PRICE WHEN REVIEWED
SAMSUNG GALAXY S7 EDGE REVIEW: HANDS ON WITH THE GALAXY S7’S EDGIER COUNTERPART
SAMSUNG GALAXY S7 EDGE HANDS-ON REVIEW: PRICING AND AVAILABILITY
The Samsung Galaxy S7 Edge is set to go on sale on March 11 2016 in the UK with pre-orders available now. In terms of price, it’s pretty expensive – it’ll set you back £639 out of contract, although it’s worth noting that anyone that pre-orders an Samsung Galaxy S7 or S7 Edge before its launch will recieve a Samsung Gear VR headset completely free. Also see: Best Samsung Galaxy S7 deals.
Read next: Best Android smartphones of 2016
SAMSUNG GALAXY S7 EDGE HANDS-ON REVIEW: DESIGN AND BUILD
Over the years, the Samsung Galaxy S range has developed and changed quite a bit, with each flagship offering a different design to its predecessor. However, that seems to have changed with the Samsung Galaxy S7 Edge, which looks a lot like the S6 Edge with its curved edge display and body comprised of a gorgeous combination of glass and metal. While some may complain, we’re pretty happy that Samsung decided to stick with a design that made the Galaxy S6 and S6 Edge two of the most desirable phones of 2015. Also see: Best new phones, tablets, laptops & more at MWC 2016.
There is one thing to note about the S7 Edge that some may not be happy about – it’s thicker than its predecessor. The Galaxy S7 Edge measures in at 150.9 x 72.6 x 7.7mm compared to 7.1mm of the S6 Edge. It’s also heavier, at 157g compared to 132g.
Don’t be disheartened, though – Samsung has made a few tweaks that make the Galaxy S7 Edge stand out. Samsung offered waterproofing as standard with the Galaxy S5, but it didn’t work too well – the clumsy USB port covers and removable backplate made it awkward, and the feature was removed in the Galaxy S6. It’s back with a vengeance in the Galaxy S7 Edge, which is much more suited to waterproofing with its fixed backplate. It offers water and dust resistance with a rating of IP68, which means it can be submerged in 5 feet of water for 30 minutes and although Samsung don’t recommend you try it, it should give you some piece of mind when using your phone in the rain. Also see:Samsung Galaxy S7 vs LG G5.
The back of the S7 Edge is also more curved than its precessor, which when coupled with the curved edge display at the front of the device makes for a very comfy smartphone to hold, which is especially important with a 5.5in smartphone. Though we can’t explain just what makes it nice to hold, it just seems to ‘fit’ in your hand.
The camera bump is still present with the S7 Edge, although it’s smaller than what was present in the S6 Edge. While the S6 Edge camera protruded by 1.7mm, the S7 Edge camera bulge is almost unnoticeable – but still there. It would be nicer to have it sit in line with the body of the phone, though. Also see: Samsung Galaxy S6 vs Samsung Galaxy S7.
However, the biggest addition to the Galaxy S7 Edge is the SD card slot, which caused huge outrage when Samsung decided not to offer one with the Galaxy S6 and S6 Edge. The ability to expand storage is one of the benefits of having an Android device over an iPhone and is a deal breaker for many Android users. Users will be able to expand the internal storage of the Samsung Galaxy S7 Edge by up to 200GB.
In terms of colours, the Galaxy S7 Edge is available in the same Black Onyx and Gold Platinumvariations as the S7, but with one additional colour exclusive to the Edge – Silver Titanium. Read next:Huawei MateBook hands-on review
SAMSUNG GALAXY S7 EDGE HANDS-ON REVIEW: HARDWARE AND SPECS
Although some speculated that the next-generation flagship from Samsung could have a full 4K display like the Xperia Z5 Premium, the company has decided to opt for a 5.5in SuperAMOLED display with a Quad HD resolution (1440×2560) boasting a ppi of 534ppi, while featuring curved dual-edge displays that the ‘Edge’ series is famous for. The curved displays offer extra functionality for the device, displaying notifications without covering the main screen and providing shortcuts to your favourite 10 apps. Of course, as with any flagship Samsung phone, the colours are gorgeous and the display is crisp.
