Samsung Galaxy S7 First Impressions


The Galaxy S7 and S7 edge have finally arrived bringing incremental upgrades to the well received S6. Gone is the IR blaster but in comes the microSD slot, IP68 certification for water exposure, bigger battery, more RAM, and faster CPU.

The Galaxy S7
The edge around the home key is no longer chauffeured but is a raised lip around the home key

From the front the Galaxy S7 is nearly identical to the previous generation S6.  But the side bezels are thinner and home key is slightly taller.
Although unseen, the S7 includes a copper pipe with diffusion plate and evaporator for liquid cooling.

The sides of the back are now curved and provide a comfortable feel in the hand when it sits in your palm.  Although the phone is now thicker, the curved back gives the impression that the phone is thinner.
The curved back also makes the sides slightly smaller and makes the phone even more slippery in the hands.

Top of the phone now features the SIM and microSD tray but an IR blaster is no longer available
The sides are not as shiny as the previous S6.

The right side of the phone no longer has the SIM tray and just features the power key
The sides are rounded rather than 3 flat angles of the S6.  This makes the phone feel more comfortable in the hand.  The S7 edge is similarly rounded and is much more comfortable and less sharp when held in the palm.  Between the two, the S7 edge side is a big improvement over the S6 edge.

The Galaxy S6 now features a 12MP camera with a larger sensor and pixel size
The camera now sits nearly flush with the body of the phone.  The ring around buttons and camera now are similar color to the device color and no longer just silver.

Galaxy S7 IMX260 photo (top) vs Galaxy S6 ISOCELL photo (bottom), the Galaxy S6 photo was scaled down to the S7 photo size:
The Sony module is sharper than the Samsung module and produces a photo with less noise (see the black ad for Novidade).  But the photo from the S7 is not dramatically improved to the S6 in this situation.

Galaxy S7 IMX260 12MP photo (left) vs Galaxy S6 ISOCELL 16MP photo (right) original photos:

As you can see, the max resolution 12MP photo of the Galaxy S7 is now back to a 4:3 ratio while the Galaxy S6 at 16MP captures images at 16:9 ratio.  Perhaps it's unfair to compare a Samsung module (S6) to a Sony module (S7) but as a consumer we don't have a choice to which camera module we get unless we continuous open each box before accepting it.

The always on display

Even supports color:

The always on displayed clock slowly moves to avoid burn in but only time will tell if the using an image for the stand by screen will cause burn in issues.

The S7 and S7 edge improve the in-hand feel from their predecessor and bring back much wanted functionality such as microSD card and water resistance.  The S6 was an awesome phone last year and the improvements keep the S7 at the top of Android devices. But if you already own a S6 there isn't as much here to make the S7 a needed upgrade.

Colors: White, Silver, Gold, and Black (US: Black/Gold (S7), Black/Gold/Silver (S7 edge), Canada: Black/Silver (S7), Black (S7 edge))
Dimensions: 5.88 x 2.91 x 0.30 in
Weight: 159g

CPU: Samsung Exynos 8890/Qualcomm Snapdragon 820 (US only)
Display: 5.1 (S7)/5.5 (S7 edge) inch Super AMOLED, QHD, always-on
RAM Memory: 4GB
Storage: 32GB/64GB, expandable with microSD, does not support Android adoptable memory (Canada/US: 32GB only)
Battery: 3000mAh (S7)/3500mAh (S7 edge), microUSB charger supporting Quick Charge 2.0, and Qi/PMT/Samsung proprietary wireless quick charge
Camera: Back 12MP (Sony IMX260 or Samsung S5K2L1 ISOCELL), f 1/1.7 OIS, 26mm fixed focal length, front: 5MP (same as S6)
Other: Fingerprint scanner, IP68 water resistance, NFC, MST

Availability: March 11, 2016
Price (S6/S7 edge): Sprint $650/$750, T-Mobile: $670/$780, Verizon $672/$792, ATT $695/$795, Telus/Rogers/Bell: $900/$1000, UK: £569, Australia AU$1,149
Samsung Galaxy S7 First Impressions Samsung Galaxy S7 First Impressions Reviewed by Eric on 2/23/2016 Rating: 5

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