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The Samsung Galaxy S7 Edge review

When Samsung announced the Galaxy S7 and S7 edge at MWC 2016 in Barcelona, ​​the devices were met with mixed reactions. No one argued that they were not worthy of the flagship title, and it was not that people did not accept the expandable storage and the returning water resistance. It was only if the devices were delivered enough to justify their high-priced labels or not, especially against competitors like Xiaomi's Mi 5 that fetches almost half the price of the S7. Admittedly, I was among the skeptics, too, until I tried the Samsung Galaxy S7 edge myself. And I fell in love with it.

Everything about this device is worth it, and that is as much from a geek point of view as from a casual point of view. Sure, there may be things to focus on, but does that deter the fantastic experience the device offers? Never. It just doesn't make enough of a difference.

Throughout this review, my focus will be on user experience and perspective. No casual user cares if the speaker grille and microUSB port don't line up completely, or if the screen is weird under a digital electron microscope. These are things to ponder for geeks, and our review is for the average Joe.

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In the frame

For a device as premium and expensive as the Galaxy S7 edge, the retail box is not a stellar affair. You will get a very well built retail box that includes the usual goodies: the device itself, a fast charging AC adapter, Samsung headphones and a adapter micro-USB to USB . The last article is for private use; Despite being small (and easy to extract, of course), it supports USB-OTG, so you can basically use it to connect other devices to your Galaxy S7 edge. It is extremely useful if you have an older device (Android or iOS) from which you want to migrate your data, so the fact that Samsung has included it in the retail box is commendable.

The headphones supplied with the Galaxy S7 edge are the same ones that were shipped with the Galaxy S6 and Galaxy S6 edge smartphones last year, so while they offer decent audio, they are not going to please the headphone. I still feel that Samsung has a lot of work to do in this area, even if it only fits the quality of Apple's headphones.

Build and design

This is frankly where the romance with the Samsung Galaxy S7 edge begins. Right away, it's one of the most beautiful and elegant smartphones out there. As for the design, the Galaxy S7 edge is like a bigger S6 edge or S6 edge +, although more attractive. And that's a really good thing, because these two phones from last year were among the best looking. The phone is made exclusively of aluminum and glass, with two Corning Gorilla Glass 4 sheets wrapped around the metal frame of the device. The screen measures 5.5 inches in diagonally, placing the edge of the Galaxy S7 in the phablet realm (the regular Galaxy S7 features a 5.1 display, for comparison).

Samsung was inspired by last year's S6 edge bad ergonomics, especially when it came to lifting the device off a flat surface, and this time the glass curves slightly to the edges at the front and rear, making it easy to select. Device up and holding in hand without fear of slipping. This design element was great from an ergonomic standpoint on the Galaxy Note 5, so it's also nice to see that Samsung brings it here. The GS7 also feels great thanks to these curves, further cementing its premium status.

The edge of the Galaxy S7 is also water and dust resistant With an IP68 rating, which means it can withstand immersion of up to 1.5 meters for up to 30 minutes. The best part is that Samsung accomplished this without putting flaps on the ports, as we've seen on the frontline of Xperia or on the Samsung Galaxy S5 a couple of years ago. In fact, the charging port has water detection, so if you have taken the phone out of the water and the charging plugs are not dry yet, you will be notified and the charging circuits will be turned off to avoid damage.

In terms of ports and buttons, the design is quite similar to last year's S6 edge. The top of the 5.5 screen is occupied by the earpiece, the notification LED, the ambient light and proximity sensors, and the 5-megapixel camera unit. The bottom of the screen houses the physical start button with a built-in fingerprint reader, surrounded by the Back and Multitasking capacitive keys. At the top of the device, you get the SIM card tray and a noise canceling microphone, while the bottom of the device contains the multipurpose microUSB port, main microphone, speaker grille and 3.5mm audio jack. It's weird that Samsung has still opted for microUSB via the USB-C connector, but it may be a good thing, as the S7 edge won't disable many of its old cables and accessories. Still, microUSB is a platform that has become outdated very fast, so Samsung's choice here is a bit weird.

