Samsung Galaxy S7 review
The Samsung Galaxy S7 was announced on the 21st February, at Samsung’s ‘#TheNextGalaxy’ launch event at the Mobile World Congress (MWC 2016), in Barcelona.
Display - Never be in the dark with an Always On Display
Samsung recently trademarked the phrase ‘Always On Display’, and as the name suggests the most critical information is always displayed, negating the need to wake the Galaxy S7 up to see notifications, the time and the calendar.
Looking for Always-on on a more affordable phone? Read the LG X Screen review
To preserve battery, the Always On Display senses and turns off the Always On Display, if the phone is placed into a pocket or left face down on a table. In addition to this the graphics and images used to create the Always On Display regularly chagne to ensure that screen burn-in doesn’t occur.
Although the Samsung Galaxy S7 was hotly rumoured to feature a force sensing display, like that on the Apple iPhone 6s, Samsung instead opted to use a standard 5.1” Quad HD display with a fantastic resolution of 2560 x 1440 pixels, which equates to 577 pixels per inch.
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Durability - In the rain or at the pool, no problem
A water resistant body, that is IP68 certified, adds to the durability of this phone. The 6 in IP68 indicates the highest level of particle and dust resistance, while the 8 indicates that there should be no harmful effects caused when the phone is immersed in water, at a depth of up to 1.5 metres and for 30 minutes.
The best news here is that the internal components are protected, so there are no fiddly rubber plugs to insert into the audio and microUSB ports.
Design - Metal alloys, 3D glass and curves
The design of the Samsung Galaxy S7 further smooths out the feel with much more curvature added to the edges on the back, which increase in-hand comfort. A metal alloy has been used to make the frame and a 3D Thermoforming process, where the 3D glass is melted, gives a precision curve that meets the metal alloy, seamlessly.
The look is finished with a body that is 7.9mm thick, weighs only 152 grams and is coloured in either black or gold.
Phone Set Up
User Interface - Marshmallow meets Samsung Themes
The Samsung Galaxy S7 has the Android Marshmallow operating system pre-installed and the Samsung Theme Store allows owners to further customise the look. Set up is easy, with the Samsung Smart Switch App automatically moving over photos, files and data, from the owners old smartphone.
A 32GB internal memory will be backed up by the option to expand it with microSD cards of any value, up to 200GB.
Security - 24 hour protection
Samsung KNOX protects the phone against hackers and malware, while the KNOX Enabled App isolates and encrypts sensitive data. A Fingerprint sensor will also be integrated into the home key and provide bio-metric grade security.
Gaming - A dedicated game control centre
The Samsung Galaxy S7 is the perfect match for gamers and the game control centre gives complete control over gaming options and preferences. Game play can be recorded, notifications can be turned off to ensure game play isn’t interrupted and all games are saved in the control centre, for quick and easy access imagine what the Galaxy S8 will bring .
The GPU (Graphics Processing Unit) is up to 64% faster and reduced power drain ensures that gaming can go on for longer. The Vulkan API handles realtime 3D graphics and this gives excellent performance through the management of multiple cores of the processor.
Processor - The power of Snapdragon
The 2.3GHz Snapdragon 820 processor, with 4GB RAM, compares favourably to its predecessor, giving 30% better performance with lowered power usage and 33% faster peak download speeds.
Wi-Fi will also work at speeds that are up to 3x those experienced before and to deal with all of the heat created by such processing power, there is a liquid-filed pipe cooling system.
Camera & Video
Photography - Dual pixels explained
The Samsung Galaxy S7 has a new camera module and this is much thinner, so unlike the camera on the Samsung Galaxy S6, which protrudes violently out of the back, the Galaxy S7’s camera only protrudes by 0.46mm.
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The dual pixel technology places two photodiodes onto each pixel and the information from the light that hits these is used to focus the image, in much the same way as the human eye does. In comparison, other smartphones have less than 5% of their pixels assigned to this task.
The point is important because it means that autofocus takes place instantly and because of all of those extra photodiodes, more light is captured under low light, providing remarkable results, like those never seen before.
The Samsung Galaxy S7 has camera sensor pixels that are sized at 1.4um, which are 56% larger than those on the Galaxy S6. A large f/1.7 aperture has also found its way into the design and this allows for 25% more brightness.
Camera app - Advanced shooting modes
The camera app on the Samsung Galaxy S7 delivers a number of new and immersive shooting modes. Motion Panorama is probably the most stunning of these.
With Motion Panorama the user sweeps the 12MP camera to capture the panorama, but in a unique twist, motion is captured as well. This means that when the image is viewed back, the user can pan in either direction while seeing people or other objects moving, in an almost video like effect.
Motion Photo records three seconds of video footage so that the perfect frame can be selected. Other features include Hyperlapse, Spotlight Beauty Mode for the 5MP selfie camera, Wide Selfie with 120 degrees field of view and a Selfie Flash that uses the sAMOLED display to diffuse light evenly over a scene.
Battery - Quick Charge
To ensure the Samsung Galaxy S7 remains thin, the battery is non-removable and has a capacity of 3,000mAh. For a typical user, this should provide 2-days of use between charges.
The Quick Charge feature makes a huge impact over its predecessor and this Samsung phone can be completely recharged in just 90 minutes. For those who choose to buy a wireless charger, then this too will charge the phone faster than ever before.
Samsung Galaxy S7 - Accessories
The Samsung Galaxy S7 has a series of accessories available for consumers to purchase and some of these will be irresistible. The range includes transparent and semi-transparent cases which can be swiped upon to answer calls, without opening the cover, and a physical keyboard sleeve that plugs onto the bottom third of the phone.
Samsung Galaxy S7 - Availability
View the Samsung Galaxy S7 deals here as soon as they become available.
Written by: Michael Brown
Images include those of the Samsung Galaxy S7 Edge