Samsung really tried with their Galaxy S6 range last year. Ditching expandable storage, plastic bodies and waterproofing, the Galaxy S6 and S6 Edge were undoubtedly the most aesthetically appealing smartphones Samsung had made to date. They were, however undercut by some of the features they had stripped, coupled with a battery life that fell well below the competition. Sales weren’t great either, so it’s understandable to see why the S7 is more about refinement than reinvention.
Last night at MWC, Samsung revealed both the S7 and S7 Edge in a press conference delivered entirely through VR (the future?). Both handsets are set to launch next month overseas, and both retain many features of the S6 line. So much so that just looking at them makes it a little hard to tell the difference.
The S7 in particular is guilty of this the most. The S7 features the same 5.1-inch, quad Super AMOLED display, albeit with a slightly changed curve to the body that makes it easier to pick up off a table. The fingerprint scanner has been slimmed down and the camera bump reduced, making it a sleeker, more appealing package. The S7 Edge, however, changes a little. With a 5.3-inch Super AMOLED, quad HD display, the S7 Edge now has a slight curve to the body which makes it easier to hold in one hand. It’s meant to be far more comfortable than competitors with similarly sized screens, and early impressions suggest it’s done just that.
Elsewhere it more about putting in what was taken out. Both the S7 and S7 Edge are now water resistant for up to 30 minutes at 1.5 meters, as well as expandable storage capable. A new slot on the top of the phone allows you to expand storage via a MicroSD card, which is great news for those not willing to shell out more for overpriced flash storage. The processor State side is also changing, with the top-tier Snapdragon 820 powering the S7 line. it’s still using the Exynos chips with 4GB of RAM elsewhere in the world.
The camera has been scaled back in terms of raw pixels, but for good reasons. Samsung is equipping the S7 line with a 12-megapixel camera that they believe lets in more light for better low-light shots. Around 56% in fact. The camera features a brighter f/1.7 aperture and some of the fastest focus and shutter speeds on the market. Samsung in fact took a page from the DSLR book in this regard, and the results seem to be outstanding.
The biggest change, however, comes in the form of the battery. Although it will still need to be tested for viability, both the S7 and S7 Edge come with considerably larger batteries to handle your daily tasks. The S7 has been bumped up from a 2550 mAh to a 3000 mAh battery, while the S7 Edge enjoys an increase from 2600 mAh to 3600 mAh. If they’re able to use Android Marshmallow and Samsung’s TouchWiz to better use the hardware efficiently, then Samsung might have addressed their most glaring issue with their last line.
The Galaxy S7 and S7 Edge go on sale next month in the United States, and should be arriving on local shores not too long afterwards.
Last Updated: February 22, 2016