The tray at the top houses both the SIM card (Nano-SIM variety) and the micro-SD card, if you want to expand the storage. The way the device is configured, you can use the phone with dual SIM capabilities or use a SIM card and a micro-SD card, as the second SIM slot is doubled for both. However, you cannot have expandable dual-SIM storage at the same time.

The right side of the Galaxy S7 edge contains the power button, while the left side has the volume buttons. All the physical buttons are well built and give a satisfying click when pressed.

The back of the phone provides the home of the 12 megapixel main camera, accompanied by the LED flash and the heart rate sensor. The camera protrudes slightly from the body, but is much less visible than last year's models because the S7 edge is slightly thicker than the S6 edge. However, that has no impact on the appearance of the device, and if you end up using a bumper case, the camera bump practically disappears.

Speaking of outrageous cases, it might be worth investing in one. Although Gorilla Glass 4 is strong, it is not yet unbreakable, and with this both the front and the back depend on it, you would want additional protection. Not to mention, a silicone bumper, for example, increases the grip of this slippery phone and also helps with fingerprints, for which the S7 edge is a magnet.

The Galaxy S7 edge comes in gold, silver Y black .

Monitor

If there's something you can't really doubt Samsung about, it shows up. SuperAMOLED displays were beautiful to start with, and over the years, Samsung has really honed this technology. The result is a 5.5 screen at a resolution of 1,440 x 2,560 QHD which is a pleasure to watch. Blacks are as deep as they can be and tones are more intense than before. The smooth curve of the edges also ensures that the screen looks equally elegant from one edge to the other. The brightness and readability of sunlight are top-notch, and Samsung even provides the edge of the S7 with an adaptive display mode that tones colors differently under different light sources. Personally, I have not seen a better display: the Galaxy S7 edge surpasses the S6 and S6 C of last year, which were already quite surprising.

A minor annoyance, and this isn't really the display's fault, is that the Gorilla Glass 4 on the front is highly reflective. In fact, you may get to a point where you might consider investing in a matte finish screen protector to minimize glare. However, it is difficult to complain about this, because it is also this glass panel that makes the device as beautiful as it is.

The display also has a mode Always on, which is enabled by default. Under Always On, you get a basic clock complemented by the day, time, and battery level, as well as indicators for pending notifications. All this can be further embellished with a background image or pattern. The Always-On screen is activated when the screen is turned off and can be customized to some extent (clock type, date / time format, etc., background image). This mode, however, consumes battery, even marginally, and personally, after enjoying its novelty for a few days, ended up turning it off. This is something you may want to try for yourself before making a judgment on this.

Always-On can be further changed through themes from the Samsung Theme Store, which was first introduced with Note 5 and is also compatible with S7 edge.

Interface and features

The Galaxy S7 edge comes with Android 6.0.1 Marshmallow and is lined with Samsung's TouchWiz user interface. If you've ever used a Samsung phone, you'll know quite well what to expect, because TouchWiz is a fairly standard matter. This is also where many problems with Samsung start. The tech world, and critics in particular, seem to hate TouchWiz with a passion. Personally, I've never had a problem with TouchWiz, and certain features are those that I appreciate in the Android user interface (the ability to toggle the automatic brightness of the notification screen, for example). Still, if you don't like TouchWiz, you can go for one of the many themes that are now supported, some of which will completely change the look of the device interface. There is also the possibility to completely disable the application drawer. Also, there are themes that adhere to Google Material design guidelines that have become a hallmark of good design on Android, so you can also try them if that's your thing.

Because the TouchWiz interface is quite standard, we would spend more time talking about some of the new features of the Galaxy S7 edge than the general interface. After all, it is Android.

Fingerprint reader

The first of those features is the fingerprint reader. With Marshmallow, Android has native support for fingerprint readers, and S7 edge fully benefits from that. The reader is integrated into the physical start button and is very fast and accurate. In fact, it blows the TouchID of iPhones 6s by a large margin. The reader never stopped reading my thumb print regardless of the angle, and the recognition speed was stellar. Several times, all it took to unlock the phone was to press the start button, during which the activation of the screen would be logged for the first time while the fingerprint data was transmitted to the system, causing an immediate unlock. The reader also had no trouble reading wet or sweaty fingerprints, though that's not something Samsung has announced.

