|+ Stunning design||- Too big for some|
|+ Big battery||- Drop in camera megapixels|
|+ MicroSD card slot||- Expensive|
"The Samsung Galaxy S7 Edge might be the closest thing to a perfect phone we've ever seen. It's expensive but on paper almost nothing is lacking".
While the Samsung Galaxy S7 is a fairly safe upgrade on the Samsung Galaxy S6, the Samsung Galaxy S7 Edge has undergone bigger changes, literally, as it has a far larger screen than last year’s model.
With a bigger battery too, plus plenty of power, a great design and loads of features it certainly makes a great first impression, but does that impression last?
The Samsung Galaxy S7 Edge has a big 5.5-inch 1440 x 2560 screen. That’s larger than the 5.1-inch screen on the standard Galaxy S7 or the Galaxy S6 Edge, almost bringing it into phablet territory. It’s still very sharp though at 534 pixels per inch.
The curved edges also make it slightly more manageable than a flat 5.5-inch screen would be and they undeniably look great, though they’re not really any more useful than they were on the S6 Edge.
You can use them as a shortcut to favourite apps and contacts, or to glance at notifications and to add a bit more functionality Samsung has added a larger display mode to the edge screen, though this is coming to earlier Edge handsets too.
Edges aside this is the same great screen as the standard Galaxy S7 has, with rich colours, great contrast and a new always-on mode, which keeps it partially lit up with the time and notifications displayed, so you don’t have to keep tapping the power button on your phone.
The Samsung Galaxy S6 Edge was one of the most stylish phones of 2015 and while the S7 Edge is similar it’s even better. It has the same metal frame and glass back, but this time the back curves slightly, giving the whole phone a more rounded look and making it more comfortable to hold.
Not only that, it’s also IP68 certified dust proof and water resistant, making it a fair bit more durable. It’s a stunning phone and the likes of HTC and Apple will have their work cut out to top it with their next handsets.
The Samsung Galaxy S7 Edge packs in a Snapdragon 820 processor, which drops from the eight cores of the 810 to just four cores, but it’s still a lot more powerful. It’s also coupled with a meaty 4GB of RAM, so should deliver top tier performance.
We’re getting to the point now where any extra power hardly seems necessary, but it should ensure that the Samsung Galaxy S7 Edge is future proofed and still performs well years from now.
There’s a 12MP camera on the back of the Samsung Galaxy S7 Edge. That’s a drop from the 16MP one on the S6 Edge, but while there are fewer pixels they’re bigger this time, which allows them to take in a lot more light.
The upshot of that is that low light photography is far better here. You are sacrificing a bit of detail, but 12MP is still plenty for viewing photos on a smartphone screen or even a desktop monitor, so it was probably the right decision for Samsung to make.
The S7 Edge is also an adept video camera, as it can shoot in up to 2160p at 30fps and there’s a 5MP camera on the front for selfies and video calls.
Other than waterproofing and an always-on display the main new feature of the Samsung Galaxy S7 Edge is its ‘Game Launcher’, which aims to take your smartphone gaming to the next level by giving you control over the resolution and frame rate of games, keep notifications from distracting you and even record your sessions.
Plus, the fingerprint scanner makes a return. This was already fast and accurate on the Galaxy S6 Edge so expect more of the same here.
The battery is especially worthy of mention, as the Samsung Galaxy S7 Edge has a massive 3600 mAh juice pack. It remains to be seen what sort of life that will translate to but it’s a huge upgrade on the 2600 mAh unit in the S6 Edge and that’s key because the Galaxy S6 Edge didn’t have great battery life.
Memory comes in at a choice of 32 or 64GB, plus a microSD card slot with up to 200GB of expansion space.
Connectivity options include Wi-Fi, 3G, 4G, Bluetooth 4.2 and NFC. Plus, the phone supports fast charging, though there’s no USB-C here.
The Samsung Galaxy S7 Edge is the real star of Samsung’s show. As impressive as the S7 looks the larger screen, bigger battery and curves of the Edge make it altogether more desirable.
There are questions over just how good its battery life and camera will be and it sure is expensive, at £639 SIM free, but based on our first impressions it could be an early contender for phone of the year.
Dimensions (mm): 150.9 x 72.6 x 7.7
Weight (g): 157
Battery capacity (mAh): 3600
Colours: Black, White, Gold, Silver
Screen size (inches): 5.5
Resolution: 1440x2560 pixels
Pixels per inch (PPI): 534
Processor: 2.15GHz quad-core
Processor make: Snapdragon 820
Internal storage: 32/64GB
Expandable storage up to (GB): 200GB
Camera: 12-megapixel and 5-megapixel
Operating System: Android 6.0
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