What we have in our palms could possibly be the best designed smartphone in the market today, and believe you me, we have seen a dozen notable editions just this quarter alone. Samsung’s latest flagship of the popular Galaxy series is pushing the bar of what we recognise as a ‘smartphone’ with the all new S7 Edge. Apart from the kitchen sink, consumers will be glad to know that everything they need from a smartphone has been fitted into the Galaxy S7 Edge plus more…
There’s tons of reports and reviews already on the seventh iteration of the handset, mostly singing praises for the eye-candy – PC.com ourselves having reviewed every single model released by the company – now it’s time to verify all myths about the new device in our hands-on review.
Just like the S6 Edge, it’s love at first sight for the S7 Edge. There were two models announced at Mobile World Congress, however Samsung Malaysia has decided to only introduce the larger Edge model compared to the Galaxy S7, which comes in a 5.1” screen size, while the S7 edge sports a 5.5” display.
Interesting to note here is how Samsung engineers have managed to keep the overall dimensions of the Edge rather pleasantly smaller despite the bigger screen. The edges curve into the back smoothly, attributing to a fuller grip, and at the same time resulting in minimal protrusion of the camera lens.
Watching American Dad (HD) on iflix with the Super Amoled display was a pleasure; picture was sharp even at close range; and colours exceptionally vibrant. The curved edges played an important role in occupying more real estate than most devices would. There’s a sense you are getting maximum coverage, images on S7 Edge appear super crisp and bright even in day light, this is made possible with the denser pixels of 1440 x 2560 and improved Amoled technology with 16 million colours.
Glass covers nearly 85% of the phone surface front and back, leaving only a thin metal frame on the sides, do note that this leaves a lot of space for finger prints. Constant wiping is required if you want the nice gloss, but hey, a wipe down for this sheen Lamborghini of a phone was not a chore but a pleasure.
Overall appearance is flawless, does not feel like a mass produced product but more like a boutique built premium ornament. Noticeably the crew had immaculately assembled the Galaxy S7 with precision.
Now let’s deep dive into the famed features the internet has been buzzing about on this new beauty. Do take note that Samsung has made improvements on every aspect of the device in both hardware and UI. We would like to point out that even though we would like to test each and every one of them, due to constraints we have with the phone on the loan duration, we will touch on the main points like camera, display, performance and aesthetics.
One of the key selling feature is of course the camera; the shooter on this thing is impeccable, despite the reduced megapixel from the S6. The S7 comes with 12MP – a sacrifice that results in improved speeds and better pictures in low light condition. This is made possible with a couple of combinations. Firstly the aperture f1.7 lens on the front and back, and larger pixels on the image sensor have increased 56% from the S6, resulting in brighter and sharper images even in dark spaces.
Another technology incorporated is the Dual Pixel sensor, found mostly in DSLR’s, which packs more pixels as opposed to most smartphones as they also capture more light. This makes auto-focus time twice faster than the generation before. Our test resulted in very quick millisecond focusing with pictures turning out with natural hue and softer tones – the amazing feat on the camera is the ability to these pictures in low light at night. The image on the left was taken with flash the right without, both picked out the subject in detail without over exposing when using flash and keeping the in context on the one without. Both were taken at the same time in total darkness.
Dust and Water
During the launch at KLCC, the Product Lead for Samsung presented 10 features that were revolutionary. Among them was the dust and waterproof IP68 rating, which we just had to verify. We submerged the S7 Edge in a beaker filled with water, left the YouTube video on (it continued to receive the office Wi-Fi signal and played the full video), we took the phone out, wiped it down and made a call no problems there, everything continued to work perfectly fine.
In fact, the rating allows up to 1.5 metres depth of water for 30 minutes, which makes wading pool use possible. The waterproof feature works with cleverly engineered and the use of special material like Gore-Tex that keeps water out even with the exposed ports, there is also no worry of short circuits.
Other Key Features
Here are some the other key features on the S7 Edge that is worth mentioning, including the return of the Micro SD (missed on the previous version this will be a welcome return), a larger Edge screen that now features more apps like Tasks, People, Lighting and Feeds, customers can do more with this split screen apart from just notifications.
Wireless charging is made possible on this model however the charging unit has to be purchased separately, a standard three pin plug is supplied. You can uses Samsung pay on the S7 as well,security feature like the fingerprint recognition scanner is placed at the same bottom front but feels more sturdy and fitted on the new model
The much discussed ‘Always on Display’ makes sense, I found it useful, but not a big fan of it, there is also special services being offered for new owners like a Butler Service for a personalised service in case if you need to have your phone fixed. There is also the free 6 months free subscription to iflix.
Price: RRP RM3099
Dimensions: 150.9 x 72.6 x 7.7 mm
Weight: 157 grams
Processor: Exynos 8890 Octa
Memory: 4GB RAM
Graphics: Adreno 530
Display: 5.5” Super Amoled Capacitive touchscreen 16m colours, 1440 x 2560 pixels 534 ppi pixel density. Corning Gorilla 4 Glass Always On Display Curved Edge on both sides.
Camera: Front-12 MP, f/1.7, 26mm, phase detection autofocus, OIS, LED flash Back- 5 MP, f/1.7, 22mm, dual video call, Auto HDR
Storage: 32GB Micro SD Slot
OS: Android 6.0 Marshmallow
Battery: 3600 mAH Wireless Charging
Benchmarks: Antutu score: 131622
Score: V 9 P 9.5 F 9.5 D 10 U 9.5
Total: 9.5 Platinum
Verdict: Probably the best smartphone in the world right now.