The two biggest phones of the year have launched: the Samsung Galaxy S7 and S7 Edge. Whether you're a Samsung user looking to upgrade, or an Apple apologist looking to jump ship and join the other side, there's no denying that Samsung's new flagship, the Galaxy S7, is worth a look. It is sleek, powerful, fast... everything you could want from a smartphone.
However, the device does come in two variants – the standard S7 along with the slightly larger S7 Edge – so it's worth considering the differences before deciding which is the phone for you. Of course, to make that decision, you must first know what these differences are. Read on for a breakdown of the features, benefits, and differences of 2016's most hotly anticipated device.
As with previous models of the Samsung Galaxy, the new S7 and S7 Edge run Google's Android operating system for mobile. On the Galaxy S7, this is Marshmallow, the latest and greatest version. Features include:
- On Tap – Built-in AI which learns your user habits over time to anticipate your needs and provide shortcuts to your most used apps and features. Simply tap the screen.
- Doze and App Standby – With all of the talk surrounding hardware changes to make batteries last longer, it's easy to forget that the same thing can often be achieved with software changes. Doze and App Standby help limit the electrical drain on your phone's battery for a longer charge.
- Fingerprint Access – Skip the 4-digit code and instead open your device using your fingerprint. It is intuitive, simple, quick, and effective.
If you already have an Android device, you will likely find that Marshmallow is simply better at pretty much everything. If you're accustomed to iOS, you may be surprised to discover how compelling an argument Android makes for switching devices. Either way, the S7 is designed to accommodate for pretty much any need.
With the Galaxy S7 and S7 Edge, Samsung has finally managed to achieve what so many smartphone manufacturers before it failed to do – offer truly revolutionary features and use cases. It isn't simply that Samsung's new flagship is larger and faster (though it is, of course); rather, it's been designed to open up the possibilities of what a smartphone can do. Among the new features on the S7 include:
- Waterproof Design – The Galaxy S7 and S7 Edge earn an IP68 certification for protection against liquids and dust. This means the S7 can be immersed in up to 1.5 meters of water for 30 minutes without suffering damage. You no longer have to worry about rain or a little spilt coffee.
- True Low-light Camera – Anyone who uses their camera phone as their primary phone (in other words, nearly everyone) knows how drastically performance drops off once the sun goes down and the lights go out. The S7 combines an all-new camera lens and double-pixel sensor for much improved low-light performance. Those group shots at the bar no longer have to look like they were taken with drunk goggles.
- Virtual Reality Headset – Watching movies and playing games on your smartphone is certainly novel, but the experience is hardly ideal. With the S7 and S7 Edge, Samsung has teamed up with Oculus to heighten the experience. With all-new wrap-around goggles (named Gear VR) that are designed specifically to accommodate your phone, watching television has never been more immersive. Perfect considering T-Mobile is offering a year of Netflix for free to all S7 buyers.
- Wireless Charging – Another long-held promise that has finally made its way to market with the S7 is wireless charging. Though it's true that the S7 and S7 Edge aren't the first devices to offer wireless charging, they may be the first truly mainstream devices with this feature, which should be seen as a foretelling of things to come. At long last, you may be able to ditch your wires altogether.
- Expandable Memory – Make no mistake, the cloud certainly has its merits: access to your data from anywhere, at any time, from any compatible device. But there's also the hassle of setting up access permissions, signing in and out, not remembering your user credentials, and constantly being prompted to pay for additional storage. It's nice to at least have the option of storing items on your device, locally. Samsung offers this on the S7 and S7 Edge with microSD card compatibility.
All of these features are available on both the S7 and S7 Edge. In terms of specifications, there's truthfully little between the two devices. Ultimately, the device that is right for you will come down to design and preference. Which brings us to the question...
Straight or Rounded Edges?
What truly separates the S7 and S7 Edge are their screens. The standard Galaxy S7 has a 5.1-inch flat screen while the Galaxy S7 Edge has a 5.5-inch rounded or bezel-less screen. Both phones have the same Quad-HD resolution (four times greater than standard high definition), so users can expect the same image quality on both (in fact, the standard S7 technically has a greater pixel-per-inch count). What the rounded design provides is a novel new interface and real-time updates with a single swipe of the finger.
The edges are hardly wasted space on the Galaxy S7 Edge; in fact, with preference settings that are almost infinitely adjustable, you can customize the edges of the device to suit your specific needs. Do you want your favorite contacts listed in order of how frequently you text or call them? You can do that. Would you prefer that the edges be used to keep you updated on stocks, news items, and other pressing matters? You can do that, too. The edges on the Samsung Galaxy S7 Edge let you see and do more while providing for an all-new user experience. If you're not sold on the concept, give it a test drive at your local provider – you might just come to like it.
Article by: Jessica Oaks