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Samsung Galaxy S7 edge review: Stargate

Introduction

Pushed way out of its comfort zone and into a high-stakes flagship redesign last season, Samsung’s back to what it does best — making itself comfortable at the top of the heap. OK, it sounds like a bold claim but by no means incredible if you’ve seen the Samsung Galaxy S7 edge.

Yet, this isn’t exactly a galaxy far, far away. The Samsung Galaxy S7 edge looks a lot like its predecessor, and we’ve heard a lot of people calling it the same device. Can’t blame them really – Samsung indeed focused on refinement this time around and if you caught our regular Galaxy S7 review, you’d know we liked what they come up with.

Anyway, the real deal is on the inside. If only you look at the features it brings back, such as water protection and a microSD slot, you may conclude that the Galaxy S7 edge is what the S6 edge should’ve been.

Samsung Galaxy S7 Edge review

But that’s not where the hardware novelties end. We paid due attention to the camera in our MWC coverage and the review of the vanilla Galaxy S7 to conclude that the dual pixel autofocus, wider aperture and bigger pixel size more than make up for the lower sensor resolution.

The new flagship wouldn’t have done without an engine upgrade – we guess Qualcomm’s return as a chipset supplier is another sign of things getting back to normal after the Project Zero coup. The Galaxy S7 pair is powered by either Snapdragon 820, or the latest Exynos 8890, each with 4GB of RAM.

There is a bigger display with an always-on option, and a more robust battery too. The Samsung Galaxy S7 edge runs the latest Android of course, skinned with the latest TouchWiz.

Key features
Curved 5.5″ Super AMOLED display of 1440p resolution; 534ppi; Always On capabilities;
Gorilla Glass 4 front and rear panels
IP68 certified – dust proof and water resistant
USA model: Snapdragon 820 chipset – quad-core Kryo processor (2x 2.15GHz and 2x 1.6GHz cores); Adreno 530 GPU; 4GB of RAM
Global model: Exynos 8890 chipset – octa-core processor with four 2.6GHz Mongoose and four 1.6GHz Cortex-A53 cores; Mali-T880 MP12 GPU; 4GB of RAM
12MP f/1.7 main camera with phase detect autofocus, optical image stabilization, LED flash
2160p video at 30fps; 1080p@60fps; 720p@240fps; HDR
5MP f/1.7 front-facing camera, 1440p video recording at 30fps
32/64GB of built-in storage; microSD slot up to 200GB
Cat.9 4G LTE (450Mbps); Wi-Fi a/b/g/n/ac; Bluetooth 4.2, ANT+, NFC; GPS, GLONASS and Beidou; FM radio
Heart-rate monitor, barometer, SpO2 sensor
Wireless charging (Qi/PMA)
3,600 mAh non-removable battery, fast charging

Main disadvantages
Hefty price tag
Sealed battery
No FM radio or IR blaster

Samsung did well to bring back two of the most valued features – the microSD slot and water protection but the new design precludes any way of accessing the battery outside an authorized service center. The FM radio and IR blaster are gone for some reason at least in our Exynos version of the handset.

Samsung Galaxy S7 Edge review

Now, whatever deals there may have been in the debut week – including a free Gear VR headset – the Galaxy S7 edge remains among the most expensive mass-produced phones right now. But if Apple can charge as much, no harm in Samsung trying as well.

So, what is the Samsung Galaxy S7 edge really made of and is it worth the asking price? Read on as we try to find out!