This buyer's guide to the Galaxy S7 edge takes a close look at Samsung’s newest model, starting with a brief look at its development, an overview of the new-fangled edge display and design qualities, and an exploration of useful features within the next generation Android Marshmallow 6.0 OS. Next, is an examination of the phone’s camera and other technical specs before they get weighed up against the Galaxy S7 and the iPhone 6S Plus. We finish this guide by listing smart accessories, including the Gear VR virtual reality headset for futuristic gaming experiences and stylish covers that do more than protect the phone’s sleek exterior.
History and Development
Samsung claims that specification upgrades from the Galaxy S6 result in 30 % faster processing and 64 % faster graphical processing than its predecessor, allowing it to launch apps, run games, and stream video smoother than ever before. You’d think that such percentage increases in performance would have a bigger impact on battery life, but they don’t. Not only is the energy consumption better than the S6, but the expanded battery also lets you charge your phone in just 100 minutes.
S7 Edge Look and Feel
Striking the right balance between functionality and style, the curved 3D glass front of the Samsung Galaxy S7 edge is precision mounted to the slender metallic frame; a process Samsung calls 3D Thermoforming. As a result, the phone feels robust yet comfortable in your hand. Meanwhile, three plush colour choices mean you can snare one in black onyx, gold platinum or silver titanium to suit your style.
Colour saturation looks brilliant on the curved edge AMOLED display due to the 2560 x 1440 WQHD resolution at a pixel density of 534 pixels per square inch. Other benefits ofthis display are that your viewing experience isn’t hampered by ambient light conditions and that you get a clear view of what’s on the screen from a viewing angle of around 80 degrees. Yet despite the comfortable grip and display resolution, you’ll need to take care when holding the phone because apps or shortcut settings could launch unintentionally from taps on the screen’s edge.
On a tour around the back of the Galaxy S7, you’ll find an almost flush rear camera and LED light. The top of the phone contains microSD and nano SIM cards, the power button a third of the way down the right side provides one handed on/off control, volume buttons sit higher on the left, and the bottom of the phone includes a micro USB port, loudspeaker, and headphone jack. The fourth and final physical button is the slightly raised home button on the front that doubles as a fingerprint scanner. Like most other Android phones, the menu and back digital buttons sit either side of the home button for easy access.
Galaxy S7 Edge Features
The new features of the Galaxy S7 edge are such integral parts of the device you’ll quickly forget how people got by without them.
A feature of both the Galaxy S7 edge and the S7 is their water resistance. Whether you’re following Google Maps while rushing to meet a blind date in the rain, watching episodes of your favourite TV shows in the bath, or picking up the phone after accidentally dropping it in the toilet, simply rinse off dirty water, give it a wipe and be on your way. The phone will continue to work as normal because it has an IP (Ingress Protection) rating of 68, meaning it can sit under 1.5 metres of water for a gob-smacking 30 minutes without any additional waterproof cover protection.
If you’re like us, you’ll appreciate the convenience of using MasterCard PayPass and Visa payWave when shopping. They make hiding your pin or handing your card over to the cashier a thing of the past. Well, now these are considered old hat with the invention of Samsung Pay; a simple yet safer way to make payments via mobile. How is it safer? Imagine how easy it is for anyone who gets hold of your card to tap its details into a payment form online and make purchases. How far they will get if they try authenticating the purchase? Not very. the Galaxy S7 edge will only process payments after your fingerprint scan matches the one you saved in the payment app.
Android Marshmallow 6.0 OS
The number of functions on the latest Android Marshmallow 6.0 operating system, pre-installed on the S7 edge, is certainly too great to describe here so we’ll stick to the most important ones along with any cool new features you might be interested in.
First off, the exclusive TouchWiz user interface developed by Samsung is geared specifically to support the curved edges of the phone’s display. In between the edges, where it counts, apps appear in two columns instead of one, with a customisable selection of apps shown depending on where you are at that time. So no matter if you’re at home, in the office or on the train, you can get to your favourite apps quickly, while the addition of app shortcuts let you perform actions that you usually perform on the screen without first going into the app. Plus, handy information panels deliver weather info so you know what to expect when you’re on the move. It takes a bit of time to get all this set up the way you want, though, so make sure your heart’s really in it before you start.
To get you started right out of thegate, the Galaxy S7 edge gives you 25 apps already pre-installed so you can get your e-mails, create your playlists, manage your photos, and chat with friends on Facebook and Whatsapp. On the downside, the number of default apps takes an additional toll on your available capacity, with the already storage-heavy Android OS and TouchWiz stealing about 7 GB; a fair portion if you only have 32 GB to begin with. In terms of performance, however, the power under the hood of the S7 edge handles Marshmallow and TouchWiz with ease.
