Reporting by: Andrew Tropeano
Article By: Nick Gambino
NewsWatch was on the ground to witness the unveiling of the new Samsung Galaxy S7 and S7 Edge at the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona.
Things are buzzing at the MWC which kicked off yesterday with releases from LG, HTC, Huawei and of course Samsung.
Check our on-the-scene video review of the Galaxy S7 and S7 Edge here in Barcelona.
Learning from the success of the S6 and S6 Edge, the Galaxy S7 looks to keep the successful elements of its predecessor, add a few new tricks and bring back an old favorite (as predicted).
While at first glance the S7 resembles the S6, especially in screen size, there are some significant differences. The smartphone offers a more comfortable grip, less curved camera bump on the back and a flatter area for the fingerprint scan.
The S7 Edge’s screen sized has bumped up from 5.1 inches to 5.5. Though the display is more spacious, the size of the phone itself feels about the same.
The edge of the screen as in the S6 Edge allows for quicker access to various features in your phone but now you can access even more. You can create up to 10 app shortcuts to things like your camera or e-mail. They’ve even opened it up to third party developers allowing access to their apps from the edge.
And about that old favorite, they’ve brought back expandable storage with an SD card slot allowing for up to 200 GB of extra space. This was a major gripe with Galaxy fans when the S6 came out. I know some who refused to upgrade from the S5 as they would lose that function. Without an SD card, storage would be a problem as they’re only releasing the 32 GB S7 in the U.S. with some other regions getting 64 GB.
One added bonus (is that redundant?) is the revival of the water-resistant aspect of the phone. The S6’s design was so different from Samsung’s earlier smartphone models they even did away with its water-resistance. Now it’s back and better than ever. While the S5 had flaps that would cover the ports the S7 doesn’t need that to be water and dust-resistant. Drop it in 5 feet or less of water for 30 minutes and it’ll be fine.
The camera gets an upgrade which was obviously an absolute must. A larger aperture allows for 25% more light to enter the lens. Larger pixels also help with low light situations.
But most innovative is the use of dual pixel autofocus. This is the first smartphone to use that technology which allows the pixel to perform dual functions of recording the image and determining the focus. Usually it only does one or the other.
While the megapixels drop from 16 in the S6 to 12 in the S7, the aforementioned larger pixels should make up for it. “Should” is the operative word here. We’ll see what users have to say about it.
The always-on display is an interesting addition that allows for the display to be…well…always on. The display shows a clock with your notifications, calendar and your background image. This might seem to be a major battery waster but apparently it isn’t as it only drains ½ percent of your battery every hour. Just think of how many times you fully light up the screen just to check the time. No need for that anymore.
Speaking of battery, while some may be disappointed that they haven’t brought back the replaceable battery, you’ll be happy to know that the battery size has been upped to combat quick battery drainage.
Thankfully they both still have adaptive fast charging and wireless charging capabilities as well.
The general impression has been favorable from the little contact with the phone here at the MWC. From feel and touch it looks like it might be the best Galaxy smartphone yet.
Here are the S7 and S7 Edge specs you’ll be working with:
- Galaxy S7 screen = 5.1inches
- Galaxy S7 Edge screen = 5.5 inches
- Android 6.0 Marshmallow
- 12 MP rear-facing camera
- 5 MP front-facing camera
- 4K Video
- 32 GB storage in U.S. with 64 GB available in some other regions
- 4 GB of RAM
- Expandable storage (SD) up to 200 GB
The Samsung Galaxy S7 and S7 Edge will be released worldwide on March 11th. No mention on pricing yet but if you purchase either S7 between February 23rd and March 18th Samsung will throw in a free Gear VR which is powered by Oculus.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Nick Gambino is a regular script writer and tech beat reporter for NewsWatch. He lives in Northern Virginia with his wife and daughter.