February 28, 2016

Samsung Galaxy S7 Review: First impressions

Samsung Galaxy S7 Review Scoring Summary

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Style & Handling
User Friendliness
Feature Set
Performance
Battery Power
Overall Score 4G.co.uk grey star

Pros Cons
+ Stunning screen – Expensive
+ Great design – Similar to Galaxy S6
+ Lots of power – Few new features

Verdict: The Samsung Galaxy S7 almost perfects what Samsung started with the Galaxy S6, but it feels a little too familiar.

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Samsung Galaxy S7 Review and Specification

The Samsung Galaxy S7 is sure to be one of the most popular phones of the year on name alone, but it’s got a lot more going for it than just a big name.

From top tier specs, to an impressive new camera and a refined design there’s almost nothing that this phone can’t do. But it also looks and sounds a lot like the Samsung Galaxy S6, so has Samsung done enough to tempt buyers into making an upgrade?

Design

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The Samsung Galaxy S7 shares a lot in common with the Samsung Galaxy S6, especially from a design perspective, but it’s been significantly improved.

A metal frame still surrounds the phone and the back is still glass, but this time it’s a rounded back that’s a lot more comfortable to hold and gives the design more unity. In fact, it’s one of the best looking phones we’ve ever seen and a far cry from the Samsung Galaxy S5.

Not only does it look good, it’s also durable, as Samsung has made it IP68 certified dust proof and water resistant. So you can safely use it in the kitchen or even the swimming pool.

Screen

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The Galaxy S7 has a 5.1-inch 1440 x 2560 Super AMOLED screen with a pixel density of 577 pixels per inch. That’s exactly the same screen as the Samsung Galaxy S6 but that’s absolutely fine, as that’s already one of the best displays around. The Samsung Galaxy S7’s screen is sharp, vibrant, bright and the perfect size to use one-handed while still getting a big picture.

It does have one new feature as well, specifically the fact that it’s always-on, letting you see the time, date and even notifications without ever having to hit the power button. This both saves time and means the screen doesn’t have to be fully lit up to show you key content.

Power

The Samsung Galaxy S7 comes in two configurations- a hexa-core Snapdragon 820 version and an octa-core Exynos 8890 one. It remains to be seen which one the UK will get, but it’s expected that most of Europe will get the Exynos one, so that’s looking likely.

If so you can look forward to four cores running at 2.3GHz and the remaining four clocked at 1.6GHz. Alongside that there’s 4GB of RAM, so this is a seriously powerful phone and a significant upgrade on even the Samsung Galaxy S6. Expect slick, smooth performance.

Camera

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There’s a 12MP camera on the Samsung Galaxy S7, which is a drop in megapixels from the 16MP snapper on the Galaxy S6, but on the other hand the pixels are bigger, allowing more light in and therefore allowing you to take better low light photos.

The camera also has optical image stabilisation and can shoot video in 2160p at 30fps, so it’s well-equipped. Round the front there’s a 5MP camera for selfies and video calls, which is a fairly standard spec but it looks to be a pretty good one based on early impressions.

Features

The Samsung Galaxy S7 is quite similar to the Galaxy S6 in a lot of ways and as such there aren’t any major new features, other than the always-on display which we’ve covered above.

One other new feature though is a Game Launcher app, which lets you record footage of games as you play them, so you can upload and share it. It also lets you adjust settings such as the resolution and framerate of games, so you can tweak them more like on a PC.

Another feature which isn’t new but is worth highlighting is the fingerprint scanner. We haven’t been able to fully test this out yet but the one on the Galaxy S6 was very fast and rarely failed to read a print, so we expect the same here.

Battery Life, Memory and Connectivity

There’s a 3000 mAh battery in the Samsung Galaxy S7 which is a decent size but not enormous. It remains to be seen how long it will last, but it’s bigger than the juice pack in the Galaxy S6 and fast charging is supported.

Memory comes in at a choice of 32 or 64GB. There’s no 128GB option but there is a microSD card slot, with support for cards of up to 200GB. That’s really worth highlighting as the Samsung Galaxy S6 didn’t have a microSD card slot.

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Early verdict

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The Samsung Galaxy S7 doesn’t break the mould but it is a significant upgrade on the Samsung Galaxy S6, with more power, a likely better camera, a new screen feature, a bigger battery, a refined design and the addition of a microSD card slot and waterproof body.

It may not be enough to tempt Galaxy S6 owners, but for everyone else this is a seriously compelling smartphone and looks set to take the world by storm.

Samsung Galaxy S7 Specification

Dimensions (mm): 142.4 x 69.6 x 7.9

Weight (g): 152.00

Battery capacity (mAh): 3000

Colours: Black, White, Gold, Silver

Screen size (inches): 5.1

Resolution: 1440×2560 pixels

Pixels per inch (PPI): 577

Processor: 2.3Ghz octa-core

Processor make: Exynos 8890

RAM: 4GB

Internal storage: 32/64GB

Expandable storage up to (GB): 200

Camera: 12-megapixel and 5-megapixel

Operating System: Android Marshmallow