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About the Samsung Galaxy S7

The Samsung Galaxy S7

samsung galaxy s7

Samsung Galaxy S7. @Samsung

Launched in early 2016, the Samsung Galaxy S7 and S7 Edge have shown something of a return to form for the Korean smartphone manufacturer. Addressing some of the criticisms levelled at the previous year's S6 phones, the S7 and its bigger sibling - which we look at here - were well placed to deliver a solid challenge to the iPhone 6S and 6S Plus.

Specs

We'd expect a flagship handset to come with flagship hardware and software, which is largely the case with the Galaxy S7. UK buyers will get a phone featuring Samsung's Exynos 8890 chipset, powered by two quad-core processors, one of 2.3GHz and one of 1.6GHz. While the S6 handsets had 3GB of RAM, both S7 and S7 Edge have 4GB - and the CPU is reckoned to be up to 30% faster, and graphics processing up to 64% faster, than previously.

The phone comes with Android Marshmallow (6.0.1), the most up to date Android OS at the time of the phone's launch. But on the S7 it's missing a key feature - the ability to combine a phone's internal storage with that on a micro SD card - which would enable users to move every app on their phone to the SD card without affecting performance.

Touchwiz, Samsung's user interface, is less intrusive than on their earlier phones, but it still takes up more than 7GB of the phone's 32GB memory, thanks to the various apps bundled with it - including a full version of Microsoft Office. While such apps can be disabled, they can't be removed or even moved - so it's just as well Samsung have brought back the removable media slot, missing from the S6 phones, for micro SD cards of up to 200GB.

Look and feel

The Galaxy S7 offers a 5.1 inch screen in a body measuring 69.6 mm x 142.4 mm x 7.9mm. That's just a couple of millimetres bigger in all directions than the iPhone 6S, which can only offer a 4.7 inch display. And while Apple use an LCD display, the Galaxy S7's is a quad-HD (2,560 x 1,440 pixel) Super AMOLED display offering the equivalent of 577ppi, which makes for sharp, rich - some might say oversaturated - visuals.

While most smartphones can get quite warm to the touch in use, the Galaxy S7 doesn't - because it features a "cooling system" which disperses the heat generated by the CPU and GPU during use, and by the battery when charging. It will still get warm when dealing with multiple updates, or during fast charging, but in general use it'll be comfortably cool almost all the time.

Also making its debut on the Galaxy S7 is the "always on" display. While the phone is locked, and most of the screen is dark, a small part of it will stay lit up to show the time and date, and notifications from the native email, message and phone apps - but not from the likes of WhatsApp and Gmail. The part of the screen showing this information will change fairly regularly to avoid burnout, and the drain on the battery is low - about 1% per hour.

Where the Galaxy S7 - and the S7 Edge - do let down their users is in the placement and performance of the speaker. Located on the bottom edge, the sound is directed downwards unless we rotate the phone or lay it down. People wanting to watch widescreen videos on that marvellous display are likely to find that holding the phone covers the speaker, and the sound distorts easily at higher volumes.

In Use

As well as 2G and 3G for voice calls, the Samsung Galaxy S7 supports voice over wi-fi - and voice over LTE (4G) calls where they're available. Roaming shouldn't be a problem as the S7 supports around 20 different LTE bands, which should cover those in use by most networks around the world - although be aware that the US version of the phone comes with a different processor, which supports a couple of 4G bands not used by networks elsewhere in the world. Every Galaxy S7 offers dual band wi-fi that supports the faster 802.11ac protocol where available, and Bluetooth 4.2 connectivity.

The Galaxy S6 was often criticised for being a good phone with a poor battery; the same can't be said for this model. While it's a touch smaller than the S6, the Galaxy S7 has a 3,000mAh battery, compared to the S6's 2,600mAh. In use it can cope with a day's worth of moderate use and still have a good 20% or more left in the battery.

Should the battery get a little too low for comfort, there's now an "ultra power saving" mode - it limits the phone to calls, texts and basic web browsing on a monochrome display, and can extend the battery's life by an hour or more. Once back in the presence of a charger, Samsung say that using the USB 2.0 charger provided it can fully recharge in 95 minutes; reviews suggest it'll easily reach 50% in about half an hour.

Camera

Samsung have improved the camera in the S7 by keeping the sensor size the same as in the S6 but reducing the number of megapixels, while increasing the size of the pixels themselves. What does seem a little odd is that they've reduced the size of the aperture - albeit only slightly, from f/1.4 to f/1.7 - which means that slightly less light can reach the boosted sensor, and seems to cause mixed results when taking photos in low light.

