Samsung Galaxy S7 edge vs. Galaxy S6 edge+
Samsung now has two dual-curved "Edge" phablets, but the new one isn't better in every respect. Let's see how the new Galaxy S7 edge compares to last year's Galaxy S6 edge+.
Is the Galaxy S7 edge a sequel to last year's S6 edge, or to the Galaxy S6 edge+ in this comparison? Judging by these sizes, it's closer to the latter. The new S7 edge is just 2 percent shorter and 4 percent narrower than the edge+.
If you like thin phones, though, an upgrade here will actually be a downgrade. The new model is 12 percent thicker.
The S7 edge comes out at 3 percent heavier. That's not much of a difference, but when you take its smaller size into account, it will feel a bit less airy in hand.
Samsung didn't radically change its phones' appearances this year, though that glass back is now curved (like on the Note 5). Both phones have aluminum frames.
If you live in the US and want a silver Galaxy S7, then only this Edge model will fit the bill. US carriers (for some reason) aren't offering that color option for the smaller (not pictured) GS7.
Here's another area where an upgrade to the new model could be seen as a step backwards. The Galaxy S7 edge has a 7 percent smaller screen.
Resolution is still 1440p across the board, giving the smaller S7 edge a slight pixel density advantage.
Samsung flagships still use AMOLED displays.
Samsung's 2016 flagships have always-on displays, showing info like time, date and notifications without your having to press any buttons or even touch your phone.
Living up to their "edge" monikers, both phones have displays that slope off on either side. Though this is mostly a cosmetic perk, Samsung is still trying to make it something more – giving you (and developers) more options to play with in things like app shortcuts and news feeds that pop up when you swipe over from the edge.
Despite the downgrade in rear camera pixel count, the Galaxy S7 edge should be a big upgrade in the photography department. Samsung is advertising much better low-light shooting, and our hands-ons confirm that. It's also incredibly fast at taking shots. And keep in mind, that's compared to Samsung's 2015 flagships, which were already very good in these respects (arguably the best of 2015).
Optical Image Stabilization is still around for the rear-facing camera, to cut down on the effects of shaky hands.
Camera aperture (rear)
The GS7's wider aperture is one piece of that better low-light shooting puzzle.
Physical camera shortcut
Samsung's nifty home button double-tap camera shortcut is back with the new model.
This is likely one of the biggest reasons for the new model's extra weight and thickness. We're looking forward to running a battery test on a review unit to see if (or by how much) it beats the S6 edge+.
Fast charging is back, though (like last year's model) it's Qualcomm's Quick Charge 2.0, not the new QC 3.0 you'll find in the LG G5.
Wireless charging is also back for another round. Ditto for fast wireless charging, if you buy Samsung's special $70 fast charging pad.
Samsung added a liquid cooling system to this year's flagships; we suspect this is aimed at optimizing the next category.
If you're looking for an entry-level virtual reality headset, before investing more in something more powerful like the Oculus Rift or HTC Vive, then the Gear VR is probably what you're looking for. The new S7 edge plays nicely with the same consumer Gear VR headset that works with the Galaxy S6 edge+ (along with Samsung's other 2015 and 2016 flagships).
If you pre-order the GS7 or GS7 edge (there's still a little time for that), you'll get a Gear VR for free.
After a year's hiatus, Samsung went back to Qualcomm – at least for US, China and Japan models of the GS7 and GS7 edge. The rest of the world gets an updated octa-core Exynos 8990, an updated successor to the chip found in the S6 edge+.
The GS7 is sitting pretty with the same 4 GB of RAM.
US carriers are only selling the new model in 32 GB variants, though the next category will help to keep that from being such a huge deal.
Unseen since Samsung's 2014 flagships, the GS7 edge has a microSD slot, to complement that internal storage.
Another feature brought back from the dead, the 2016 Samsung models have IP68 water resistance.
The same touch-based, home button-laden fingerprint sensor is back for another round.
The Galaxy S6 edge+ is on track for an Android Marshmallow update, but is still running Lollipop today. Of course both phones have Samsung's TouchWiz customizations layered on top.
The Edge+ has been around for almost seven months, while the S7 edge launches on March 11 in the US.
Starting price (full retail)
These prices are ballpark figures, as they vary from carrier to carrier, but they're going to be close no matter how you slice it.
At similar prices, normally opting for the newer model would be a no-brainer, but here it's not quite so cut and dry. If you prefer bigger screens, or lighter and thinner builds, then the S6 edge+ is still the better choice. The S7 edge, meanwhile, gives you that better camera, (probably) longer battery life, water resistance and expandable storage.
For more, you can read our full reviews of the Galaxy S7 edge and Galaxy S6 edge+.
Please keep comments to less than 150 words. No abusive material or spam will be published.