that the new camera on the S7 lets you:
- Capture larger pixels for low light pictures, bringing 56 percent more light to enhance them.
- make use of the fighter f/1.7 aperture, allowing 25 percent more light in your snapshots.
- use the combined sensor and lens to let 95 percent more light than S6 camera.
- use the improved 16:9 format rather than 4:3 ratio thanks to the improved sensor shape.
- Focus on pictures three times faster thanks to its dual-pixel system, sort of like the DSLR on a Canon.
- take pictures quicker, given how quick the camera app launches.
OS and Edge Features
For the S7 series, Samsung has baked in Android 6.0 Marshmallow with TouchWiz. The S7 series comes with a couple of Edge swipe features. In fact, the killer feature on the new S7 may very well be what Samsung calls the Always-On Display. You can use AOD to always show you a clock, notification or calendar on your screen, a process that consumes half a percent of battery per hour on the phones. Not to be confused by the motion-activated display on Motorola handsets, this one stays on all the time. The proximity sensor however, turns it off when its in a bag or pocket.
Specifications of Samsung Galaxy S7 and S7 Edge