Yesterday, Samsung unveiled its first flagship handsets for 2016: the Galaxy S7 and Galaxy S7 edge. Apart from major upgrades to the internal components of the device, the Galaxy S7 and Galaxy S7 edge also feature IP68 water resistance capabilities. That’s not all though; the phones are packed with a lot of little things that you might have missed in Samsung’s official unveiling of the handset.
Some of these changes are good, while some are not. But what are these changes, you wonder? Read below and find out for yourself.
#5 No IR Blaster
A feature that most consumers are not going to miss, but whose exclusion will definitely bum power users. Having an IR blaster in a phone makes it possible to control all electronic devices around you that can be controlled via a remote control. However, for some inexplicable reason, Samsung has decided to ditch the IR blaster on the Galaxy S7 and Galaxy S7 edge. The company had removed the IR blaster from the Galaxy Note 5 and Galaxy S6 edge+ last year itself, so its not like the company made this decision in a jiffy.
To me, it looks like the IR blaster did not turn out to be a feature that most normal Galaxy owners use on their device, so Samsung thought it would be a good idea to drop it from its devices thereby reducing its BOM (bills of materials).
#4 Option to toggle app drawer
Late last week, a report claimed that Google might ditch the app drawer in Android N. While this piece of news has still not been confirmed, it does seem likely that Google intends to ditch the app drawer in a future version of Android. This is because on the Galaxy S7 and Galaxy S7 edge, Samsung has included an option under ‘Galaxy Labs’ to toggle the app drawer off/on. The app drawer is enabled by default, so as to avoid confusing long time Galaxy users. Samsung has likely included this option to prepare its users for this inevitable change.
Disabling the app drawer turns the homescreen on the Galaxy S7 akin to the launcher in iOS where the shortcuts of installed apps are spread across multiple pages.
#3 Exynos and Snapdragon variants
Samsung has usually launched two variants of its flagship Galaxy devices: one being powered by a Qualcomm chip and another featuring its own Exynos chipset. The Galaxy S6 and Note 5 were an exception last year, where due to overheating issues with the Snapdragon 810, Samsung decided to use its Exynos 7420 chipset across all its flagship devices. This year though, things are back on track with Samsung launching the Galaxy S7 and S7 edge with two different chipsets: Exynos 8890 and Snapdragon 820. The former is an octa-core chip and is the first Exynos chip from Samsung to feature its custom designed ARM M1 cores, while the latter is Qualcomm’s first 64-bit custom quad-core chip.
In most markets of the world, Samsung intends to sell the Exynos 8890 variant of the handsets, with only the United States getting the Snapdragon 820 powered Galaxy S7 and Galaxy S7 edge.
#2 IP68 water resistant
The Galaxy S7 and Galaxy S7 edge might not look that different from their predecessors, but they do have a major upgrade up their sleeve: IP68 water resistance. Instead of going around sealing the phone from outside, Samsung decided to seal the internal components of the handsets to make them water-resistant and dust-proof without introducing any flaps that hinder usability, like it did with the Galaxy S5.
The IP68 certification means that the Galaxy S7 and Galaxy S7 edge can be submerged in up to 1-1.5m of water for a long period of time without them being harmed in anyway.
Don’t be fooled by the lower megapixel count of the Galaxy S7’s rear camera, since it has probably received the largest upgrade of all components in the device. While the sensor does have a lower 12MP resolution compared to the 16MP rear shooter found on the Galaxy S6, it now comes with larger 1.4u pixels. When combined with OIS, it translates into the Galaxy S7 having a camera that can rival point ‘n’ shoot in low-lighting situations. But that’s not all though; Samsung has also used a wider f/1.7 aperture lens on the handset that allows more light to pass to the camera. Plus, it will also help in capturing crips bokeh photos with the handset. The wider aperture can lead to some blurring and loss in quality around the edges of a photo though.
And as if these improvements were not enough, Samsung has also introduced ‘dual pixel’ technology on the Galaxy S7 and S7 edge that takes information received by two pixels for almost instantaneous autofocus times. The camera makes use of almost all the pixels in the sensor this way rather than relying on just a few pixels for reduced autofocus times.
Samsung had already surpassed the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6s last year with the Note 5 in terms of camera performance, and with the improvements it has made this year, the company seems to have blown the competition out of the water.
Did you know about these five features of the Galaxy S7 and S7 edge? What do you think about the handsets?
- Does the Galaxy Note 7 Come with an IR Blaster?