Samsung has tweaked the winning design from the S6, righted the wrongs of its previous flagships, and made a phone you do not want to place down. The Samsung Galaxy S7 is iterative perfection.
Improved, waterproof design
Fantastic screen and power
High price at launch
Only 32GB internal space
The Samsung Galaxy S7 was a stellar phone at launch. It’s a handset that packs great battery smarts, strong camera talents and plenty of raw power into an extremely affordable package, and because of this we awarded it 5 stars when we first reviewed it in 2016.
Of course, it’s 2019 now, and the Galaxy S7 has been superseded by the Galaxy S8, Galaxy S9 and Samsung Galaxy S10, but with all this phone’s ever cheap it’s still worth looking at the Samsung Galaxy S7 for the next smartphone purchase.
The design is comparable to 2015’s Galaxy S6 – meaning some have said the Galaxy S7 ought to be called the Galaxy S6S – but this in-depth review shows there’s far more going on beneath the hood to supplement the improved design.
If you are looking for the curved phone variant of the design, the Galaxy S7 isn’t competing as closely with the Galaxy S7 Edge as the S6 did with the S6 Edge, with the curved display variant obtaining a bump in screen size this time around round, taking it more into phablet territory.
Samsung Galaxy S7 price and release date
Released in March 2016
Launch price £569 (around $750 / AU$900)
Now right down to around $280/£250/AU$550
May be the Samsung Galaxy S10 for you personally?
(Image credit: Future)
Samsung’s latest main flagship phone may be the Galaxy S10 and you’ll need it it rather than the Galaxy S7.
The Galaxy S10 includes a gorgeous all-screen design, an in-screen fingerprint scanner, a lot more power and a better camera.
If you want the very best phone on earth right now, browse the Samsung Galaxy S10 review. If you prefer a great phone for much less money, continue reading our Galaxy S7 review.
As the Samsung Galaxy S7 once had a high-end price it’s now reasonable priced, as you can think it is for around $280/£250/AU$550. Additionally it is getting harder to obtain the phone new, but if you are pleased with a refurbished or pre-owned handset then you can certainly knock a lot more off the price.
That significant drop is because of the launch of newer phones just like the Samsung Galaxy S10 and Samsung Galaxy S10 Plus – observe how much you will have to devote to your contract at our best Galaxy S7 deals page, and expect the purchase price to fall even lower in the future.
In fact, you may simply wait until Black Friday (November 29) or Cyber Monday (December 2) for the costs to drop lower.
Despite the fact that there’s the newer Samsung Galaxy S10, Galaxy S9, and Galaxy S8, it’s hard never to just like the Galaxy S7. It requires the much-improved, premium design from the Galaxy S6 and reinstates a few features from the Galaxy S5 which were shockingly missing from its successor.
The package can be an enticing one, but 2016 was a hardcore year for flagship phones, so Samsung needed something big to remain ahead. The LG G5 launched with a distinctive modular pull but failed, the HTC 10 looked to rekindle a number of the Taiwanese firm’s former glories (with mixed success) and, of course, the iPhone 7 landed without headphone jack and waterproofing to complement the Galaxy S7’s similar ability.
Samsung might have been first out of your flagship blocks, nonetheless it had a need to make the almost all of its strong commence to stay prior to the pack.
Make sure you watch our video overview of the Samsung Galaxy S7
Read our in-depth Samsung Galaxy S7 Edge review
Design is comparable to previous iteration, but nonetheless strong
Rear curving helps it be much nicer to carry in the hand
Now waterproof, which adds an even of security to use
Could be gripped securely because of smaller bezels
Muffled single speaker
Samsung Galaxy S7 specs
Dimensions: 142.4 x 69.6 x 7.9 mm
OS: Launched with Android 6, upgradeable Android 8
Screen size: 5.1-inch
CPU: Snapdragon 820/Exynos 8890
Storage: 32GB (with microSD)
Rear camera: 12MP
Front camera: 5MP
At first glance you would be forgiven for thinking the Samsung Galaxy S7 looks almost identical to the Galaxy S6. And that is because it is.
