A naked eye may not be able to see much of a difference between Samsung Galaxy S6 and Samsung Galaxy S7, but closer inspection reveals that actually a lot has changed. The more time you spend with the Samsung’s latest flagship, the more you begin to realize that Samsung did well to address concerns users had with S6.
The biggest change is inside the phone with beefed-up internals. The Galaxy S7 copied the curves from Note 5 making it more comfortable to hold and use. Let’s have a look at specs and features before diving any deeper. MicroSD card slot is back with S7 and users can expand their memory up to 200 GB using a slot that is tucked in the SIM card tray.
Below, we have everything you need to know in this Samsung Galaxy S7 review that is unbiased and completely transparent.
Samsung Galaxy S7 Specs and Launch Details
Launched: February 2016
Body: Corning Gorilla Glass 4 Back Panel, Nano-SIM, Samsung Pay, IP68 Dustproof and water resistant over 1.5 meters and 30 minutes
Display: Super AMOLED 5.1 inch 1440×2560 pixels @577ppi, Corning Gorilla Glass 4 protection
OS: Android Marshmallow 6.0
Chipset: Qualcomm Snapdragon 820 MSM8996, Exynos 8890 Octa
CPU: Dual-core 2.15 GHz Kryo & dual-core 1.6 GHz Kryo, Quad-core 2.6 GHz Mongoose + quad-core 1.6 GHz Cortex-A53
GPU: Adreno 530, Mali T880 MP12
Storage and Memory: 4GB RAM, 32/64 GB Internal Memory, microSD up to 200GB
Camera: 12 MP, f/1.7, 26mm, phase detection autofocus, OIS, LED flash
Camera Features: 1/2.6″ sensor size, 1.4 µm pixel size, geo-tagging, simultaneous 4K video and 9MP image recording, touch focus, face/smile detection, Auto HDR, panorama
Video Recording: 2160p@30fps, 1080p@60fps, 720p@240fps, HDR, dual-video rec.
Secondary Camera: 5 MP, f/1.7, 22mm, dual video call, Auto HDR
Wireless and Communications: Wi-Fi 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac, dual-band, Wi-Fi Direct, hotspot
Bluetooth v4.2, A2DP, LE, apt-X, GPS with A-GPS, GLONASS, BDS, NFC Support and a microUSB v2.0 port
Sensors: Fingerprint, accelerometer, gyro, proximity, compass, barometer, heart rate, SpO2
Other features: Fast battery charging: 60% in 30 min (Quick Charge 2.0)
Wireless charging (Qi/PMA) – market dependent
ANT+ support, S-Voice natural language commands, and dictation, Active noise cancelation with dedicated mic
Battery: 3000mAh non-removable Li-ion Battery
Samsung Galaxy S7 Display
S7 features a 5.1-inch quad-HD Super Amoled Display @577ppi with deep blacks and crisp colors. The sunlight readability is also excellent and one should have no problem in easily reading something even under direct sunlight. S7’s display features an always-on screen claimed to draw 1% battery per hour. Samsung is not the first company to feature an always-on display, but it’s their first phone to use this technology.
By default, the phone displays a floating bit of information including date, time basic notifications from selected apps and battery level. Some may find the always-on screen an interesting feature, but there isn’t really much that a user can do with it and it also takes its toll on the battery. The always-on screen doesn’t allow to use third party apps for the time being, but that may change with a future update or remain as it is who knows.
Samsung Galaxy S7 Design
Design-wise S7 looks quite similar to S6, but with a few subtle changes that make S7 a more attractive package in general. Although the shiny metal and glass body of S7 looks attractive, it can pick up fingerprints quite easily. S7’s back is also slightly curved and fits comfortably in hands offering a better grip.
The size of the rear camera module has also shrunk and does not stick out as much. Despite the fact that S7 is IP68 certified, there are no ugly looking rubber caps like the ones SONY used in their waterproof phones as the ports are sealed internally. The phone is water-resistant up to a depth of 1.5 meters for 30 minutes. Although the phone is big, it does not fall into the huge category and users should find it comfortable to use with one hand.
Samsung Galaxy S7 Camera
Much has improved in the Camera department since Galaxy S6 as Samsung worked hard to come up with one of the best smartphones cameras there in the market. For some downgrading, the camera from 16 to 12MP may have raised concerns, but it’s not just about the Megapixels and there is much more to the story. The camera is well equipped to take clear and crisp photos in low-lighting conditions and the near instant autofocus makes the whole photography experience a breeze.
The camera produces blur-free photos with the good amount of details and very little noise. In terms of megapixels, iPhone 6S uses the same 12 MP camera, but the photos taken from S7 turn out to be more vibrant, detailed and with more true-to-life colors. The secondary camera also impressed with clear pictures one expects from a flagship phone.
With an aperture size of 1.7, the S7’s camera also has extra-large 1.4µm pixels translating into spectacular pictures under low light producing results much better than S6. Thanks to the larger pixels, S7’s camera sensor is able to pick up 56% more light and even 25% more due to the brighter aperture. That makes a total of 95% more light that the camera sensors can capture compared to S6 and makes a lot of difference when shooting in low-light conditions.
Samsung Galaxy S7 Battery
The battery is another department where S7 has stepped up with a 3000mAh battery compared to S6’s 2500mAH. Samsung claims that a full charge should have enough juice to watch an entire season of Game of Thrones. A single charge should be sufficient for most users to get 1.5-day battery backup under moderate to heavy use. The phone also supports fast charging allowing to charge up to 50% in just 10 minutes and fully charge in around 130 minutes.
Fingerprint Experience with Samsung Galaxy S7
S7 with Android Marshmallow out of the box has OS level support for fingerprint sensors that takes the whole experience of the fingerprint scanner to a new level. The sensor is tucked inside the home button and its recognition is seamless. Double pressing the home button also launches the camera app which is one of the fastest and easiest methods to reach the camera.
Samsung’s TouchWiz combined with the fluidity of Android Marshmallow and powerful hardware makes it an overall amazing experience to use the phone. Samsung’s customizations are baked deeply into the OS and although most users won’t need all the apps that TouchWiz includes, they do come handy from time to time. Samsung gaming tool is one example of the many features included in TouchWiz and keeps track of games installed on the phone. When a game is launched, a small bubble icon provides access to things like muting alerts during the game, recording and locking the capacitive keys to avoid accidental touches.
The Samsung Galaxy S7 is one of the best smartphones out there and many things have been learned and improved over time. The return of expandable storage, a top-notch camera, bigger battery, gorgeous display and subtle changes is design are all welcoming features that users have been waiting for.
Software features also compliment the powerful internals and heavy gamers would be happy to see features they wanted to have on their phones out of the box. Overall, Samsung Galaxy is quite a handsome phone and equipped with top-notch internals and some useful software features.