This time last year Samsung released its iconic Samsung Galaxy S6 model that changed the way many people saw the smartphone giant. Gone were the days of a plastic flagship device and in with the change of gorilla glass and colourised aluminium. Now one year later at the Mobile World Conference in Barcelona, the company has released the Samsung Galaxy S7 and S7 Edge.
The announcement of the Samsung Galaxy S7 has caused prices of the S6 and S6 Edge to decrease making it a particularly good value for money purchase currently. But if you’re in the market looking to buy a new handset, is the S7 a better option compared to its predecessor? Below I've outlined the advantages and disadvantages of the S7 vs. the S6.
|Specifications||Samsung Galaxy S6 Edge||Samsung Galaxy S7 Edge|
|Body||142.1 x 70.1 x 7mm||150.9 x 72.6 x 7.7 mm|
|Type||Super AMOLED 16M colours||Super AMOLED 16M colours|
|Size||5.1 inches||5.7 inches|
|Resolution||1440 x 2560||1440 x 2560|
|Operating System||Android OS v5.0.2 (Lollipop)||Android OS v.6.0 (Marshmallow)|
|Chipset||Exynos 7420 Octa||Exynos 8890 Octa|
|CPU||Quad-core 1.5GHz||Quad-core 2.3GHz|
|Additional Memory||No||MicroSD, 200GB max|
|In-built memory||32 / 64 / 128 GB||32 / 64 GB|
|Sensors||Fingerprint, accelerometer, gyro proximity, compass, barometer, heart rate||Fingerprint, accelerometer, gyro proximity, compass, barometer, heart rate|
|Charging||Wireless charging, fast-charging||Wireless charging, fast-charging (83% in 30 minutes)|
|Battery||2,600 mAh Li-Ion||3,600 mAh Li-Ion|
The design of the Samsung Galaxy S6 provided the company with the best looking mobile phone of 2015, so it’s understandable that Samsung would struggle to improve the design within 12 months. Therefore it goes without saying that the Galaxy S7 and S7 Edge look just like the Galaxy S6 and S6 Edge. The lines, finishing and colour schemes are very similar too.
The first improvement you'll notice when you hold the device for the first time, is that the home button has been improved to be more ‘clicky’. Flip the phone over and you will see that the back has been contoured whilst the protruding camera of the S6 has been pushed in to improve the ergonomics. Finally, when holding the device it's obvious that it's gained weight and increased in thickness to accommodate a large battery compared to its predecessor.
The non-techie people out there won’t know that last year Samsung decided to take a different route and choose the Exynos 7420 chip to replace the Snapdragon 810. Sticking to its guns, Samsung has done the same again and installed the Exynos 8890 and Exynos 820 processors into the Samsung Galaxy S7 and S7 Edge. Bare in mind that depending on where you buy the device, this will determine the type of Exynos chip you receive. The USA will get the 820 whilst the majority of other regions will receive the 8890. To accompany these processors, customers will also find 4GB of RAM, which tops the 3GB found in the S6/Edge.
The Galaxy S6/Edge was also considered to have one of the best smartphone cameras on the market last year, but this year Samsung say that they have improved it even further. Expect changes in many areas such as autofocus, lowlight settings, fast focus lock and larger pixel size. However, these upgrades do come at a cost, because the S7 and S7 Edge have a 12 megapixel camera compared to the S6’s 16 megapixels.
MicroSD card slots have been a big area of discussion this year especially as Samsung removed this feature from the S6/Edge that for years was considered one of their strongest unique selling points (and the iPhones Achilles heel). Nostalgia must have got to Samsung though, because the MicroSD slot is back along with water resistance as found within the Samsung Galaxy S5 flagship device of 2014.
The S7 and S7 Edge both have the same screens as the S6 and S6 Edge, at least on paper, providing Quad HD resolution (1440 x 2560 pixels). Samsung have also added a new ‘Always ON’ setting that wasn’t present in the S6 series.
If you happen to own a Samsung Galaxy S6 or S6 Edge then software-wise there is nothing that has been changed to make it a compelling upgrade. Features such as the sidebar menu have been improved slightly, but as far as viewers within the MWC were concerned, that’s where the changes ended. A nice addition is the Samsung+ app, which gives customers access to live tech support that includes device diagnostics, tips, tricks and other Samsung offers.
Those of you in the market for a new flagship device from one of the top mobile phone companies will likely be very impressed with the Samsung Galaxy S7 and S7 Edge. Especially if you are upgrading from anything older than the S5 or other 2014 devices. The cost will be similar to the Samsung Galaxy S6 and S6 Edge launch prices at around $1,199 for the 32GB version or add $100 extra for the 64GB. Overall the device is an improvement from its predecessor, however, I would say that the value for money if you are upgrading from an S6 simply isn’t there. If water resistance and an MicroSD slot are imperative to your mobile phone use then you may be able to justify the cost.