The fingerprint reader is supposedly of the same variety that was used on the Galaxy S6. However, my experience was that it worked more reliably and faster. Maybe it's the native support Android 6.0 offers or the best processor computing power this year, but in real-world use, you'll notice a difference.

It is worth noting that the fingerprint sensor will not work when the screen is off. This means that there is an additional step to awaken the screen and then provide your fingerprint, but as noted earlier, one press of the home button was often enough to do both.

Themes

The native extensive theme was something that served as a hallmark for a number of third-party launchers, but with the Note 5, Samsung brought this support to the TouchWiz stock. The same has been carried over to the Galaxy S7 as well. By default, the device comes with a single theme pre-installed, but there is much more in the Samsung theme store that you can explore. Remember that you need a Samsung account for that, in which you can register in case you don't have one. Some themes come with additional features, like changing the Always On screen, so you may have to explore some before you find something you like. Material design themes are there, too, but they generally seem half-hearted and not really "material" attempts.

Split screen multitasking

It would have been a shame not to have this feature on a 5.5-inch phablet, and Samsung seems to have taken note of that (pun intended). In split-screen mode, you can run instances of two different apps at the same time, and they both take up half the screen. The size of an application is customizable, and there are other things you can do in this mode, too. Unfortunately, the split screen is not compatible with all applications in general, but it is still a fact that Samsung has the largest number of compatible applications for this purpose.

You can launch split screen mode from the application switcher, where compatible applications will have a split button next to the close option. Split screen mode also supports floating app windows.

Game launcher

Debuting with the Galaxy S7 and Galaxy S7 edge, Game Launcher appears to be another folder that automatically collects all installed games in one location. However, there is much more than meets the eye. First, the Launcher will automatically tag installed games to find them conveniently, and in case something goes missing, you can add any app manually. Second, it comes with different energy saving modes, which basically means you can limit the frame rate during a game to maximize battery time. Finally, it comes with the game tools, a small floating key that is automatically activated when you start a game.

Game tools it is a collection of options that casual and casual mobile gamers will find most useful. The first option is disable alerts, making sure you are not disturbed during the game (think Do not disturb only for games). The second option is lock the Back and Recent capacitive keysWhich is a blessing if you have ever been removed from Vainglory due to an accidental press of the Back key. The next option allows you minimize the game without leaving l. The fourth option allows take a catch from screen to show it later to your friends, while the last option is record the game .

The recording option is pretty good if you like making video / game tutorials. While the screen is recording, audio can be captured from the game or from the device's microphone, which is useful if you are commenting. Plus, you can even embed an image in your recording as a watermark (making sure no one steals it), or activate the front camera to put your face on it, whichever is most convenient for you. Game Launcher is really one of those features that only after experiencing it you wonder how you would have played without it.

Game Launcher will also offer Top Charts for popular games by users similar to or near you, and suggest YouTube videos to watch based on your installed games.

Edge characteristics

It is not possible to talk about an Edge device without mentioning the characteristics of Edge, right? With the Galaxy S7 edge, Samsung took what used to be a cosmetic feature and at best, and made it quite surprising. Essentially, for the border, you get three elements: Panels edge, Sources of edge Y Edge lighting . All of these were present in previous versions of Samsung Edge on other devices, but it is Edge Panels that has undergone the most significant change.

First, Edge panels are now numerous and can be downloaded more from the Samsung store. Dashboards include the likes of favorite contacts, shortcuts to quick apps, tools like compass and ruler; the usual ordeal, or ordinates, such as quick tasks (think Tasker but automation is much simpler) and places, which automatically populate a predefined set of apps and actions based on where you are, what network or Bluetooth device is connected etc. Among all the edge panels, I found this to be most useful for my most needed applications at work or when I was driving (Car Bluetooth as a detection method).

Edge panels are invoked by swiping from the active edge (you can set the right or left edge as active, depending on your preferences), and the panel extractor can be rearranged wherever you want on the screen.

Edge feeds and edge lighting remain the same as before. Feeds can be invoked by swiping back and forth on the active edge in quick succession, and can host calendar events, notifications, RSS feeds, etc., depending on how you have configured them. Edge Lighting is activated only when the device has been turned upside down and the edge will light up by default if the call comes from a configured contact. The latter is really just a trick I can't figure out practical use for.

