Friday 11 March 2016 was officially the global release date of the Samsung Galaxy S7 and Galaxy S7 edge, which means the handset can finally be picked up in retail outlets and carrier networks both online and in-store, said establishments should now also be fulfilling pre-orders, as will Samsung itself, for anyone who purchased direct from the company.
“Samsung Electronics today announced the commercial launch of its new Galaxy S7 and Galaxy S7 edge around the globe including US, Europe, Singapore, Australia and Korea, starting from today,” the firm said, on its website.
During the pre-order period, which started within hours of the device’s launch on 21st February and concluded on March 10th, sales for the new Galaxy S7 and S7 edge were at least 2.5 times greater than those of any other previous Galaxy device in the UK. In the first two days of pre-order, Carphone Warehouse reported a 200% uplift in pre-orders for the Galaxy S7 and S7 edge, compared with the Galaxy S6 and S6 edge.
And the positive pre-order news continues, as of March 14, Samsung’s Dutch arm reports that its total European pre-orders for both the Galaxy S7 and Galaxy S7 edge amount to 2.5 times the Galaxy S6 series figures from last year. The figures also show the Galaxy S7 edge is the more popular variant with 61% of the orders placed. Earlier in the month, Samsung’s mobile chief Koh Dong-jin stated that the firm’s Galaxy S7 series pre-orders have been much stronger than it expected.
The unique design of the Galaxy S7 edge is also proving popular, with this device accounting for 61% of total European pre-orders to date. First introduced on last year’s Galaxy S6 edge, the ground-breaking Edge UX on the S7 edge offers convenient shortcuts to contacts, apps and popular camera settings such as selfie and panorama mode.
Conor Pierce, Vice President, IT & Mobile Division, Samsung Electronics UK and Ireland, commented: “The pre-order performance of the new Galaxy S7 and S7 edge illustrates strong customer appetite for our premium smartphones in the UK.
“Customers opening their new Galaxy phone want new innovations and experiences, powered by their smartphone. We are confident that our new flagship devices fulfil this need better than anything else available on the market. By creating a world of connected products and services through the Gear VR, Gear 360 and Samsung Pay, we are providing a highly-differentiated and richer experience for our consumers, a central part of our strategy.”
You can check out our thoughts on the devices further down the page, but naturally keen to get people hyped for the new handset, Samsung waxed lyrical about the new design and features:
“The newest additions to the Galaxy family, Samsung Galaxy S7 and Galaxy S7 edge feature a refined design, more advanced camera, streamlined software functionality and unparalleled connectivity to an array of products, services, and experiences.
“The 5.1-inch Galaxy S7 and 5.5-inch Galaxy S7 edge are constructed with 3D glass and metal – all in a sleek, durable design with ergonomic curves for a comfortable grip. Without compromising on design, the Galaxy S7 and Galaxy S7 edge both have increased utility with IP68 water and dust resistance, a microSD card slot and fast wired and wireless charging technology.
“Thanks to the revolutionary Dual Pixel technology, a brighter lens with wider aperture and bigger pixels, the Galaxy S7 and Galaxy S7 edge deliver brighter and sharper images, even in low light. Samsung also made significant hardware and software updates to optimize gaming performance on the Galaxy S7 and Galaxy S7 edge. The powerful processer and bigger battery capacity ensure longer playing time, while the internal cooling system keeps the device from overheating.”
After many months of waiting and eagerly watching the leaks spilling out of the rumour mill, Samsung finally announced the Galaxy S7 and Galaxy S7 edge at the company’s specially branded Samsung Unpacked event, a dedicated launch held on February 21, a day ahead of the Mobile World Congress 2016.
If you’ve been following things for a while then you’ve already been spoiled silly by all the rumours for the last few months, as most of them have turned out to be bang on point, and much of what we’re looking at here has been long-expected. As was foretold, both the Galaxy S7 and Galaxy S7 edge are familiar-looking faces in terms of design, being quite similar to last year’s Galaxy S6 and Galaxy S6 edge in many ways.
A lot has already been said about about both handsets, and not all of it good. Often described as incremental updates, the Galaxy S7 and Galaxy S7 edge are, visually, pretty conservative updates. However, what Samsung has done under the surface cannot be faulted and should not be downplayed — both represent HUGE improvements on last year’s model. We’re talking processing power, imaging, battery performance, software — the works, basically.
But with chipsets it appears Samsung has switched tactics for the Galaxy S7 and Galaxy S7 edge. In previous years, Samsung regularly produced variants of its flagship range, including the previous-gen Galaxy S6 and Galaxy S6 edge, using both its own Exynos processor and Qualcomm’s Snaprdragon chips.
In these past cases, the Exynos chip has usually proven faster, and has been inside Galaxy S models distributed in Asia, Samsung’s home market. Meanwhile, everywhere else, including the UK, Europe, and North America (USA and Canada), recevied the Qualcomm Snapdragon-powered models, which were a little slower according to benchmark tests.
Now though, the wind has changed. According to a report from the Telegraph, which cites multiple benchmark tests, the Snapdragon 820-based Galaxy S7 and Galaxy S7 edge is faster than both Apple’s current-gen iPhone 6s and iPhone 6s Plus, AND the Exynos 8890 based Galaxy S7 and Galaxy S7 edge models. BUT, and here’s the kicker, Samsung has allegedly, at least according to this report, swapped the distribution round, so now only the Asian market is getting the Qualcomm Snapdragon models, while in Europe and the UK we have the Exynos-based edition with slightly slower performance.
So what’s the big deal? To be honest, at first glance: not that much. You likely won’t feel the difference between the two versions’ CPUs all that much as we’re talking about minute disparities here, millionths of a second. For example, the difference between the Exynos and Snapdragon CPU is about 5%, according to AnTuTu. Hardly anything, really.
Qualcomm has always been good with its custom CPUs and GPUs; everybody knows Adreno. But the one in the Snapdragon 820 is INSANELY powerful. We’re talking faster than Apple’s A9 and around 25% faster than Samsung’s Exynos 8890. Yep, Qualcomm really does no what it is doing in this regard. And it is here that users will likely notice a difference — 25% is A LOT. Obviously, in order to do this you’d need to use both versions side by side.
