The Galaxy S7 and its larger companion, the S7 Edge, were revealed at a launch event where the Korean smartphone vendor clearly upped the ante on 2015’s edition. No more so was that in evidence than when Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerburg made a surprise cameo to plug ongoing Samsung and Facebook VR projects.
The S7 and S7 Edge have mainly seen a boost to camera functionality, while the new handsets also feature a curved edge on both sides for added software capability and convenience, ostensibly a response to Apple’s “reachability” functionality built into the iPhone 6.
According to the smartphone manufacturer, the average person checks their phone 150 times a day, and an always on-display (depending on phone orientation) is targeted at solving the inconvenience of the occasional glance at a phone, Samsung says.
The S7 camera received significant lip-service during the launch. One of the more innovative new features is what Samsung calls “Dual Pixel”, a human eye-like focussing concept which allegedly soups up camera performance, image definition and speed of focus. In keeping with the rivalry between the world’s two biggest smartphone vendors, Samsung spent a big part of the camera reveal comparing itself favourably with the iPhone. Emphasising Samsung’s focus on camera-buffing this year, it also announced a new 360 degree camera, suitably called the Gear 360.
A new way of sealing the interior of the S7 means it’s now able to cope with being fully submerged in water for up to 30 minutes, claims Samsung. Cynics might suggest the S7 is simply catching up with what Sony’s been doing for the past couple of years in its smartphones.
Hardware-wise the new S7’s will run Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 820 processor in North American devices, while the rest of the world has to make do with Samsung’s own-developed Exynos, as per previous S6 models. Elsewhere, Samsung says the S7 CPU is 30.4% faster than the S6, while the GPU is nearly two thirds faster (63.9%) than its predecessors.
“These devices have become an extension of who we are,” said DJ Koh, President of Samsung’s mobile business. “These phones push to the limits what a smartphone can do.”
Other stuff covered in the launch related to internal cooling to prevent overheating, some in-built connected car and IoT functionality, and references to Samsung Pay coming to a wide array of countries this year.
Tech specs below:
|Galaxy S7||Galaxy S7 edge|
|OS||Android 6.0 (Marshmallow)|
|Network||LTE Cat.9(450/50Mbps)* May differ by markets and mobile operators|
|Dimension||142.4 x 69.6 x 7.9mm, 152g||150.9 x 72.6 x 7.7mm, 157g|
|AP||Octa core (2.3GHz Quad + 1.6GHz Quad), 64 bit, 14 nm processQuad core (2.15GHz Dual + 1.6GHz Dual), 64 bit, 14 nm process
* May differ by markets and mobile operators
|Memory||4GB RAM (LPDDR4), 32/64GB (UFS 2.0) + microSD (up to 200GB)|
|Display||5.1” Quad HD Super AMOLED2560 X 1440 (577ppi)||5.5” Quad HD Super AMOLED2560 X 1440 (534ppi)
|Camera||Rear: Dual Pixel 12MP (F1.7), Smart OISFront: 5MP (F1.7)|
|Fast Charging both on wired and wirelessWireless Charging compatible with WPC and PMA|
|Connectivity||WiFi 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac (2.4/5GHz), MIMO,
Bluetooth® v 4.2 LE, ANT+, USB 2.0, NFC, Location
|Sensors||Accelerometer, Proximity, RGB Light, Geo-magnetic, Gyro,Fingerprint, Barometer, Hall, HRM|
|Audio||MP3, M4A, 3GA, AAC, OGG, OGA, WAV, WMA, AMR,
AWB, FLAC, MID, MIDI, XMF, MXMF, IMY, RTTTL, RTX, OTA
|Video||MP4, M4V, 3GP, 3G2, WMV, ASF, AVI, FLV, MKV, WEBM|