Samsung has reused the premium glass and metal finished it employed on the S6, which finally saw the maker move from its reliance on plastic to materials which better reflected the flagship price it had been slapping on its top phones.
On closer inspection though, you’ll commence to note the subtle variations that produce the Samsung Galaxy S7 the very best looking, and feeling, Galaxy ever.
Samsung has dropped the metallic rim around its iconic physical home key, enabling it to blend a bit more seamlessly in to the overall aesthetic of the S7, almost masking its existence.
I’m a fan. It creates for a cleaner look, and that look is further improved with the color-coded earpiece grille, that was also metallic on the S6.
The corners are more rounded, and the aluminum frame that’s sandwiched between your front and rear glass is less obtrusive, with less of an overhang than its predecessor. Which means there is less metal against your skin layer, which primarily makes the S7 feel just a little less premium compared to the S6, but once you have got used to it you will discover it’s still an elegant occurrence in the hand.
As the Galaxy S7 sports the same size 5.1-inch display as the S6, Samsung has were able to shave off a fraction of the bezel around the screen, reducing the handset’s height and width slightly.
That provides you dimensions of 142.4 x 69.6 x 7.9mm – and it’s really that last number which may be the most interesting. At 7.9mm thick the Galaxy S7 is fatter compared to the S6 by 1.1mm, but holding it in your hand you will not know.
That’s as a result of the gently sloping edges on the trunk of the handset. The final, which is mirrored on the trunk of the Galaxy S7 Edge, is borrowed from the Galaxy Note 5, and permits the phones to sit more snugly in the palm for a firmer, convenient hold.
The Galaxy S7 is a phone you can grip confidently – unlike the iPhone 6S and LG G5, with their flat backs producing a slightly awkward position in the hand. The metal and glass doesn’t offer much in the form of grip, but as the phone is better situated in the hand I felt like I was less inclined to let it slip weighed against the iPhone or S6.
The size, condition and general design of the Galaxy S7 means it’s better to hold and operate one-handed too. I possibly could reach the other side of the screen with my thumb with much less strain, and it required little to no shuffling in the hand to go around the complete display.
The power/lock key on the proper and volume keys on the left also fall nicely under thumb and finger, although you’ll still need to juggle the S7 a lttle bit to attain the fingerprint scanner, which is embedded beneath the physical home key.
Returning to the trunk of the Galaxy S7, the square camera bulge remains, but these times it’s less protruding. Samsung has were able to flatten its snapper considerably because the Galaxy S6 – it’s now right down to just 0.46mm, even though it’s still not flush with your body of the S7, it’s miles less volcanic.
It isn’t totally flat, which is something Huawei CEO Richard Yu was a lot more than happy to reveal about at the launch of the P9 – a phone which includes, as Yu put it, “no bump, no bump!”
Alongside it you will discover the LED flash and heartrate monitor – an attribute Samsung insists on gaining its top-tier handsets, despite the fact that a smartwatch or fitness tracker is way better positioned because of this tech. In addition, it measures stress and O2 saturation levels, although it’s unclear precisely how accurate these sensors are.
It’s there if you need it – just check out the S Health iphone app – but I cannot view it getting much use.
What I noticed almost immediately, however, was the amount of of a fingerprint magnet the Galaxy S7 is. The glass looks great, but I came across myself frequently reaching for my microfiber cloth to smarten up the looks of the S7.
It’s accurately the same issue the Galaxy S6 had, and it’s really surprising that Samsung hasn’t tried to handle this with the S7.
There is hope Samsung would address the single speaker setup it located on the Galaxy S6, but alas it hasn’t. It’s kept the single speaker on the bottom of the Galaxy S7, instead of deciding on dual front-facing offerings like HTC, Sony and newer Samsung phones.
It’s not an enormous issue, however the result is sound from your own movies, games and music can wrap up being muffled by your hand.
