Samsung Galaxy S7, S7 Edge Phones: Improved but With a Few Drawbacks

By Todd R. Weiss  |  Posted 2016-03-16 Print this article Print
Samsung Galaxy S7, Galaxy S7 Edge

This is something I don't like about the new S7 devices, although because the S7 Edge is larger and has curved side edges, it appears to be less of a problem. The danger of the slippery phone became a real-life issue when I accidentally dropped the Galaxy S7 from a height of about 18 inches onto a ceramic tile kitchen floor as I went to open a cabinet while holding the phone.

When the handset fell, the bottom-right glass corner of the display cracked about one-quarter-inch from the edge of the device. I was not happy, and I was disappointed that it apparently didn't take much to crack the display. I reported the damage to Samsung and they told me they had not received similar damage reports from anyone else. I'm waiting to hear back from Samsung to find out if such a crack means that the handset might now lose its water resistance, which would be even more unfortunate.   

Would it be too much to ask for some kind of thin coating on the back of a device that will make it less likely to slip on every surface in homes, offices, cars and everywhere else?

The LG V10 I am using has a textured back cover that prevents exactly this kind of slippage and it doesn't require an additional case to protect it. I really appreciate the LG's textured back, which is a great and simple design feature.

If I owned an S7 or S7 Edge, I would immediately buy a protective thin rear skin or a case to keep the handset from sliding and subjecting itself to potential damage, but that makes the phone thicker, which some users might not like.

The slippery backs of these devices mar what is an otherwise excellent pair of smartphones that incorporate good performance, a nice set of features and useful upgrades that set them apart big time from earlier S-series Galaxy handsets.

The S7 devices, which Samsung unveiled in February at Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, Spain, went on sale in the United States on March 11.

Both Galaxy handsets are powered by Qualcomm quad-core 2.15GHz and 1.6GHz processors for U.S. users and include 4GB of LPDDR4 memory, 32GB of built-in storage and microSD expansion slots that support storage cards up to 200GB. The Qualcomm processors provide performance that is as much as 30 percent faster than the processors they replace in the earlier Galaxy S6 handsets, according to Samsung. Both handsets are built with metal chassis and both run on the Android 6.0 Marshmallow operating system.

The Galaxy S7 has a 3,000mAh battery, while the Galaxy S7 Edge is equipped with a 3,600mAh battery, which both seem to provide adequate all-day battery life in my testing. In addition to 4GT LTE connectivity, the new S7 handsets also can be used with WiFi 802.11, MIMO, Bluetooth 4.2 and near-field communications connections.

Samsung Pay capabilities also are included in both devices, as well as wide-ranging Samsung KNOX device security and fingerprint-scanning features.

The Galaxy S7 phone is 5.6 inches long, 2.74 inches wide, 0.31 inches thick and 5.36 ounces. The Galaxy S7 Edge is 5.94 inches long, 2.85 inches wide, 0.30 inches thick and 5.53 ounces. The Galaxy S7 is available in Black Onyx or Gold Platinum colors, while the Galaxy S7 Edge is available in Black Onyx, Gold Platinum or Silver Titanium.


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