Samsung Galaxy S7 Edge review
The new Galaxy Edge smartphone
On the 21st February 2016 Samsung officially announced the Samsung Galaxy S7 Edge at a pre-Mobile World Congress press event, in Barcelona, and here we take a look at the most advanced Samsung smartphone yet.
Design - Seamless curves
The Samsung Galaxy S7 Edge is made from premium materials and a special 3D Thermoforming process has been used to melt and shape the glass. This process is so precise that it is almost impossible to see a visible seem, where the glass meets the metal body.
The curved edges of the display, from which this phone gets its name, are mirrored on the rear and this makes the Samsung Galaxy S7 Edge more pleasing to hold, when compared to its predecessor, the Samsung Galaxy S6 Edge+.
The larger screen dimensions of this model over the standard, has allowed Samsung to reduce its width to 7.7mm. So, what it is gained in height it has lost in width, with little more than 5 grams added to its overall weight of 157 grams.
Screen - Always On Display
The hassle of waking up your phone every time you want to check the time and date or see your notifications, has been removed with the Always On Display providing this information. To ensure screen burn-in doesn’t occur, the phone automatically moves the images and information around.
The Samsung Galaxy S7 Edge also saves power by turning off the Always On Display, by sensing if the phone has been placed face down or put into a pocket.
Samsung has resisted the call of 4K displays, like that seen on the Sony Xperia Z5 Premium, and instead the Samsung Galaxy S7 Edge has a QHD 5.5” display with a resolution of 2560 x 1440 pixels, equating to 534 pixels per inch.
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By not using a 4K display, the Samsung Galaxy S7 Edge will avoid the issues of a fast draining battery, which for most will be more valuable than a display that has more pixels than the human eye can see.
Fit for life - Protected against the elements
The Samsung Galaxy S7 Edge will be fit for life and have a dust and water resistant body, to help protect it from the elements. IP68 certified, the Samsung Galaxy S7 Edge is able to withstand immersion into water, to a depth of 1.5 metres and for 30 minutes.
Unlike younger generations of waterproof smartphones, there is no need to insert rubber plugs into the microUSB and audio ports. Instead it is the components inside the phone itself that are protected from the elements.
Phone Set Up
Operating system - Android Marshmallow
Google’s latest operating system, Android Marshmallow, will be pre-installed on the Samsung Galaxy S7 Edge but the experience will be far from ‘stock’ as owners can download new themes from the Samsung Theme Store.
A fingerprint sensor will be built into the home key and this can be used to set up an extra layer of security. Samsung KNOX provides protection against malware and hackers, while the KNOX Enables App encrypts and isolates sensitive data.
The Galaxy S7 Edge will be released with two memory options, 32GB or 64GB, and when/if needed a microSD card, of any value up to 200GB, can be inserted.
What are the differences between the Samsung Galaxy S7 and the S7 Edge? Chech out our Samsung Galaxy S7 review and see the differences.
To ensure the process of moving to a new phone is hassle free, the Samsung Smart Switch App can be used to move photos, files and data over from an old phone.
Edge display - Narrow and Wide
The Edge display gets a make-over and now operates in two modes. The first is Narrow Type and this purely uses the 160 pixels that are reserved for the curved edge. The second mode is Wide Type and this extends onto the main screen to display more information and show more quick actions.
The Wide Type Edge display pops out to give the user either the Apps Edge, Tasks Edge or Quick Tools such as a ruler, compass or flashlight. The Edge display uses nine panels populated by sports updates, a call button, open camera button and memo button, among others.
The most appealing aspect of the Edge display is its new customisation controls and these include the option to add up to 10 shortcuts or app folders and adjusting the size, position and transparency of the panel.
Processor - Faster graphics performance for gamers
The Qualcomm Snapdragon 2.3GHz octa-core processor with 4GB RAM will offer 64% improved graphics performance, compared to the previous Galaxy processor. In addition to this the Vulcan API powers advanced 3D graphics while reducing the power consumed by the processor.
A new dedicated game control centre keeps games in one place and gives control over general game play settings, such as turning off notifications during play. This will make the Samsung Galaxy S7 Edge the gaming phone of choice.
This latest generation of processors create a fair bit of heat, because of their processing power, and to overcome this there is a micro-liquid cooling system built in.
You may also remember from our how to boost your battery article that hot batteries drain quicker, and so efficient heat dispersal will help the battery on the S7 Edge last longer.
Camera & Video
Photography - The megapixel race is over
The camera on the Samsung Galaxy S7 Edge has fewer megapixels than the S6 Edge, indicating that the megapixel wars are finally over. The 12MP camera, down from 16MP, employees Dual Pixel technology to get better results than a camera with more pixels.
Each pixel on the camera’s sensor has two photodiodes and these allow the camera to firstly focus faster than the human eye and secondly catch more light photons in the dark, giving results like those never seen before on a smartphone.
The camera module is 17% thinner than those used before. This has allowed Samsung to refine the design and the camera lens will no longer protrude out of the back, as it did on the Samsung Galaxy S6 Edge.
Camera features - Animation takes a front seat
Animation is the new kid on the block and the Samsung Galaxy S7 Edge makes full use of it. The Motion Panorama feature works like a usual panorama photo but it records the movement of people and objects as the user sweeps the camera to capture the scene.
When Motion Panoramas are viewed, a virtual reality type experience is seen, as people move as the user pans through the image.
Further camera features include a wide f/1.7 aperture that captures 25% more light, Motion Photo, Hyperlapse and Spotlight Beauty Mode and Wide Selfie (120 degrees), which work through the 5MP selfie camera.
Quick Charge - Faster charging
The 3,600mAh battery, up by 1,000mAh compared to the Galaxy S6 Edge, can be charged using Quick Charge and this fully refuels the battery in only 100 minutes. The Galaxy S7 Edge will also charge faster for those who decide to buy a wireless charger.
Once charged the battery should provide continuous playback of music for up to 69 hours or be able to play video for up to 18 hours.
Contract price: The Samsung Galaxy S7 Edge Deals will go on sale in the UK with a line rental of approximately £45 per month on a two year contract.
Written by: Michael Brown