Korean electronics giant Samsung introduced two new entrants, Galaxy S7 and Galaxy S7 Edge, to their Galaxy S line of flagship phones at the Mobile World Congress (MWC) currently underway in Barcelona.
The world's second largest phone-maker didn't experiment too much with the look of the new devices, sticking to the design ethos of their hugely successful Galaxy S6 series. Samsung's Galaxy S6 and Galaxy S6 Edge were very impressive phones. So the company has concentrated on working on the weaker parts such as battery and durability based on customer feedback. They have added a microSD card slot and waterproofing to both of the phones.
Both the phones will run on 64-bit quad-core processors. Samsung is most probably shipping all the phones of the S7 series in the US with Qualcomm Snapdragon 820 and they will ship the phones with their own Exynos processor elsewhere in the world. Both the phones will have 4 GB of RAM.
Initially, Galaxy S7 and Galaxy S7 Edge will be available only with 32 GB internal memory. Later, Samsung will release the 64 GB version. Memory is expandable up to 2 TB through microSD card. The company also said that the tray which holds the microSD card will act as a second SIM tray in select markets. Since dual-SIM phones are popular in India, it is highly likely that Indian market will get this version.
There is not much difference between the two phones apart from the size and battery. Galaxy S7 has a 5.1-inch QHD display while the Edge variant will have 5.5-inch QHD display. Last year, Galaxy S6 and Galaxy S6 Edge both had a 5.1-inch display and later in the year the company had released a 5.7-inch Galaxy S6 Edge+ along with its Note 5 phablet.
Samsung has bumped up the battery in both the models as well. Galaxy S7 hosts a 3000 mAh battery while Galaxy S7 Edge hosts a significantly bigger 3600 mAh battery. Both the phones are equipped with quick charging capabilities. Both the devices can also be wirelessly charged. While most of the companies with metal phone design have stayed away from wireless charging, Samsung is supporting multiple standards for that. Interestingly, Samsung has persisted with mircoUSB for charging and data transfer instead of adhering to the new USB-C standard used in Nexus phones.
Galaxy S6 series had a fantastic camera. To improve on that, Samsung reduced the sensor size to 12 MP for the primary camera but introduced new technology measures. The camera lens has an impressive aperture of f/1.7. Apart from that, it has smart OIS and dual-pixel technology for low lighting. That means even without laser-guided focus technology, the camera will perform better even in low light.
The phones run on Android Marshmallow 6.0 with TouchWiz UI customization on the top. They also support Vulkan API for a better gaming experience. Galaxy S7 and Galaxy S7 Edge both will support Samsung Pay with Near Field Communication (NFC) and Magnetic Secure Transmission (MST), which allows users to pay with the device even if the vendor only has a conventional credit card machine. Samsung also announced a magnetic extendable camera lens add-on and wireless charging battery expansion cases for both the phones.
Samsung had put a lot of emphasis on Virtual Reality (VR) in yesterday's event. They were live-streaming the event in 360-degrees which can be streamed through Gear VR. They released a 360-degree camera for shooting VR images, videos and other content called Gear 360. That was not it. They had Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg come and talk about VR. Facebook is a major stakeholder in Oculus, the company which supports Samsung in making Gear VR.
Zuckerberg said, "VR is the new future and 360-degree content is the next big thing. We at Facebook, have established a social VR team which will work on Facebook apps making them more VR friendly and enjoyable".
Both the phones will be available in black and gold colours. Galaxy S7 Edge offers two more variants, namely silver and platinum. The phones will be available in the US from 11 March. There is no announcement on International release or pricing.
This is a key year for Samsung in India as Apple is trying hard to open stores and gain a foothold here. So, after launching the mid-range premium phones Galaxy A7 and Galaxy A5, and also gaining the top spot in the smartphone market share last year, they will likely launch the flagship Galaxy S7 series soon after the international release.