Samsung brings back water resistance and microSD with the Galaxy S7 and S7 edge
As expected (thanks to numerous leaks in the weeks leading up to Mobile World Congress), Samsung revealed the Galaxy S7 and Galaxy S7 edge today in Barcelona. This time around, though, the standard and curved screen variants of Samsung's flagships are two different sizes.
The Galaxy S7, like last year's GS6, has a 5.1-inch Quad HD screen. The Galaxy S7 edge, though, is at least as much of a sequel to the Galaxy S6 edge+ phablet as it is to the smaller Galaxy S6 edge. The S7 edge has a 5.5-inch QHD display – the same screen size as (but with sharper resolution than) Apple's iPhone 6s Plus.
In some ways, the Galaxy S7 pair appear to merge the best features from last year's flagships and previous years' Galaxy flagships. Like the 2015 Samsung phones, you get premium designs (with glass backs and aluminum edges) and QHD displays, but you also get the microSD card slot and water resistance (IP68 rated) that Samsung ditched last year. There's still no removable battery, but if that's a priority for you, LG has you covered.
This year the phones' glass backs are curved, similar to what we saw on the Note 5. That means the S7 edge is curved on both front and back, which should give it a unique look and feel in hand.
One of the biggest features Samsung is highlighting is the new camera in the S7 pair. The company says the rear camera captures 97 percent more light compared to the Galaxy S6, which arguably had the best smartphone camera of 2015, thanks to wider aperture and larger pixels. Samsung is also saying the phones can autofocus on a subject faster than other smartphones. Stay tuned for our hands-on and, eventually, full review to see how the cameras stack up in real-world use.
Key specs for the phones include 12 MP rear cameras, 5 MP front cameras, 4 GB RAM, 32 GB internal storage (in addition to those microSD slots) and Android Marshmallow. The standard S7 has a 3,000 mAh battery and the Edge has a 3,600 mAh battery.
The Galaxy S7 and S7 edge go up for pre-order on February 23, ahead of a March 11 US release date. Early orders will get a free Gear VR along with a six-game bundle, along with the phone purchase. There's no word on pricing for the handsets yet, but they'll be available on all major US carriers. Previous Samsung flagships shipped at around US$650 full retail for the standard version and around $100 more for the edge variant.
For more, you can read Gizmag's hands-on with the new Galaxy S7 pair of phones.