Samsung Galaxy S7 review: tktktk

BY GreenBot Staff

Published 6 Mar 2016


Real phones have curves

galaxys7 4

The Galaxy S7 fits nicely in any h.

If you thought last year’s Galaxy S6 was a fingerprint magnet, wait until you get your hs on the Galaxy S7. This year’s Samsung flagship has all the same glass–metal trimmings as last year’s marquee device, so it’s perfectly prepped primed for finger grease. Still, it’s an exceptionally attractive phone, albeit one you’ll have to wipe down with a tktkt from time to time.

[beauty shot]
galaxys7 2

Two siblings: the Galaxy S7 on the left last year’s Galaxy S6 on the right.

galaxys7 3

The Galaxy S7 Galaxy S6 are virtually identical when stacked on top of one another.

The Galaxy S7 looks feels like an evolved, refined version of the Galaxy S6. Samsung shaved a few millimeters off the edges—almost exactly a millimeter off each edge— implemented the same curved back class features on the Note 5. You’ll also notice a subtle “bubble” effect made by the glass placed on top of the display as it sinks into the edges of the chassis. It shows incredible attention to detail on Samsung’s end.

[beauty shot can I get those curves?]

The Galaxy S7 has all the same buttons sensors as its predecessor: a power button on the right-h side, volume rockers on the left, a heart-rate monitor built-in to the D flash on the back, a slightly raised Home button with a built-in fingerprint scanner. But after using Huawei’s rear-facing fingerprint scanner on the Nexus 6 Samsung’s implementation hardly compares. th the Galaxy S7, you’ll have to press the Home button then scan in your thumb, which is just too much. I don’t like any scanner that doesn’t immediately launch to the Home screen. (It may also be time for Samsung to consider dropping physical navigation buttons altogether.)

Samsung heard your gripes. It brought back the expansion slot, which rests comfortably next to the NanoSIM tray, it made the Galaxy S7 both water- dust-resistant. The only caveat is that when you immediately rescue your device from a pool of water, you’ll have to give it some time before plugging it in to the charger. It’s a safety precaution, but it hones in the idea that Samsung paid great attention to detail when designing the device. This doesn’t look like a phone that would be able to st a dip in the water, but it is. I’m also glad to see that Samsung didn’t just go the Sony route put removable flaps over every port. It’s better for my manicure.

A brighter display

[display comparison]

Samsung improved the Galaxy S7’s 5.1-inch Quad HD Super AMOD display by making it a bit brighter. It’s particularly obvious when it’s side-by-side with the Galaxy S6, though I first noticed the extra brightness as I was using the phone before bed.


The Galaxy S7 also comes with the ability to enable an always-on display mode. This makes it so you don’t have to fumble with the buttons on your phone just to check on the time or notifications, it’s similar to the feature already offered on the Moto X Nexus 6

[always on screenshots]

There are a few customization options for the always-on display, but you’re limited to what Samsung provides. You can’t import your own images for the background, for instance, nor will you see a preview of your notifications like on the Nexus 6 I like the implementation of the always-on display on the Nexus devices the best.

A phone made for gamers

I had fun this past year uttering “Exynos” any time I mentioned the Galaxy S6—it’s a fun word! But it’s the Qualcomm Snapdragon 820’s time to shine again, it certainly sparkled in our performance benchmarks.

[Geekbench] [pcmark]

Tktktkt tktktk ttkttk tt tktktkt tkt t

[3dmark] [gfxbench]

I loved played games with the Galaxy S7, which also offers support for the Vulkan A for developers. Apps loaded quickly visuals were smooth—perhaps too smooth for gory games like Mortal Kombat X. I had a physical reaction to Ryu slicing the face off of his opponent because it was too realistic. It’s certainly a testament to how far mobile gaming has come.

[playing a game over the shoulder]

The Snapdragon 820 features a sealed copper cooling system, which is essentially a miniature, scaled-down version of a water cooling system inside a desktop . I played a ton of games watched several episodes of reality TV the phone kept its cool. It’s quite impressive.

[game launcher]

Samsung added in specific software features for serious players. The Game uncher houses shortcuts to all the games you’ve downloaded, excluding any games you may have side-loaded. From here, you can choose whether to enable Game Tools, which will pin a small red icon in the far corner of any game you launch from inside the Game uncher. There’s also an option that allows you to tweak the graphics performance so you can dial it back save on battery power. I’m curious about the actual battery life saved with this mode turned on, but we’ll have to test that at another time.