Samsung Galaxy S7 and Galaxy S7 EDGE Overview
As per the rumour mill, the Galaxy S7 packs a 5.1in display and is more or less the spitting image of the Galaxy S6 from 2015, complete with metal and glass bodywork. The Galaxy S7 edge is also similar in design to the Galaxy S6 edge but is substantially larger than both it and the regular Galaxy S7, thanks to the use of a 5.5in display.
“The Galaxy S7 Edge display is similar to the Galaxy S7, but it has a curved screen OLED display that is manufactured on a flexible plastic substrate so that it can bend around the corners on both the sides of the phone to provide two display areas that can be viewed and controlled from both the front or the sides, which is especially useful for viewing notifications and scrolling news items. The Galaxy S7 Edge has a somewhat larger 5.5 inch screen, but has the same 2560×1440 resolution with 535 pixels per inch,” notes Display Mate.
“Our detailed Lab tests show there have been a number of significant display performance improvements for the new Galaxy S7 and Galaxy S7 Edge including a much higher maximum brightness and contrast in high ambient light, together with a significantly improved Automatic Brightness that provides much better screen visibility in high ambient light, all resulting in a number of new records for Smartphone display performance, and delivering absolutely stunning and beautiful images.”
Plus both new models feature the return of microSD card support AND waterproofing! Yes, those nay-saying rumours about the waterproofing were false after all and you can use either member of the new Galaxy S7 series around the wet stuff without worrying. Interestingly Samsung has achieved this through the use of special coatings on the phone’s internal components and ports, so there aren’t any fiddly port covers to deal with.
ZERO Support For Adaptive Storage
Well here’s a thing. One of the cool new features of Android Marshmallow is known as ‘Adoptive Storage’ a neat little trick that allows the operating system, and therefore a phone using it, to use microSD card space and treat it as if it’s internal storage. Apparently, despite all running Android Marshmallow, Samsung’s Galaxy S7 and Galaxy S7 edge, and the LG G5, all lack this capability.
The word comes via ArsTechnica, which cites a report from Android Central regarding the LG G5; AC reportedly tried accessing the feature on a unit at MWC 2016 but found it missing. ArsTechnica questioned Samsung over Adoptive Storage and was told:
“Samsung decided not to use the Android Marshmallow “adoptable storage” model. We believe that our users want a microSD card to transfer files between their phone and other devices (laptop, tablet, etc), especially the photos and videos they shoot with the camera.”
Adoptive Storage works by allowing a microSD card to be formatted and encrypted as if it was internal storage – the software “will then merge the microSD card and internal storage into a single storage pool, allowing you to seamlessly install as many apps as you want, or load it with media,” says Ars.
Samsung elaborated further, adding, “With adoptable storage, first of all the card may be erased the first time it is inserted into the device. This behavior may be unexpected by many users and we don’t want our users to lose their files. Second, once Marshmallow starts using a card for adoptable storage, it cannot be read by other devices, so it loses this ability to be used for file transfer. Adoptable Storage is also primarily targeted towards emerging markets where devices with only 4-8GB of onboard storage are common. We think that our model of using microSD for mass storage is more in-line with our owner’s desires and expectations for how microSD should behave.”
However, the original feature did allow users to choose between using a microSD card in the normal way Samsung describes as a portable storage device, or formatting it to become internal storage. What Samsung (and apparently LG) has done is to limit user choices seemingly arbitrarily. LG is yet to comment on the matter, but we’re sure it’ll pipe up soon.
Carrier Lock Incorporated
“A leaked image of the Galaxy S7 and S7 edge setup guide revealed that Samsung’s 2016 flagships will lock to a carrier once a SIM card is inserted,” reports Android Authority. “Historically, most Samsung devices sold through carriers were nevertheless unlocked due to the hassle involved in custom-ordering carrier specific devices. Now it appears that Samsung has found a way for their smartphones to self-customize and lock to a specific carrier when they are first set up, and if carriers take well to this, then we can probably expect the Galaxy line to include this feature going forward.”
While the design and build is familiar, in many ways that’s quite welcome as we’re once again greeted with a pair of very attractive and well-made devices fashioned from high-end materials.
Both phones feature QHD (2560×1440 pixel) Super AMOLED displays, with the Galaxy S7’s 5.1in setup packing in 577ppi, and the larger 5.5in Galaxy S7 edge a slightly lower, but no less impressively sharp 534ppi. They’re also both equipped with a new camera setup with a 12MP sensor – that’s lower than last year’s, but don’t fret because it’s a deliberate move towards better image quality by instead focusing on a wider f/1.7 aperture, a larger 1.4um pixel size, and a dual-pixel sensor with 100% phase detection.
The rumours of a lack of the new Type-C USB port have proven correct, as has the expected sealed unibody with an inaccessible battery cell, however, the battery has been bumped up to a 3,600mAh on the Galaxy S7 edge and 3,000mAh on the regular Galaxy S7, so neither phone should be lacking when it comes to juice. They’re also both stuffed full of the latest 4G LTE and Wi-Fi connectivity, alongside the usual selection of GPS, Bluetooth, and NFC.
Whitepages has also confirmed a partnership with Samsung that will provide Galaxy S7 with a seamless experience that helps to identify unknown callers and also protects them against the increased threat of phone spam and scams. The new service will be available for Galaxy S7 users in 16 countries across North America, South America, Europe, Asia and the Middle East, providing an overall better phone experience that includes:
· Caller Identification: By leveraging Whitepages’ proprietary data set that includes more than 600 million active mobile and landline phone numbers in the US and over 1.5 billion unique numbers globally, users will be able to make informed decisions about whether or not to answer an incoming call.
· Spam and Scam Detection: With Whitepages’ state of the art phone reputation service, users will have much needed context for unsolicited spam and scam calls, giving them peace of mind when answering or ignoring a call. The service also includes a spam button for users to easily report spam numbers which will in turn, help other users from falling victim to fraudulent calls.
· Nearby Business Search: Powered by a global database of local business information, users will be able to search directly within the native dialer to easily find nearby businesses for any and all of life’s purchases and curiosities.
In the processor and RAM department Samsung has pulled a bit of a fast one, or should we say an “Apple one”, by not really disclosing any proper details and instead stating some broad-brush figures, like 30% faster CPU performance than the Galaxy S6 series, and 64% faster GPU performance. This doesn’t touch on any of the pre-launch rumour stuff about Exynos vs Snapdragon chipsets, as we know both will be in different Galaxy S7 editions, we just don’t know which versions will be hitting which regions. We do know that both Galaxy S7 models feature a rather interesting feature to combat processor heat, taking a cue from full-blown PCs with a liquid-filled tube and heatsink arrangement; essentially the liquid heats up and evaporates, then dissipates the heat to a heatsink, before turning back into a liquid and restarting the process.
