Galaxy S7 and S7 facet assessment: Samsung’s best get extra polished


After years of trafficking in plastic flagships, the glass-and-metal Galaxy S6 and S6 side proved Samsungnevertheless knew how to make jaw-losing telephones. Ah, however there has been a rub — a few of them, in fact. The expandable memory slots were long past. Neither smartphone became waterproof. The S6 facet‘s flat back and slim sides felt awkward. Curvy screens apart, both phones have been equal. The shortcomings have been few, but they were tremendous.

in preference to begin anew, Samsung’s designers as a substitute set about refining closing 12 months‘scomponents, smoothing difficult edges and making the new S7 and S7 edge experience meaningfullydistinctive. Spoiler alert: It worked, and everyone even thinking about a new Android phone wishes totake into account owning one among these things. And but, for all of the sprucing Samsung hasexecuted, these S7 siblings fall brief of sport-changer territory — that is a year of cautious, logicalimprovements.
advanced fashion and ergonomics
top-tier overall performance
lovely display
it is (basically) water resistant!

digicam can be a combined bag
barely underwhelming battery
SIM/microSD tray is flimsy
some other 12 months, every other Galaxy S. while the brand new S7 isn’t always as dramatic a departure for Samsung because the S6 turned into, it blessings immensely from a 12 months‘s really worth of refinement. it’s more effective, no longer to say even greater lovely than the S6, but Samsung hasn’t attained perfection just yet. That stated, the corporation has come quite damned near: A greaterregular digicam and greater modest power consumption might have made this fantastic telephone one for the records books.
Engadget ScorePOOR UNINSPIRING appropriate first rate
Galaxy S7 side
appears and feels exceptional
Curved display feels extra useful
robust performance
it is (in most cases) water-resistant!

screen exhibits a moderate inexperienced solid
slightly underwhelming battery
No ought to-have side apps
Flimsy SIM/microSD tray
This year‘s Galaxy S7 edge is what Samsung’s edge family have to have been from the start. It combines 2927099c7129e5e67b031f9eb65b6349 horsepower (and the occasional hiccup) with a splendid show, all wrapped in an appealing package. The thing is, the edge‘s big draw continues to be its hanging layout: The software program that attempts to take benefit of the curved display nevertheless feels gimmicky.

For all their bodily differences, the S7 ($650 and up without contract) and S7 facet ($750-plus)proportion many of the equal internals. Thrumming internal both US versions is one in all Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 820 chipsets, which fits a pair of 2.15GHz processor cores with different 1.2GHz cores. you would naturally assume the worldwide versions of the smartphone, with an octa-core Exynos chipset,would run smoother, but Samsung insists that the overall performance variations between these editionsare basically negligible. I can’t verify that till i get my arms on an worldwide S7, but you need notagonize tons: The Snapdragon 820 and 4GB of RAM we are getting in the US gives lots of energy to workwith.

Samsung is mainly happy with its clever new 12-megapixel camera, that’s featured in both the S7 and S7side. Oh, and this time Samsung did a higher process integrating the ones cameras into the telephonesbodies; unpleasant digital camera lumps are a element of the past. maximum crucial, Samsung took tocoronary heart our lawsuits approximately ultimate yr‘s fashions: The S7 and S7 side are IP68-wonderfuld water- and dirt-resistant and be given microSD cards as large as 200GB as well. Thatremaining spec goes to be specifically essential. at the same time as Samsung is certainly makingversions of the S7 with 64GB of garage, you will best be able to discover 32GB models right here within the States. it is a shame that the combination SIM and microSD card tray is so flimsy — getting bothplaying cards in place frequently required as much luck as ability. And when you consider that securityis greater critical than ever nowadays, both variations of the S7 come outfitted with fingerprint sensors. All it takes to set them up is a highly speedy fingerprint registration system, and both of them do a fairlycorrect process spotting my prints. nevertheless, I think Huawei had the right idea with its rear-installedsensor placement at the Nexus 6.

Gallery: Samsung Galaxy S7 overview | 17 pics

proper, so the ones are the broad strokes. All matters being extra or much less same, allow‘s dig into the same old S7 first. do not allow the phrasetrendyidiot you, both: just due to the fact this is the smaller of the 2 phones doesn’t imply it’s any less worthy. Samsung’s method this year become all aboutrefinement, so the few bodily changes are minor. In fact, nobody should blame you if you glanced at theS7 and mistook it for an S6.

