“Wondering how the new flagships from Samsung differ from each other and their predecessor? You’re at the right place”Samsung took the covers off its new smartphones at its Unpacked 2016 event in Barcelona, just ahead of MWC. The highly-anticipated Galaxy S7 (first impressions) and S7 edge (first impressions) take the best components of the previous two iterations and bring them together to offer form with function. But what separates the two in terms of features? And how do the new devices from the Korean giant fare against the previous year’s flagship, the Galaxy S6? Let’s find out.
Design and displayThe Galaxy S7 and S7 edge are mostly an incremental update to the S6 in terms of design aesthetics. Samsung seems to have further improved upon the unibody metallic design to offer a richer hand-held experience. Taking cues from the Note5 (review), both the S7 and S7 edge now feature backs that curve on the sides, giving them a better grip while adding to the looks. The rear camera bump has also been minimised remarkably as compared to the Galaxy S6. But overall, the phones still look quite a lot like their predecessors with the company going forward with a “why to fix it when it isn’t broken” attitude. Another interesting fact is that this time around, the S7 and S7 edge feature different display sizes. While the display on the S7 measures 5.1-inches diagonally, the one found on the edge variant is larger at 5.5-inches. However, both screens are equipped with AMOLED technology and sport QHD resolution. On the other hand, the S6 too had a 5.1-inch QHD AMOLED display. The screens in the three handsets have extra layers of protection thanks to Gorilla Glass 4.
PerformanceAs customary, the new S series flagships come with all the power under to hood to perform most tasks without hiccups. Samsung has also provided the performance improvement stats as compared to the Galaxy S6. The new smartphones are supposedly 30 percent faster in terms of CPU performance and 63 percent faster in the GPU performance than the Galaxy S6. The two variants of both S7 and S7 edge pack 64-bit octa-core or quad-core processors coupled with 4GB of RAM. This is a nice bump up from the Galaxy S6 which was powered by an Exynos 7420 chipset with 3GB of RAM.
New additionsThe company also teased the liquid cooling technology that is a part of the new smartphones. A liquid-filled tube is used to combat processor heat, through a cycle of evaporation and condensation. The introduction of an always-on screen to display vital information to the user further points out how well the Korean brand is using its AMOLED display technology. Lastly, gamers seem to be a very big target audience for the company, as it introduced a new dedicated game launcher in their smartphones that enable the user to perform various tasks like recording a scene from the game.
Camera, storage and batteryApple iPhone 6s Plus (review). With Motion Panorama, Samsung looks to add video elements to your traditional panoramas and makes them even more immersive. On the storage front, the new phones will come in 32GB and 64GB storage variants. While we’re certainly sad to see the 128GB storage option go away, the addition of a microSD card slot more than makes up for the loss. Powering all the hardware in all three phones in our comparison is a non-removable Li-ion battery. The Galaxy S7 sports a beefier battery at 3,000mAh compared to the 2,550mAh battery of the Galaxy S6. On the other hand, the S7 edge takes this one step further by featuring a massive 3,600mAh battery thanks to the larger body.
Software and connectivityBoth the new additions to the Galaxy family run on Android 6.0 Marshmallow with TouchWiz UI on top. The S6 too, has started receiving the Marshmallow update in some regions of the world and it is just a matter of time before all the handsets are updated. There have been minor tweaks to the UI to offer greater stability, and faster response times. Samsung seems to have understood the importance of one-hand use for the edge panel found on the S7 edge. The panel is now wider, and can display more information and news, as compared to the previous versions. On the connectivity front, all phones feature 4G LTE, Wi-Fi 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac, mobile hotspot, Bluetooth, GPS, and NFC.
Pricing and availability
The company has not disclosed much about the pricing of the smartphones. But, the Galaxy S7 and S7 edge will be hitting the shelves starting March 11th. With the introduction of the new handsets, the Galaxy S6 too should see a price drop soon, as it is currently selling at about Rs 33,900 on popular e-commerce websites in India.