Youtube channel JerryRigEverything has now uploaded a tear-down video for the Galaxy S7 edge, and as well as showing the internal components generally, also shows the heat-pipe from 4:30 – of course this is the S7 edge not the regular Galaxy S7, but broadly the components, including the heat-pipe, should be more or less the same.
In terms of the software, of course we’re looking at Android Marshmallow with a TouchWiz layer on top. The new TouchWiz is very similar to the current build rolling out the Galaxy S6 series devices, including the new enhancements to the Galaxy S6 edge display functionality; expanding the number edge display area, the number of apps and shortcuts that can be stored, and adding more tools and widgets. It’s a bit more streamlined generally, but should be familiar to current Samsung users.
Samsung has also added the rumoured “Always On” feature to the display functionality on both devices. This is similar to Always On features we’ve seen before, utilising the ability of OLED to display information on-screen while consuming very little power by only selectively lighting certain pixels. In practice this means the feature can display the date, time, and notifications for quick at-a-glance information without draining the battery much at all.
Samsung Galaxy S7 & Galaxy S7 edge Price & Availability
As of February 23, information has begun appearing online regarding the availability of Samsung’s latest Galaxy S7 and Galaxy S7 edge devices. Both phones will go on sale from March 11, a date officially confirmed by Samsung’s head of mobile Koh Dong-jin, and those sales will be live in a global rollout to 60 countries.
“The Galaxy S7 is slated to go on sale in 60 countries on March 11. We expect its sales to surpass shipments of the previous model, the Galaxy S6,” he said. For reference, Samsung’s Galaxy S6 sales from last year are estimated around 38 million units – and that’s not a figure the firm was pleased with.
However, one thing that’s very important to note is that in the US and some parts of Europe (which we expect will include the UK), Samsung will only be selling the 32GB storage model of the Galaxy S7 and Galaxy S7 edge. SamMobile reports that Samsung has confirmed that some European markets would not be receiving the 64GB model, but has now also confirmed that the US will not get it either. According to some reports it’s alleged 32GB models have higher profit margins.
There’s also now some info about the Galaxy S7 and Galaxy S7 edge pricing on UK carrier networks.
If you’re with EE you pay an up-front cost of £9.99 for either the Galaxy S7 (32GB) or Galaxy S7 edge (32GB) for a monthly tariff of £49.99 or £54.99 respectively, for a 24 month contract. Colour options include Black Onyx and Gold Platinum.
O2 has the same colour options as EE with the 32GB Galaxy S7 and Galaxy S7 edge both once again having a £9.99 up-front fee plus £54 or £51 per month respectively on 24 month contracts.
Vodafone has pretty much the same setup once again – the same colour options – plus a £9 up-front charge regardless of model. A 32GB Galaxy S7 costs £50 per month while the same storage Galaxy S7 edge costs £56 per month – in both cases 24 month contracts.
Again, same colour options and 32GB of storage either way. The Galaxy S7 has an up-front cost of £29 and a £41 per month tariff for 24 months. The Galaxy S7 edge is £49 up front and £47 per month thereafter for 24 months. This is also the fastest way to get the handset as pre-orders made before March 6 will arrive on March 8, while everyone else must wait until March 11.
Galaxy S7 & Galaxy S7 edge Waterproofing Tested
Whenever a new waterproof phone comes out there’s always that disclaimer on the IP certification about its tolerances for the wet stuff – it’s always very precise, explaining how deep and for how long the device can be submerged. But, it’s important to remember that this is the manufacturer and certification body saying “this is the extent to which it has been tested, certified, and can be guaraunteed to perform this way – this is how far your protection extends and is covered by us legally”, it doesn’t actually mean that the phone can’t be submerged deeper, or for longer, or in something less than pure, clean drinking water, it’s just that if such a scenario plays out and the phone stops working, the OEM can safely say “you’re on your own, chap”.
So it’s always reassuring to see people throwing all this out the window and chucking their handsets into the deep end of chlorinated swimming pools or muddy creeks and finding that, yes, in fact, the phone is absolutely fine with this too!
Youtuber Harris Craycraft uploaded a short video showing the Galaxy S7 going through an “ultimate” test in a swimming pool. Check it out:
Head over to page 2 for all the pre-launch rumours:
It may be a new year, but some things stay the same for Samsung. This time last year we were talking about the forthcoming Galaxy S6 and how imporant the launch was for the Korean firm, as the previous Galaxy S5, though not a complete flop, failed to deliver on consumer expectations, meaning it didn’t sell in anywhere near the numbers Samsung needed. The Samsung Galaxy S6 was in fact a considerable improvement on its predecessor, critically acclaimed by journos across the world – we think it’s fair to say the Galaxy S6 and its stable-mates are some of the best phones Samsung has ever produced.
But despite this, we’re in a similar scenario again. You see, although everyone praised the Galaxy S6, it still failed to shift in the numbers Samsung wanted – the kind of big figures it had seen in 2012-2013 with the Galaxy S3 and Galaxy S4.
Samsung’s earning reports paint a gloomy picture.
“Samsung flagged a second-quarter drop in operating profit on Tuesday that missed analyst estimates after sales of its newest flagship smartphonefailed to meet expectations,” reported The Telegraph. “The earnings forecast came as a South Korean court ruled in Samsung’s favour against a US hedge fund’s efforts to block the proposed merger of two major affiliates. The giant smartphone and memory-chip maker predicted operating profit of around 6.9 trillion won (£4 billion) for the April-June period, down more than 4 per cent from a year earlier.”
Samsung blamed the lacklustre sales on not being able to produce enough Galaxy S6 EDGE units. Analysts, however, had other ideas and pointed towards a more sinister problem: long standing Android users defecting to iPhone. Throw in China for good measure, a market Apple smashed in 2015, and you have a recipe for bad earnings calls. With all this in mind, it’s no wonder Samsung has fast-tracked development of the Galaxy S7, the handset that will do battle with the iPhone 6s and iPhone 6s Plus.
Samsung, once again, needs to pull out all the stops for the Galaxy S7 and knock things right out the park. Surely though it’s not merely a question of aesthetic design and build quality? After all, the Galaxy S6 had that nailed pretty well. Perhaps it’s a feature set problem that is preventing as many users as we once saw jump on the Samsung bandwagon? It will be interesting to see how Samsung aims to tackle the issue.