That’ll trade when you select the aspect up. The S7’s five.1-inch first rate AMOLED show is protected by means of a totally slightly curved pane of Gorilla Glass 4, lending it a “three-Deffect that softens the transition from the display to the smartphone‘s steel body. given that we are speakme about curves, the S7 has rounded edges just like the Galaxy notice five, making the cellphone lots extra relaxed tomaintain notwithstanding being slightly thicker than remaining yr‘s model. That plumper waistline ispartly due to the S7’s bigger 3,000mAh battery, and Samsung merits credit score for taking our electricityconcerns significantly with out compromising on the general design. I praised ultimate 12 months‘s S6 for feeling seamless and entire, however guy: The S7 manages to 1-up it.

Gallery: Samsung Galaxy S7 facet evaluate | 15 pix

For all the proper this refinement did for the S7, it’s the S7 area that in reality benefits. I can not overstate how a whole lot higher this yr‘s model of the brink feels. it’s a night time-and-day distinction. recollect, the S6 area paired a fantastically curved display with a very flat rear enclosure, forcing your hands to arch over the again as a substitute as you gripped the ones slender edges. This time, even though, the S7edge is curved on both facets, meaning we have ultimately got an aspect tool that nestles properly into the hand.

it really is pronouncing something, too, since the Galaxy S7 aspect is the bigger of the two S7 the same time as the S6 and S6 edge have been nearly carbon copies of every other, the S7 areapacks a 5.five-inch Quad HD incredible AMOLED screen and a big three,600mAh battery. fortuitously, the ones beefier specs didn’t get in the manner of a seriously lovable design; i was taken aback at howmuch slimmer and sleeker the S7 aspect feels as compared with the iPhone 6s Plus, which additionally has a five.five-inch screen. that is, quite without a doubt, what the edge line must have looked and felt like several alongside.

show and sound

there may be no point in being coy: The Galaxy S7’s 5.1-inch screen is exceptional. That shouldn’t come as a marvel, thinking about simply how great the S6’s show become, and Samsung definitely did notexperience like messing with a great deal here. it really is great by me. The equal amazing viewing angles and brilliantbrilliant notable AMOLED hues are returned, and considering the fact that this display runs at Quad HD resolution, you may forget approximately seeking to choose out man or woman pixels intextual content and pix. the level of readability right here is incredible, just as you’d expect from adevice with a pixel density of 577 ppi. In reality, through dint of getting a smaller show, the S7 is evengreater pixel dense than its large brother, although the distinction is near not possible to see with thenaked eye.

speakme of the S7 aspect‘s five.5-inch, curved Quad HD panel, these shows are more special than you would assume. For one, the threshold‘s display screen isn’t as properly satuexquisited as the standardS7’s out of the field; colorations appear richer at the smaller screen, which is likewise slightly brighter. My S7 edge review unit additionally has a barely inexperienced cast to it, though you’d be difficult-pressedto identify it except you had educated eyes or a regular S7 sitting right subsequent to it. you mayoverride some of the display‘s color inclinations within the settings, even though, where you may opt for the punchy AMOLED Cinema and the more subdued AMOLED image modes, depending to your flavor. I doubt that subtle difference in shade temperature could be a deal breaker for, properly, all and sundry,but it’s admittedly difficult to un-see after you’ve got been made privy to it.

And without a doubt, curved monitors simply may not paintings for every person. let’s assume you’reholding your telephone in a single hand and you stretch your thumb across the display screen to tap an icon. if you‘ve were given meaty palms (like yours surely), there’s a great chance that a number of your hand-meat will hit the aspect of the screen and release something you did not intend to. Or stated hand-meat should contact the screen and preserve the cellphone from detecting different touch inputs — say,faucets out of your finger. I subsequently got pretty accurate at angling my thumbs to avoid thosecontact issues, however they still take place once in a while, and that i roll my eyes on every occasion.

on the plus side, even though, the displays on both the S7s have won a neat trick. Like Samsung’s toolssmartwatches, they now have an constantly-on mode so that you can see the time and date at a look. as soon as it is enabled, you will have a handful of clock and calendar styles you will be capable of seeeven if the display is in any other case off. If beneficial statistics isn’t always your element, thetelephones come with 3 pictures ( of outer space, one in all trees) to keep them looking pretty even asidling. I opt for Motorola’s approach, in which you circulate the telephone or wave a quit it to deliver the so-called lively display to lifestyles. That stated, Samsung’s setup works nicely too, and seems to have a negligible effect on battery existence.

