Samsung Galaxy S7 edge Review: vs. Samsung Galaxy S7

Tiansui Bao

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Yes, another year 2016. Another set of phones from manufacturers! I have been hooked onto get the latest phone every year syndrome and love reviewing specifics. Disclaimer, I love Android and have been using from very early days. Samsung Galaxy S7 still is evolutionary. If you have an older phone more than 2 years old, absolutely get this. So do check local specs. I played around with both S7 and S7 Edge for few days and my opinions are based on this. There are tons of reviews going into lot of details, so I am focused on few other aspects like what's out there and how to compare specs. Overall S7 and S7 were very slick. If I have to make a choice between S7 and G5, I will slightly lean towards G5 but both are fantastic!

First Big Changes: microSD is back. And back with a vengeance 200 GB. I love it, and have been using it in my current LG as well. Unfortunately, the battery is non-removable, has not been addressed. The only flagship to feature a removable battery so far this year is the LG G5. I know many of you loyal Samsung fans says BUMMER! I was a diehard fan of Samsung till S4, then I went to LG G2/G3. I was very curious to try out S7 as they are most talked about now. Why did I love it?! Screen is a beauty on S6 – Just Gorgeous. Just go to a retail store and feel it!

The Edge feature is still gimmicky. I think it will fold into regular phones at some point. It is certainly fancy and nice to show off, but I would rather buy an Android wear watch like Motorola 360 or Samsung Gear or LG R series.

IF YOU HAVE LAST YEAR model of any phone, PLEASE DON'T upgrade. Phones are becoming so standard and power packed it makes no sense to upgrade and waste money every year. I buy and sell so many phones as it is like a hobby for me, but I stick to one phone as primary for couple of years now. My main requirements are a 200 GB microSD, good screen, battery life and performance. I am trying hard to see if I can live without one.

In my opinion, following are key specs to consider when you buying a phone. Most of others are standard or does not matter at all. First size, weight and resolution are part of look and feel. RAM/CPU part of performance. External Storage is part of expandability. Camera is obvious! SAR (Specific Absorption Rating) is an often ignored, but I feel essential to making a buying choice. Manufacturers don't advertise or mention SAR prominently.

phone parameters: {size, weight, resolution, ppi, RAM, ext Storage, camera, CPU, USA SAR rating}

Samsung Galaxy S7: 5.61 x 2.74 x 0.31 in, 152 gm, 1440 x 2560 pixels, 5.1 in, 577 ppi, 4 GB RAM, YES MICROSD SLOT (GOOD!), Internal Storage upto 128 GB, Exynos 7420 Quad-core 1.5 GHz Cortex-A53 & Quad-core 2.1 GHz Cortex-A57, Gorilla Glass 4, 16 MP/5MP camera, SAR 1.40 W/kg (head) 1.59 W/kg (body) NANO SIM
Samsung Galaxy S6: 5.65 x 2.78 x 0.27 in, 138 gm, 1440 x 2560 pixels, 5.1 in, 577 ppi, 3 GB RAM, NO MICROSD SLOT upto 200 GB (bummer), Internal Storage upto 64 GB, Qualcomm MSM8996 Snapdragon 820/Exynos 8890 Octa, Gorilla Glass 4, 16 MP/5MP camera, SAR 1.15 W/kg (head), 1.16 W/kg (body) NANO SIM

Samsung Galaxy S6 Edge: Slightly lower dimensions, 0.01 in thicker, 6 gm less weight, Same resolution, Curved Screen,

HTC One M9: 5.69 x 2.74 x 0.38 in, 157 gm, 1080 x 1920 pixels, 5 in, 441 ppi, 3 GB RAM, microSD upto 128 GB!, 20.7 MP (rear), 4 MP(front for selfies), Qualcomm Snapdragon 810, Quad-core 1.5 GHz Cortex-A53 & Quad-core 2 GHz Cortex-A57

LG G5: 5.88 x 2.91 x 0.30 in, 159 gm, 2560 x 1440 pixels, 5.3 in, 554 ppi, 4 GB RAM, microSD upto 200 GB, 16 MP/8 MP, Dual-core 2.15 GHz Kryo & dual-core 1.6 GHz Kryo - H850, Quad-core Cortex-A72 & quad-core Cortex-A53 - H840 , xx W/kg (head), yy W/kg (body) (unknown at the time of writing) Nano SIM

