Photo by TechStage
Samsung is gracing its first two 2016 flagships with a pair of features that were noticeably absent from 2015’s Galaxy S6 and S6 edge, according to a person briefed on the company’s plans. Both the Galaxy S7 and S7 Edge will include microSD slots (compatible with cards up to 200GB) and IP67 dust- and water-resistance certifications.
Further details about the two devices, tipped to feature largely the same design as the S6 generation, were also revealed. Whilst last year’s flagships shared identical 5.1 inch displays, this year only the flat S7 variant will retain that screen size. The S7 edge was said to include a slightly larger, curved display measuring 5.5 inches.
Last years resolution of 1440 x 2560 will supposedly remain the same across both Super AMOLED screens but one rumoured change is the inclusion of always-on display (AOD) functionality, enabling a glanceable screen that is claimed to only use one percent of the battery per hour.
One major criticism users expressed with the S6/S6 Edge was it’s lacklustre battery performance, and the fact it wasn’t removable. Whilst the latter of those issues remains up for debate, Samsung have addressed the former with both models receiving a well needed capacity bump. 3000mAh and 3600mAh are the ratings for the S7 and S7 Edge respectively (up from 2550mAh and 2600mAh)
The Wireless charging functionality found in last year devices remains, and has been greatly improved on with Samsung claiming charge times of 2 hours for the S7 and 2.2 hours for the S7 Edge.
Unlike HTC and Sony, but much like Apple; Samsung are once again powering their handsets with in-house technology in the form of their newly developed Exynos 8 Octa 8890 chipset. The high-performance 8-core processor, based loosely on an ARM reference design, will house four 2.3GHz cores alongside four more 1.6GHz ones and will include an integrated cellular baseband modem, allegedly enabling LTE Cat.9 functionality.
Photo by Köf3
However, it should be noted that, in different regions, Samsung have been know to use different components for the internals of their handsets. Some reports have suggested Samsung will employ the services of Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 820 chipset for use in the North American variants, at very least, all regions should share the same 4GB memory allowance.
As for storage, only two options were presented: 32GB or 64GB. No mention of a 128GB variant was surely a disappointment for many, but as removable storage makes a welcomed return, it was hardly surprising.
Finally, in a move that’s bound to cause some sleepless nights for Samsungs marketing team; the sensor they’ve chosen to utilise is just 12 megapixels, a “downgrade” then from the 16 megapixels found in last years models. But resolution is not everything, as Samsung were quick to point out, and the module; combined with an f/1.7 lens aperture is tipped as being an especially good performer in low light situations.
Photo by Kārlis Dambrāns
Another upside, in my personal opinion, is that the rear camera lens should now sit flush with the backplate, eliminating the dreaded “S6 hump” which was the bane of any S6 user that prefers a naked handset. The front-facing selfie cam was said to remain unchanged, at least in regards to its five-megapixel sensor.
For the past several years, Samsung has unveiled its handsets prior to the Mobile World Congress, which takes place around mid-to-late February in Barcelona. This year is expected to be no different with a Global rollout said to be expected in March yet no solid release dates were confirmed.