Since 2015, Samsung realigned its focus for its flagship smartphones, and while the Galaxy S6 was a pleasant re-introduction of the brand, this year we’re finally, truly seeing the fruits of that labour. Having used the Galaxy S7 edge for a week, it certainly reinforced the common notion that while there are truly great smartphones, there is no such thing as a perfect smartphone.
Design & First Impressions
Since the radically different Samsung approach we saw in the Galaxy S6, it was clear that this was a winning design that could be retained for a few iterations. The Galaxy S7 edge’s metal and glass exterior has been refined, introducing a gentle curve at the back to make it comfortable to hold. Even the camera bump has been noticeably reduced (though it’s still not fully flush against the body).
For a 5.5-inch smartphone, the Galaxy S7 edge feels like a smaller device. The gentle curves all around the device make it delightful to hold for long periods.
In an age when anyone can design handsome metal-clad smartphones, few seem to take into consideration the ergonomics of a smartphone; it’s not just about how a phone looks, but also how it feels.
It’s not just about how a phone looks, but also how it feels
But of course, having a glass back does have its drawbacks. The most obvious one is the fact that the back will always, always be smudged by fingerprints. Having a light-coloured S7 edge helps hide these hideous imprints, but you’ll find yourself wiping the back quite often during the first few days – you’ll eventually give up and accept the reality that there will always be smudges at the back of the phone.
I didn’t really enjoy using the Edge models of the Galaxy S6, and the same rings true with the S7 edge. While the S6 edge, S6 edge+ and S7 edge are all perfectly comfortable for use with two hands, it’s quite a different story when using it with one hand – especially when you’re stretching to reach the other side of the screen.
What I’ve noticed in my time with the S7 edge is that the palm rejection software doesn’t seem to be sensitive enough. Oftentimes I find the phone opening apps I didn’t intend to, or it stops scrolling down a webpage without warning. Eventually I realized that the piece of skin between the thumb and index finger sometimes touched the screen’s edges, causing the poor experience. This won’t happen on a device with a flat display, and Samsung really should have improved the palm rejection software on the S7 edge’s screen.
Regardless, it’s hard to dislike the S7 edge beyond these minor issues. Design is an area Samsung can no longer be faulted for, while issues with the screen could (and should) be easily fixed with a software update.
In fact, my personal opinion is that the S7 edge and the Xiaomi Mi 5 are the two smartphones that are the most comfortable to hold you can find right now.