See it as the Galaxy S. The Samsung Galaxy S6 … S7 ($ 672 for 32 GB as tested by Verizon Wireless, Unlocked $ 699.99) looks so much like Galaxy S6 $ 579.99 on T-Mobile Excuse for you as you do not think it’s a big improvement. Rather than reinventing design like last year, Samsung has focused on improving performance in the S7, restoring the easy public functions that have disappeared in the S6 (like a microSD slot) and extending life of the battery. It is the best Android phone available in a really one-handed form factor. That said, we’re giving our Editors Choice to the very similar Galaxy S7 Edge of $ 789.99 at T-Mobile, which has more features and better battery life in a package that is not much bigger.
Size and design
There has been a lot of talk over the past year about how smartphones become dull – essentially how they stayed in terms of changing our lives. I think the industry is catching up before it goes crazy with virtual and augmented reality, which we started to see with the Samsung Gear VR.
But smartphones are still our most personal computers. These are our always-ready cameras with which we capture our lives. It is our cloud-based brain that surrounds Waze in the city or Google’s answers to urgent questions. These are our relationships with our friends and family, via Facebook or text messages or old-fashioned phone calls. They are essential, used hundreds of times a day, and even a step-by-step improvement in how they work is always an improvement in our lives.
Here is an incremental improvement, for example. As someone who uses my phone a lot in the subway, I’ve been eating for years with the size of the phone – the way smartphones get bigger and bigger, making them harder to use with one hand. I’m happy to say that the $ 669.99 T-Mobile S7 is actually 2.74 inches smaller than the S6 (2.78 inch), which is the same width as the HTC One for $ 449.99 M9 T -Mobile, and narrower than any other high-end Android phone that I can think of. This makes the S7 the ideal device for anyone who thinks high-end phones are too big.
The AMOLED screen of the Galaxy S7 has the same size (5.1 inches) and resolution (2,560 x 1,440) as the screen of the S6, but like Dr. Ray Soneira from DisplayMate Labs says in a detailed report, Samsung has the clarity. The S6 already had an excellent screen, clearly visible; the S7 is even better. Both phones put the iPhone 6s $ 599.99 on Verizon Wireless to shame.
Samsung has been pushed back to the Galaxy S7, without the annoying door of the Galaxy S5. This time, he uses a water repellent layer in the device. I washed and dried the phone and even spilled hot coffee on it, without problems. The phone is rated IP68, which means it is fully submersible and dustproof.
But yes, otherwise the S7 looks a lot like the S6, although a little more rounded is slightly thicker, to make a larger battery possible. The larger battery, in turn, gives the phone less of an excellent camera bubble in the back. At 5.36 grams, it is also heavier (the S6 is 4.87 ounces). But it’s still a unibody design of metal and glass, in black or gold, with a physical start button that works like a fingerprint sensor under the screen. The sensor is the same as that of the S6; very good, but lacks an off-center touch. The phone always uses a traditional USB micro, not USB-C, for charging and accessories.
Although the phone is about the same size as the Galaxy S6, many existing Galaxy S6 cases barely work with the Galaxy S7. It’s very unfortunate. When I put the S7 into an S6 case, I found that the headphone jack was slightly shifted to the right, so the hole for the connection to the case was in the wrong place.
Phone and network performance
Qualcomm is back. Last year was a bad year for the leading chip maker, said conjured some decent processors and a real disappointment, the Snapdragon 810. Well, the Snapdragon 820 is not 810. It has the best modem in the business, and what seems like the performance of the application very competitive.
The Snapdragon 820’s X12 modem supports LTE download speeds of up to 600 Mbps and downloads up to 150 Mbps, using technologies that help each vendor. The 4×4 MIMO ensures higher speeds while the 3×20 carrier aggregation becomes important on the Sprint.
I could not perform tests that changed the LTE performance limits, but I was able to monitor Wi-Fi and weak signal conditions. The phone had no problem with a 150Mbps symmetrical WiFi connection. On the Verizon network, the S7 withstood LTE better under poor signal conditions than the iPhone 6s, achieving better throughput. My first day with the phone I saw a strange behavior where the phone did not recover or was exchanged at 4G LTE dead zones, but that seemed to resolve itself after a few days.