Now, i have always been a sucker for remarkable smartphone speakers (thanks, HTC), however myexpectations in recent times are quite low. folks who care approximately mobile audio first-class arenearly usually the usage of headphones to pay attention to their tracks, leaving phone makers to,properly, telephone it in where audio system are concerned. The unmarried, bottommounted speakerswithin the S7 and S7 area, but, are a pleasing marvel. even though some distance from high-quality,they’re nevertheless louder and crisper than maximum unmarried-speaker setups. you’re manifestly stillgoing to be higher off with a nice pair of earbuds, but both smartphone will do a distinctly top processtogether with your YouTube motion pictures and audiobooks.

software program

The S7 and the S7 part each run Android Marshmallow, so count on permissions pop-united states of americawhenever an app tries to do something new, now not to mention informational contextcards when you invoke Now on tap. considering that I already gave Marshmallow the whole assessmentremedy, I may not dwell on what it brings to the desk. Suffice it to say, although, it feels just like the mostcomplete model of Android to this point. Now, after listening to us all bitch approximately TouchWiz for a while, Samsung has spent over a year seeking to streamline that bane of my life. up to now, the paintingshas been highly promising! The S6, S6 aspect, S6 facet+ and word five all shipped with Android Lollipop,along side a version of TouchWiz that felt lighter and more responsive than ever earlier than. This 12 months, the adjustments to Samsung’s software system are quite minimal.

For one, everything is a bit less … blue than before, when Samsung solid the short Settings panel in a subdued colour of teal. Now it is a crisp white, with blue icons and accents that stand out well against thepale history. Samsung also ditched the blue history in its app folders, which are now also a nice, flat white.bounce into the settings and you’ll see a few empty space for shortcuts; this subject used to come pre-populated with options like themes, facts utilization and display, however now you have to add themyourself.

Gallery: Samsung’s updated TouchWiz interface | 23 snap shots

And while the days of a sepaexcellent app launcher seem to be numbered, Samsung still felt the need tofiddle with it. you may nonetheless set up apps in alphabetical order or cook dinner up a convoluted scheme of your personal, however now you furthermore may have the option of handsome for a particular app from the top of the display screen. The same goes for the Settings web page, genuinely:way to Marshmallow, you may just search for alternatives instead of rooting thru the whole lot.

The listing is going on, however Samsung’s approach to TouchWiz is obvious: it is mostly cosmeticadjustments that don’t represent a huge departure from preceding variations. That said, i’m also a littleworried approximately the impact TouchWiz has on the S7s’ general overall performance; the phonesare generally very snappy, except for sporadic (and complicated) cases of interface lag. Swiping into Flipboard Briefing — a information-heavy domestic display screen it is off via default — can be jerky as all get-out, and every now and then swiping through home monitors ends in noticeable stuttering.

So it really is TouchWiz in a nutshell. in case you‘ve picked up a Galaxy in the past three hundred and sixty five days, you may feel proper at homealthough this 12 months game enthusiasts have become more interest from Samsung than regular. One new function, sport Launcher, consolidates all of your games right into a unmarried spot for smooth get entry to. it’s a easy enough concept, however it could be a little dumb, in particular when it tries to robotically detect installed video games. whilst i was putting in both new telephones for trying out, game Launcher brought the messaging app Slack formotives I could not quite understand.

past the occasional healthy of stupidity, recreation Launcher smartly gives clean access to famousYouTube gaming motion pictures, and films associated with the games you have got hooked up to yourcellphone. From there, game gear takes things a step further. After you’ve enabled it and started playinga game, a small crimson button will hover in a nook of the display. faucet it to carry up a listing of handyoptions, from a kill switch for signals and a lock for the telephonescontact keys to shortcuts for taking screenshots and recording in-game photos. i am approximately as far eliminated from the permit‘s Playera as a 27-yearold can be, but i can already tell a range of people are going to like this.

