The first bach of reviews of Samsung’s much anticipated flagship smartphones for 2016 — the Galaxy S7 and Galaxy S7 edge — are out. The handsets went up for pre-order late last month in most markets of the world, with most pre-orders scheduled to be delivered today. Thus, it makes sense for the first batch of reviews of the phone to go live today as well.
So, what do the review indicate about the phone? We have done a quick roundup of some reviews of the phone to find out.
The publication calls the Galaxy S7 as one of the best iteration of Samsung’s flagship Galaxy S lineup. While the design of the handsets are the same as its predecessor, it improves upon it in almost every aspect. However, Android Central says “it’s very possible to ding it up a little bit. We’ve managed a few pockmarks on the edges already. Undoubtedly there will be others.” It also notes that the downward-facing speaker of the handset is vastly improved over the S6.
On its waterproof capabilities:
The Galaxy S7 is waterproof. Not quite “take it swimming because you can” waterproof, but it’s good for a half-hour in about five feet of water. A quick trip in the shallow end shouldn’t kill it. Neither should a spilled drink. Or a dip in a fountain. Whatever. It’s rated IP68….
It’s a cool feature to have, even if it’s not really one you should actively use. Safety first and all that. But, seriously, try to keep your phone out of the water.
The camera on the handset seems to be a mixed bag, which is a bit surprising.
It’s the end result that’s … well, it’s a little confusing. We’re gotten some great shots out of the Galaxy S7 in daylight, for sure. But we’ve also gotten some that have a good bit of yellow tinge to them. Or others with details that aren’t as crisp as we expected. Or a beautiful blue sky that’s noisy when viewed at 100 percent. Or sometimes the shot is simply blown out with any sort of direct sunlight. It’s good, but maybe there’s a little more tuning to be done? (When is there not, though.)
Low light is supposed to be where the Galaxy S7 really excels. And, again, the answer is “it depends.” Give it some light to work with and it does pretty well. Maybe it’s not quite as magical as the GS6 and Note 5 seemed to be, or our expectations are that much higher now. It’s good. It’s really good. But it’s not a miracle worker.
On the most controversial part of the Galaxy S7 and S7 edge, its software:
The good news is that Samsung’s user interface customizations are about as good as they’ve ever been. You’re going to want to move some things around, but the UI as fast and fluid, and still has plenty of options. You can move apps off the home screen and add folders as you see fit. You can rearrange the app drawer alphabetically, or just search for your installed apps. A chosen few apps also have support for notifications badges, so you can know just how much you’re missing out on.
So there’s still a LOT going on here in the software, but it’s smartly done, better designed and fast as anything. And you can always download and use a different launcher if you want.
It’s the best design Samsung has brought to bear, big without being bulky, with a mix of specs and usability you’d expect in a phone of this caliber. Combine with that an outstanding camera and you’ve got a phone that will serve just about anyone.
Make sure to read the full review of Android Central here.
The publication praises the minor design refinements that Samsung has done on its flagship handsets this year. Dan Seifert even goes as far ahead as calling the S7 edge as the “most impressive smartphone hardware” he has ever held in his hand.
The sum of all of this means that the S7, and more specifically, the S7 Edge, is the most impressive piece of smartphone hardware I’ve ever held. It’s so polished, so well put together, so smartly designed, and so beautiful to look at that it’s a joy to pick up over and over again. That’s aided by the new colors Samsung is using this year: the silver and gold are a little boring, but the black is gorgeous and refined, deep and inky with just the right amount of reflectivity.
The publication’s take on the camera of the handset was also mixed, with a tendency to produce warm images sometimes.
The camera performs well in both bright situations and low-light, though it still tends to produce overly warm or yellow images when the light levels drop. And though it’s not noticeable most of the time, there is a bit too much sharpening applied to images, which becomes apparent when you zoom in after the fact.
To conclude, The Verge says that the Galaxy S7 and the Galaxy S7 edge are among the best Android smartphones in the market right now, though the software remains one of their weakest points.
The S7 and S7 Edge aren’t perfect — the software still lags behind the hardware — but they get the basics right: great screens, great cameras, great performance, and reliable battery life. They also have eye-catching designs and premium materials — the level of polish on these devices is unmatched in the rest of the Android world.
Just like The Verge and Android Central, Gizmodo’s review of the Galaxy S7 and Galaxy S7 edge is also extremely positive.
But fingerprints aside, the Galaxy S’s design has gone from lagging to leading. On the surface, Samsung’s decided to double-down on the much criticized Apple-like design that premiered on the S6. It’s impossible to deny that the iPhone’s DNA is mixed in with the S7’s makeup—just look at the speaker grill and bubble glass edges.
Though the S7 is near useless when submerged (water activates the screen’s capacitive sensors), it’s a million times better than being out $700+ and having a sore throat from screaming endless obscenities. While using the S7 Edge, I kept my phone perilously close to the edge of a sink or shower and didn’t need to worry about water damage.
Basically, you won’t be greeted with a blurry nightmare when you’re dealing with a moving subject or caught in less-than-ideal lighting conditions. Honestly, the S7 camera is the most fun and functional smartphone camera I’ve ever used. That’s impressive because Samsung has consistently put out one of the best, and most entertaining, smartphone cameras available.
Samsung finally has a version of TouchWiz I actually want to use. It’s implementation is very much akin to traditional (and more attractive) Android, and it’s subtly cleaned up some areas, like the notification menu. Best of all, with 4GB of RAM and the Snapdragon 820 processor, this thingflies—most of the time.
The publication, however, does note that the handset’s performance is not as good as the iPhone 6s, especially while opening large apps and games.
It is all about refinement—fixing what was broken with the S6 while packing in more and more cool stuff. It’s not perfect. A set of dual lens cameras could capture more, the always on display could have third-party support, and faster loads times would be appreciated. But this phone is the closest Samsung—or any other phone maker—has ever come to making the perfect smartphone.
So, it looks like the design refinements of the Galaxy S7 and Galaxy S7 edge really make them that much better than their predecessor. It is, however, surprising to see mixed reviews of the camera, which while good, does have some issues. In the end though, the Galaxy S7 and Galaxy S7 edge are easily the best Android smartphone in the market. The main question is: are you buying one?