Samsung Unveils the Galaxy S7 and Galaxy S7 Edge — What You Need to Know
The Samsung Galaxy S7 and S7 Edge are the flagship duo for the first half of 2016, sharing a lot of the same internals and differing only in a few areas. As such, one is not an obvious choice over the other: especially for this iteration, they both are meant for slightly different use cases.
The first and the most obvious difference (apart from the curved edges) for this iteration, is the screen size. The S7 sports a smaller 5.1″ display, while the S7 Edge goes for a 5.5″ display. The display tech remains the same with both bearing a Super AMOLED display with QHD resolution, which still continues to be competitive in early 2016. You also get an Always-On display, which makes a lot of sense considering the inherent advantages of an Super AMOLED panel. Design wise, the Samsung Galaxy S7 and S7 Edge follow along the last years design which a lot of people found premium. There aren’t too many changes when it comes to appearance, other than the camera bump obtruding lesser from the rear panel. Samsung has chosen to follow along very closely to the previous design, and we cannot blame them for not fixing what is not broken. The phones also come with an IP68 rating for water and dust resistance, allowing for submergence of upto 1.5m for 30 minutes. The only complaint that we have is that the duo still sport a micro USB port instead of a USB Type C, since flagships are usually expected to be on the bleeding edge of technology.
On the inside, both the S7 and the S7 Edge are the same for the most part. Samsung chose not to talk too much over the exact processor that will be inside the devices giving us no final confirmation as such, but it’s likely the much-expected set of both an Exynos 8890 and Snapdragon 820, each for specific markets. The GPU will change according to the SoC, with the options being the Mali-T880 MP12 and the Adreno 530. There’s also 4GB of LPDDR4 RAM on board. There will be two internal storage variants, 32GB and 64GB (not in U.S. launch), with no 128GB option as of yet. But that’s not a bad move as the Samsung Galaxy S7 and S7 Edge will be sporting a microSD card slot for expansion upto 200GB. Talking about the battery, although it is still non-removable, it has received a bump up in capacity compared to the previous generation. The Galaxy S7 sports a 3000 mAh battery (compared to 2550 mAh on S6) while the Galaxy S7 Edge sports a 3600 mAh battery (compared to 2600 mAh on the S6 Edge). You still get quick wireless as well as wired charging on both, so your existing accessories should be sufficient for another year. Samsung also launched an angled wireless quick charger to go along with the duo, if you so wish.
For the software, as expected, the Galaxy S7 flagship runs on the latest Android 6.0 Marshmallow release, with Samsung’s TouchWiz UI on top of it. As always, Samsung has incorporated plenty of features, some of those especially designed for the Edge panel. The Edge panel is now wider to allow for richer content and quick access to more apps. Users can now also set their own shortcuts on the Edge. Samsung has opened up the SDK for the Edge panel, so third-party developers can incorporate the existence of an Edge panel in a meaningful and intuitive manner, rather than as an afterthought. Samsung is also providing users with an option to disable the app drawer, but unlike the Launcher on the G5, this is an option rather than an enforceable default.
— XDA Developers (@xdadevelopers) February 21, 2016
The camera is where Galaxy S-Lineup devices see the most year-on-year improvements, and this year looks to be no different. The Galaxy S7 and S7 Edge sport a 12MP rear camera with OIS and a f/1.7 aperture, and Dual Pixel technology, which aims to deliver better performance in low light thanks to larger pixels as well as deliver a quicker autofocus experience. Samsung claimed that the pixels are 30% larger than the ones on the Apple iPhone 6S, and all of these Dual Pixels are used for focusing on the subject, whereas the iPhone 6S uses less than 5% of its pixels. The front camera is a 5MP shooter with aperture of f/1.7, with a wide angle lens for better selfies. Samsung also plans to sell first party add-on lenses for the rear camera, such as telescopic lenses and fisheye lenses, to help channel creative imagery from their devices.
— XDA Developers (@xdadevelopers) February 21, 2016
Samsung also introduced to us the Gear 360, which is a 360 degree camera that aims to transform how memories are captured. The combined sensor is 30MP, with an aperture of f/2.0. The Gear 360 boasts of seamless connection with the S7 flagship duo, allowing users to preview live and store 360 degree photos directly on the device.
The company has also chosen to remain mum about the general pricing of the Galaxy S7 and S7 Edge. Our expectations hover around the same price mark of the last generation, although the S7 Edge could get a price bump owing to its increased screen size and battery. The Samsung Galaxy S7 and S7 Edge should be available in March worldwide, including the US. Customers who preorder the S7 or the S7 Edge will get a free Gear VR from Samsung.
With the current generation of the flagship lineup, the Galaxy S7 and the Galaxy S7 Edge, Samsung has chosen to react to consumer feedback instead of opting for revolutionary changes. They’ve chosen to refine the good and improve the bad, instead of taking yet another risk. And that’s not a bad thing. The S6 and the S6 Edge were very good devices to begin with, so the current flagships are improvements over them in all the areas. One question remains though, will these be enough to stop the LG G5? Only time, and sales, will tell.
What are your thoughts on the Samsung Galaxy S7 and the S7 Edge? Do you like the new size of the S7 Edge? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below!