A sneak peak into the new Samsung Galaxy S7 and S7 Edge
Samsung has revealed the new flagships of the year. At the ongoing MWC 2016, the new iterations of the most successful S series - the Galaxy S7 and Galaxy S7 Edge have been launched officially. The speculations doing rounds in the mobile circles have ended. We will make an attempt at understanding the new flagships in a finer detail.
The most anticipated launch has finally been made. Samsung has officially announced the Galaxy S7 and S7 Edge at the press conference on the sidelines of Mobile World Congress currently underway at Barcelona. The successor to the Galaxy S6 and S6 Edge are out now. Conspicuous by its absence is the Galaxy S7 Edge Plus. Maybe it will announced later on, or maybe it is not needed anymore with larger screen Galaxy S7 Edge. Let us find out more about the two new offerings from Samsung in this article.
The Design and the LooksThe design language stands closer to what has been observed on the Galaxy S6 and S6 Edge, but you have a little change this time around. Galaxy S7 stays at the same 5.1 inch as the predecessor Galaxy S6, there is a bump in the screen size for Galaxy S7 Edge to 5.5 inch. The S7 continues to have the round rear as on the Galaxy S6. The S7 Edge has more changes in terms of aesthetics. The sharp edge and flatter back on Galaxy S6 Edge has been done away with and the new iteration now has a rounded back.
The rounded corners and edge make both Galaxy S7 and S7 Edge comfortable to handle. However, I should hasten to add that the S7 Edge has more comfort associated with it. It has more premium look than the S7.
Water and dust resistance features make a come back this time. Both the devices are blessed with protection against water and dust. They conform to IP68 standard as far as water resistance is concerned. In a layman's language it means the phones can survive being under 1.5 metres under water for 30 minutes.
The physical dimensions of the Galaxy S7 read 142.4x69.6x7.9 mm, while the Galaxy S7 Edge measures 150.9x72.6x 7.7 mm. They weigh 152 grams and 157 grams respectively.
The displayAs said before, the Galaxy S7 has a 5.1 inch display, while the S7 Edge comes with a bigger 5.5 inch screen. As has been a consistent feature with all Samsung phones, both of them feature an AMOLED dispaly. The resolution remains similar to the previous years' flagships at 2560 x 1440 pixels. Needless to say, the Galaxy S7 Edge has curved edge display on both sides.
The display looks stunningly attractive. There is a new Always On feature for the display that keeps on screen widgets like clock and other information visible even when the phone is idle. Samsung has claimed that the feature saves your battery contrary to the thinking that it may make battery drain.
The insides - HardwareBoth the powerhouses will be powered by Qualcomm Snapdragon 820 Octa-Core processor. The spec sheet reads 2.3 GHz 64 bit processor. However, select markets will have the phones running on the Samsung's in house Exynos Octa-Core processor. Samsung has gone on record stating that the performance will remain the same across both the processors. Samsung hasn't come clear on the exact processor make for any particular market. It has only stated that the processor will run 30% faster. It has also revealed that the phones will have two variants with different processors depending on the market. Graphics will be handled by Adreno 530 GPU.
Both Galaxy S7 and S 7 Edge will have 4 GB onboard RAM which is much needed change with the current standards. The basic model of the devices will come with 32 GB internal storage. There will also be a 64 GB version. Samsung has paid heed to the feedback received to its Galaxy S6 and S6 Edge. The memory expansion option has been brought back. However, care has been taken to ensure that the total design parameters are not altered. The SIM card slot doubles up as microSD card slot. As has been a regular feature with the smartphones of late, the micro SD card slot has been integrated into the SIM cars slot. You can expand the storage to upto 200 GB. The re introduction of storage expansion might result in bringing back the loyal Samsung fans who were disappointed with the lack of the feature in last years' flagships.
CameraThis is one area that has gone for a significant improvement. The Megapixel count has received a drop, actually. The 16 MP rear camera on Galaxy S6 has been replaced with a 12 MP one on the new variants. Samsung claims that you will get better images this time with the larger f/1.7 aperture. The pixel size of the sensor is larger at 1.4 microns which would let more light into the camera so that you would get some really nice snaps.
The camera on both Galaxy S7 and S7 Edge uses Dual Pixel Technology which will improve the Autofocus and thereby the image quality of your snaps. Incidentally, it should be noted that the Dual Pixel Technology is used in DSLR cameras. The front camera is the usual 5 MP one, but now it uses the same f/1.7 aperture assuring better low light selfies.
The softwareBoth the Galaxy S7 and S7 Edge will run on the latest iteration of Android OS - the Android Marshmallow. By now, the users have witnessed the great benefits pro liked by the Marshmallow update. There will be the usual customisation by TouchWiz - the proprietary skin form Samsung. However, TouchWiz has improved and toned down now from the days of Galaxy S5.
There are several Samsung apps that come preinstalled on the devices, but you can remove most of them. There is a Game Launcher now. It is the gaming hub for the die hard gamers who can access their favourite games from within the hub. They can now set the preferences to whether or not to be disturbed by a call during a game play. The Game Launcher allows you to record the game play using the front camera.
The Edge last year appeared too gimmicky with no practical functionality for the Edge display. The situation seems to be improving now. You now have People Edge that shows up five favourite contacts. Then there is Apps Edge which shows shortcuts to certain apps ( you can pin them down). The new addition to the list is Tasks Edge. The Tasks Edge lets you create shortcuts to certain specific tasks like opening camera, or launching a particular app. The Edge panels are getting opened up for third party developers. They can now show up their own widgets on the edge display.
Battery and other featuresBattery capacities differ for each of the flagship variants. That's understandable given the fact that they need to power two different sized displays. The Galaxy S7 is powered by 3000 mAh battery, the larger S7 Edge gets its power from a 3600 mAh battery. The ratings are yet to be released, however- Samsung has claimed at the press conference that Galaxy S7 Edge is capable of a continuous HD video playback of upto 13 hours. The batteries on both the devices support quick charging. They also support both wired and wireless charging.
You get all the regular connectivity options that can be expected from a flagship. It needs you to use a nano SIM. Strangely enough, the smartphones do not have the new age USB-C port, but incorporate the microUSB. Samsung claims that the microUSB port has been used in order to keep the compatibility with Gear VR.
Over to you....The new Samsung flagships are indeed worth the upgrade. Samsung has rectified a few mistakes it committed last year with the S6 and the numerous variants of the flagship. The expandable storage is back, the water and dust resistance has been reintroduced and there is a new bigger battery now. Everything on the new devices has been upped - be it camera, or the performance.
The global release has been slated to March, 11 - 2016. There is no word on pricing as such, however we expect it to be in line with the iPhone out there. Until the device is up for grabs and we head for a hands on review, here is all we have to say.