Along with the QHD display, both the Galaxy S7 and S7 Edge feature an ‘always on display’ which should provide users with glanceable information on-screen at all times. This is made possible by the fact that AMOLED displays don’t consume energy for displaying black pixels, meaning that if the screen is mostly black, the power impact is minuscule. It’ll display information including notifications, the time, missed calls and calendar events, although it’s unclear if users can customise this or not.
With regards to the internals, the Galaxy S7 Edge is a bit of a beast. Featuring Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 820 processor coupled with 4GB of RAM, the S7 Edge can throw-down with other 2016 flagship phones including the newly announced LG G5 – in fact, Samsung claims that the CUP is 30 percent faster, while the GPU is a whopping 64 percent faster. There’s also an Exynos 8890 version of the S7 Edge for some markets – including the UK, according to uSwitch. With regards to storage, the S7 Edge features only 32GB of storage, which is, of course, expandable thanks to the addition of an SD card slot, as mentioned above.
In terms of connectivity, the Galaxy S7 Edge features a micro-USB port instead of a USB Type-C port, allowing the S7 edge to be used with Gear VR (which had a heavy focus at the event) and other accessories. It also features 802.11ac Wi-Fi, Bluetooth 4.2, and NFC capabilities. You can also check out our individualSamsung Galaxy S7 Edge review and Samsung Galaxy S7 review.
With regards to photography, you’ll find the same front-facing 5Mp camera as what was featured in the S6 Edge, along with a 12Mp camera. The more astute of you will surely point out that the S6 Edge had a 16Mp camera, and while Samsung has toned down the megapixel count, its made improvements in other areas. Namely, the rear-facing camera features a Samsung Britecell sensor only 1/2in in size, and coupled with a f/1.7 lens aperture, the camera should provide great shots in both well-lit and low light conditions.
Interestingly, Samsung added a new image type to the S7 & S7 Edge – while it wasn’t exactly the iPhone Live Photos rival we’d heard about in rumours, it’s the next best thing. When taking a panorama on a Galaxy S7 Edge, you’re able to ‘play’ it back as if it were a video complete with motion, and you’re also able to control the direction by swiping the display.
Battery wise, the S7 Edge features a 3600mAh battery, which is up by 1000mAh when compared to the 2600mAh battery featured on the S6 Edge. This should provide better all-round battery life, although we’ll have to confirm this once we get the smartphone back to PC Advisor Towers. It also features wireless charging which Samsung claims can charge the S7 Edge from 0 to 100 percent in 2.2 hours.Read next: The best smartphones coming in 2016
SAMSUNG GALAXY S7 EDGE HANDS-ON REVIEW: SOFTWARE
What can we expect to find with the Galaxy S7 Edge with regards to software? Well, as with almost every other Android smartphone launching in 2016, the S7 Edge features the latest version of the software, Android 6.0 Marshmallow. The software was recently made available for S6 and S6 Edge users, which should give those questioning the upgrade an idea of what it’ll be like to operate. Also see: Funny things to ask S Voice.
Of course, Samsung adds its own TouchWiz interface to the stock Android OS which, depending on your opinion, may or may not be a good thing. Although with this being said, Samsung has learnt from past mistakes and has trimmed it down, especially with regards to bloatware.
The only other real addition in terms of software is the inclusion of the Vulcan API, which looks to improve gaming on the Galaxy S7 Edge. With compatible apps, an overlay will be displayed providing options specific to gaming, including a ‘Do not disturb’ type mode, the ability to take a screenshot and even record the screen for epic sessions of gameplay. It’s a very interesting move from Samsung, and we’re really excited about what could come from this and how it could shape the future of mobile gaming. Find out more about the LG G5.
Based on our first impressions of the Galaxy S7 Edge, we’re really impressed with the device, even though on paper it’s heavier and bulkier than its predecessor. The ergonomic design of the S7 Edge makes it extremely comfortable to hold over long periods, and when coupled with high-end specs and impressive cameras, it’s a great smartphone. We’ll get the Samsung Galaxy S7 Edge back to PC Advisor Towers, put it through its paces and update our verdict with more accurate information as soon as possible.