While the iPhone 6S has Live Photos, the Samsung Galaxy S7 has Motion Photo and Motion Panorama. The former videos the three seconds up to the shutter button being pressed, then allows us to pick exactly which moment we want to select as the still. The latter allows us to take a panoramic shot, stitching together the clearest frames from the sweep of the camera, but it also lets us play back the act of taking that shot by swiping the screen or panning the phone itself. The really ambitious might like to play with the Hyperlapse setting, which stitches together the clearest frames from a series taken seconds apart for what Samsung say is "professional grade time lapse" video.

Meanwhile the 5MP front camera offers a few tricks for better or more varied selfies - and some reviews suggest that the resulting images are less saturated and more natural than those we might expect from a Samsung camera.

Samsung Galaxy S7 Specifications

Samsung Galaxy S7 Specifications
Model Samsung Galaxy S7

samsung galaxy s7
Form Factor Bar
Dimensions
(w x h x d)
69.6mm x 142.4mm x 7.9mm
Weight 152g
Screen Size 5.1"
Screen Resolution 1440 x 2560
Pixel Density 576 ppi
Screen Detail Super AMOLED capacitive touchscreen, scratch-resistant glass
Touchscreen
Qwerty Keyboard
Sensors Accelerometer, Barometer, Compass, Fingerprint, Gyro, HR, Proximity, SpO2
Operating System Andriod (Version 6.0)
Chipset Qualcomm MSM8996 Snapdragon 820 Exynos 8890 Octa
Processor (CPU) Dual-core 2.15 GHz Kryo & dual-core 1.6 GHz Kryo Quad-core 2.3 GHz Cortex-A53 + quad-core 1.6 GHz Cortex-A53
Graphics (GPU) Adreno 530 Mali-T880 MP12
Internal Memory 32 GB
Memory Card microSD (Up to 200 GB)
Talk Time mins
Standby Time mins
2G GSM Quad
GSM850, 900, DCS1800, PCS1900
GPRS
Edge
3G (HSDPA)
4G (LTE)
WLAN (Wifi) 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac
Wifi Hotspot
Bluetooth Bluetooth v4.2
USB 2.0
GPS (Location Services)
MMS
Email
Push Email
Web Browser HTML5 browser
Camera 12 MP
Camera Flash LED
Video Camera
Video Calling 5MP
Music Player MP3/WAV/WMA/eAAC+/FLAC
Video Player MP4/DivX/XviD/WMV/H.264
FM Radio
Headphone Jack

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Compare the Samsung Galaxy S7