Galaxy S7 edge Camera
Drawing a lot of attention are the camera hardware and software features of the Galaxy S7 edge. For example, the dual pixel sensors mean less time waiting for the camera to focus, even when shooting in the evening, and the motion photo capture is ideal for fast action shots by capturing everything that happens a full three seconds before you hit the shutter. The spotlight function lets you highlight your best features before taking a selfie.
DSLR enthusiasts will understand the importance of the generous 1.4 micron pixels on the image sensor capture and bright F1.7 lens for shooting images in low light. Meanwhile, motion panorama shots are easier than ever with smooth sweeping movements across the landscape that the S7 edge will automatically stitch together and optimise before revealing the final image.
Video camera modes include the gallery mode for more detailed image display on motion picture snaps, the interval or time-lapse mode, and slow motion mode for making spectacular videos at half, quarter, and eighth the speed of real time.
Samsung Galaxy S7 Edge Technical Specifications
If you prefer your technical specifications laid out in a no frills list, this section is for you:
Display Technology: Quad HD Super AMOLED
Screen: Dual edge 5.5”, 2560 x 1440 pixel resolution at a pixel density of 534 ppi
Front Camera: CMOS 5 Megapixel
Rear Camera: 12 Megapixel with Dual Pixel
Processor: Samsung Quad-core Exynos 8890 Clocked at 2.3 GHz
Water Resistance: IP68 Certified up to 30 Minutes in 1 Metre of Water
Dimensions: 150.9 x 72.6 x 7.7 mm
Weight: 157 g
Colours: Black or Gold
Official Introduction of the Samsung Galaxy S7 and S7 Edge
Gaming on the Galaxy S7 Edge
Gaming takes a front seat on the Samsung Galaxy S7 edge, with hardware upgrades responsible for reducing lag and increasing battery life during intense gameplay. Props are also given to the highly developed Vulkan API for delivering lean, cross-platform 3D graphics on the S7 edge; the first device to support it.
To further iterate its focus on gaming, the Game Launcher is the phone’s all encompassing control centre. In basic terms, this is where you’ll go to launch games and download new ones. Gameplay recording with sharing options is another handy feature to help you share your highest scores – backed up by hard video evidence.
Galaxy S7 Edge vs. Galaxy S7
Although the Galaxy S7 edge is an update of the Galaxy S7, the differences between Samsung’s two flagship Android phones are so minor and incremental that they could be fraternal twins. Not counting its extra 0.4 inches of diagonal display area and unique curved screen, the Galaxy S7 edge shares an identical feature set with the Galaxy S7. The final result is, yet again, a comfortable and highly functional duo of next generation smartphones loaded with remarkable mobile technology.
The size differences between the two are as follows: the Galaxy S7 edge measures 150.9 x 72.6 x 7.7 mm and weighs 157 g while the Galaxy S7 measures 142.4 x 69.6 x 7.9 mm and weighs 152 g. The extra weight on the Galaxy S7 edge can be linked to both its greater size as well as its 3600 mAh battery versus the 3000 mAh battery in the Galaxy S7. In the real world, this increased power can translate into additional talk time but slower battery recharge times.
Official Unboxing of the Samsung Galaxy S7 and S7 Edge
Galaxy S7 Edge vs. iPhone 6S Plus
It’s obvious that Samsung’s Galaxy S7 edge is in direct competition with Apple’s iPhone 6S Plus. They both lead the smartphone market in hardware, software, and additional features. Design-wise, the curved, glass-on-metal body of the S7 edge looks really space-age and cool, while Apple fans won’t be tempted to look past the iPhone 6S Plus, despite its lack of divergence from the traditional aluminium unibody. Being short of water resistance and the extra heft of the iPhone 6S Plus, however, may tip the scales in favour of Samsung’s offering if you value comfort and control. On the other hand, you’ll likely tire of the need to wipe fingerprint marks off the S7 edge; a minor inconvenience in our book.
Within the two phone’s 5.5 inch displays, Samsung is the clear leader with their 2560 x 1440 pixel resolution compared to 1920 x 1080 pixel on the Apple, but you’d be forgiven for not noticing the difference when you test them side by side. Brightness and colour vibrancy are equally impressive on both devices although Samsung lets you manually select a variety of display settings and the iPhone makes most of these adjustments automatically.
This is probably not your first time deciding between an Android and iOS phone so we’ll skip the introduction to these operating systems. If you’ve used Android before, then you’ll recognise many of the same functions in the Galaxy S7 edge’s operating system. Yet, the latest Marshmallow 6.0 boasts a few multi-tasking and navigation tricks that Apple hasn’t implemented like support for new themes and customisable user interface. For example, the edge UX lets you set up accessibility and quick start options when accessed from the phone’s edge. That said, the iPhone 6S Plus does include other advantages such as a more intuitive and user-friendly interface and the intelligent 3D-Touch display that measures the pressure of your finger taps and responds accordingly.