The phone supports voice over LTE (VoLTE) and calls over Wi-Fi. The unlocked model supports all US providers, even Verizon and Sprint. If you buy a model directly from a courier service, some frequency bands will be excluded for each of the other three companies. The phone works on other providers, but not as good as the model of that mail or the unlocked unit. So, if you buy a support unit, it’s best to treat it as an exclusive phone for mail. If you want to move it, bring out the unlocked model. (We tested the Galaxy S7 on Verizon, Sprint and T-Mobile.)
The quality of the call is good, but I wish it were a little better. The earpiece is loud and there is no distortion; that’s not the problem. And the noise reduction is excellent. I suspect it’s only Verizon’s vocal codec. With standard bubbles, the sound is a bit loud with a punchy punch. On Volte you get a more balanced sound without harshness, but it’s not exactly the level of HD unless you call another phone from your carrier.
The battery on the included 3000mAh cell is significantly better than on the S6. I did more battery tests than usual, because the Galaxy S6 had the bad habit of emptying its battery very quickly in sleep mode. Unfortunately, this behavior usually only appears after a month or two and I have not had the S7 for a month or two. But the first signs are promising. The S7 recorded 9 hours of streaming video, compared to 7 hours and 13 minutes for the S6. In sleep mode, without intensive use of the processor, the S7 emptied 11% of the battery in eight hours. Not bad. Heavy use killed him in about 6.5 hours, which is not bad either.
The phone supports both fast charging and two-standard wireless charging. Using the supplied quick charger, we have the phone from zero to fully charged in about 90 minutes.
The Galaxy S7 runs Android 6.0.1 with the Samsung Marshmallow skin on a Qualcomm Snapdragon 2.25 GHz 820 processor. It is the first of several Snapdragon 820 phones we will see this year, especially the LG G5 will participate soon.
The Snapdragon 820 benchmarks faster than any other chip we’ve seen in an Android phone. With Geekbench scores of 2333 and 5330 single-core multi-core, practice beats the Galaxy S6 (1440 Unique / Multi 4811) and the Galaxy Note $ 5,696.00 at Verizon Wireless (1472 single point / 5.020 multipoint). the performance of the GPU is also better, take the GFXBench Manhattan test of 15 frames per second (fps) on the previous generation, up to 25 fps here.
Now, if it’s faster than the iPhone is another question. The iPhone 6s scores even faster in single-core mode than the Snapdragon 820, with a Geekbench score of 2.475, and it does much better with on-screen graphics frame rates due to the screen with a resolution much weaker. The question of whether mono-core or multi-core performance is more important is still discussed intensively in programming circles.
The most important thing is the way the phone works in practice. I like to use the Asphalt 8 controls to check responsiveness and the S7 is as smooth as the butter, as you would expect. Applications start quickly and there is no delay. The S7 has, just like the last two generations of Galaxy phones, also multitasking dual-window or pop-up.
Samsung has once again tried to lighten the burden of its Android skin. While the icons have all been redrawn, Samsung emptied the Briefing screen on the left of the main screen. It has also resisted the current, horrible trend to replace the app-la for an interface more similar to the iPhone.
A nice customization is always on the screen, which always displays the time, date, battery status and basic information on the screen at all times; You can exchange it against a calendar or one of the few predefined images. The information always on the screen is and does not seem to consume a lot of battery. And you can always turn it off when you’re not there.
But there are many bloatware applications that consume a total of 9.17 GB on our Verizon device. Since Verizon only sells a 32GB model, it’s pretty tough. And bloatware applications can not be deleted or moved to SD cards. Other support versions are also loaded with bloatware.
The bloatware load is at least slightly illuminated by the support of the phone’s microSD card. The microSD card is placed in the SIM card slot, above the SIM card, and the phone supports cards up to the maximum 200 GB card currently offered by SanDisk. Samsung has disabled Google’s Adoptable Storage feature, making the memory card similar to the system’s internal memory. You must move applications to and from the Application Settings screen. You can move downloaded applications to the SD card, but no built-in applications.