Then there’s the entirety else. The fling with Microsoft that noticed office apps preloaded onto Galaxysappears to be over, as they are nowhere to be observed on our review devices. those particular devicesare meant for use on Verizon (Engadget’s determine employer), which means that there’s a folder full ofeight preloaded apps, which some will certainly discover useless. Oh, and Verizon’s Go90 video streamingprovider is here too, that is complicated for some reasons. I do not want to watch whatever on it, for one, and Verizon isn’t always charging Go90 streaming towards clientsstatistics caps, which wouldappear to run afoul of net neutrality concepts.

The S7 area

The S7 edge, meanwhile, has all of that and then a few. As always, the largest software programdistinction is the brink UX, also known as “that menu issue you need to swipe the threshold to get entry to.” through default, you will have 4 panels ready to go. Apps facet will feel masses acquainted tofolks who had the closingtechnology model; you will nonetheless use it to speedy get entry to appsyou operate frequently, but Samsung doubled the dimensions of the panel to deal with ten shortcutsrather than just five. humans part nevertheless most effective has room for five shortcuts, though itconsists of over the OnCircle characteristic from the S6 area+ that most people by no means used. great!

duties edge is a fascinating addition to the mix. in place of come up with quick get admission to to apps, it lets you carry out particular moves within the ones apps with a single contact. The “take a selfie”assignment launches the digicam and switches to the the frontfacing shooter; all it truly is left with the intention to do is hit the shutter button. it works particularly nicely for sure conditions, however i washoping we would be able to create our very own duties related to 0.33celebration apps, like crafting macros for computers.

unfortunately, at the same time as i will create an e-mail addressed to my boss with a single touch, i would should use apps like Tasker to cobble together extra complex actions. Rounding out the defaultaspect panels is Yahoo news, which shows stories in a scrolling flow. There are some different aspectpanels anticipating you too, like a compass, calendar, weather file, inventory charges and sports activities scores from Yahoo.

for my part, I discover a number of these panels immediately-up vain, but at the least Samsung is making an attempt to amplify what its curved screen is ideal for. we’re starting to see 0.33party buildersconstruct their very own part studies, too. A group known as Sally Labs has a few available already,along with on hand video display units for RAM and information utilization. only some bignamecompanies, like Twitter and CNN, have constructed aspect panels, with a scrolling list of trending topicsfor Twitter and a form of vertical news ticker for CNN.

the edge maintains its unique curved-display hints too, like allowing you to view your notificationsthrough rubbing an edge while the display screen is off. adding your friends to people aspectnonetheless assigns them a shade that makes the telephone‘s facets glow in the event that they callwhile the tool is facedown. it’s a neat trick, but my neurotic nature continues me from ever leaving atelephone facedown on a floor anyway.

Samsung’s decision to make the S7 side a bodily distinct phone was a smart one: it is one of a kindenough from the regular S7 that human beings will need one for reasons past the curved display screen.still, make no mistake: The S7 aspect‘s large gain over competitors still more often than not comes all the way down to its appears. those new part reviews are inching closer toward real usefulness, howeverit’s no longer like Samsung had some splendid software program ideas that could only shine with thehelp of a curvy show. No, it is obvious that Samsung is attempting to cook up software program tobetter justify the display screen‘s existence. As a long way as i’m concerned, though, there’s nothingincorrect with designing some thing beautiful for the sake of beauty.

digital camera

don’t let the dip in megapixels fool you: The 12-megapixel cameras in the S7 and S7 part are not anyslouches. I spent a great deal of my week checking out the S7 siblings towards the iPhone 6S Plus. Theassessment seemed specially apt, given that Apple additionally currently bucked the high-megapixeltrend; its most modern iPhones have 12-megapixel sensors, whereas many other cellphone makers are aiming for 16 megapixels and past. besides, in most directly shoot-outs, the S7 family did a higher activitycapturing satisfactory element, from the lumps on a slapdash paint task to the meticulous fur etchings on a tanuki statue.

colours also came out punchier with the S7 and S7 side, though in no way to the point of being vague. Inreality, most of my take a look at photos looked shiny, even when the sun became hiding behind a fewclouds. we will peg part of that on how the S7 and S7 edge technique pictures, however the f/1.7 aperture lens and the bigger pixels on the sensor itself deserve a few credit too. blended, those two featuresincrease the quantity of mild the sensor absorbs, resulting in brighter, extra attractive photographs. Oh, and the five-megapixel selfie digital camera made me experience appealing, so there is that.

