Now that we’re a few months after its official launch in Malaysia, let’s revisit Samsung’s flagship smartphone, the Galaxy S7 edge, once again. What exactly made this smartphone so critically acclaimed? We break down the features that really matter.
The Galaxy S7 edge is highly regarded among the tech community, and a lot of this can be contributed to five major improvements Samsung made for the S7 edge that truly elevates the device from last year’s Galaxy S6 edge. Let’s go through five of the most important changes, and explain why each of them matter.
Ask, and you shall receive. The Galaxy S6 and S6 edge courted plenty of criticism for not having a microSD card slot. Samsung had its reasons, but eventually consumers got what they wanted in the S7 edge.
In Malaysia, Samsung further sweetened the deal for eager S7 edge buyers by offering its high-performance microSD cards as part of a pre-order bundle.
Why it matters:
I use a Galaxy Note 5 as my daily driver, and after just three months the device notified me that I’d used up about 31GB out of the 32GB internal storage. With no microSD card slot, the only option was to begin spring cleaning the device: deleting apps that I don’t use, removing photos and videos I’ve captured and backing them up to the cloud. It’s a painfully slow process, and one that you’ll need to repeat every few months or so.
With a microSD card slot, you can store additional files and apps up to 200GB without having to find them in OneDrive or Google Drive when they’re needed. It’s a matter of convenience, and giving the consumer the option of storing more items in their most intimate device.
Water and Dust Resistance
Another feature that was present in the Galaxy S5 but omitted in the S6. Samsung did not place much emphasis on this feature in last year’s flagship devices, focusing instead on beautiful design and creating a truly great camera.
Thankfully, Samsung relented again, crafting the S7 edge with an IP68 rating. This means it is dust-tight, and is capable of being submerged under 1.5m of water for up to 30 minutes – all without ugly flaps to cover the connectivity ports.
Why it matters:
Accidents are bound to happen, especially when it involves electronic devices and liquid. You’ll never know when your phone accidentally slips into a sink while you wash your hands, or suffer the unceremonious consequence when you use your phone while on the, ahem, throne.
Plus, with the knowledge that it’ll handle small bodies of water, S7 edge owners can have a lot more fun with their phones. Take it for a swim and shoot underwater selfies, or rinse food stains off of it without the slightest worry. It is honestly a huge weight off your shoulders, knowing that your RM3,099 smartphone can handle splashes of water.
Remember when Samsung used to be associated with “plastic” and “boring”? You simply can’t fault the South Korean giants in how their devices look today. The S6 started the revolution, unveiling a sexy glass and metal design that is likely to be the blueprint of devices to come.
The Galaxy S7 edge refines this formula, adding a curved back that makes it so much better to hold. The camera bump has been reduced to just 0.2mm, almost invisible in certain angles. And, for a 5.5-inch device, it is delightfully comfortable to use with one hand – the dual-curved display makes things more accessible.
Why it matters:
To be a premium smartphone company, your devices must look the part. For years the rationale when choosing a smartphone would be to choose a Galaxy for performance, but rarely for style. That theory is certainly invalid today – there are so many iPhone clones out there, but few can replicate the expensive manufacturing costs of building a smartphone with curved glass both at the front and back.
Ergonomically speaking, too, the S7 edge is in a league of its own. Few smartphones feel as comfortable in the hands. Plenty of smartphones with metal unibodies feature chamfered edges which, while stylish, often dig into your palms when held for long periods.
These days, we demand a lot from our smartphones. We expect it to power our social lives, increase productivity, take great photos, and last from breakfast to bedtime. It used to be unrealistic, but it is now an expectation for high-end smartphones.
The Galaxy S7 features an extra high density 3,600mAh battery – for something this small, it’s a remarkably large size.
In our review, we regularly managed to go through a full day of battery life, and sometimes only requiring a charge the next morning when we’re already in the office. Not to forget, this phone charges insanely quickly too: it takes 100 minutes to charge it from 0 to 100%.
Why it matters:
Our lives are increasingly revolving around our smartphones. Most of us can’t function without it. A smartphone with fantastic battery life lets you do more out of your day, and negates the need to carry a power bank around. And with fast charging, you’ll spend dramatically less time plugging it to a wall.
Dual-Pixel Rear Camera
This was Samsung’s biggest secret of the Galaxy S7 – nobody knew before it was announced at MWC 2016. We weren’t really asking for it either: the Galaxy Note 5 had one of the best smartphone cameras we’ve ever used.
The Galaxy S7 edge’s Dual-Pixel 12MP camera takes it a step further. Autofocus speed is not just impressive, it’s usually instantaneous. Videographers love the blazing fast AF because it is so reliable. Casual users love the camera because it takes great photos in virtually any lighting condition. The camera app itself offers a Pro mode, letting enthusiasts tweak settings to shoot the perfect photo.
Why it matters:
The smartphone camera is increasingly becoming one of the main reasons people buy a particular smartphone. Samsung took an unnecessary gamble with the S7 edge’s camera, and surprisingly bagged the lottery. It outperforms most of its competitors not just in image quality, but in its software – the camera app is deserving of plenty of praise for its ease of use and customisation it offers.
And really, no camera shortcut beats Samsung’s double-press of the Home button. Since the S6, the camera has been designed to stay in standby mode when not in use. This results in the camera app launching reliably under one second virtually all the time. It does not sound like much, but you’ll soon realise how many more photos you’ll take simply because of how easy it is to take pictures with the S7 edge.
On their own, each of these five factors would not create a great smartphone experience, but combined, they elevate the Galaxy S7 edge above virtually every other smartphone in the market.
Disclosure: This post was sponsored by Samsung Malaysia.