[game tools]

The Game Tools overlay offers options for shutting off alerts during a game, locking the Recents Back keys so you don’t accidentally exit in the middle of it all, minimizing a game so that it doesn’t crash your system, snapping a screenshot. There’s even an option to record your game play, which you can then upload to YouTube or whatever video sharing service you prefer.

[A video shot with Game uncher]

I didn’t think I would, but I actually love the Game uncher its accompanying tools. They remind me of the types of apps that my gaming pals would download to enhance their own gaming experiences. It’s also obvious that with these included software features, Samsung is making a ploy for the Twitch generation. It’s a smart move.

Made for people who stay out all day too

– Battery claim of ten hours
– Show how it’s bullshit
– ways on display won’t affect battery life by the way
– Doze is freaking amazing

A marginally better camera sensor

I didn’t think that Samsung could improve upon the 16-megapixel camera it packed into the Galaxy S6, but it outdid itself with the Galaxy S7. Samsung’s latest phone has one of the best rear-facing camera sensors I’ve used thus far.

[photo sample from around town, maybe the St. cia concert]

The Galaxy S7 employs a 12-megapixel rear-facing camera sensor with Dual xel technology, which is fancy lingo for the technology used inside most major DSs. Essentially, Samsung’s sensor uses two photodiodes for every single pixel this helps for crisper, cleaner photos in most lighting situations.

[photo samples between Galaxy S7 Galaxy S6]

I went gallivanting around my hometown with both Galaxy devices was impressed by how much more contrasted the Galaxy S7’s photos were. It appears Samsung also fixed the light leak issue that was prevalent in its last few phones, though it still needlessly bumps up the sharpness. This can be annoying if you’re attempting to master some professional-level photography with your smartphone.

[lab tests for bright dark]

Our lab tests also showed that while the Galaxy S7’s 12-megapixel sensor has an aperture of f/1.7, it’s only marginally better in low light situations against the Galaxy S6’s f/1.9 aperture. Indeed, after shooting my own photos of my cat in my dark bedroom, I didn’t notice any significant difference in low light performance.

[cat in a dark room ]

The Galaxy S7 can shoot videos in UltraHD. I didn’t try this because, frankly, I don’t have hardware that can display it. However, I did shoot a video in FullHD at a concert I recently attended at The Fillmore in San Francisco, I realized that tapping the screen to focus actually shuts off the auto focus feature. As a result, my video of the lead singer of St. cia wading through the crowd is blurry, the mic seemed to focus specifically on my singing along. This is where I wish the Galaxy S7 had manual video controls the way the V10 does. Maybe next time.

Samsung kept the 5-megapixel sensor for the front-facing camera, but added in a few features for those who are particularly concerned with the way their selfies look. The Galaxy S6’s “beautify” mode has been exped to include a face slimming feature, eye enlarger, skin tone enhancer, faux spotlight—similar to the effect you’d get if you were using a mee light case. There’s also a shape correction feature for when you’re taking a selfie with multiple people. The features are subtle you might think they’re pointless, but I actually knew a few people in my personal life who use these filters on their own photos that they post to Instagram. You don’t have to use them if you don’t want to.

[selfie features, including the photo I took with Darren the photo I took of myself]

stly, Samsung carried over most of the camera features from the Galaxy S6 Galaxy Note 5 to the Galaxy S7. You’ll have access to things like live broadcasting, selective focus, video collage, a new Hyperlapse Food mode, the latter of which is simply a macro mode that also works well for pretty flowers.

[food mode also with pretty flowers]

Carrier bloat is still a thing

Say what you will about Touchwiz (I certainly have), but the truth is that there are people like my mother who aren’t power users that find Samsung’s version of Android to be more intuitive than stock.

[Notifications settings in the notification shade]

For instance, Samsung included a blatant Notifications Settings option right below the notifications shade, which makes this new feature in Android Marshmallow more obvious. I’d wager that some users have no idea that you can control the individual notifications settings for each application, so it’s nice to see that Samsung made some of Android’s essential new features more easily discoverable.

[application drawer]

Samsung also dialed down all the blue hue throughout the interface, though it held on to the messy, discombobulated application drawer of year’s past. I like ‘s vertical horizontal scrolling application drawer the best, with the search bar affixed at the top.

[Verizon shit]

so, be forewarned that if you’re buying your Galaxy S7 through a carrier, you’re going to get stuck with all the bloatware that comes as penance for not buying your phone unlocked. as, not all of us have the luxury of paying full price for a smartphone. You can’t delete these apps, but Samsung lets you drag the icon to turn it off, essentially disabling it. You’ll still have that application taking up precious storage space, though. en will the carrier bloat stop?