Samsung Galaxy S7 vs. Galaxy S7 edge
Last year the only major difference between Samsung's Galaxy S6 and S6 edge was the Edge's curved screen. Though this year the Galaxy S7 and S7 edge are still almost the same on the inside, the Edge is now a bigger phone. Let's compare the many similarities and few differences of the GS7 and GS7 edge.
With its larger size, the Galaxy S7 edge is closer to a direct sequel to the (late 2015) Galaxy S6 edge+ than it is to the (early 2015) Galaxy S6 edge. Compared to the standard S7, the new S7 edge comes out at 6 percent taller and 4 percent wider.
The Edge is, however, 3 percent thinner. Interestingly, both new Galaxy flagships are thicker than all of Samsung's 2015 flagships. We can probably thank their larger batteries for that.
Like their 2015 predecessors, the GS7 and Edge have glass backs and aluminum frames. This year, though, they have curved backs (similar to the Note 5) – giving the S7 edge curves on both front and back.
Both phones will ship in black, gold and silver options, though US carriers aren't yet offering the smaller Galaxy S7 in silver – arguably the best-looking option in the bunch. Perhaps that was a deliberate strategy to upsell customers on the more expensive Edge.
There's a pretty big difference in size between these two, but the Galaxy S7 edge is only 3 percent heavier – giving it the better relative weight in hand.
The Galaxy S7 edge gives you a 16 percent bigger screen. It's still smaller than Samsung's late 2015 phablets (Note 5 and S6 edge+) but closer to them than to the standard GS7.
The same resolution on a smaller screen, though, gives the standard Galaxy S7 the pixel density advantage. It has the same resolution and PPI as last year's GS6 and GS6 edge.
You wouldn't expect anything but a Super AMOLED display panel from Samsung.
Living up to its name, the Galaxy S7 edge has curves sloping back on the sides of its display.
One of the new features this year, the Galaxy screens work something like a smartwatch – keeping relevant info like the time and notifications showing on a dimmed (mostly black) screen at all times.
The new models still have Samsung's excellent touch-based fingerprint sensor on their home buttons.
US, China and Japan customers get the new Snapdragon 820 listed above in both phones. Other regions get the octa core Exynos 8990 in its place.
Like the late 2015 Galaxy phablets, the new phones each have 4 GB RAM.
There are additional 64 GB and 128 GB variants of both phones available internationally, but US carriers are (so far) only offering the entry-level 32 GB model. The next category, though, makes that of little concern.
Another Samsung feature that was ditched in last year's models, the new S7 pair bring back expandable microSD storage – making it easier to get by with 32 GB internal storage.
If your Galaxy is doubling up as a VR console, then this could come in especially handy. The GS7 phones don't use Android's adoptable storage, which can make external storage indistinguishable from internal storage, but you can put things like photos and videos on the card, and reserve the internal portion for your smartphone apps and Gear VR games.
We'll be keeping a close eye on this when we review the new Galaxy phones, as they have bigger batteries than last year's models.
One thing Samsung didn't bring back from its pre-2015 flagships is a removable battery. If that's what you're looking for, LG's new flagship fits the bill.
They also include built-in fast charging tech, which lets you quickly juice up a nearly-dead battery (when using the stock cable).
Wireless charging is also still in the fold with this year's models. Ditto for fast wireless charging, if you buy Samsung's special charging pad (not as fast as cable-based fast-charging, but speedier than usually slow wireless charging speeds).
The 2016 flagships have lower-resolution rear cameras than their 2015 counterparts, but that megapixel arms race never meant much to start with. Instead of extra pixels you probably don't need, Samsung is advertising much better low-light photography capabilities. If they live up to that promise, then that's a tradeoff we'll take any day.
Camera aperture (rear)
Part of that low-light equation, in addition to Samsung's "Dual Pixel" technology, is their wider ƒ/1.7 aperture (last year's models were ƒ/1.9).
Both phones have built-in Optical Image Stabilization.
When Samsung switched to all-premium designs with its 2015 Galaxies, it ditched the water resistance that was the killer feature of its 2014 flagship. This year the two come together for the first time in a Galaxy flagship.
Gear VR compatibility
Both new handsets will work with the same consumer Gear VR that you can buy today. And if you preorder one of the phones, you'll get a free Gear VR, along with US$50 worth of Oculus Store content, bundled with your purchase.
The new phones launch with Android Marshmallow, with Samsung's custom TouchWiz UI layered on top.
The new Galaxy flagships officially launch on March 11. Preorders are already open on all US carriers.
Starting price (full retail)
Pricing varies a bit from carrier to carrier, but these are the ballpark figures you'll pay for the phone if you buy it outright. You also have the option of paying that same total in installments over 24 to 30 months (depending on your carrier's breakdown).
For more, you can hit up Gizmag's full review of the Galaxy S7 and S7 edge.