Samsung’s new Galaxy S7 flagships are here. But which is the best?
But is it worth the extra cash?
A lot has already been said about Samsung’s 2016 flagships. General word on the street is positive; the phones have been updated in all the right places. But is this enough? KYM’s Richard argued, no, in his piece on why the LG G5 and not Samsung’s Galaxy S7 was the runaway success of MWC 2016, as well as potentially THE Android handset to beat in 2016.
Samsung is a big deal. Very big, if you’re talking about gross phone shipments. But it has alienated a lot of the users by implementing changes (sealing the battery in, removing SD-support) that kind of ran contrary to what people wanted. Samsung became obsessed with becoming more like Apple and, somewhere along the way, its handsets lost some of their charm and utility.
And because there is so much choice in the Android space, a lot of users simply went elsewhere — or waited for the Galaxy Note which launches the following quarter after the Galaxy S. LG, for one, made a lot of friends in the past couple of years and the company looks set to make a whole load more in 2016 with the release of its LG G5 handset.
The Galaxy S7 series may indeed have been the winning ticket Samsung needed to pull it out of a two-year decline in flagship sales, as reports from analysts in Asia claim the firm has shipped as many as 10 million units during March, in the one month since the phones hit the market. The reports don’t distinguish between the Galaxy S7 and Galaxy S7 edge, but analysts say shipments are far higher than the expected 7 million previously predicted by industry watchers. Analysts are now shifting their sales predictions for 2016, although it’s important to note the new estimates are not based on sales and shipping figures from Samsung, as the firm is yet to reveal anything other than initial pre-order figures. Previously Samsung execs had stated that pre-orders had been better than expected, and that based on this it expects to sell more Galaxy S7 series units than previous models.
But how do Samsung’s flagship phones compare against each other? We took a look at the Galaxy S7 and Galaxy S7 Edge to find out.
Samsung Galaxy S7 vs Samsung Galaxy S7 Edge: Design & Build
The overall design and finish of both handsets is very familiar. Iterative, almost. But this is to be expected; most tech brands these days use two year design cycles. This saves on cash and also allows them to focus on refining the usability and overall performance of the device. And nowhere is this trend more obvious than aboard the Galaxy S7 and Galaxy S7 edge.
Performance is off the charts, particularly if you’re lucky enough to get the Snapdragon 820 model. Sadly, the UK is getting Samsung’s less powerful Exynos setup. Most of you will not notice the difference in day to day usage, but it is certainly worth noting. Particularly with the LG G5 and HTC 10 using an 820 setup.
Each phone is also built very similarly. They each have a metal body and glass display. The Edge, of course, goes a bit further with its curved display. That curve actually gives it a leg up and it’s more comfortable to hold in the hand, despite having a larger display. Naturally their dimensions differ too, but what’s surprising is that the Galaxy S7 Edge is actually the thinner phone. Again, Samsung just has more space to spread internal components around, so they can make it flatter. Perhaps even more surprising though, is that the Galaxy S7 Edge isn’t that much heavier than the regular Galaxy S7 at 157 grams versus 152 grams.
Samsung Galaxy S7 vs Samsung Galaxy S7 Edge: Cameras
Apple is rumoured to be creating another iPhone line in 2016 — the iPhone 7 Pro. The reason for this, reports suggest, is because Apple wants to put a dual-sensor camera on the back of it. But as is always the case, Android is a step in front of Apple. As both the LG G5 and Galaxy S7 feature brand new imaging technology, which will dramatically alter the way you take pictures on your phone.
Here’s what Samsung had to say about its new imaging tech, Dual Pixel, at the launch of the Galaxy S7 and Galaxy S7 edge: “Galaxy S7 and Galaxy S7 edge introduce the first Dual Pixel camera on a smartphone, delivering brighter and sharper images, even in low light. Thanks to the revolutionary Dual Pixel technology, brighter lens with wider aperture, and bigger pixel, the camera has a faster shutter speed and a more accurate autofocus even in low-light conditions. Motion Panorama, a new camera mode, brings movement to traditional panoramic photos, giving the user a completely immersive visual experience.”
But unlike Apple, Samsung isn’t making certain imaging attributes exclusive to the most expensive handset. Nope. There is absolutely no difference between the cameras in the two phones. And what’s really nice is each phone has a reduces protruding camera bump on the back. Both phones have a 5MP front and a 12MP rear camera. Each lens features a f/1.7 aperture, which means the either S7 can take great night shots.
Samsung Galaxy S7 vs Samsung Galaxy S7 Edge: Verdict
With virtually identical internal specs and each phone being able to boast a superior screen (for the Galaxy S7 it’s the higher pixel density, for the Galaxy S7 edge it’s the curved display) it’s a very tough choice to declare one phone better than the other. Your choice will likely come down to the screen size. Do you want a huge 5.1-inch display or do you want a bigger 5.5-inch one?
For me personally, the bigger display and larger battery make the EDGE a no-brainer for me. I’m used to the iPhone 6 Plus, Nexus 6P and Huawei Mate 8. Anything smaller than 5.5in, for me, is just too small — I am fully converted in the ways of the phablet.