The S7 collection cameras also targeted faster than other devices I examined them towards. rather thanuse, say, a laser autofocus module, Sony — the organization in the back of this so-referred to as DualPixel sensor — added a complicated recognition system to a cellphone. To make a long, jargon-stuffed taleshort, every pixel at the sensor has two diodes which might be used to assist parent out a way toawareness on the difficulty. The result is crazyrapid cognizance speeds — my finger turned intoslightly performed tapping the display screen before the camera finished locking onto my target.

Gallery: Galaxy S7 + S7 facet digicam samples | forty five photographs

+forty one
i used to be feeling quite tremendous about things till I started evaluating the S7’s effects with somephotographs shot with the Galaxy word five and its 16-megapixel digital camera. Its better decisionallowed it to pick out up even more nuance in statues, landscapes and human subjects, whilst matching the S7 on colour reproduction. In sure conditionsnormally shiny herbal light— the observe five tookmore attractive images. The exchange-off right here is that even as the S7 and S7 aspect lack the threshold (ha!) in resolution, they’re both especially higher than the iPhone and observe five in low-mildenvironments. undergo in mind, they are actually no longer going to replace your Sony A7s; you willnonetheless see lots of grain, and most photographs feel a little overprocessed, but i used to becapable of constantly depart the flash off and still obtain outcomes accurate enough for fb and Instagram.

happily, the digital camera interface hasn’t clearly modified because the notice 5 got here out, because of this you do not ought to do some thing to get 8504ca0e3fb5bfcdbdf1e8263f0c30ef shots. there may be a seasoned mode if you want to fiddle with your exposure values and shutter speeds, and the standard selective consciousness, video university, virtual shot and live broadcasting modes are againtoo. New here is a Hyperlapse mode, which does exactly what the name indicates.

there may be additionally something Samsung calls “movement panoramas.” essentially, when thefeature is enabled, the digital camera shoots a panoramic video similarly to the same old remarkablelengthy picture. Then, whilst you play it lower back, you could rotate or circulate your S7 or aspect to look the landscape come to lifestyles in the front of you. useful? perhaps. i ponder what number ofhumans clearly bother capturing panoramas. Is it neat, though? You wager. The video experience isnormally pretty cute here, too — resulting footage became crisp, bright and well satusplendidd, thoughyou lose niceties like monitoring autofocus whilst you leap into 4K. All instructed, the camera revel in on the S7 and S7 side is extra of a blended bag than I hoped. The sensor powering everything is one hell of a technical success and gives both telephones low-light and autofocusing superpowers. still, just a littlemore decision could have been nice.

overall performance

Samsung has historically been precise approximately balancing polish with technical development. As for this year‘s models, it’s tough to argue with the quad-middle Snapdragon 820 chip and 4GB of RAM usedright here. throughout my week of checking out, the Galaxy S7 treated some thing I threw at it with grace. That turned into nearly continually the case with the S7 aspect too, except the few times it wasn’t. every now and then, I ran into a few lag that made navigating domestic displays, popping into Flipboard and switching between apps experience unusually jerky.

I can’t inform what’s causing this weirdness either. It is probably some trouble with TouchWiz, orperhaps a few overzealous CPU throttling. For what it’s really worth, the S7 seemed proof against thosetechnical hiccups; simplest the threshold had occasional stutters. these issues popped up every so oftenat the S6 twins too, however i was absolutely hoping Samsung might have ironed out the kinks by way ofnow.

in the meantime, our usual slew of benchmark tests point to some top notch boosts in overall performance, mainly when it comes to graphically extensive duties like gaming. The S7 siblings are the first smartphones to be had that play best with the Khronos institution‘s Vulkan API, which must make for a new breed of console-grade mobile games. bear in mind Tim Sweeney’s fantastic demo all throughSamsung’s S7 press conference? Vulkan-powered video games haven’t hit the Google Play store but,unfortunately, however it is clear Samsung is taking its future in gaming seriously. in the meantime,video games like dead trigger 2, Asphalt 8 and Mortal Kombat X ran like butter, thanks to the addition of the Adreno 530 GPU. curiously, the S7 seems to pull in advance in most of those testsyou would doproperly not to rely the smaller cellphone out.