Gear VR Headset and the Samsung Galaxy S7 Edge
Virtual reality is a mushrooming industry, offering amazing new experiences previously unavailable on at-home devices. Anyone eager to try futuristic virtual reality will be happy to hear that the Galaxy S7 edge connects effortlessly with the Gear VR headset (sold separately). Simply snap in the phone, slip on the headset, and shut off the rest of the world as you fully immerse in 360 degree views within movies and TV shows, and explore new worlds of your favourite games and apps.
Speaking of TV shows and movies, dedicated apps for Netflix and Hulu have been developed to work seamlessly with the headset, so make sure you have the proper subscription level to include more than one device. Not content with just consuming content in your own world, you can even capture and then relive your own 360 degree video memories.
Samsung Galaxy S7 Edge Gaming with Gear VR
Other Accessories for the Galaxy S7 Edge
As we’re sure you would expect, there are bucket loads of useful accessories for the Samsung Galaxy S7 edge. In fact, even though the model is not long off the assembly line, there are already multiple types of cases you can buy to protect and/or jazz up your phone. And because the Galaxy S7 edge takes water submersion like a boss, you won’t have to add a bulky waterproof case to use it in the rain or by the pool. A point to note, however, is that accessories you own for the earlier Galaxy S6 series won’t necessarily be compatible with the new model. Always check the compatibility list before making a purchase.
Official Galaxy S7 edge covers come in black, silver or gold and quite a few different designs, namely: the Clear View Cover that lets your phone’s beauty shine through while allowing you to take calls, view the current time, and play music without opening the case. It also resists scruffy-looking fingerprints; the S View Cover sports a top-grade, soft polyurethane texture for extra comfort in your hand and a precisely placed window to let you operate the phone while keeping the cover closed; the LED View Cover is probably the most suave-looking cover, boasting the ability to light up its built-in LED lights and display the time, take calls, and manage your alarm directly on its luxurious leather cover. Inside, there’s space for your train pass or credit card.
If you prefer the tactile feel of typing on actual keys or you suffer from BlackBerry envy, the detachable QWERTY keyboard case not only sports an ergonomic design and hot key structure but also easily snaps in place when you need it and stays out of the way when you don’t. What’s more, you’ll appreciate the peace of mind provided by the protective polycarbonate shell and the way the phone automatically responds to the keyboard connection and quickly adjusts the screen to fit.
Wireless Battery Charging
Battery recharge options for the Galaxy S7 edge are as equally widespread as covers. Of course, you get the standard USB cable charger in the box but there’s no enjoyment in being attached to your computer or wall socket when you want to use your phone and we can all agree that unplugging cables is a drag. That’s why Samsung developed several wireless charging options.
At home or in the office, you have the option of a wireless charging pad or stand. The pad simply means you plonk the phone on the pad and it starts charging. The stand lets you sit the phone down at an easy to view angle so you can watch videos while it charges. If you often work on the move or enjoy playing games on your daily commute, the wireless charging backpack is a special breed of cover, offering protection if you accidentally drop the phone and an extra half battery worth of juice when you need it the most; all without a cable in sight. The cover’s 3400 mAh battery charges at the same time as the phone’s battery and has an LED indicator to let you know when it’s time to recharge.
Buying a Samsung Galaxy S7 Edge
What more can be said about the Galaxy S7 edge? If you’re in the market for a top of the line piece of kit then this phone is for you. No matter if you believe camera tech is the most important function, or screen size and display resolution have to be spot on, or if advanced gaming and futuristic virtual reality are what gets your pulse racing, the Galaxy S7 edge has got you covered. Meanwhile, water resistance and scanning technology are simply bonus items but there may come a time when you’re glad you have them.
That said, to have all these features in your hand, you’ll have to cough up quite a bit of dough. You can buy the Samsung Galaxy S7 edge on a mobile plan from big providers like O2, Vodafone, and Three, while unlocked models are available upfront and SIM-free from carriers including Tesco Direct, Amazon, buymobiles.net, Mobile Phones Direct, and Carphone Warehouse. To stay up to date on the latest deals for the Galaxy S7 edge, bookmark the special Samsung Galaxy S7 edge page on HotUKDeals.
For more information the official Samsung Galaxy S7 edge webpage displays a comprehensive description of all its features and specifications plus a heap of high resolution product images.
Made hot 20th May 2018Made hot 20th May 2018
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