Product Samsung Galaxy S7 Edge
Specifications 5.5in 1440×2560 AMOLED display at 534ppi, octa-core Samsung Exynos 8890 processor (four 2.6GHz cores and four 1.59GHz cores), Android 6.0 Marshmallow, 4GB RAM, 32GB built-in storage expandable up to 200GB via microSD, 12MP rear camera with LED flash and OIS, 5MP front camera, 3,600mAh battery, 151x73x7.7mm, 157g.
Price From £639 SIM-free.
AFTER TAKING Samsung’s latest Galaxy S7 Edge for a spin, we think we’ve found the Android King of 2016, albeit only March.
It’s everything that made the Samsung Galaxy S6 Edge such a beautiful handset to behold, just amped up to an even greater degree.
Last year’s Galaxy S6 Edge was just about the most beautiful handset Samsung had ever crafted, in our opinion. However, just one year later, and we’re finding it somewhat jarring to go back to that model from its successor.
The 2016 iteration is curvier, smoother and ultimately edgier. If you’re familiar with the S6 Edge you may be surprised by just how different it feels.
First thing’s first; the Samsung Galaxy S7 Edge is unfortunately just as fragile. The glass back remains, and our gold-coloured sample still picks up fingerprints and grease after heavy usage.
Size-wise it packs a lot into its 150.9×72.6×7.7mm, 157g shell. It’s slightly larger than the Galaxy S7‘s 142.4×69.6×7.9mm frame, but it manages to shave a few millimetres off the thickness.
For comparison, last year’s Galaxy S6 Edge came in at 142.1×70.1x7mm and 132g, while the Galaxy S6 Edge+ measured in at 154.4×75.8×6.9mm and 153g.
Samsung claims that the Galaxy S7 Edge meets IP68 certification for water resistance to a depth of 1.5m, and it can survive submersion for up to 30 minutes. It’s a useful safety feature, but more for your peace of mind rather than to aid would-be divers.
The microSD is a welcome addition, although you’re going to take a performance hit if you install apps onto anything but the fastest flash memory cards. You can’t default to expandable storage either, as Samsung instead prefers you to individually move apps through a somewhat laboured process.
At the time of writing, the Galaxy S7 Edge is only available in a version with 32GB internal storage, which isn’t ideal as you’re left with a less-than-generous 25GB to play with. The good news is you can expand this up to 200GB. But this is Samsung; there are bound to be 64GB/128GB models on the horizon. It’s not a case of if, more when.
Meanwhile, for those users hoping that Samsung would replace the single mono speaker found on the S6 with dual-facing front speakers, be prepared for disappointment. It’s still capable of cranking out a decent volume but no amount of fancy effects are going to mask the mono output.
We’d recommend strapping on a pair of your favourite headphones where the UHQ Upscaler, Surround and Tube Amp Pro filters will have a more noticeable effect.
Samsung has also given the USB Type-C port a wide berth, and has instead opted to stick with the tried-and-tested micro USB for charging/data transfer purposes.
There’s been some confusion regarding the CPU found in Samsung’s 2016 Galaxy line-up, with the US receiving Snapdragon 820-powered handsets and the rest of the world getting Samsung’s own Exynos 8890 CPU. If you buy your Galaxy S7 Edge in the UK or Europe, you will get this variant.
The Exynos consists of eight cores: four running at 2.6GHz and the other four at 1.59GHz, arranged in ARM’s big.LITTLE architecture where the slower cores are used for less demanding tasks and the faster cores kick in when maximum performance is called for. These are paired with a Mali T880 GPU and backed with 4GB of RAM.
Inside there’s a water-cooling element and even with multiple apps open, Netflix streaming, downloading Spotify playlists, and a good few hours of intensive gaming, we detected only a minor temperature increase. Happily, and very much like Iron Man’s Hulkbuster Armor, our activities hardly put a dent in the Galaxy S7 Edge’s battery.
Putting the S7 Edge through our standard benchmarking software it returned the following scores:
PCMark work performance score 4670
The most interesting however were gleaned from AnTuTu, where Samsung’s Exynos 8890 chip wiped the floor with the competition.
Next: Camera and display
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