One slight annoyance I observed with the Edge was a really awkward palm rejection algorithm. Many times, the screen doesn't respond because my grip around the phone will end up being recognized as a valid touch. It happened often enough to become a nuisance, and I hope that Samsung will fix this through a future software update.

Acting

First, let's talk about some numbers.

The Galaxy S7 Edge comes in two flavors: one powered by the chipset. Qualcomm Snapdragon 820 and released to the US market. USA (At least officially), while the other, global model powered by the Exynos 8890 Samsung SoC. My review unit is the last one, so we'll talk about that and not go into the Snapdragon and Exynos comparisons. In general, they both offer the same processing power anyway with marginal differences, so there isn't much to skip.

For starters, the Exynos 8890 is a processing beast, and there are several reasons for this. First, the octa-core chip comes with four high-speed cores called Mongoose, which can go up to 2.6 GHz . Mongoose cores are complemented by four Cortex A53 cores of low power consumption that operate at 1.6 GHz, for when you don't need all that processing power. The Mongoose cores are further optimized in what may seem strange at first: if only two Mongoose cores are required, they will fire at 2.6 GHz, but if what you are doing requires all four, it will be reduced to 2.3 GHz max. instead of 2.6. While it may seem strange, it provides the S7 with better cooling and avoids thermal regulation, making it a good Samsung decision. Hey, it's unlikely that you'll ever need the full potential of this Exynos 8890 chipset unless you're running benchmarks all the time.

The GPU in the Exynos 8890 is also unique: the ARM Mali-T880 MP12 with 12 processing cores. The GPU gets 512 MB of the 4GB LPDDR4 RAM total of the device, ensuring that it has enough capacity to handle whatever you want.

Moving past numbers, the Galaxy S7 Edge is fast. In fact, it's burning fast. This is the fastest Android phone I've used to date, period. I struggled to slow down the phone after loading it with my social accounts and apps, work accounts and apps, and all the other games I would normally want to have (and not even play). Everything is super responsive (maybe a bit too responsive at times), and the device shines by rendering the best possible graphics on this gorgeous screen. Even the TouchWiz interface often blamed on Samsung phones that exhibit lag doesn't stop this beast. I have included some reference points for you to see here, but honestly, it will be very difficult for you to find a faster phone right now. It just works.

However, a note on the Mali T880 GPU. The Galaxy S7 edge has some thermal regulation issues, despite the dedicated cooling system that Samsung places inside this device. This is likely due to the GPU, where the 12 processing cores may be overworking or at least using a better governor. Also, compared to the Adreno 530 to be found in the Snapdragon 820 variant of the S7 edge, the T880 lags a little behind. It's not much, and it's not going to deter the overall experience, but when you play like Real Racing 3, you can tell the difference and the device will heat up a bit more than its other sibling.

Battery

Samsung's Galaxy S7 edge has a battery from 3,600 mAh of the non-removable variety, but it does a better job of lasting longer than previous S6 models and the smaller S7. The device features Qualcomm's QuickCharge 2.0, which is a shame, given that today's flagships are allowing full support for version 3.0 of the technology. However, the phone charges fairly quickly with the supplied adapter, and can go from 0 to 100% in about an hour and a half. There is also wireless charging on board with a quick charge bracket there, if your charging pad supports it. The Galaxy S7 edge supports Qi and PMA wireless charging, so you can even use one of your older charging devices for this device.

It is interesting to note that the 3,600 mAh battery can also be used as a power bank to charge other devices, using the supplied microUSB-to-USB adapter.

In practical use, the device comfortably lasts me a full day with three synchronized email accounts, 6 social media accounts, plenty of RSS subscriptions (all with various notifications throughout the day), occasional photos and videos, and approximately one hour of play (I play Vainglory, nothing more). At the end of the day, when I put it to charge, I was left with 25% juice with all this. This is without applying any power saving mode, of which Samsung provides two. I suspect they will make the battery last longer than this.

Camera

Finally, the part of the review that you've definitely been waiting for. DxOMark recently crowned Edge S7 as the best mobile camera ever, and we wanted to see the credit behind that title.