Samsung Galaxy S7 Teaser Page Reveals Tons Of Features – Confirms NO Water Resistance
It seems Samsung got the memo that LG has thrown down the gauntlet with its LG G5 and is aiming to take its fellow Korean rival head-on – and what’s more, Samsung’s response is to take a leaf out of LG’s playbook, in what may be an unprecedented move for Sammy, by launching an official teaser website in Indonesia ahead of the official unveiling.
As expected, the teaser confirms many of the features we’ve heard rumoured for some time, including the fingerprint scanner, the Galaxy S7 edge’s curved display, and the advanced camera capabilities. It also hinted at water resistance, as did an embedded YouTube video by showing the device being used in the rain. Interestingly, GSMArena reports that the video originally posted was different, previously explicitly naming the Galaxy S7 – a new version since uploaded no longer does. Also it’s worth noting that at the bottom of the teaser page Samsung writes a disclaimer:
“THE SCENE IN THE VIDEO IS FOR DRAMATIZATION PURPOSES ONLY. THIS PRODUCT IS NOT WATER RESISTANT AND IT SHOULD NOT BE EXPOSED TO AND/OR SUBMERGED INTO WATER/LIQUID.”
GOT THAT?! OK THEN!
As of February 18, the Galaxy S7 has been handled on video – an anonymous tipster sent Android Authority video footage of the handset in use, showing off the design, interface, and a small selection of features, as well as a list of details. According to the tipster’s info, however, the Galaxy S7 DOES apparently have water resistance (which makes us wonder why Samsung is making claims it doesn’t?), a 12MP camera, and microSD support.
It lacks the new Type-C USB port, but it’s claimed the battery pack is a 2800mAh setup.
Some new photos have emerged on February 19 confirming the lack of a Type-C micro USB port on the Galaxy S7 and Galaxy S7 edge, though on the plus side we get confirmation of a silver coloured variant of the former (via @evleaks), and a black coloured variant of the latter.
Samsung Galaxy S7 & S7 edge Prices LEAK!
Not long to wait now until the Galaxy S7 and Galaxy S7 edge are officially unveiled, but luckily today the pricing has leaked so you can start budgeting for this flashy new set of hardware! The word comes via reputable Samsung source SamMobile, which says that the Galaxy S7 will cost €700 while the S7 edge will be €800 for its curvy glass and larger 5.5in display. Directly that translates to £543 and £621 respectively, although naturally this is the unlocked, SIM-free cost for buying the handsets straight-up from Samsung or a retailer, rather than getting in on a contract and paying piecemeal. The report also adds that this is for the 32GB storage model, while the 64GB option will be another €70-80 on top.
An image of the Galaxy S7 edge handset inhabiting its box, and a breakdown of what you get bundled in there alongside the phone, has appeared online. According to PhoneArena, a user on Dubizzle (Dubai’s equivalent of Craigslist, apparently) posted for sale what appears to be a legit Galaxy S7 edge handset. Naturally being some kind of shady pre-release setup the asking price is a hefty $1225 with the description “get before commercial launch, imported from USA”. The seller also mentions a Galaxy S7 for sale on his page at $1144.
The Samsung Galaxy S7 edge retail box has been photographed and, as usual, it features a quick rundown of the most important specs,” reports GSM Arena. “The screen will be a 5.5” Super AMOLED with QHD resolution (that’s 1,440 x 2,560px). The phone will be powered by an octa-core processor with 4GB of RAM and 32GB storage.
“The Galaxy S7 edge camera will be a “Dual Pixel” 12MP shooter. Canon has “Dual Pixel” sensors, which offers super quick, super accurate focus because 80% of the viewfinder area is used to focus instead of a fixed number of focus points. Anyway, there’s a 5MP selfie camera too.”
As for the box contents there’s a USB cable and wall plug, and what appears to be a wired headset inside a small box identical to the headphones which came with the Galaxy S6. The Dubizzle posting has since been removed.
Samsung Galaxy S7 Launch & Release Date
Samsung will launch its Galaxy S7 handset on February 21 — the same day LG launches its LG G5. Media invites as well as a new promo video for the Galaxy S7 appeared over the weekend, confirming previous rumours that said Samsung would release its new flagship in and around MWC 2016.
The Galaxy S7 and Galaxy S7 EDGE will go on pre-order the very same day they launch — February 21. The news comes via Android World and has been confirmed as true by @evleaks, an always reliable source. This doesn’t mean it is 100% legit, of course, but it is about as close as we’re going to get to an official confirmation before the official announcement.
This wasn’t the only news, however: the same source also claims those that pre-order the Galaxy S7 or Galaxy S7 EDGE will get a free GEAR VR, though this deal only lasts for a limited period — Feb 21 to March 10. And if you don’t know what a GEAR VR is it’s one of these things below:
New images have now leaked as of February 15, showing the colour options for the Galaxy S7 and Galaxy S7 edge, it shouldn’t be too surprising that these leaks came via @Evleaks on Twitter. Samsung isn’t being super adventurous here by the looks of things, as the choices are black, silver, and gold, but having said that the firm has introduced additional colour options in the past after the main launch of a flagship, usually restricted to specific regions though. Anyway, here’s the picture:
What’s Getting Launched On Feb. 21?
According to details published on January 13, Samsung’s Galaxy S7 range has been named as a trio of devices. The information comes from reliable Twitter source Evan Blass, aka @evleaks, who says that although he is “surprised” by the move, he has seen evidence to suggest the main model will be called the Samsung Galaxy S7, while the other members of the range will be the S7 edge and S7 edge+. Those name logo images also seem to be official promotional material and have a background with a water-splashed finish, which may sit with earlier rumours for waterproofing on one or several models. Also omitted from the group is a Galaxy S7+ rumoured previously.
On February 3 it seems Samsung may have confirmed the Galaxy S7 edge early with an “accidental” reveal of the handset via one of its webpages. Yeah it may be deliberate hype-build or it might be a genuine error, but either way, Samsung listed the Galaxy S7 edge in a table which demonstrated its use of curved display technology – in short, the Galaxy S7 edge can (unsurprisingly) do the same things as the Galaxy S6 edge with its curvy screen bits. Naturally, the posting has since been edited, but as usual, screencaps don’t lie.
