Samsung Galaxy S7: 5 Things you may not know about Samsung’s new flagship

Galaxy S7 colors

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

Galaxy S7 waterproof

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.

#1 Camera

Samsung Galaxy S7 camera

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.

Read: Samsung Galaxy S7 vs. Galaxy S6: What’s the difference?

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?


46 Responses to “Samsung Galaxy S7: 5 Things you may not know about Samsung’s new flagship”

  1. They obviously did not see enough people bitch about not having the IR blaster on the carrier sites to not review its worth. Good job bringing back expandable storage. Bad decision on the IR blaster. That was the whole reason I got the S6 Edge and not the Edge+.

  2. jonathan M

    This is ridiculous, gain one thing to lose the other, it seeming to me that these phones feature wise, are inferior to the S5

    • Marcelo Reis

      Unfortunately I’m seeing more and more sites confirming it does not have a blaster.

    • Karl Baath

      What they saw is the secondary mic. I just entered a store that has it on display, and unless they somehow managed to hide it with the metal frame, there is no IR blaster on the S7.

      • That is correct. I just tried to use the Peel TV app to control my TV just to find out there is no IR Blaster in the S7. I actually used it all the time at my girl friend’s house… Ugh… While I am happy about the water resistance and the expandable storage, I just wish they would have included the IR blaster.

  3. Marcelo Reis

    Bummed about the IR blaster. It seems like a pet peeve, but it’s something I use every day and may be a deal breaker for me.

    • What do you have currently? I really want the remote control option on my phone and thinking I have to just get an s5.

    • neiliewheeliebin

      me too,i use my S5 all the time to control my devices.I suspect samsung sees IR as becoming obsolete

    • Jim Jackson

      I honestly didn’t look at the specs of the 7 enough to see that the ir blaster was gone, now i have it in hand only to see it’s now gone 🙁 I loved Peel remote.

      • Chantalle

        Yikes, yes I have a non-digital tv with no remote that Peel Smart remote on my G5 handily set the TV manually back to ch3 for Comcast to run thru. It knocks itself to ch4 on 1 or 2 of every dozen pushes on the TV power button. Can’t seem to find any other plain tv control app that is compatible with S7 and I’ll have to buy a small TV for my room that I don’t need an app to control. Such a simple thing, but sure G7 not worth having to buy a new TV

    • gabbro

      I used my g4 for my TV in case my wife hid the remote. I see this as a step backward. Samsung, never take away features – just add them.

  4. Richard Couillard

    The cost of an IR blaster isn’t much and doesnt take up much space. Samsung is going full retard with phones.

    • How are they going full retard, they only removed an IR blaster that was probably removed after samsung realised that it is so exploitable. J
      Going full retard would be like iPhone, removing the auxiliary jack, or simply completely removing the camera for no reason.

  5. For such a price, nor IR… Madness… I want to control many devices with IR, but now wont be able to… :\

  6. Bad move on Samsung it is one of the top reason I buy Samsung, I guess I may have to go to some other manufacturer now or keep the S6.

  7. So the battery still isn’t removable AND no IR blaster?
    I’ll wait one more year then, or go somewhere else.

  8. dont really care about the ir blaster as it seems the latest tv’s dont use that tech anymore. my lg tv has a ‘smart remote’ that seems to be able to control my tv from any angle and even far away. there’s even an lg remote app . so not much of a use case for me now.

  9. David Lama

    I pre ordered it expecting it to come later when it is released i have it in my hands now and it looks exactly like my s6 to be honest I miss the ir blaster, didn’t really care about SD card, camera is alot better night and day difference, but no ir blaster :'( I’ll stick it out but hopefully they being it back

  10. Worng saying the ir blaster consumers are not going to miss. I was waiting for s7. But now that does not have ir sensor I wil wait to get the LG 5. Thumbs down to Galaxy S7 / S7 Edge. For me IR sensor its much more important than stupid sensors like and temperature even hearbeat sensors.

