There is no doubt that Samsung had a solid foundation to build on for this years flagships, and I fore one am not doubting that. Point blank the S6 and S6 Edge were great devices, but the S7 and S7 Edge bring some upgrades to a familiar device. The Galaxy S7 Edge is definitely a solid device on paper, but how do they perform under real life conditions. The biggest new features of the phone are mostly small updates, but they manage to create a pretty nice experience for the end-user.
Samsung did not reinvent the box, but it does look a bit nicer than the ones for the Note 5. If anything it gives it a more high-end feel, and at over $700 off contract for the device, this feeling should be there. Luckily for device owners, you get a wired adaptive fast charger right in the box and the device charges very quickly. You also get a micro USB cable, an adapter for data transfers, a SIM card and micro SD card popper, and a pair of ear buds.
An all metal design with glass works well, minus the fact that they are finger print magnets. But if you put those prints aside, which can be done with a cleaning cloth, it looks very sleek. A true waterfall edge has come to fruition, the way the screen slides into the sides of the phone looks gorgeous. While it is a big phone, it feels very nice in the hand, although at times it can be a bit slippery. It is closer to being flush on the back, but the camera has a bit of a hump around it.
I had the gold platinum model of the S7 Edge on AT&T, but sometimes it looks like silver. It is not the most distinct gold like on the iPhone’s, but it pairs well with the silver metal top, bottom, and sides. The bottom of the device has a headphone jack, a micro USB port, a microphone, and speakers. Your volume rocker is on the left hand side, while the power button is on the right. The expandable storage slot and SIM card slot are at the top, along with another microphone. Above the display you will find a silver Samsung logo, some sensors, and a front facing camera. Lastly, the multitasking, home, and back buttons are below the display.
Another note is that the back of the Note 5 has made an appearance on the S7 Edge. You get a curved back and this is what makes it so comfortable in the hand. The other big trick up Samsung’s sleeve is that the flagships are waterproof. Well up to a meter and half of water for up to 30 minutes. Because of this the S7 Edge can handle a spill of a drink or a brief rain shower, it lets you use your phone in almost circumstance. Even better there are no ugly port doors, they’ve waterproofed the ports so you are good to go. One note is that the audio will be muffled for a bit after being submerged.
Out of the box you get Android 6.0 Marshmallow running a new version of Samsung Touch Wiz. While it is nowhere near as nice as clean Android, it looks better than previous iterations. Bloatware, otherwise known as pre-installed applications are on-board. I am testing out the AT&T variant of the Galaxy S7 Edge and there are 14 applications pre-loaded from them. While you can’t uninstall many of them, you do get to hide them or rather turn them off. Unlike some other variants, the AT&T version comes with two internet browser; Google Chrome and Internet(from Samsung).
The Samsung applications that come pre-installed on the device can’t be turned off as well, but they are not the most useful either. While you can’t turn them off, similar to the AT&T applications, you can hide them.
Changes or additions to software happen every year, this year we get an Always On Display and Edge Screen. It should be noted that the Always On Display does not do much, especially because the you can’t interact with it. It lets you see the time, the date, the calendar, and the battery levels. Similar to the old DVD screen savers that bounce off the sides, this setup will actually move around the display. Hopefully in a future update Samsung will add in some more functionality to the Always On mode.
Edge Screen is more of an innovation and actually gives you a reason to get the S7 Edge. You now get Apps edge, Tasks edge, People edge, Yahoo! News edge, Yahoo! Sports edge, and Weather edge. All of these come in handy, with Apps edge you can bookmark your most often used applications for easy access. With Tasks edge you can easily open the camera to take a Selfie or to create a note. The integration with Yahoo! is neat and allows for easy access to information.
Besides for the Always On Display and Edge Screen features there is not much to Touch Wiz. It stills run pretty smoothly, gives you some neat choices for wallpapers, and allows for easy split screen multitasking. Performance wise it is powered by a is powered by a quad-core 2.15GHz + 1.6GHz processor with 4GB of RAM. Put simply, the S7 Edge runs great and nothing really slowed it down. Gaming, heavy multimedia streaming, editing photos, and general use of applications works really well. There is truly nothing bad to report in this section and it is easily the smoothest Android smartphone currently on the market.
Out of the box you get 32GB of storage, but Samsung has brought back expandable storage. Meaning that you can insert a micro SD card and double your storage from the moment you get the device. Samsung decided to make the S7 and S7 Edge slightly thicker, thus allowing for more stuff on the inside. They then decided to use this extra space and pop in a larger 3,600mAh battery, which performs really well. If you want an Android phone that can handle power users daily tasks, you can stop looking now. The S7 Edge is the route to go with and it will give you all day battery life.
Samsung’s S7 Edge is display is not a shocker, if anything it meets what we have come to expect from the company. You get a larger 5.5-inch Super AMOLED display that is Quad HD and curved. Put bluntly it is gorgeous colors like rich and realistic. Thus meaning the images you capture with the device are a pleasure to look at.
AT&T has a fast 4G LTE network that is available nationwide, on my S7 Edge review unit the network performed really well. There was no buffering when streaming Netflix or watching a YouTube video on the go. Calls were very clear and text messaging as fast, even better the speeds were fast.
On the back of the S7 Edge is a 12 megapixel camera, the same number of megapixels as the S6 Edge. But is has a lower resolution that of its predecessor, they rectify this by giving it a larger a brighter lens. The result is a pretty solid shooter that can go all the way up to 4K UHD recording, check out the camera test below. I still personally like the lens on the iPhone 6s better, but for a Samsung device this is pretty good. The one thing I noticed is that images tend to be a little more yellow than in real life and they have to much of a sharpening effect overlayed. With that being said, it does perform pretty well and is very fast, you can have the camera application opened and taking photos in a vert quick amount of time.
Last year, I did not recommend the Edge over the regular S6, this year I have to change that. As of right now, the Galaxy S7 Edge is hands down the best Android device currently on the market. With that being said, it is not a full upgrade to that of the S6 Edge, but it is a refinement and a great one at that.
The S7 Edge is a great device and if you are looking to get a new smartphone and want an Android, this is the one to seriously consider. It is a big phone, with a larger 5.5-inch display that is gorgeous, but it also feels really nice in the hand. Being able to hold a “phablet” in one hand is key and it feels really nice, even if it is a finger print magnet. While Samsung still has a long way to go with software and they could use some enhancements with the camera, it does a lot of stuff really well.
Let’s go through what the S7 Edge does really well:
-A gorgeous 5.5-inch Super AMOLED display
-A fast quad-core 2.15GHz + 1.6GHz processor
-Expandable storage and an all day battery
These are just my three favorite features of the Galaxy S7 Edge; it truly is a solid device and it would make sense to go for the S7 Edge over the regular S7 this year. I would highly suggest the Galaxy S7 Edge if you are in the market for a new Android smartphone. If you already have an S6, S6 Edge, Note 5, or S6 Edge+ it is a harder sell to upgrade for the S7 Edge, but I would check one out and see if they are running any good deals.
On AT&T you can get the Galaxy S7 Edge $27.50 a month on AT&T Next(device payment plan) or for $794.49 at the full retail price. Currently if you are both an AT&T and DirecTV customer, you can get a free 48-inch Samsung TV when you get a Galaxy S7 Edge on AT&T Next.
Thanks to AT&T for providing us with a review unit of the Samsung Galaxy S7 Edge.