In terms of details and features, however, we know quite a bit about the Samsung Galaxy S7 already; there have been hundreds of leaks during the past month. But now @evleaks is back on the scene, things have, well, escalated. No one gets access quite like this guy. And the info he gets is usually very solid.
According to a Samsung trademark filing uncovered on February 9, the Samsung Galaxy S7 will feature an “always on” display panel. The filing is listed in the US Patent and Trademark Office database describes the technology for “smartphones, mobile phones and tablets” but doesn’t go into too much detail other than the rather broad “Always On” functionality, so we don’t know exactly how it works, but we have seen always on functions on other phones before. It will likely involve utilising AMOLED display tech for use in a low-power state and only activating a limited set of pixels to display specific information, for example, the time and date.
As of February 10 there have been two separate sets of images leaked for the Galaxy S7 and Galaxy S7 edge. First up is what appears to be an official product render of the Galaxy S7 edge coming via @evleaks.
Looks pretty huh? As you can see, this image shows a silver finish to the metal components. Next, a couple of live photos of a gold Galaxy S7 came via Pisapapeles, again confirming the curved back panel design.
Samsung Galaxy S7 Features — Five “Sort of” Confirmed Features
LG and Samsung will both come to market with something special in 2016. They kind of have to as well; Apple is running away with profits and sales at the moment, and Xiaomi is other cheaper brands are harming Samsung and LG’s traditional bases in Asian markets.
There’s been TONS of leaks about both handsets. We know, for instance, that Samsung will re-introduce microSD support and the LG G5 will feature a removable battery, which, again, is another HUGE plus for a lot of users out there.
As for which will be the better handset… that’s very tricky to say. I am very excited about the Galaxy S7, though this is mainly because I have a lot of time for the Galaxy S6 EDGE and, for obvious reasons, am keen to see where the company takes things with the Galaxy S7.
The LG G5 has the potential to become the “The New Samsung” in 2016/17 after a few solid years of brand-building. 2015 was a bit dull for handsets, but we do not expect 2016 to follow suit and things will kick off with a BANG later this month at MWC 2016.
Samsung’s Galaxy VR headset makes an appearance in the video too, implying some likely cross-over functionality with the upcoming Galaxy S smartphone. Also, we now know EXACTLY what Samsung’s Galaxy S7 and Galaxy S7 EDGE will look like, thanks to the one and only @evleaks.
This week Mr. Leaks dropped five confirmed features of the upcoming Samsung Galaxy S7. The leaker says these features are now 100% confirmed and will all feature aboard the Galaxy S7 when it launches in a few week’s time. And now, without further ado here are those five CONFIRMED features.
Water Resistance is BACK
Yep. That’s right: both the Galaxy S7 and the Galaxy S7 EDGE will be water resistant just like the Galaxy S7 and, if rumours are to be believed, Apple’s iPhone 7 and the HTC One M10 – metal, it seems, is no longer a reason to be bothered by the wet stuff. Previously the Galaxy S5 was waterproof, but this model featured a plastic bodyshell, so with the switch to metal and glass the waterproofing got canned along with a few other features. We’ve been hearing manufacturers say for years (we’re looking at you HTC) that things like waterproofing compromise the good looks and elegance of premium phones lovingly crafted from metals. But we’ve never bought this idea, not least because of devices such as Sony’s Xperia Z line-up – metal, glass, waterproof, and not bad lookers if you like their style (which Paul does. Me?…Not so much!)
HUGE Battery Increase
The Samsung Galaxy S6/S6 EDGE had 2550mAh and 2600mAh battery packs, respectively, and performance was OK, generally speaking. The Galaxy S7, however, will have use batteries that are 20% larger, meaning 3000mAh in the standard S7 and 3600mAh in the EDGE variant. Still, as far as we can tell neither cell will be removable which will be sure to continue to upset old Samsung fanboys who loved battery swapping on the go. That said, LG seems to be stepping in to fill this void as according to rumours the firm’s LG G5 will feature a metal body with a unique detachable module in the base of the handset; allowing you to slide out the battery pack.
Samsung killed off microSD support in the Galaxy S6 and people went CRAZY. Keen not to make the same mistake again, Samsung will apparently reintroduce microSD-support aboard the Samsung Galaxy S7 and Samsung Galaxy S7 EDGE. This is great news. There seemed to be something of a kick against microSD from many major manufacturers in the last couple of years with the removable storage feature being painfully absent from many big flagship launches. Who can say what the reason is? Cost? Streamlining production? Whatever it was, enough people have got a grump on about it and, presumably, voted with their wallets, that microSD seems to be (perhaps reluctantly for OEMs) back on trend. For many though, it never left, of course!
A 12MP Camera
Samsung is apparently switching from a 16MP sensor to a 12MP one. The reason? Simple, according to Forbes: “it also allows Samsung to make it flush to the body of the phone and use a super fast f/1.7 aperture (up from f/1.9 in the S6) for action shots and improved low light performance”.
Expert Reviews agrees, saying: “while the resolution may be lower, f/1.7 lens will let in more light (the current S6 has an f/1.9 lens). Rumours abound that the new sensor will be comparatively large at 1/2″. A larger sensor means that each pixel gets more light, so noise is reduced and quality is improved. Finally, the leak suggests that the battery size will be increased. Combined with the new, more efficient processor, it should mean that the S7 will last longer than its predecessor, which is great news if true.”
According to details from reports surfacing on February 3, the Galaxy S7 camera will only protrude from the bodywork by as little as 0.8mm – a signifcant reduction on the typical “camera bulge”, by comparions the Galaxy S6 bulge was 1.7mm. The word comes via reputable source @OnLeaks, which also reveals other design details and shows that the Galaxy S7 will have body curvature from every edge rather than just two sides as with earlier Samsung models. The news follows reports that Apple will eliminate the camera bulge from its iPhone 7 completely.
4GB of RAM
Both the S7 and the S7 EDGE will feature 4GB of RAM, a frankly insane amount for a smartphone. Expect performance to be off the charts.
Samsung Galaxy S7 edge To Feature 3600mAh Battery?
According to an FCC document it appears the Galaxy S7 edge variant will have a massive battery cell, with a boost of as much as 38% over its predecessor, the Galaxy S6 edge, bringing the milliamp-hour rating up to a whopping 3600mAh – the Galaxy S6 edge’s battery was rated at 2,600mAh. However, the new model is larger at 5.5in so has a bigger display panel to keep going, so a bigger battery makes sense.