The camera on the Galaxy S7 edge is a 12 megapixel main unit with a 4: 3 aspect ratio, which provides a shift from Samsung's traditional 16: 9 approach to mobile photography. On paper, 12MP is a downgrade of the Galaxy S6 edge's 16MP trigger, but what Samsung did here was increase the pixel size to 1.4m and provide the brightest aperture on a mobile camera: f / 1.7 . What resulted was great low-light performance (which is what most people usually take in shots), and this along with the Optical Image Stabilization (OIS) and you have a natural winner on hand.

Camera tricks don't end here either. Samsung also implemented the Dual Pixel focus on the Galaxy S7 and Galaxy S7 edge, a hallmark of DSLR cameras so far. Dual-pixel focus is a form of phase-detection autofocus that basically allows each individual pixel to focus on the subject, resulting in an autofocus experience that is unparalleled by any other smart phone. In fact, the GS7 edge never went out of focus for a second.

In terms of video capture, the package is quite full. Get video 4K ultra-HD at 30 fps, QHD (1440p) at 30fps, FHD (1080p) at 60fps and 30fps, and lower resolutions which, frankly, I don't see a need for general use. The catch slow motion takes place at a decent 720p resolution with 240fps maximum, and Hyperlapse for those time lapse videos that you always wanted to film. Note that Hyperlapse parses the scene for movement and change and does not capture at a fixed speed. The video bit rate is 48Mbps for UHD, 28Mbps for QHD, and 17 Mbps for 1080p video. Audio is recorded in stereo in all cases at 256 kbps.

The 5-megapixel front camera, often called a selfie camera, features the same bright f / 1.7 lens.

Camera interface

As for the camera interface, it's a standard Samsung affair, with a large viewfinder that has options like the Effect, HDR, Timer, Flash, and Resolution buttons to the left, while the right side is occupied by Galley, Recording Video, Capture, Change camera and Mode. buttons. Settings can be changed from the lower left corner of the screen, while Mode will allow you to move from Auto to Pro and a number of Samsung's signature shooting modes, including Selective Focus, Panorama, Video Collage, Live Streaming , Slow Motion, Virtual Shot, Power, and Hyperlapse. Additional modes can be downloaded from the Samsung store.

In Pro mode, you get an additional bar on the right side of the screen containing shortcuts for Effects, Auto / Manual slider, White balance, ISO, Shutter speed, and Exposure compensation. The Galaxy S7 edge has one of the most robust manual control sets and can also take pictures in RAW. You can raise the ISO up to 800 for those annoying night shots (although I don't recommend it unless you have to take a photo), and the shutter speed ranges from 1 / 24,000 to 10 seconds, making the device ideal for almost all types of photography.

Another feature the Galaxy S7 edge received was Motion photo, which basically works similarly to iPhone 6 live photos: it captures a short 3-second clip with live action. With Facebook adding live photo support, this may find some love from casual photographers who love to share photos of their children and pets.

In the selfie camera, you get beautification features like face thinning, eye size enlargement, headlight brightness on each side, and skin tone change. The front camera also comes with a WideSelfie mode for those hard-to-get group shots.

Camera quality

In a word: outstanding. The Galaxy S7 really does have one of the best, if not the best, mobile cameras out there today. The detail resolved is striking, the color rendering is accurate, and the dynamic range is exceptional. White balance was generally correct, and it seems that Samsung has finally defined the sharpening algorithm, because photos never look sharper. In the high-contrast scenes there was a noticeably less purple fringe count. One recommendation I have is to have HDR mode always on as it can do wonders to preserve shadows without exploiting reflections. I also noticed that the images had more visual strength and lighting balance with HDR in that without it.

