Its that time of the year when Samsung is on the verge of releasing its flagship Galaxy S handset for the year. Despite the continuous decline in its smartphone sales, the whole world is eagerly looking forward to see what Samsung has in store with us this year with the Galaxy S7.
Being a flagship phone, the Galaxy S7 will pack the very best of technology from Samsung and will set the benchmark that other flagship devices need to achieve or even surpass. Certain leaks over the last few days have revealed the complete specifications of the Galaxy S7. If for some reason, you are not up to date with these leaks, read our rumor roundup below to know what to expect from the handset when Samsung unveils it later this month.
Before we begin though, let me outright squash some rumors: Samsung will not be launching four different variants of the Galaxy S7, even though initial leaks suggested so, and the handset will not feature an Iris scanner.
Display & Build
Just like its predecessor, Samsung has decided to stick to a 5.1-inch Quad HD display on the Galaxy S7 this year as well. With the company launching a bigger edge variant of the handset with a 5.5-inch display, it does make little sense for the company to increase the screen size of the Galaxy S7 any more. And again, just like in the past, the Galaxy S7 will feature a beautiful Super AMOLED panel from Samsung.
The displays on the Galaxy S6, S6 edge and Note 5 were bright, vivid, accurate, and efficient, and were widely regarded as the best displays in the smartphone market last year. Samsung is likely going to extend its lead further this year, with the AMOLED panel on the Galaxy S7 likely being more power efficient and brighter.
There have been rumors about the Galaxy S7 display featuring a pressure-sensitive display similar to 3D Touch on the new iPhones, but there have been no solid leaks in this regard to actually confirm the presence of this technology on the handset.
In terms of design and build quality, the Galaxy S7 is going to feature almost the same design as its predecessor as per the leaked renders. The handset does seem to have more curved edges and a curve at the back to help improve its ergonomic. Leaks also indicate that Samsung will be launching the handset with a black chassis for a premium look and feel.
Some leaks surrounding the Galaxy S7 also point towards the handset coming with IP67 certified water and dust-resistance capabilities. With majority of the handsets now coming with a premium build quality, IP67 certification will provide Samsung with a way to differentiate the Galaxy S7 from its competition.
Sadly, while initial rumors surrounding the Galaxy S7 pointed towards the handset coming with a USB Type-C port, that is not going to be the case. The handset will continue to feature a microUSB port.
Unlike last year, Samsung is not going to exclusively use its in-house Exynos chipset on the Galaxy S7 and S7 edge this year. Instead, just like it has done in the years before that, the company will be launching two variants of its flagship smartphone: one of which will be powered by Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 820 chipset, while the other will be powered by Samsung’s own Exynos 8890 chipset.
After the fiery Snapdragon 810 chipset last year, expectations from Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 820 chipset are sky high. Initial reports surrounding the chip are positive, with no known overheating issue plaguing it. Qualcomm has also made major improvements in almost every other area of the chip as well, including a drastic improvement in its power efficiency, dual 14-bit ISP, a faster GPU, faster and more efficient integrated LTE modem, and more. The S820 is also going to be the first chip from Qualcomm to feature its custom 64-bit Kyro cores.
However, if rumors are to be believed, Samsung is going to sell the Exynos 8890 powered variant of the Galaxy S7 in most regions of the world, with the Snapdragon 820 variant being launched only in the United States. Samsung already managed to hit a home run with its Exynos 7420 chipset last year, and this year, it is taking things to the next level with the Exynos 8890. The chipset is based on the second generation of company’s 14nm fabrication process and makes use of custom 64-bit cores. It is also the first Exynos chipset to feature an integrated LTE modem that should greatly improve its overall power efficiency.
With both Snapdragon 820 and Exynos 8890 chipsets featuring custom 64-bit ARM cores, it will be interesting to see which one performs better in benchmarks and day-to-day usage. Early leaks indicate Samsung’s Exynos chipset being slightly faster in benchmarks, but Qualcomm has always enjoyed a major advantage over its competitors in the power-to-performance area.
The camera of the Galaxy S7 is probably going to be the most controversial part of its spec sheet. Leaks and rumors have pretty much confirmed that the Galaxy S7 is going to come with a 12MP rear camera, which — at least on paper — seems like a downgrade from the 16MP shooter found on the Galaxy S6. However, the lower resolution sensor will be accompanied by an increase in individual pixel size and a lower aperture (f/1.7), which will help in drastically improving the low-light camera performance on the Galaxy S7.
It is still unclear if the S7’s camera will feature OIS or not though. While the larger pixels will negate the need of OIS while clicking photos, they will be sorely missed while recording videos, until and unless Samsung improves its EIS (Electronic Image Stabilisation) greatly.
The front of the Galaxy S7 will continue to feature a 5MP camera.
Storage & RAM
The lack of a microSD card slot on the Galaxy S6 and other flagship Galaxy devices released by Samsung last year was a huge disappointment for many power users. The expandability features of flagship Samsung devices were always among its key strength, so its exclusion in the Galaxy S6 was a bummer for many. Samsung tried to make up for the lack of a microSD card slot by including faster and offering higher storage variants of the Galaxy S6, but not everyone was happy with this compromise.
Learning from its mistakes, Samsung will now be including a microSD card slot on the Galaxy S7, while continuing to offer the handset in 32GB and 64GB storage variants.
Taking a cue out of the Galaxy Note 5, Samsung will also be including 4GB of LPDDR4 RAM on the Galaxy S7. Hopefully, the extra gig of RAM will help in alleviating the RAM management issues that plagued the S6.
Despite coming with a 14nm fabricated processor, the battery life of the Galaxy S6 was abysmal. This was largely due to the phone coming with a mere 2550mAh battery, which was hardly enough to power the phone through a day.
This time around though, rumors indicate that Samsung will include a beefy 3,000mAh battery on the Galaxy S7. While the battery will continue to be non-removable, the increased capacity should alleviate any battery life qualms.
Samsung has usually launched the Galaxy S7 1.5 months after its unveiling in February. This time around though, rumors indicate that the company plans on launching the handset as early as on March 11 in the United States and Europe. This will almost be a month early from Samsung’s usual launch timeframe, though an early release should help Samsung in attracting more customers, which is what it desperately needs right now.
Galaxy S7 edge
Samsung is also going to launch the Galaxy S7 edge alongside the Galaxy S7 this year. Unlike the Galaxy S6 edge, the S7 edge will feature a larger 5.5-inch Super AMOLED display that is curved on both edges. Other specifications of the handset are going to be exactly the same as the Galaxy S7, except that the S7 edge will also come with a bigger 3,600mAh battery.
Despite knowing almost everything about the hardware of the Galaxy S7 and S7 edge, little is known about its software — which is going to play a key role in deciding the success or failure of the handsets. Aside from knowing that the handsets are going to run on Android 6.0.1 Marshmallow, the only other thing known is that the Galaxy S7 edge will come with new ‘edge’ specific features.
Last year, the impressive hardware and new design of the Galaxy S6 and S6 edge won Samsung a lot of accolades, but the poor RAM management and optimisation issues in TouchWiz quickly led to a frustrating experience for initial buyers.
Samsung needs to ensure that it does not repeat the same mistake it did last year, otherwise even after coming out with an impressive phone again this year, it will see its profit margins and sales drop.
What are your expectations from the Samsung Galaxy S7 and Galaxy S7 edge? Will you be buying one? If yes, which one? Drop in a comment below and let us know.