AndEBench pro 14,168 thirteen,030 10,552 N/A
Vellamo four,285 four,152 three,677 N/A
3DMark IS limitless 28,529 26,666 21,632 27,542
SunSpider (ms) 1547 942 674 220
GFXBench three.0 1080p long island Offscreen (fps) 45 47 25 18.2
CF-Bench 51,227 46,290 sixty two,257 N/A
SunSpider Android devices tested in Chrome; decrease rankings are higher.
Our regular battery rundown check entails putting the display screen brightness to 50 percentage, connecting the phone to WiFi and looping an HD video. I had high hopes for the Galaxy S7 aspect and its hefty 3,600mAh battery, but the improvement turned into honestly pretty modest. All instructed, it hungaround for 14 and a half of hours, only approximately 40 mins longer than the Galaxy notice 5.

the edge fared a good deal higher in mixed use. i’d typically disconnect it from the charger at round 7:30 AM and use the factor almost nonstop until I finished work at approximately eight PM. Throw in a bitmild Kindle app reading and some Spotify playlists and the edge could commonly hit 10 percentageacross the time I went to mattress. And due to the fact that Marshmallow’s Doze function kicks in whenthe cellphone remains, i would awaken with just enough juice to check a few emails before plugging it in.

in the meantime, the regular Galaxy S7 survived our video gauntlet for 13 hours and 20 minutes, slightlytrailing the word five. combined use also desirable the smaller phone higher: it would mechanicallycome off the plug at 7 AM and stick round till just earlier than I fell asleep at around 1 AM. both of thesetelephones showed decidedly above-average endurance, and could without difficulty see you via the day. Like I stated, although, the difference over remaining yr‘s models is diffused.

The opposition

by distinctive feature of timing on my own, the Galaxy S7 and S7 part are two of the maximum effective,applicable Android telephones available on the market. That said, you need to nevertheless take into account of other alternatives. Take the Nexus 6P ($499 and up), as an instance. even as it lacks thetrendy Snapdragon chipset, its mix of top-tier power and a easy Android construct make it a potentcontender for the “exceptional Android smartphone” crown.

Then we’ve LG’s currently introduced G5, which as of this writing isn’t out but. It pairs the identicalSnapdragon silicon with both 3GB or 4GB of RAM and a five.three-inch Quad HD IPS liquid crystal displayscreen. it really is a painfully reductive manner to observe the issue, even though, while you do not forget that LG is accountable for constructing a right, modular flagship smartphone. It remains to bevisible whether or not the G5, with its swappable doodads and bizarre dualdigicam setup, will discover afoothold within the market. but on a few stage it doesn’t remember: LG ultimately made a more thrillingflagship than Samsung.

The S7 and S7 part endure a few thematic resemblance to the iPhone 6s ($649 and up) and 6s Plus ($749 and up), some other pair of gadgets with special form elements constructed round nearequal brains.they’re manifestly no longer Android telephones, but they’re the spawn of considered one of Samsung’sbiggest rivals, and meld a stunning amount of horsepower with a outstanding environment of apps and the form of touchtouchy screen we all notion the S7 extended family could get too.


they’ll no longer be innovative, however Samsung’s new Galaxy S7 and S7 facet are effective and nicelybuilt, making them worth sequels to what had been previously its quality-ever telephones. moreessential, there are actually distinct reasons to shop for each. The S7 is one of the finest phones i have ever tested, even as the brink has the screen and battery to (on the whole) fulfill cell film buffs and phablet diehards. That said, i used to be hoping for a bigger raise in sturdiness, considering the size of this yr‘s batteries. And the cameras, even as commonly superb, aren’t an throughout-the-boardimprovement over last year‘s.

nonetheless, in case you‘re in the market for a new, not too big Android cellphone, your seek ought tostart with the Galaxy S7. And in case you‘re a sucker for style, as I recognise a lot of you’re, the S7 areadoes a great job balancing strength and prettiness. even though these are just the primary of numerousflagship phones to arrive this year, we will already say that Samsung’s contemporary services are nicelyready to take on the competition.

*Verizon has received AOL, Engadget’s figure enterprise. but, Engadget maintains full editorialmanipulate, and Verizon will have to pry it from our cold, dead palms.