An Edge Over Its Rivals

There’s a lot to love in samsung’s newest smartphones. Here’s why you’d be tempted to switch to the new galaxy s7.

Portrait of Tammy Strobel
There’s a lot to love in samsung’s newest smartphones. Here’s why you’d be tempted to switch to the new galaxy s7.
SamSung
SamSung

New year, new flagships from Samsung. We predicted that two variants of the Galaxy S7 will most likely be launched at Samsung’s Unpacked 2016 event. And that’s exactly what the Korean electronics giant has done. Say hello to the Galaxy S7 and Galaxy S7 Edge.

There are plenty of new features on the two phones, and we’ll also be comparing them to those from the previous years, as well as some specification details that Samsung was willing to share.

Constructed from glass and metal, the new gadgets feature a more “rounded” and “ergonomic” design. Flipping the S7 and S7 Edge onto their backs will show curved edges that round off into the sides.

This looks like a clamshell design, but it’s framed neatly by the phone’s metallic rims. However, you won’t notice these differences immediately. Compare it to the S6 and S6 Edge, you’ll see how the changes are not huge. The S7 and S7 Edge are certainly comfortable to wield, and both feel grippy in the palm.

If you recall, the S6 wasn’t water resistant (although the S5 was). Samsung changed that with the newest models by giving them an IP68 rating, allowing the phones to be fully immersed in water.

This is also an improvement from the S5’s IP57 rating because the old flagship phone required the ports to be properly sealed before you take it for a swim.

With the S7 variants, there’s no need to worry about dropping the phone into water, since the water resistance extends to their open ports (such as the audio jack and USB 2.0 port). Just remember to wipe each down before use.

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BETTER REAR CAMERA

Another major shift is the camera’s capabilities: The S7 and S7 Edge now use a 12-megapixel rear camera with a brighter F1.7 aperture on the lens with Smart OIS (image stabilization).

This is a significant maj the cap and use rea a brape len OIS sign change from the cha predecessor’s 16-megapixel, F1.9 aperture rear camera. Samsung managed to reduce the rear camera bump on the new phones. Now, it sits just 0.46mm above the rear surface of the phone. 

What’s also new is the pixel size on the image sensor: The S7 and S7 Edge sits at 1.4 μm pixels, while the older S6 model has only 1.12 μm pixels. This means that the latest phones can capture 56 percent more light on its image sensor.

Samsung claims that this is also the first smartphone to have Dual Pixel camera technology. This makes the latest gadgets significantly faster at phase-detection autofocus when compared to the S6. The front camera is a 5-megapixel shooter with an F1.7 aperture lens as well.

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GETTING UP TO SPEED
The phones come with two different processor configurations. These configurations will be available to various markets in the world.
The new models will tout 64-bit processors that were made using the 14nm manufacturing process. They listed two configurations for both models – the octa-core version has four 2.3GHz and four 1.6GHz cores, while the quad-core has two 2.15GHz and t wo 1.6GHz cores.
Samsung did not officially say which processor will be used in the S7 and S7 Edge. However, this arrangement pointed towards the possibility of Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 820 SoC appearing in its new flagship models.
Qualcomm lists the Snapdragon 820 as a quadcore processor on its own website. On the other hand, earlier discussions by Samsung revealed that its Exynos 8 Octa 8890 features eight CPU cores, and the new processor is 30 percent faster than the Exynos 7420 found in the Note 5 and S6 Edge+.
Samsung also claimed that the S7 and S7 Edge come with improved CPU (by 30 percent) and GPU (by 60 percent).
IT’S SUPER AMOLED, BABY
The S7 and S7 Edge also come with Super Amoled displays that boast Quad HD quality (2,560x1,440 pixel resolution). This gives the 5.1-inch S7 a pixel density of 577 per inch (PPI). The S7 Edge would have 534 PPI since it has a bigger display at 5.5 inches.
Numbers aside, the displays are near flawless in terms of performance. You get the same vibrant Samsung colour profile with no visible pixel dots and jagged lines as far as we could observe with the phone’s own preloaded content.
There was no mention of the display being pressure sensitive in our preview or in the specifications sheet, so we take it that each phone isn’t designed with that handling in mind.
GAME ON
The new phones are also a little more game friendly, with a new internal cooling system and the new Game Launcher feature.
You can alter the game’s display resolution and frame rate to save more battery power – settings for these changes also depend on the game app in question.
The Game Launcher also comes with Game Tools, which allow the user to optimise his or her gaming experience. Simply tap on the Game Tools bubble during a game and it will pull out a list of features you can run during a game itself.
No alerts during a session, and locking of Recent and Back touch keys to minimise accidental inputs are selfexplanatory, but Game Tools offer more than that.
There’s the ability to “minimise” your game app into a bubble while you take an urgent text message or e-mail, and you can pop back into the game by tapping on the game bubble that’s waiting for you in your texting app.
The Record feature lets you keep footages of your game progress, and an additional first-person window in the game to show the user solving a stage or making in-game progress as the recording goes on.
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WHAT’S IN STORE

Both models come with Android 6.0 (Marshmallow) OS out of the box, and they support LTE networks up to LTE Cat 9. Both phones will have 4GB of LPDDR RAM to support all the processing tasks you can throw at them.

Meanwhile, storage options for both models will be available in 32GB and 64GB storage variants. They have wireless charging support (Qualcomm Quickcharge 2.0), and support for Wi-Fi 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac (2.4/ 5GHz), MIMO and Bluetooth v4.2 LE (low energy).

Unlike last year’s phones, the S7 and S7 Edge have a hybrid SIM tray that lets you insert one microSD card, giving the phone up to 200GB of expandable storage. That’s right – expandable storage is finally back!

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