Every year around this time Samsung and other smartphone makers launch their flagship devices. This year too, many including Samsung have started to roll out the flagship devices. One of the first to come to India is the Samsung Galaxy S7 Edge. This is one of the much awaited phones of early 2016 and we got our hands on it to review. Let's take a closer look and see if this mobile phone is worth the shiny penny.
Let's admit it; the Samsung Galaxy S7 Edge is a gorgeous device. The curve on the back panel has been borrowed from the successful Samsung Note 5 from last year and the front screen panel curves into the aluminium frame not just on the sides but at the top and bottom as well. This gives the phone a seamless ergonomic feel. Last years Samsung Galaxy S6 Edge had only one design flaw, which was the edges cutting into the palms of the person holding it for a while. This has been fixed in the Samsung Galaxy S7 Edge, as the edges are smoother than before.
Moving further the phone's curved Gorilla Glass 4 is held together by space grade aluminium, which now provides the IP68 rating. Simply put, the Samsung Galaxy S7 Edge is waterproof. Samsung has brought back the expandable storage option in this smartphone, too. The credit for the re-introduction of the expandable storage goes to the people who made Samsung feel just how important for a flagship mobile to have this option in it.
On the flipside, the Samsung Galaxy S7 Edge can hold just one sim card and a memory card or two sim cards. One can't have both sim cards and the SD card on at the same time. Samsung has decided to retain the single button design below the display, which again serves as the fingerprint scanner.
The Samsung Galaxy S7 fingerprint scanner has seen some major improvements and is said to be fastest fingerprint scanner on any smartphone. We tested it out and yes it is quite fast to react.
The placement of the sim slot, 3.5 mm audio-jack, USB connector and the volume and the power buttons are the same as seen on the S6. The Samsung Galaxy S7 Edge's now sits almost flat on a table with the significantly reduced camera module at the back.
The Samsung Galaxy S7 Edge's excels in the display department. The screen is absolutely stunning and displays lively colours. The quad-HD screen with a resolution of 2,560 x 1,440 pixels reproduces brilliant hues using the super AMOLED technology. The best part of the screen is that it can be viewed from the most difficult angles without any distortion of the image. This some of the best LED TV's are not able to produce.
Samsung has scaled down the megapixels for the Samsung Galaxy S7 Edge and now uses a 12 MP rear camera. This just proves that a high megapixel is no longer a relevant criterion for a good camera. Instead they are employing a new Dual Pixel technology with a bigger aperture size of f/1.7 and larger pixel sensors. The larger pixels enable lightning fast focussing on the target. The Dual Pixel technology makes all the pixels a possible sensor for focussing and not just one individual pixel.
The camera app now launches even faster than before and the shutter speeds on auto are very impressive. The 'pro' mode in the camera app now has support for controlling the shutter speed and an even greater ISO range. Ofcourse you cannot get a DLSR like shot from the Samsung Galaxy S7 Edge, however Samsung has got a sure winner when it comes to picture quality (indoors and outdoors) and low light shots.
The front 5MP camera is as impressive as the rear one and now boasts of a wide-angle lens, which simply means more faces can fit in your selfies. This time Samsung borrowed the front screen flash from Apple and has incorporated it to the Galaxy S7 Edge.
Samsung's ownExynos 7420 processor was a hit last year with their Galaxy S6 phones in India and topped the benchmarking tests while other phones with the Snapdragon 810 came second. This time Samsung has used the Snapdragon 820 in some regions and their own Exynos 8890 processor in the rest. The phones in India will feature the Exynos 8890 variant and comes with an internal storage of 32GB.
The Samsung Galaxy S7 Edge processor runs eight-cores, with four of them running at 2.6GHz and the other four at 1.59GHz. This works in tandem with a Mali T880 GPU and 4GB DDR4 RAM to demolish any app or game lag. It aced the benchmarking tests and scored a blazing 1,14,575 on AnTuTu benchmark leaving everyone else biting the dust.
Even though Samsung is now using liquid cooling technology in the Galaxy S7 Edge it still does heat up while installing apps or charging. The speakers are at the bottom like the last phone and are loud enough to be heard while walking on the street with the phone in your pocket. An area where Samsung Galaxy S7 Edge has seen a big improvement is the battery life. It now sports a bigger 3,600mAh battery that lasts almost 24 hours under nominal-extensive use.
We could not try out the Samsung Pay as it is not available in India yet, but the Samsung Galaxy S7 Edge now offers concierge services in its 'My Galaxy' app with special discounts, services like an assistant, cabs, grocery, recharge, phone pick-up and drop services et al. Samsung has also added a new method where the app drawer can be eliminated altogether and the apps can be brought out to the main screen. This can be accessed in a section called 'Galaxy Labs' in the settings.
Inside the Samsung Galaxy S7 Edge is the custom TouchWiz user interface, which is almost identical to the S6 Edge (that just received the Marshmallow update). The Edge screens now have a variety of accessibility and apps ready. This does help locate important apps quickly, but the double rows mean that the look is slightly cluttered. There have been some new additions to the Edge screens too with Yahoo news, weather, scale, compass, etc.
The Samsung Galaxy S7 Edge has taken a leap ahead of all the other flagships this year and the closest to it in specs is the LG G5. We gave this phone a nice bath as well and it survived the dip. When it comes to the purchase, it is a gorgeous phone that is worth buying if you do not mind spending the extra penny.