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Samsung Galaxy S7 review: Time-saver edition

Introduction

The Galaxy S6 was Samsung’s plunge into premium materials for its flagship line, which had long since suffered ridicule for its extensive use of plastic. The Galaxy S7 is the evolutionary upgrade that follows, building upon the S6’s foundations.

Key specifications


5.1″1440×2560 pixels



12MP
2160p



2.3GHz
Exynos 8890 Octa



4GB RAM
32/64GB memory





3000mAhLi-Po

Design has been refined, with clues taken from the Note5 which split in half the year between the two S-models’ releases. Under the hood, the latest silicon churns higher numbers, but the headlines are in other areas – a brand new dual-pixel 12MP camera, the return of environmental sealing and microSD expansion, plus an extra-large battery. In other words – the Galaxy S6, only better.

Design and build quality

Galaxies were all made of plastic, Samsung S-series flagships, that is. Then came the Galaxy S6, Samsung’s response to plastic-hating users and reviewers, and it brought materials, look and feel up to the standard required in the segment. Samsung committed to the dual-glass design and on the S7 we see it taken a step up.

The Galaxy Note5 has generously loaned its curved back to the S7, alongside with its outer aluminum frame. This has made the S7 feel quite a lot slimmer than it actually is – measuring 142.4 x 69.6 x 7.9mm, the new model is 1.1mm thicker than the outgoing S6.

The “huge” difference, however, brings more good than it does harm. An extra millimeter means extra juice (3,000mAh battery vs. the S6’s 2,550mAh), and it also helps make the camera hump less of an eye-sore – it only sticks out by 0.46mm now. There’s no hiding the added heft – at 152g the S7 is precisely 10% heaver than the S6, and it shows in side-by-side comparisons. Not really an issue in daily use, though.

There’s also no escaping the fact that glass collects fingerprints, and the S7 is a pain to keep clean. That’s less of an issue with white paint jobs, but in all other cases, it’s likely to be covered in smudges most of the time.

Samsung Galaxy S7
Samsung Galaxy S7
Samsung Galaxy S7
Samsung Galaxy S7

Samsung Galaxy S7

While the rear comes from the Note5, the front is entirely S7’s. The side edges of the glass fade out nicely towards the frame at a more gradual angle than the top and bottom – a different take on the 2.5D glass concept, and one that detail freaks will rave about. It’s not the S7 edge’s curves, no, but the S7’s face does indeed have a character of its own.