The Galaxy S7 has rocked up in live photo images, or at least the front panel, display, and camera module, all have. GSMArena was handed some snaps on January 25 by a tipster – the images are said to come from inside a Samsung production facility. The main takeaway here is the display panel, which looks fairly typical for Samsung.
There’s been a few certifications for the Galaxy S7 already and now, just as we’ve learned the offical Unpacked event will take place on February 21, it has rocked up with China’s certification authority too. Gizmochina picked up the official database entries for three Samsung Galaxy S7 variants passing through, which include the SM-G9308, SM-G9300 and SM-G9350, it’s believed the third in the list is the Galaxy S7 edge.
The Samsung Galaxy S7 design has been leaked by @evleaks, with the Twitter tipster getting hold of some official press renders ahead of the launch. While rumours have suggested as much before, the images confirm what some have feared – there isn’t much of a design change this time round and it looks very similar to the Galaxy S6. But does this really matter? The Galaxy S6 was one of the most refined and gorgeous phones Samsung has ever produced, and still didn’t sell the way the firm wanted – suggesting it’s less the looks and design turning people off, and more something else in the mix of features. Anyway, check the handsets out below – the S7 is on the left and the S7 edge on the right.
Following on from the above leak showing the front fascia of both handsets, another image leak has emerged on February 2 showing the back panel of each new Samsung Galaxy S7 variant. Unsurprisingly this is another press render from the same set and coming once again from @evleaks. Again, there’s not a huge amount to see here as the duo look very similar to their predecessors, and this dark-hued set of examples don’t offer much detail to the eye, but at any rate we can see the slight curvature of the back panels and the branding towards the bottom.
A leak on February 8 details various official Samsung accessories designed to compliment the Samsung Galaxy S7. According to the leaked details from WinFuture, Samsung will sell its own battery case design similar to the one Apple released for the iPhone. It’ll retail at €89.99, so not exactly cheap, but hopefully it should provide a significant battery boost for that outlay thanks to a 2,700mAh cell and wireless charging support. Essenitally the case will nearly double the rumoured onboard battery of the Galaxy S7. The other listed official case is the Samsung LED View Flip Cover, which is rumoured to contain its own LED indicator lights for showing incoming calls and other notifications. The rest of the list includes revamps of existing Samsung accessories, including leather covers, the standard S View Cover, Clear Cover, Wallet Flip Cover, Glitter Cover and Keyboard Cover.
And although we’ve already seen it before in the press renders, the Galaxy S7 edge has now appeared in live photos. The image comes via nowhereelse.fr and has clearly been sourced through China’s Weibo network. We can see the handset, complete with its curved display edges, in a users hands while running an AnTuTu benchmark test. This image also gives us the clearest look yet at the rumoured curvature to the phone’s top and bottom edges, as well as the sides.
Galaxy S7 vs Galaxy S7: Samsung Exynos 8890 Pitched Against Qualcomm Snapdragon 820 In Variant Benchmark Battle
There are multiple variants of Samsung’s Galaxy S7 which will be distributed across different regions, as usual, different devices have different sets of hardware and compatibilities tailored to local networks and the like. But, broadly speaking, all of these variants can be divided into two camps – the ones with Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 820 processor (which will likely be seen in most regions including North America and Europe) and the model using Samsung’s homebrew Exynos 8890 chipset (most likely restricted to Asia). Both types have now rocked up in benchmarks and their resulting scores can be directly compared with each other.
The Exynos 8890 model appeared a few days ago chalking up a score of 5946, just shy of Huawei’s Kirin 950 chip (inside the Huawei Mate 8) with a score of 6088. Now the model destined for distribution via US network AT&T has popped up with a Snapdragon 820 inside. Not only is this model scoring lower than the Exynos 8890 equipped Galaxy S7 stable mate, but also lower than last year’s Galaxy S6 wearing the Exynos 7420, with scores of 4979 and 5215 respectively. Ouch!
Of course it’s not a direct reflection of day-to-day performance but does hint at how these phones might handle top-end tasks and applications. Also because these are pre-release devices there’s possibly a bit of software and hardware tweaking to be done before they’re final, so take it with a grain or two of salt. Right now though, Samsung’s processor tech has something of an edge here, and it does once again beg the question of when/if we might one day see Samsung distributing its own chip devices outside of Asia? We can but dream!
Samsung Galaxy S7 Release Date
Samsung has officially announced an event believed to be the unveiling of the Galaxy S7 and its stable-mates, the firm posted a video to its YouTube channel revealing the Samsung Unpacked 2016 event for February 21 – it’ll take place in Barcelona just a day before CES, and kicks off at 18:00 GMT. As we’ve mentioned before, Samsung has brought new Galaxy S flagship hardware to such Unpacked events before MWC for the last few years, so we’re pretty certain (considering other rumours also support this) that the new devices will be at the event. Not only that but the firm hashtagged the video with #TheNextGalaxy and the tagline “get ready to rethink what a phone can do.” It’s worth noting the GearVR headset features prominently in the promo, so there’ll probably be some tie-in involved.
Samsung Galaxy S7 Rocks Up In AnTuTu Wearing Snapdragon 820
Samsung’s forthcoming flagship, and in particular the variant that will likely be the UK, Europe, and North American model, has popped up in the AnTuTu benchmarking suite. The handset in question showed up as the SM-G935A, a number already associated with the Galaxy S7, but here it is carrying the Qualcomm Snapdragon 820 chip. Based on Samsung’s established habits, it’s assumed the model released in the firm’s home region of Asia will pack its own Exynos chip hardware, while everywhere else we get the Qualcomm-based edition. Including the processor model, the benchmark shows the Galaxy S7 has exactly the same specs as the already benchmarked Galaxy S7 edge+, aside from the smaller 5.1in display that doesn’t have curved edges, of course.
So the spec line-up includes 4GB of RAM and 64GB of onboard storage (though there may be other storage variants) – as expected the software is Android 6.0 Marshmallow.
As of January 20, AnTuTu has leaked a set of specs for the Exynos-based Galaxy S7 and promises that benchmark results will follow soon. The specs detail what’s inside the Exynos 8990-equipped SM-G930F, where previously we’ve seen specs from the Snapdragon 820 powered SM-G935A, which revealed the above 4GB RAM and 64GB storage, as well as a 5.1in QHD display and 12MP camera. Unsurprisingly, the Exynos model specs, aside from the processor itself, are pretty much the same, including the 64GB storage. We still haven’t seen evidence for any other storage models yet, which doesn’t necessarily mean they don’t exist, but we do wonder if Samsung is tidying things up to a 64GB/128GB split.