Detail
Model Samsung Galaxy S7

samsung galaxy s7
Form Factor Bar
Dimensions
(w x h x d)
69.6mm x 142.4mm x 7.9mm
Weight 152g
Screen Size 5.1"
Screen Resolution 1440 x 2560
Pixel Density 576 ppi
Screen Detail Super AMOLED capacitive touchscreen, scratch-resistant glass
Touchscreen
Qwerty Keyboard
Sensors Accelerometer, Barometer, Compass, Fingerprint, Gyro, HR, Proximity, SpO2
Operating System Andriod (Version 6.0)
Chipset Qualcomm MSM8996 Snapdragon 820 Exynos 8890 Octa
Processor (CPU) Dual-core 2.15 GHz Kryo & dual-core 1.6 GHz Kryo Quad-core 2.3 GHz Cortex-A53 + quad-core 1.6 GHz Cortex-A53
Graphics (GPU) Adreno 530 Mali-T880 MP12
Internal Memory 32 GB
Memory Card microSD (Up to 200 GB)
Talk Time mins
Standby Time mins
2G GSM Quad
GSM850, 900, DCS1800, PCS1900
GPRS
Edge
3G (HSDPA)
4G (LTE)
WLAN (Wifi) 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac
Wifi Hotspot
Bluetooth Bluetooth v4.2
USB 2.0
GPS (Location Services)
MMS
Email
Push Email
Web Browser HTML5 browser
Camera 12 MP
Camera Flash LED
Video Camera
Video Calling 5MP
Music Player MP3/WAV/WMA/eAAC+/FLAC
Video Player MP4/DivX/XviD/WMV/H.264
FM Radio
Headphone Jack
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Price
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Deal Value
Samsung Galaxy S7 (in Gold) on Vodafone Pay As You Go Big Value Bundle £10, Pay as you go
150
minutes
Unlimited
texts
500MB
data
£500.00
upfront
PAYGBUY NOW
Samsung Galaxy S7 (in Gold) on Vodafone Pay As You Go Big Value Bundle £15, Pay as you go
250
minutes
Unlimited
texts
1GB
data
£500.00
upfront
PAYGBUY NOW
Samsung Galaxy S7 (in Gold) on Vodafone Pay As You Go Big Value Bundle £20, Pay as you go
500
minutes
Unlimited
texts
4GB
data
£500.00
upfront
PAYGBUY NOW
Samsung Galaxy S7 (in Gold) on Vodafone Pay As You Go Big Value Bundle £30, Pay as you go
Unlimited
minutes
Unlimited
texts
12GB
data
£500.00
upfront
PAYGBUY NOW
Samsung Galaxy S7 (in Gold Platinum) on Three Essential - 8GB Data, All-you-can-eat Minutes, 24 months
Unlimited
minutes
Unlimited
texts
8GB
data
£29.00
upfront
£37.00
per month
BUY NOW
Samsung Galaxy S7 (in Gold Platinum) on Three Essential - 12GB Data, All-you-can-eat Minutes, 24 months
Unlimited
minutes
Unlimited
texts
12GB
data
£29.00
upfront
£38.00
per month
BUY NOW
Samsung Galaxy S7 (in Gold Platinum) on Three Essential - 4GB Data, All-you-can-eat Minutes, 24 months
Unlimited
minutes
Unlimited
texts
4GB
data
£29.00
upfront
£34.00
per month
BUY NOW
Samsung Galaxy S7 (in Gold Platinum) on Three 12GB Data, All-you-can-eat Minutes, 24 months
Unlimited
minutes
Unlimited
texts
12GB
data
£29.00
upfront
£39.00
per month
BUY NOW
Samsung Galaxy S7 (in Gold) on EE 4GEE 5GB, 24 months
Unlimited
minutes
Unlimited
texts
5GB
data
£9.99
upfront
£40.99
per month
BUY NOW
Samsung Galaxy S7 (in White) on EE 4GEE 5GB, 24 months
Unlimited
minutes
Unlimited
texts
5GB
data
£9.99
upfront
£40.99
per month
BUY NOW
Samsung Galaxy S7 (in Gold) on Vodafone Red 24GB Bundle, 24 months
Unlimited
minutes
Unlimited
texts
24GB
data
£10.00
upfront
£42.00
per month
BUY NOW
Samsung Galaxy S7 (in Gold) on Vodafone Red 6GB Bundle, 24 months
Unlimited
minutes
Unlimited
texts
6GB
data
£10.00
upfront
£42.00
per month
BUY NOW
Samsung Galaxy S7 (in Gold Platinum) on Three 8GB Data All-you-can-eat Minutes, 24 months
Unlimited
minutes
Unlimited
texts
8GB
data
£29.00
upfront
£42.00
per month
BUY NOW
Samsung Galaxy S7 (in Gold) on O2 SIM Only, 24 months
Unlimited
minutes
Unlimited
texts
5GB
data
£417.99
upfront
£26.00
per month
BUY NOW
Samsung Galaxy S7 (in Gold) on O2 SIM Only, 24 months
Unlimited
minutes
Unlimited
texts
5GB
data
£129.99
upfront
£38.00
per month
BUY NOW
Samsung Galaxy S7 (in Gold) on O2 SIM Only, 24 months
Unlimited
minutes
Unlimited
texts
5GB
data
£9.99
upfront
£43.00
per month
BUY NOW
Samsung Galaxy S7 (in Gold) on Vodafone Red Value 5GB Bundle, 24 months
Unlimited
minutes
Unlimited
texts
5GB
data
£10.00
upfront
£43.00
per month
BUY NOW
Samsung Galaxy S7 (in Gold Platinum) on Three Essential - 2GB Data, All-you-can-eat Minutes, 24 months
Unlimited
minutes
Unlimited
texts
2GB
data
£49.00
upfront
£27.00
per month
BUY NOW
Samsung Galaxy S7 (in Gold Platinum) on Three 30GB Data, All-you-can-eat Minutes, 24 months
Unlimited
minutes
Unlimited
texts
31GB
data
£29.00
upfront
£43.00
per month
BUY NOW
Samsung Galaxy S7 (in Gold) on EE 4GEE 5GB, 24 months
Unlimited
minutes
Unlimited
texts
5GB
data
£79.00
upfront
£40.99
per month
BUY NOW

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