Samsung is now selling unlocked versions of its flagship Galaxy S7 and Galaxy S7 Edge smartphones in the United States, which will allow customers to buy the phones and use them on the GSM or CDMA mobile networks of their choice.
The company announced the availability of the unlocked devices on June 30 as a way to give their customers more choice in buying phones and being able to switch carriers whenever they choose to do so.
The unlocked versions, which are priced at $669.99 for an unlocked Galaxy S7 and $769.99 for an unlocked Galaxy S7 Edge on Samsung.com, are also available for purchase from Amazon, Best Buy, Ebay, Sam's Club and Target.com. The unlocked devices can also be purchased from four distributors, including Ingram Micro, SYNNEX Corp., Tech Data and Vertex Wireless.
The unlocked devices, which have the same features as the original handsets, allow consumers to buy and use the phones on the GSM networks of AT&T and T-Mobile or on the CDMA networks of Sprint and Verizon.
Samsung's latest S7 and S7 Edge flagship smartphones debuted in March. The Galaxy S7 features a 5.1-inch quad-HD Super AMOLED display (2,560 by 1,440), while the Galaxy S7 Edge features a 5.5-inch quad-HD Super AMOLED display (2,560 by 1,440). Both models include always-on displays for the time and other information. Both also 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 Galaxy S7 has a 3,000mAh battery, while the Galaxy S7 Edge is equipped with a 3,600mAh battery.
Both models are also water-resistant and include fast charging and wireless charging capabilities, as well as 12-megapixel rear-facing cameras that have Dual Pixel technology for great images even in low light conditions. They also include 5-megapixel front-facing cameras, a fingerprint sensor for security, the Samsung Knox defense-grade mobile security platform to protect user data and always-on displays.
The Qualcomm processors used in the latest S7 and S7 Edge phones 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. 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 the devices.
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.
Earlier in June, Samsung announced that its ruggedized version of its flagship Galaxy S7 and S7 Edge smartphones, the Galaxy S7 Active, launched exclusively through AT&T. The handset follows the ruggedized Galaxy S6 Active that launched in mid-2015, but gained a bevy of improvements from the latest Galaxy S7 and S7 Edge phones, including a shatter-resistant and water-resistant 5.1-inch Super AMOLED Quad HD touch-screen display that meets IP68 certification to withstand water exposure of up to 5 feet for 30 minutes. Aimed at users who work and use their phones in hostile environmental and physical conditions, the S7 Active also meets MIL-STD- 810G specifications for dirt, dust, temperature, shock and salt resistance. The 5.1-inch display is the same size as the one found on the Galaxy S7 handset.
The Galaxy S7 Active is being sold by AT&T for $26.50 a month for 30 months (total payments $795) on an AT&T Next plan or for $33.13 a month for 24 months (total payments $795.12) on an AT&T Next Every Year plan.