Samsung Gear VR
Many people who order the Galaxy S7 get a free Gear VR helmet as a promotion, so I watched the S7 inside to see how it went.
My colleague Will Greenwald really liked the $ 22.94 Gear VR at Amazon when he rated it with the Galaxy S6, and I spent time with VR porn on a Gear VR at CES earlier this year. When I spent time with the S7 to watch music, movies, games and, yes, adult content, I noticed that it did not overheat (unlike Will’s experience with is a plus), but I’ve been spoiled by more powerful PC-based VR experiences, such as Amazon’s HTC Best Price. The Snapdragon 820 processor ensures perfect movement without delay, but the content of the Samsung MilkVR app is disappointing in terms of resolution: watching movies and music videos, I could see the pixels in a distracting way.
For people wearing glasses like me, the Gear VR has another annoying mistake: you can not change the focus of the two lenses independently, so I have a lot of double vision. I’m wondering if I’m going to have a better experience of LG’s next 360 VR headset.
That said, there is probably more content for the Gear VR than for any other headset, and the ability to view your non-VR movies in a virtual widescreen format may be worth the cost of registration alone, especially if it’s free. .
Photos and video
The Galaxy S7’s camera is not much better than the S6, but it’s good. The S6 has a great camera and the S7 has a faster focus lock. Samsung’s new promises usually have to be done with little light.
Samsung has replaced the Galaxy S6’s 16-megapixel camera with a 12-megapixel shooter with larger pixels to improve low-light performance. It also increased the number of focus pixels to accelerate focus in low light. The last part works: there is nothing pulsating you see on the S6 when the camera has trouble finding the focus. The S7 is also better in white balance than the S6, which makes my skin less orange.
The improvements in low light are at their sweetest. In one of my different tests in low light, the S7 has a much brighter image than the S6. But I did not find it in other tests, and if my hand was shaking, it was much more important than anything else. However, the S6 and S7 cameras do better than the iPhone 6s, with sharper and less noisy images.
The 5 megapixel camera in the front is also very good, but a small improvement over the S6. Usually, the images are slightly quieter. The biggest improvement for selfies comes with the addition of a Selfie Flash mode, which illuminates the screen when you take a picture in the dark.
The video now records with a resolution of up to 4K at 30 frames per second on the main and 1080p on the front camera. Video recording is and is maintained at 30 frames per second, even in very dark conditions.
In terms of audio and video playback, the Snapdragon 820 can handle any content you can launch with. However, there is no way to attach the S7 to a big screen. you must use wireless screencasting.
The Samsung Galaxy S7 is an uncompromising luxury and the top of the Android range. It is also reasonably conventional. There is nothing strange here like the two cameras of the LG G5 or modular, just a beautiful, powerful smartphone that refines the performance of last year’s model. The S7 is also the smallest flagship Android phone on the market. It destroys all other Android devices in its size class.
But it’s hard to argue in favor of the S7 as an improvement of $ 672 from 650 S6 last year, simply because the changes are relatively gradual. Maybe if you’re paranoid about a spill, it’s worth it. However, if you have kept an older Samsung Android phone on Verizon and are looking for a small but powerful device, it’s time to upgrade it.
The hardware of the S7 is in almost every respect better than that of the iPhone. And yet, I can not recommend it unequivocally instead of an iPhone, because of applications and services exclusive to Apple phones. If you are a great mobile player, you want to put your phone on a professional camera or if you want to use FaceTime, well, no S7 for you. You are locked in the world of Apple.
The S7 is setting the bar for smartphones this year, just like the S6 last year. LG plans to reach this bar and add innovative features at the expense of a slightly larger design, and I suspect that the battery life will be slightly shorter. HTC will probably try to outdo Samsung with a completely metal design and more stylish icons. There will also be many big phones competing, starting with the Galaxy S7 Edge, which takes the honors of our publishers through a long battery life and innovative advanced functionality. But if you’re looking for a splashproof 4G smartphone with one hand and a great camera, then the Samsung Galaxy S7 is better than anything on the market.