  11. Wrong saying the ir blaster consumers are not going to miss. I was waiting for s7. But now that does not have ir sensor I will wait to get the LG 5. Thumbs down to Galaxy S7 / S7 Edge. For me IR sensor its much more important than stupid sensors like barometer and temperature sensor; even hearbeat sensors.

  12. Remshott1

    Really didappointed about IR too. Would have kept my S4. I was soooo pleased with it. I asked every possible question of Verizon rep when I upgraded. She assured me that the S7 had eveything my S4 had and more. Now I find no IR transmiter, no floating keyboard (you can download app for that one). Heard there was a compass but had to add app from Play Store. Split screen is ok but preferred side split screen.

  13. I definitely use the infrared blaster at work and at home. for me it’s definitely a deal-breaker. Don’t get me wrong waterproof and adding memory was also missed, but after having it all on the S5 I can’t go back now.

  14. Scott Wittig

    I bought the s7 edge for the battery and thinking it had ir blaster.. turns out we used the peel remote on my galaxy s6 all the time! We can never find the remote controls that came with equipment to and only my Blu-ray player is WiFi.
    I downloaded a WiFi remote from the appstore, but it won’t operate my TV 🙁

  15. Scott Wittig

    Correct! WiFi enabled devices will work with a universal app
    There are some decent ones without all the ad’s. I don’t have a WiFi tv though, so what about an ir hardware plig in addon

    • sferrell615

      Did a search… appears there is (fairly simple to make your own, even), but not all apps support the ‘external’ IR blaster.
      I’m guessing we’re only a few years away from ‘everything’ being controlled by phone, including cable box, TV, etc.

  16. Jose Perez

    If it wasn’t for the fact that the Samsung watch has the IR remote, it would be a deal breaker for me too

  17. TheNefertiti35

    So upset about the IR Blaster, think I might take my phone and replace it with S6, I loved the remote feature, whenever the remotes get misplaced at home, I zap the tv’s with my phone, so convenient and cool!!:(

  18. Carlos Fundora

    I just “upgraded,” and am so disappointed to get home and realize that the IR feature isn’t included. I used it very often and took for granted how amazing it is not to have to ever worry about finding my remote control. I feel as if I just paid to downgrade. I’ll be returning the S7 tomorrow and getting back my S6. I hope the Note 6/7 has IR. I’ve been a loyal Samsung user for years, and will likely switch to a different handset over this. Bummer.

  19. John Wayne

    No IR Blaster? Screw you Samsung! I love that feature. I am able to control my TV and Onkyo receiver with my S5. What’s it cost? .05 cents to put in? When another phone has one in it I will upgrade. Was going to Buy a Note7 no IR? Keep your phablet it’s too damn expensive anyway.

  20. Roy J Hopwood

    I’ve just changed from the S5 to the S7 2 days ago. Loved Peel on my S5. Now I have discovered I cannot use it on the S7 because they have removed the IR Blaster. Shame on you Samsung … this is my 3rd Samsung but I hate being ripped off. Still a great phone but am somewhat dissapointed.

  21. Arnold Rimmer

    I would be praising them if not for the super greedy choice of removing the ability to use a USB to hdmi cable to display on a monitor. They want you to buy a SmartTV and do it wirelessly which is asinine. I got my phone as a replacement for my computer that died till I can get it back on its feet and then found out there is no way to connect it to a big screen via cable.

    Although, I have heard if you go to usb debugging in developing options (hold volume down + power) you can enable it but I’ve never confirmed this and don’t have a cable to try it.

    Good thing I have my old droid that will connect to my monitor but it’d be way nicer to connect my S7 to it.

  22. Marielle

    Sad that they took the IR away. It was so useful in school, I remember using it in one of my classes, I turned the tv on and off during the discussion to delay our quiz. Our professor thought it was just a tech glitch, and voila! Our quiz was moved on the ff day. I guess this means, no delaying of quizzes anymore.


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