Review

Published on July 31st, 2016 | by Bhavishya Kanjhan

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Samsung Galaxy S7 Edge – Review

Samsung has been rolling out the Galaxy series of phones for about seven years now. At first, it was just the Galaxy; the Note series followed and the Edge was added most recently. The Edge has been a strong show of capability than anything else by Samsung. Curved displays were more aesthetically pleasing than functionally essential, at least at first. Over time, Samsung and the developer community have brought new use cases for the Edge display. The newest in the lineup, S7 Edge, is an upgrade in almost every way from the S6 Edge. But comparatively better doesn’t necessary translate to good in absolute terms. With that in mind, let’s see how the S7 edge stands on its own as a phone.

Build
There’s no denying the Samsung S7 Edge is a beautiful looking phone. The large display of 5.5 inches, curved glass, shiny back, all make for a stunning piece of design. The phone is an attention grabber when placed on the table, even when it’s facing down but more on that later.

This isn’t a light-weight phone, at least not by modern standards – it weighs about 157 grams. That isn’t a bad thing, though. It’s weight and width – of 72mm – make it seem like a solid and sturdy device. That along with its metallic build make it a huge departure from the flimsy plastic build of the yesteryears.

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The shiny back, as nice as it may seem, attracts fingerprint like a moth to a flame. You’ll find yourself wiping the back frequently. Still, a minor inconvenience, if that.

Screen
Now for the star of the show – the 5.5-inch screen. It’s only a few years ago we may have dismissed any screen larger than 5 inches as too big. Having used a OnePlus before this, I felt right at home with a 5.5-inch screen. The Super AMOLED display by Samsung is glorious. I’m a big fan of AMOLED display because they not only give richer colours and deeper blacks but are also better for battery life. The challenge is using them under sunlight. Perhaps I should say the challenge ‘was’ since Samsung seems to have addressed it with the S7 Edge. Except for the odd situation where I was directly under harsh sunlight, there was no trouble using the phone outdoors.

The Edge has gone from a show of capability to a pretty useful feature.

The screen has a resolution of 1440p which makes for a very high sharp display and is just a delight to look at. The ‘Edge’s on the screen are actually functional – you can install apps that make use of the edge with capabilities such as quick settings, application shortcuts, and notifications. You can even set a speed dial list of sorts and when the phone is set with its face down, the phone glows a different colour (Customisable) when there’s an incoming call. The Edge has gone from a show of capability to a pretty useful feature. Sadly, the phone is prone to false positives sometimes; that is while holding the phone your palm sometimes registers touches on the Edge. However, this is a feature that Samsung can and is addressing via software and I expect it to be fixed in future versions.

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The series has regained its waterproof and rustproof rating of IP68. In fact, it does one better and foregoes the protective flaps that were seen in the S5 series.

Camera
Samsung keeps upping its camera game and this year is no exception. The new S7 Edge features a 12 MP dual camera at the back with an aperture of f/1.7. It also has a rather wide angle lens which makes for some dramatic compositions. Its low aperture is definitely a help when shooting in low light conditions and a handy aid when you’re going for that *bokeh* shot. Don’t be fooled by the low megapixel count; the sensor uses dual-pixels that allow for higher quality images and faster autofocus. In typical Samsung style, the photos are slightly higher on both the saturation and the sharpening. The front camera too has an aperture of f/1.7, although the sensor is 5MP.

..with its low light capabilities and wide lens, the S7 Edge is an impressive selfie camera too.

Still, with its low light capabilities and wide lens, the S7 Edge is an impressive selfie camera too. Not that I condone that. It is the speed of the camera that makes shooting a pleasure too; autofocus is laser sharp and very fast, and the camera is ready right after you’ve shot the picture.

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Video capture is another place where the S7 shines. It can shoot 4K video which is stunning or high FPS 1080p and 720p video. Samsung has done a great job of simplifying and cleaning up the camera app over the years and the results are evident. Switching between modes is easy and the multitude of options is still avail be for the power users.

 

Performance
It would be foolish to talk about software and hardware separately. The best of hardware has been made inefficient by bloated software. Fortunately, Samsung continues to make improvements in that direction. Its version of Android keeps getting cleaner and faster. You still see a fair bit of customization, some of it necessary for features such as Edge and the custom Camera apps etc, but on the whole, the phone blazes through. There are few lags if any.

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Battery Life
I could recommend this phone on its battery life alone. It features a 3,600 mAh battery which is only extended by its Super AMOLED screen. I have three Google accounts, Snapchat, two Twitter accounts, two Instagram accounts and more syncing. With my usage, the phone would last about 1.5 days, and that is me being conservative. I could perhaps make it last longer with a little prudent usage. The last phone whose battery life I was this impressed by was the OnePlus One and that came with a 1080p screen. Samsung is able to match and even beat that feat with a 1440p screen and that is really impressive.

Conclusion
The Samsung Galaxy S7 Edge is impressive in so many ways. The sturdy build quality, the great looks, excellent camera, and beautiful screen. While many may consider the S7 with its 5.1-inch screen for its size, the S7 Edge at 5.5 inches is something you should be able to get used to it. Its Edge capabilities have evolved from a gimmick to a useful feature. Add to that its long battery life and IP68 certification, you have a device that really will be there for you when the rain starts to pour.

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About the Author

is Founder of TechView.me and a retail professional. He's been oscillating between iOS and Android every few months and has yet to pick a side! Follow him on Twitter @bhavishya



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