Scene with HDR in
HDR works great for close-ups in challenging light conditions
High contrast scene
Notice how the details are preserved
The color rendering is really fantastic.
Notice the hair on the stem. That was the focus point.
Camera handles dynamic range well without HDR
Bright light sources are exposed.
Thanks to OIS, the shutter speed was reduced to the 1s handheld.
Pretty decent light
Partially lit room
Flash fired
Scene lit with only the light of a monitor, no flash fired

The Macro mode of the Galaxy S7 edge also does nothing less than impressive. Double-pixel autofocus really shines here, but if you're having trouble getting the correct focus, switch to Pro mode and kick manual focus. Doing so magnifies the image so you can really see exactly what you're trying to focus on (notice the hair on the stem in the sample photo), resulting in one of the sharpest macros of all mobile devices. The wide f / 1.7 aperture also gives these images a really nice bokeh effect.

In low light conditions, auto mode generally works well, with noise levels under control and fairly decent exposure. However, thanks to the large aperture, OIS focus, and Dual Pixel, I was able to reduce the shutter speed to 1 second in a handheld shot and still get a stable image without blurry images. There are issues with playing bright light sources like a car headlight, but overall this is the best low light camera I've ever used.

However, the 5 MP selfie camera isn't impressive despite having the same aperture of f / 1.7. What is particularly annoying is that post-processing seems to be taking embellishment a little too seriously and making the face look artificial. Still, to share on Facebook, these selfies should be more than enough.

The video quality is also top notch on the Galaxy S7 edge. When shooting in 4K, you can basically take a still image from a video and pass it as a separate 8-megapixel shot, that's how good it is. Incredibly fast focus works just as well in video mode, and color reproduction remains accurate. Playback is as smooth as can be.

In short, it will be difficult to find a defect with the Galaxy S7 camera. It really is that good.

Connectivity options

The Galaxy S7 edge offers a complete connectivity suite with two exceptions, which makes us wonder why Samsung did that in a 2016 flagship. The device comes with LTE Cat. 9 what which means you can have a maximum downlink of 450Mbps. WiFi is from the variety a / b / g / n with support for WiFi-ac for local connectivity. The supported WiFi channels are 2.4GHz and 5GHz both. Then there is Bluetooth LE 4.2 Y NFC, the latter of which can also be used to Samsung pay . Finally, you get a hot swappable memory cardas well as USB OTG, which can be used for both external storage and peripherals.

Las dos excepciones que mencion anteriormente son IR blaster y radio FM. Si bien la radio FM puede entenderse algo a la luz de la llegada de los servicios de transmisin en lnea, omitir el blaster por infrarrojos es una eleccin extraa, especialmente porque estaba presente tanto en el Galaxy S6 como en el S6 edge, y fue una caracterstica bienvenida. Quizs Samsung simplemente no quiere que uses tu telfono inteligente para controlar los aparatos?

Echemos un vistazo rpido a los pros y los contras en pocas palabras.

Pros

  • Elegante construccin de primera calidad y calidad.
  • Pantalla estelar quad-HD 5.5
  • Potencia de rendimiento gracias al chipset de procesamiento de ltima generacin
  • Resistente al polvo y al agua hasta 1, 5 metros durante 30 minutos
  • La mejor cmara en un dispositivo mvil con un rendimiento impresionante con poca luz
  • Grabacin de video 4K a alta tasa de bits
  • Almacenamiento ampliable, hasta 200 GB de tarjetas microSD compatibles
  • Conectividad dual-SIM
  • Carga inalambrica
  • Paquete de conectividad slida, LTE Cat. 9 apoyado
  • Batera decente a 3, 600 mAh, carga rpida

Cons

  • El vidrio delantero / trasero hace que el dispositivo sea frgil
  • micro-USB en lugar de USB-C
  • Radiador de infrarrojos y radio FM omitidos
  • Imn de huella digital
  • Bastante caro (si cuentas esto como una estafa)

Ultimas palabras

Al final de nuestra revisin de Galaxy S7 edge, solo tengo una sensacin: este es the telfono inteligente. Comprueba todas las casillas correctas dignas de un buque insignia. Excelente procesamiento: cheque; gran conectividad: cheque; Construccin y diseo premium: cheque; Cmara sobresaliente: cheque; pantalla estelar: cheque; amplio almacenamiento: cheque; caractersticas del buque insignia: comprobar. Claro, es caro; Claro, tiene mucha competencia, pero si ahora ests en el mercado por un dispositivo estrella que habla como buque insignia, el Galaxy S7 edge es el camino a seguir.

Compra aqu: Bestbuy.com