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What’s New: Samsung Galaxy 7

May 2016

By Tom Stibolt, MD, Mobile Musings Column Editor

Recently, Samsung released the latest entries in the Galaxy series of smartphones. These are the Galaxy S7 and the Galaxy S7 Edge. The S6 Samsung releases were quite disappointing with a number of useful features removed. The S7 models bring back most of the useful features of previous Samsung phones as well as several new features.

The S7 and S7 Edge share many of the same features but differ in two distinct ways. The S7 screen measures 5.1 inches diagonally and does not extend to the edge of the case. The phone measures 5.61” x 2.74” x 0.31”. The S7 Edge screen measures 5.5 inches diagonally and extends to the edges of the case wrapping around on both sides. This results in a phone which measures 5.85” x 2.85” x 0.30”. The S7 has a non-removable 3000 mAh battery while the S7 Edge has a non-removable 3600 mAh battery.

Both phones come with 32 GBytes of internal memory. They have a display resolution of 1440 by 2560 pixels. Both are powered by 64 bit quad core processors although the processor used varies by region with the Asian market getting the fastest processor in any smartphone today. Compared to the Galaxy S6, the new processors deliver 64 percent more GPU and 30 percent more CPU performance. They run the newest Android OS, Marshmallow, which, among other features, improves battery life.

The rear facing camera is a 12 MPixel, f/1.7 model with incredible low light capability. It also focuses faster than previous smartphone cameras. The front facing camera is 5 MPixel. A useful new feature is the ability to bring up the camera by simply double tapping the home button.

The phones are water resistant and certified IP68 or up to 30 minutes in up to 5 feet of water. This is accomplished without a cover as was used in the Galaxy S5.

Both phones have a wide array of sensors including an accelerometer, barometer,

Fingerprint sensor, gyroscope, geo-magnetic, proximity, and RGB Light. They support Wi-Fi 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac at 2.4G and 5GHz, Bluetooth v4.2, USB 2.0, Near Field Communication, and GPS. They support a typical wide variety of audio and video formats as well.

The phones support wired and wireless charging as well as fast charging allowing a full charge in 90 minutes (wired) and 120 minutes for wireless.

The Galaxy S6 did away with the ability to add external storage. Fortunately, external storage using micro SD cards with up to 200GByte capacity is back with the S7 models.

Among useful software features for the S7 phones is the ability to run a split screen allowing viewing two applications at the same time. Unique to the S7 Edge is the Edge panel. This is a little tab on the right edge of the screen. Swiping in from that side reveals several screens of shortcuts and info, including a tools panel with a ruler. The screens can be customized by tapping the settings icon in the lower left corner.

The S7 phones have been available since February. Prices vary by carrier and source. Visit the Samsung site for more information.

 

Editor’s note: The ATS does not endorse any of the programs or products mentioned in this column.

Last Reviewed: September 2017