Samsung has resurrected two features from the Galaxy S5 though, with a microSD slot and dust and water resistance both appearing on the Galaxy S7. The microSD port shares a tray together with your nanoSIM, which is often slid from the the surface of the handset.
Allowing you build on the 32GB of internal storage by up to further 200GB, providing you lots of space.
Meanwhile, the IP68 water resistance has improved from the S5, allowing submersion as high as five feet for thirty minutes, plus there is no annoying flap within the charging port.
The micro USB port has been waterproofed, however the S7 won’t charge if it detects water in its hole. If you have taken the telephone for a plunge in the bath, you will have to dry the charging port before plugging in.
Samsung hasn’t reinvented the wheel with the look of the Galaxy S7, nonetheless it didn’t have to. The Galaxy S6 was an excellently styled device, and the S7 has were able to improve on that.
Among the best displays on any smartphone
Colors are obvious and crisp, contrast ratios excellent
Good auto brightness and easy outdoor visibility
Always on display is great addition
Initially, the S7’s screen is apparently exactly like the 5.1-inch, QHD Super AMOLED offering on the Galaxy S6. The resolution continues to be 2,560 x 1,440, providing you a pin-sharp 577ppi pixel density.
That’s no bad thing, as the screen on the S6 was excellent – but Samsung’s made things better still on the Galaxy S7.
The folks at DisplayMate have run independent, objective scientific analysis on the Galaxy S7 and S7 Edge displays, and the results show performance improvements across all tests versus their S6 predecessors.
What does this all mean? The point is the screen on the Galaxy S7 is 24% brighter than its predecessor, with improved contrast ratios on top of that.
Held hand and hand with the Galaxy S6 I possibly could start to see the Galaxy S7 screen had whiter whites, and colors were a bit more natural when compared to slight over-saturation on the S6.
In a nutshell, the Samsung Galaxy S7 includes a fantastic display. You’re unlikely to note much of a notable difference from the Galaxy S6, but also for those seeking to upgrade from a handset that’s older your eyes are set for a treat.
Of course newer phones just like the Galaxy S10 and iPhone 11 Pro have this screen beat, but they’re also a lot more expensive.
That’s not all of the screen on the S7 provides – in addition, it boasts always-on functionality, an attribute that both Samsung and LG (on the G5) have employed on the flagship handsets in 2016.
Samsung’s implementation sees the screen on the Galaxy S7 show a few various things when the handset is lying idle. The default option shows the clock, date and battery level, plus counters for new texts and missed calls may also display (assuming you have any).
That’s useful, but I was disappointed that the notifications icons were limited by just both of these things. I do almost all of my messaging via WhatsApp and Facebook Messenger, rather than having notifications for all those on the display was just a little frustrating.
However, in the Samsung Galaxy Note 7 these have already been overhauled, with WhatsApp (and other) notifications added below the clock. Given that this handset has been discontinued (due to all of the catching fire it did) it’s good to see that the features go on – users are starting to find the new software which brings more options to the always-on display.
Samsung has exposed the API to iphone app developers, so later on we have to see more notifications come to the always-on display, but it’s something Samsung could did itself, and it’s really annoying that it hasn’t.
Apart from the default display, the other two options you might have certainly are a calendar view or a full-screen pattern, neither which are particularly useful. I expected at least calendar entries to be displayed in a few basic form with the former, but alas you merely get yourself a view of the times in the month, and that is it.
Meanwhile the pattern, rather than utilizing a part of the screen, occupies the complete screen. Furthermore, there are just three patterns to pick from (although more are actually incoming), and you can’t customize them at all. The hope is more can look in time, but also for now it’s useless.
With the screen never turning off (although you can disable the always-on feature in the settings), there can be an additional drain on the battery. Samsung claims it consumes significantly less than 1% every hour, though, and within my time with the Galaxy S7 I missed it was killing the energy.
It may appear such as a relatively tame addition, and initially I dismissed the always-on functionality as only a gimmick.
However, as I spent additional time with the S7 I became familiar with glancing within my phone for enough time and date, aswell as to see easily had a need to stick in the charger. Simple, yet affective