It’s the phone the world has been waiting for: the Samsung Galaxy S7, which was announced at MWC 2016. As you’d expect Samsung says everything is even better than in previous Galaxies, but Samsung’s telling the truth: in almost every respect the S7 is a huge upgrade. Here are seven reasons to buy the Galaxy S7, and seven reasons why having one will make other smartphone owners green with envy.
1. The microSD card slot is back, baby!
The S7 ships with generous amounts of storage - you’ve a choice of 32 GB or 64 GB - but for many people the most exciting thing is the return of the microSD card, which is a boon for anyone who likes to shoot full-res photos, make 4K home movies and install ALL THE APPS. You can add up to 200 GB of additional storage, and the price of such storage is falling through the floor right now: Amazon is currently doing a 200 GB Sandisk with an RRP of US$249.99 for just US$79.95.
2. The camera is the best one Samsung’s ever made
Samsung has proved that there’s more to cameras than megapixels: while the camera in the S7 Edge is only 12 MP, it takes much, much better pictures than many cameras with more pixels. That’s because of its impressive f/1.7 aperture and Dual Pixel technology, which uses two light-sensitive photodiodes for each pixel. That makes a huge difference to the picture quality, and the faster autofocus should help banish blur too. The front facing camera is pretty good too, with the same aperture and 5 megapixels to play with. Samsung says the camera captures 56 percent more light than the one in the S6, and focuses up to four times faster in low light conditions.
3. The battery’s enormous
While some flagships’ focus on thinness means battery life isn’t all it could be - and we’re looking sternly at Apple here - there are no such fears with the Galaxy S7: with 3,000 mAh of power to play with the battery is more than a match for the fast processor. We haven’t had the opportunity to fully test the battery just yet but the combination of its size, Android Marshmallow’s battery optimization and a more efficient processor means there’s every chance of the S7 hitting that 2-day sweet spot for battery life - not least because another cool feature, Always On, means you’ll be turning the screen on a lot less often. More about that in a moment.
4. It’s really, really fast
As ever the Samsung comes with various processors, but they’re all quick: the model we tested, which had an Exynos 8890 with a hefty 4 GB of RAM, “could be the most powerful smartphone ever seen.” Samsung says the processor is 30 percent more powerful than the one in the Galaxy S6, while the GPU is 64 percent more powerful. In plain English? The Galaxy S7 kicks ass.
5. It’s the perfect size
Smartphones have been suffering from size inflation for some years now, but let’s be honest: some screens are just too big for comfortable one-handed operation. Unless you have freakishly large hands the Galaxy S7 is just right: its 5.1-inch AMOLED is as great as you’d expect, delivers a whopping 576 pixels per inch and doesn’t require two hands to get anything done.
6. It’s always on
Like its sibling, the Galaxy S7 Edge, the S7 has Samsung’s Always On screen. Always On takes advantage of AMOLED’s ability to illuminate specific pixels to display key information - time, date, notifications - without waking the entire panel. It’s a little feature that makes an enormous difference, because it reduces the amount of times you need to wake the screen for simple tasks such as checking the time; because the whole screen isn’t turning on, there shouldn’t be any negative effect on battery life either.
7. It’s tougher than the S6
Like microSD support. Samsung decided not to keep dust and water resistance when it made the S6 range - and like microSD support, Samsung has brought it back for the S7 range. The Galaxy S7 is both waterproof and dustproof to IP68 standards, so it can survive for 30 minutes in up to 1.5 meters of water. The display is protected with fourth generation Gorilla Glass, and the aluminum body means it’ll withstand even the sharpest knocks.
What do you think? Has Samsung knocked it out of the park with the all new Galaxy S7, or does the lack of USB-C spoil the fun? Let us know what you think in the comments.