For the second quarter in a row, Samsung Galaxy S7 has managed to outsell the iPhone 6S in the U.S. This is a remarkable step for the Korean company, especially after it saw a fraction of the same success with the release of Samsung Galaxy S6 last year.
One surprising factor is that the Galaxy S7 and Galaxy S6 are almost identical, but the former has turned out to be a huge success as opposed to the latter. So, what is the secret behind all this success? To find out, let’s take a look at what is really different between the two handsets that are separated by just one year.
Design and display
The design of Samsung Galaxy S7 is actually a mimic of what the Galaxy S6 came in with. However, while Samsung was heavily focused on making a thinner and lighter handset with the Galaxy S6, the result of such a move is always a detriment to the phone’s durability, functionality and the most essential of all, battery life. Samsung made amends with the release of the Galaxy S7, making it slightly thicker at 7.9mm as compared to the 6.9mm you get on the S6. It also weighs heavier at 152g as compared to the 132g of the Galaxy S6 thanks to the larger battery it comes with. The thicker S7 also gets a water and dust resistance capability, an enhanced design and an even better Always On display.
Speaking of displays, the Always On feature is actually the major differentiator between these two display panels. They both share the same size, but the Always On display means the S7 can display basic information such as time and date without the need of pressing a button to bring the screen to life when in sleep mode. This is what happens with the Galaxy S6. Interestingly, Samsung says that the feature only makes use of 1% of your battery life hourly and the best part is that you can still turn it off.
You will still be able to wirelessly charge your Galaxy S7, just like the case of the S6 thanks to the glass rear. The aluminum chassis also stays, which further adds to the similarities of these two flagships. However, the newer S7 makes use of a much better Series 7000 aluminum that makes it unbendable.
As noted above, Samsung Galaxy S7 is water and dust resistant thanks to the IP68 rating it comes with. This means you can have the phone around water pools, in the rain or even when in the shower without any worries. This is a dream for those who own the Galaxy S6. The S7 can survive a dive of up to 1.5m, even it lasts up to 30 minutes down there.
While there is no doubt that Samsung Galaxy S7 has stepped in with massive performance improvements, it is still not the perfect phone yet. You will come across a Snapdragon 820/Exynos 8890 SoC that is paired with an Adreno 530/Mali-T880 MP12 GPU and a RAM of 4GB. As for the Galaxy S6, the company went for a single-processor version that packed an Exynos 7420 SoC, a Mali-T760 MP8 GPU and a RAM of 3GB.
While you get 32GB of expandable onboard storage on the Galaxy S7, there is no microSD card slot on the Galaxy S6. Still, you get three storage options of 32GB, 64GB, and 128GB.
Benchmarking tests have shown that the Snapdragon 820 SoC is 30% faster than the previous Snapdragon 810. The Adreno 530 GPU is also 64% faster than the Adreno 430 used in the previous chipset. These two combined with an enhanced RAM of 4GB makes the newer Galaxy S7 a better performer than the Galaxy S6. In addition, Samsung also improved on the bloatware aspect, trimming down some of it, but not all of it.
Users of the S7 will still come across duplicate apps that come from Samsung and Google, for instance, calculators, media players, calendars, and so on.
Battery life and camera
As noted earlier, Samsung Galaxy S7 is thicker than Galaxy S6. This is mainly because the former has a larger battery of 3000mAh as compared to the 2550mAh you get on the S6. This means the S7 has a longer battery life than the S6, which was a needed improvement. Both handsets still support fast wireless charging as well as microUSB connectivity.
In terms of photography, the Galaxy S7 has seen huge improvements in terms of quality. Even though the megapixel count went down, the size of each pixel improved. You get a 12MP DualPixel Sony IMX260 sensor with f/1.7 aperture, LED flash, OIS, and ability to record 4k videos. The front snapper has 5MP, keeps the same aperture but can only manage to record videos of up to 1080p.
The Galaxy S6 has a 16MP Sony IMX240 sensor with f/1.9 aperture, LED flash, OIS as well as 4K video recording capabilities. The front snapper is 5MP, retains the same aperture and can record up to 1080p videos, just like the Galaxy S7. The larger aperture means the S7 has gotten better at low-light shots. Apparently, the lens of the Galaxy S6 used about 5% of its pixels when trying to focus, however, the Galaxy S7 makes use of the entire 100%, something no other smartphone camera can do. This means the focusing speeds of the phone are incomparable.
While Samsung Galaxy S7 might be the best smartphone in the market right now, there is still more to come. Who knows, the handset might lose this title to the upcoming Galaxy Note 7 or even the yet to be revealed iPhone 7. Still, the choice remains with you.