We published a quick look at the Galaxy S7 and S7 edge earlier this week, but today we had a chance to really sit down with the phones and learn a few things. With that in mind, here's our full hands-on.
The hardware on the new S7 and S7 edge is going to be deeply familiar to those with a Galaxy S6, Note 5, or S6 Edge+ - the design features are only slightly evolved, with most of the changes being internal. That's not to say nothing's changed on the outside, though. Samsung specifically considered user feedback, particularly from the S6 edge, and made the phone feel softer and smooth to hold around the sides.
Alright Samsung fanboys, the wait for the Galaxy S7 announcement is over, and now the wait for product launch day begins. If you already know that the S7 or S7 Edge will be your next device, then you can now reserve one for yourself by pre-ordering with any of the four major US carriers. Here are the pre-order links along with the full retail price from each carrier.
The ZenFone 2 series has gained no small amount of acclaim since its introduction thanks to good specs and low prices, and the Laser variant with its laser auto-focus module is the one to get if you want a better camera experience. Low prices and good hardware are the sea in which the Android modder swims, so naturally the Team Win Recovery Project has supported the line well. Now they've released an official version of their custom recovery for the ZenFone 2 Laser. You can download it now from the TWRP website.
OPPO might have just blown everyone's mind with its Super VOOC fast charging technology, but that doesn't mean that the company's MWC announcements are over. SmartSensor is its new Optical Image Stabilization technology and it happens to be the smallest, fastest, and most precise sensor available on smartphones right now.
OPPO explains that SmartSensor is built on sensor-based OIS (or sensor-shift OIS) as opposed to the current lens-based OIS technologies in smartphones. Instead of using a motor to shift the lens around to compensate for movement, it keeps the lens stable but moves the sensor to counter the motion. It's also as thin as two sheets of paper, overcoming the size limitation when being implemented in modern smartphones.
ZTE spent the last few years building low-cost devices for carriers, but 2015 saw the release of the Axon Pro. This phone had flagship specs and a pretty nice build of almost-stock Android. ZTE promised it would keep this phone up to date, and it's following through with a Marshmallow OTA. It took a little longer than expected, but you can grab the update now.
Do you like Qualcomm's Quick Charge? Are you impatiently waiting for all devices and accessories to be compatible with Quick Charge 3.0? Then OPPO is about to rain on your parade with its Super VOOC technology. And I mean really rain.
Announced and demoed at MWC, Super VOOC is the evolution of OPPO's VOOC (yeah, they like capitalizing things) fast charging technology. It uses a new low-voltage pulse-charge system, a new dynamic algorithm for current regulation, and a new customized battery. The charger, adapter, and cable connector have also been upgraded to use military-grade materials. The end result is a setup capable of fully charging a 2500mAh battery in an OPPO phone in 15 minutes.
The Galaxy S5 was water-resistant, one of the most hyped features of that particular Samsung generation. The Galaxy S6... wasn't. While the S6 and S6 Edge were huge leaps forward for Samsung in terms of both style and engineering, the loss of water resistance (not to mention expandable storage) was a bummer for some. T-Mobile employee Des would seem to agree, since he took advantage of the Ingress Protection 68 rating on the new Galaxy S7 to unbox the phone underwater. It sure beats the usual blogger's desk, right?
Remember when the Nexus 5X was announced and everyone thought it was just a little too expensive? Well, it's not anymore. The 32GB version is once again on sale through eBay for $330. That's about $70 less than the "official" Google price right now.
ZTE's 2015 phone lineup is going to be replaced in the coming months, but you can get them on the cheap right now. The Axon and Axon Pro are both on sale via Amazon for as much as $130 off. They're a little too expensive for what you get normally, but these prices are much more palatable.