The Samsung Galaxy S7 has been spotted for the first time in pictures. ITSkins, a third party case manufacturer has handed a selection of CAD renders of the handset to GSMArena, as well as a few details. It seems there will be both a regular Galaxy S7 and a larger 6in Galaxy S7 Plus using the same design – so far there are no details on edge variants. The renders appear to confirm earlier reports that the Galaxy S7 would closely follow a similar design to the Galaxy S6. The report states the Galaxy S7 will be nearly the same size as the Galaxy S6 at 143.37 x 70.8 x 6.94 mm, while the Galaxy S7 Plus will be bigger than even the Galaxy Note series at 163.32 x 82.01 x 7.82mm – likely meaning a 6in display panel.
A new report on December 10 reveals yet more renders of the Galaxy S7 Plus, this isn’t a leak though, this is OnLeaks and uSwitch teaming up yet again to bring us polished renders of what the finished product will look like based on the previously leaked details. But don’t let that lead you to dismiss it, for starters things being what they are these days there are enough legitimate leaks out there that such suppositions are not going to be widely off the mark, and what’s more, OnLeaks and uSwitch have so far been quite accurate with such predictive 3D renderings as it seems they only go with details they can more or less be sure are accurate.
So with all that said what’s to see in the new render? Well there’s a video showcase:
As with earlier leaks, the it shows a device that looks a lot like the Galaxy S6 – no major design changes this time round, however, the rumoured microSD card slot appears to have been omitted, suggesting the legitimacy of that rumour has been brought into question by those in the know. There’s also a standard microUSB port rather than a new Type-C version.
Samsung Galaxy S7 Casemakers Reveal Design Cues
Although we already knew from the earlier rumours that the Galaxy S7 launch was getting close, this latest bit of info pretty well confirms that it’s imminent. What’s happened is quite a common occurance – before a handset launches, the manufacturer sends details of the device to various case and accessory makers so that they can build cases and the like for the new handset in time for its launch. Invariably, one case maker or another ends up either leaking the details, or enthusiastically posting its new case design ahead of the launch, thus revealing at least partial information or visual details about the phone before it officially arrives.
This time, UK retailer Mobile Fun has published some snaps of Olixar cases for the Samsung Galaxy S7. As usual, although the cases obscure some of the phone’s bodywork, we can still discern a bit of the design. And, sure enough, the Galaxy S7 seems to look quite similar to the Galaxy S6 – but then that’s been rumoured for a while, so it’s not really a shocker.
According to leaked information, emerging on November 23, the ‘edge’ variant of the Galaxy S7 will be even edgier and curvier than before. It’s claimed the display will have a curvature around the phone’s top and bottom edges, as well as a slightly less pronounced curve on the sides as with the current S6 edge model. The news comes via HDBlog.it’s “reliable sources” and SamMobile, which also reports that Samsung is considering adding microSD card support back into the Galaxy S flagship series with the Galaxy S7. What isn’t clear is whether both S7 and S7 edge will have microSD, or just one, although for our money both seems more likely, if at all.
At the moment the only cases shown are for the Galaxy S7, although cases are listed for the Galaxy S7 edge too, without images. There’s nothing at all for the Galaxy S7 + and Galaxy S7 edge +.
Samsung Galaxy S7, Galaxy S7 Plus, Galaxy S7 edge & Galaxy S7 edge Plus Apparently Confirmed
The metal bodyshell of the flagship device has been snapped in some pictures and then leaked onto the web – as usual, this stuff leaked via Chinese social network Weibo and, as is often the case, the images have since been removed; though not before plenty of people took screenshots (Slashgear). So it’s allegedly a Galaxy S7 shell, but we do urge you to take it with a pinch of salt just in case.
As expected, the design seems fairly similar to the Galaxy S6, with earlier reports suggesting Samsung will not do anything too radical in the design department, having already stumped up the cash for the big metallic rebuild on last year’s model; the changes here are thought to be more to do with hardware and features. It’s hard to be sure, but to our eye the Galaxy S7 shown here looks a little bit squarer than its predecessor, but that may just be the visual effect of not having the rest of the glass bodywork in place.
Now, this next snippet of info alleges there are not only two Galaxy S7 handsets in the works, but a full quartet of FOUR.
But, and this is important, all doubts should go out the window when we factor in who is leaking this information, as it comes via none other than @evleaks, aka Evan Blass, a man with a near impeccable track record. According to Blass and a screenshot he posted, there will not only be the Galaxy S7 and Galaxy S7 Plus, but also a Galaxy S7 edge and Galaxy S7 edge Plus. We can’t say we’re too shocked, but it’s nice to have confirmation on the expected!
As Blass points out, the leaked info lines up nicely with an earlier leak from T-Mobile Poland, suggesting Samsung would launch two handsets in Q1 2016 and another two in Q2.
Samsung TouchWiz For Android Marshmallow Leaks
We’ve had a little preview of what the software will probably look like aboard the Galaxy S7 when it launches. Chinese sources on Weibo posted screenshots of the Galaxy S6 Marshmallow update, including a brand new face-lift for TouchWiz, the images were taken down but have been preserved by SamMobile. The images of course show how the software will appear on the Galaxy S6 when Marshmallow arrives on that existing device, however, Samsung likes to be consistent so it is very likely the look and feel of Marshmallow on the Galaxy S7 will be much the same. What we can say is that this appears to be the cleanest TouchWiz build EVER, far more Google Material Design faithful than Samsung has previously delivered.
Samsung Galaxy S7 Exynos 8890 Processor Enters Mass Production
According to a report from Korean news source ETNews, Samsung’s chip production facilities have begun churning out the new Exynos 8990 processors destined to be placed inside the Samsung Galaxy S7. Previously it was claimed Samsung would enter production in December, so it seems either that prediction was slightly off, or things are going swimmingly and it’s ahead of schedule. The Galaxy S7 is believed to be arriving in February next year, but the launch will have to wait on processor production from both Samsung’s own manufacturing plants and those of Qualcomm, which will supply Snapdragon 820 chips for non-Exynos models.
