Samsung Galaxy S7 and Galaxy S7 Edge: First Impressions

Samsung Galaxy S7

Samsung Galaxy S7 and Galaxy S7 Edge were unveiled over the weekend. Despite coming in with quite a number of stylish features and improved performance, they can hardly be termed as revolutionary.

The two flagships are actually the highlight of the ongoing MWC 2016 event in Barcelona. Even though new, the Galaxy S7 and S7 Edge are a lot like last year’s flagships – Samsung Galaxy S6 and Galaxy S6 Edge – in terms of looks. This year’s flagships feature metal and glass casings, but with a few significant changes in the overall design language of the phones – changes that are only noticeable with closer examinations.

Design

Samsung went for a 5.1-inch screen on the Galaxy S7 – which is the same size as last year’s S6. On the other hand, the Galaxy S7 Edge comes with a 5.5-inch screen, contrary to last year’s 5.1-inch screen on the S6 Edge. With contoured backs, you will be comfortable holding these phones in your hand, making it easier to use in one hand.

There are very small differences between Samsung Galaxy S7 and S7 Edge when it comes to specs. Other than being slightly larger than the S7 in size, the S7 Edge also features a gentle curve on the two sides of the display. These screen edges can be used for purposes such as quick access to apps, preset options, contacts, widgets, just like the S6 Edge. Just as promised, the S7 Edge has a larger battery unit of 3,600mAh than the S7’s 3,000mAh.

Compared to last year’s models, there are other noticeable changes on this year’s models. The bezel on the S7 is thinner than last year while Samsung has also worked on the protruding rear snapper, which now features a much smaller bump. You will also enjoy using the fingerprint scanner on these phones – it is alloy smoother than last year.

Samsung Galaxy S7 Edge has also gained wider curved edges (550 pixels), which means users can now enjoy two rows of icons on this phone.

Samsung dropped Ingress Protection (IP) on Galaxy S6 and S6 Edge. However, this is back on Samsung Galaxy S7 and S7 Edge, coming in with possibly the highest rating of IP68. This means that you can drop your Galaxy S7 in water of up to five feet, keep it there for up to 30 minutes, and the phone will still be in good working condition when you get it out.

There is even much better news as this year’s models also bring back expandable storage. It is now possible to expand memory on your Samsung Galaxy S7 and S7 Edge using a microSD card of up to 200GB. The slot has been integrated with the phones’ SIM trays. If you were dreaming of a removable battery, you’ll be disappointed to learn that there is none. However, there is support for both wired and wireless fast charging with Samsung chargers.

Always On Display

Samsung has installed QHD displays on the two phones, boasting bright and super-saturated colors, just as expected. However, there is a surprise for you – always-on display.  With this feature, it means that users will always be able to see notifications, calendar, time as well as the date. There is even room to personalize the design.

With OLED technology, the screens only light up select pixels and the phone will also go off when inside a pocket or bag. As a result, there is really nothing to scare you about the always-on display with respect to battery life.

Samsung Galaxy S7

Better performance

Another surprise is what Samsung chose for this year’s flagship camera. Both Samsung Galaxy S7 and S7 Edge have smaller 12MP snappers on the rear, down from last year’s 16MP. However, the photosite size is bettered to about 1.4 microns. As a result, this lens provides much-needed improvements when it comes to low-light photography. In addition, the snapper also comes with a lens of f/1.7 aperture, which according to Samsung, captures 25% more light as compared to the one used on last year’s models.

Unlike last year’s S6 and S6 Edge, the newly unveiled Samsung Galaxy S7 and S7 Edge will come with different chipsets. U.S. models will be powered with Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 820 CPU and a RAM of 4GB whereas international versions will feature Samsung’s Exynos 8890 with a similar RAM. Both versions run on Android 6.0 Marshmallow in addition to Samsung’s TouchWiz.

For gamers, Samsung has made some nifty changes to its software to improve performance. In case of extended gaming sessions, the S7 and S7 Edge come with a power-saving mode for gaming feature which helps keep the frame rates controlled in a bid to save more power. It is also possible to kill notifications and even calls from cutting your gaming sessions short. You can also record in-game videotape.

Both Samsung Galaxy S7 and S7 Edge are available on all five major U.S. carriers as from February 23, but only on pre-order basis. The official launch is on March 11.

 

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