As has been a foregone conclusion for at least the last the four generations of Galaxy S phones, the Galaxy S7 and S7 edge will likely be the most popular Android phones in the world by sales in 2016. Why this will be the case is best left to Samsung fanboys and haters (frankly, does it matter?), because this week's poll isn't about that. Rather, it's about your intention to buy one.
The S7 and S7 edge hit on the major pain points of the previous-generation phones. Waterproofing? It's back. Better battery life? You got it. MicroSD card (albeit without adoptable storage)?
Samsung and Apple have largely ended their ongoing patent animosity, but the earlier cases are still winding their way through the courts. In the most recent ruling, a previous $120 million judgement against Samsung was thrown out by a federal appeals court. In fact, the court found it was Apple that infringed one of Samsung's patents.
Samsung followed Google's lead last year to promise regular security patches for its most popular phones. It's been following through with the updates, and today it's time for the February patches. If you've got a flagship Samsung device from the last few years, you can expect an OTA notification soon.
Samsung just announced that it has begun mass manufacturing of the industry's first 256GB Universal Flash Storage chips for high-end mobile devices. The new memory is nearly twice as fast as typical SATA-based SSDs found in PCs. Using two lanes of data transfer, the new chip can move data at up to a blistering 850MB per second.
Sequential writing speeds clock in at a rate of up to 260MB a second, or about three times faster than high-performance external SD cards. What this translates to is buttery-smooth frame rates when the chip is tasked with the playback of Ultra HD video files, even while simultaneously multitasking in a split screen.
DisplayMate has long been testing and ranking smartphone displays, and for the last several years Samsung has had a lock on the top spot. That is not changing with the release of the Galaxy S7. Dr. Raymond Soneira has once again found Samsung's latest display to be the best around, and an improvement over last year's Super AMOLED.
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 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?
Undoubtedly, the topics of the week in the smartphone world are Samsung's Galaxy S7 (and S7 edge) and LG's G5. Both are flagship products, and comparisons are bound to be drawn. We know a fair bit about both devices at this point, so what we want to know is this: what's your initial impression? Which do you prefer? Why? Let's talk about it, and be sure to vote in the poll below.
Earlier this evening in Barcelona, we had our first chance to look at the Galaxy S7 and S7 edge in the flesh. Unfortunately, it wasn't under ideal conditions, and I don't feel comfortable putting down a large number of thoughts about the devices just yet. We need some more time with them. But, we did manage to record a video demonstrating the phones, as well as snap a gallery of photos for your perusal, should you be so interested. We'll have a full hands-on of the S7 and S7 edge later this week, but for now, here's our first look at Samsung's new flagship duo.