Samsung may resurrect one of the more popular features from its Galaxy smartphone line: expandable storage.
A microSD slot, along with water resistance, a souped-up battery, and a better camera, are among the leaks featured in a VentureBeat report on Samsung’s next flagship phones.
Why this matters: The information drop comes from Evan Blass, who has a pretty good track record through his Twitter handle @evleaks. Samsung has big dollars and a substantial marketshare of the Android ecosystem, so it’s always worth paying attention to what the company cranks out.
MicroSD storage, water resistance among new features
Since Marshmallow has a new capability that allows you to treat your microSD card like native storage, it’s a more attractive option to include. Previously, managing a microSD card took a lot of legwork and mostly appealed to power users, so Samsung killed it off (along with a removable battery) with last year’s phones.
While you probably shouldn’t give this a real-world test when it arrives, the devices may include water and dust resistance. The GS7 and GS7 Edge is said to meet IP76 certification, which means protection against dust and full immersion in up to one meter of water.
Battery, screen, and other improvements
Battery life is the Achilles heel of every smartphone, and Samsung is reportedly trying to make customers happy with a bump to 3,000 mAh for the S7 and 3,600 mAh for the S7 Edge. That would be an increase from 2,550 mAh and 2,600 mAh in the S6 and S6 Edge, but it will take real-world testing to determine how much extra time users would gain.
The S7 should keep the screen size at 5.1 inches, with the Edge model jumping to 5.5 inches. The screen specs will supposedly stay the same, with Super AMOLED screens with 1440X2560 resolution (quad HD). There’s talk of an always-on display, which would enable a glanceable screen for a quick look at notifications.
In terms of specs, there’s a little uncertainty about the chipset. While the report says the most likely candidate is Samsung’s own Exynos 8 Octa 8890, there’s also talk of the North American version going with the Qualcomm Snapdragon 820. All editions, however, should see 4GB of RAM with 32GB and 64GB storage options.
Fewer megapixels, but a better camera?
This one may take some explaining to buyers: the camera will feature 12 megapixels, a decrease from the 16-megapixel shooter in last year’s model. In reality this figure is often misleading, as the megapixel count isn’t necessarily indicative of photo quality. Samsung will likely point towards its f/1.7 lens aperture, which should help the phone do well in low-light situations.
Samsung is likely to unveil the devices in mid-to-late February, just before Mobile World Congress in Barcelona. Of course we may see another leak or two before then, so we’ll keep a close watch.