Google Nexus 6: 6.27 x 3.27 x 0.60 in, 184 gm, 2560 x 1440 pixels, 5.96 in, 493 ppi, 3 GB RAM, no ext Storage, 13 MP/2 MP, Qualcomm Snapdragon 805, Quad-core 2.7 GHz Krait 450, Adreno 420, 1.47 W/kg (head), 0.93 W/kg (body)

Apple iPhone 6 PLUS: 6.22 x 3.06 x 0.288 in, 172 gm, 1920 x 1080 pixels, 5.5 in, 401 ppi, 1 GB RAM, no ext storage, 8 MP/1.2 MP, Apple A7, Dual-core 1.3 GHz Cyclone (ARM v8-based), 1.12 W/kg (head), 1.18 W/kg (body)

Samsung Galaxy Note 4 N910: 6.04 x 3.09 x 0.33 in, 176 gm, 2560 x 1440 pixels, 5.7 in, 515 ppi, 3 GB RAM, micro SD upto ~128 GB, 16 MP/3.7MP, Exynos 5 Octa 5420, Quad-core 1.9 GHz Cortex-A15 & quad-core 1.3 GHz Cortex-A7, SAR: 0.37 W/kg (head), 0.88 W/kg (body)

Amazon Kindle Fire: 5.5" x 2.6" x 0.35", 160 g, 1280 x 720 pixels, 4.7", 315 ppi, 2 GB RAM, 32 GB, no microSD, 2.2GHz Quad-core Snapdragon 800 CPU, with Adreno 330 GPU, nanoSIM, SAR: 1.34 watts/kg

Given the above key specs, my suggestion to my friends is to choose 2 or 3 KEY features you require (may be large screen size, maybe less weight, maybe more CPU power) and then start nailing down the phones. Definitely and definitely go to a phone or a big box store and feel the phone. Nothing replaces that. In the end you are using it for days and years, so the tactile feel is very important. I have used all these phones and at a high level they are all good. Few things here and there. And yes the cost. If you are in for a new smartphone and has a budget issue, GET LAST YEAR MODEL. They are as good as current year and probably half the cost! In this case I even suggest Galaxy S4 as it is an outstanding phone. It's much cheaper and you will be happy!!

I have experimented with many phone sizes and I have come to a conclusion 5" is the best form factor for me. Your mileage may vary, The display is absolutely stunning with a Quad HD screen and you have to see to feel it.

S7 has Android OS v6.0 (Marshmallow)out of the box. User Interface has a flatter and simpler design, as is now the trend across the industry. Once you get used to user interface you get used to it. Android is very flexible and when I show my phone to a iPhone users they are usually in awe. I recently showed to my friends the details of processes. Battery usage like which process takes up more battery.

S-Health is a big deal, the app is beautiful and the heart rate and oxygen level measurements are great to keep track. I use Runtastic Pro and Nike+, but like the UI of S-Health too.

Fantastic camera. One of the best smartphone cameras. Period.

Don't bother about it. For 99% of users, this is good enough. The phone has more processing power than the rocket that went to moon first time and much more. The games are very smooth, the UI is very smooth.

NFC Tags:
Wow, this is the most underrated in all reviews. I use AndroidPay constantly. I use it in WholeFoods and it is so easy. I have used at Walgreens too. Get bunch ( I mean around 10) of NFC Tags and use in bedrooms, offices, cars, living room and customize what your phone wants to do in those areas. For example, when I enter the car most often I use a) Navigation b) Listen to Podcasts. So I program my NFC tags accordingly using apps like Trigger and tap my phone to the NFC Tag and boom, phone does both.

Do you really need to care for battery anymore. I don't. Just use the phone. I have battery power banks with capacity as high as 30,000 mAh to 8000 mAh that I can charge virtually anywhere without a power supply. So this has become moot for me in past year. I would also suggest you get power banks and not really care of battery drainage. Use the phone and enjoy!

To give a sample, I tried following apps and they just worked awesome.

Amazon Mobile, Androidify, Aldiko Premium, Angry Birds (multiple themes), Asphalt 8, Box, Chrome, Android Pay, NAVIGON (from Garmin - offline maps), Nokia HERE Maps, Google Navigation/Earth/Maps, Google Drive, Ebay, Linkedin, Google Music, Tapatalk (awesome forum browsing app), Microsoft One Note (legacy docs, skydrive of 25 GB is good), Microsoft Office, (yes they have for Android!), Subsonic Music Streamer, TweetCaster Pro for Android (excellent twitter client), Twit. Tv, Trigger

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