As of November 12, Samsung has officially announced the Exynos 8890 processor as the Exynos 8 Octa 8890 at a media event in Seoul, Korea. The chip is manufactured on Samsung’s 14nm FinFET semiconductor design and uses an ARM big.LITTLE architecture, however, this is Samsung’s first Exynos chip using home-brew processor cores; the Mongoose ARMv8 64-bit core is used for the high-performance quad group, while standard ARM Cortex-A53 cores form up the rest. Samsung claims this chip is 30% faster and 10% more battery efficient than the previous model found in the lightning-quick Galaxy S6. The firm has also introduced its own technology to help synchronise performance between the two quad-core clusters, called Samsung Coherent Interconnect (SCI). The chip also features an integrated Cat 12/13 LTE modem and a massive 12-core ARM Mali-T880MP12 GPU.
Reports dating November 17 show that the Exynos 8890 has been put through benchmark tests…and the results are pretty impressive to say the least. The device popped up in the Geekbench database and was spotted by users over on Chinese social network Weibo. These sources have also gone to the effort of comparing the leaked benchmarking data for every major forthcoming chip, including those from Apple, MediaTek, and Qualcomm. According to the results, the Exynos 8890 is the top dog when it comes to multi-core performance – which is what counts when it comes to the highest performance use scenarios on a device; games, multitasking, that sort of thing. Apple’s A9 does come out better in single-core performance per core, however.
Another set of benchmark results have emerged for the Exynos 8890 showing it to be quite simply the fastest chip around. This time the AnTuTu benchmarks came from sources inside China, according to a November 27 report from GSMArena. The results show the Galaxy S7 SM-G9300 running the Exynos 8990 chip and completely blowing past all competing SoCs. It’s claimed that while the latest top of the line Huawei Kirin 950 chip scored high at around 65,000, the Exynos 8990 has topped 103,692! Of course it’s worth taking into account the usual benchmark disclaimer that such results can be faked, but taking it on face value for now it does look mightily impressive.
This benchmark below was unearthed by a Weibo-based processor-focused leakster and what’s really exciting is the result scores, which for both single-core and multi-core tests are pretty much double the scores of the impressively fast last-gen Exynos 7420 found inside the Galaxy S6 and its stable-mates.
Samsung Sweet Talks Sony Over Xperia Z5 Camera – Wants It For The Galaxy S7
This is interesting. It’s well-documented that Samsung has been working on its own camera tech for some time, producing its own ISOCELL sensors which have been fairly well-received so far, but, according to new reports, if Samsung gets its way it may not be using its own sensors inside the Galaxy S7, or at least not exclusively.
Word on the grapevine is that Samsung is chatting up Sony about whether or not it can use Sony’s IMX300 23MP sensor seen inside the Sony Xperia Z5 flagship. The gossip comes via sources on Chinese social network Weibo, althought what isn’t known at this point is whether Samsung will only use either the Sony sensor or its own ISOCELL hardware, or if, as with its use of Snapdragon and Exynos processors, it will use different sensors in different models for different regions.
However, Samsung may have a lot of work to do and a lot of money to spend, as it’s thought Sony wants to keep the IMX300 sensor – which has topped several independent camera ranking reports – exclusive to its own Xperia line-up. That said, if Samsung is prepared to stump up a sizeable chunk of cash, Sony could perhaps be persauded, considering its own mobile business isn’t doing too well right now.
Seemingly contradicting this report, at least to some extent, a new report as of November 3 claims that Samsung is considering a 12MP camera sensor for the Galaxy S7, however, it’s thought that while the rating will be 12MP, Samsung intends to use a very large sensor size at this resolution in a bid to improve picture quality. The word comes via another Weibo tipster, although this one allegedly has a proven track record when it comes to hardware rumours, but not camera tech specifically until this point.
A 12MP sensor comes in at a lower resolution than Samsung’s current Galaxy S6 16MP sensor, but it’s claimed Samsung intends to use a 1/2″ sensor size with the individual pixels being considerably bigger – leading to an uplift in image quality. This is a trick Google used on the recent crop of Nexus devices.
“In an interesting turn of events Samsung might be taking a step back from the megapixel race and equip the Galaxy S7 with a 12MP primary camera. The flipside is that the sensor will have a rather large by phone standards 1/2″ size,” reports GSM Arena. “Previously rumored to come with a 20MP ISOCELL sensor, next year’s flagship has also been mentioned in the same sentence with Sony’s custom 23-24.8MP imager used in the Xperia Z5 generation. If this new bit of info checks out, however, the S7 might shift its focus towards low-light performance thanks to what has been dubbed dual-PD (dual-photodiode) technology, and obviously larger individual photosites.”
As of November 4 word has emerged that Samsung has now trademarked the name BRITECELL, thought to be an upgraded variant of the firm’s existing ISOCELL sensor technology. According to sources in Korea the patent listing explicitly describes the sensor as being intended for mobile phone devices.
The BRITE component of the name, combined with some of the patent details, suggests the sensor is an attempt to improve low light performance, as the listing includes a RWB colour pattern, greater light sensitivity, and is a 20MP sensor.
Samsung Galaxy S7 To Feature ClearForce Pressure-Sensitive Display?
Oh, it seems it might be happening. Remember the iPhone 6s? That launch which happened only very recently? If you do then chances are you also recall that a big feature of the iPhone 6s is the pressure-sensitive 3D Touch display panel, which allows users to perform different actions depending on how hard they press the glass.
Well, apparently, Samsung may have a similar trick in store for the Galaxy S7, according to sources on Chinese social network Weibo. It’s claimed that Samsung plans to use what’s called ClearForce display technology to offer similar pressure-sensitive activation, however, this tech, it’s said, may offer even more complex control input than Apple’s 3D Touch, including variable speed scrolling and specific touch input tailored for gaming.
According to a new report from none other than the Wall Street Journal on December 14, Samsung’s Galaxy S7 will feature a pressure-sensitive display. Of course we’ve heard this rumour before, but to have it come from a reputable publication like the WSJ does lend another layer of authenticity to said murmurings. The WSJ report also goes on to state that some of the supposedly rumoured four Galaxy S7 variants could feature retina scanners, but does not specify which ones. It adds that the non-curved display models (ie: non “edge” variants) will likely feature microSD card support, and, contrary to earlier reports, the Galaxy S7 flagship may also feature a Type-C microUSB port, as well as camera enhancements.