Release Date: 3/12/2016
Colors: Black, Blue, Gold, Silver
The Good: Beautiful body, screen, and overall design, the best smartphone camera available, great fingerprint scanner, Samsung software is the best proprietary suite available, plenty of power saving options, 7.0 Nougat has more features than you can shake a stick at
The Bad: Gets very hot when pushed too hard, still suffers occasional slowdown
So, this is my 4th Samsung phone and this company has come a long way. After dealing with the Note7 disaster, I switched to the LG V20 awaiting the next Samsung phone thinking the S7 wasn’t worth it. I recently decided to switch back as the Galaxy S8 is around the corner and the S7 Edge is pretty much the exact same as the Note7 without the S-Pen and a smidge smaller. The OS is identical and I really missed the fantastic screen and OS experience from Samsung.
Thankfully, I picked up an S7 Edge after the 7.0 Nougat update and I have to say it is just a beautiful update the already great 6.0 that the Note7 shipped with. The S7 Edge has a 2K screen (2560×1440) with a 12MP rear camera and a 5MP front camera. The S7 camera is rated the best phone camera around and you can really see just how fantastic it is. The full glass body is sleek and gorgeous and feels great in your hand, and the much-improved fingerprint scanner works great.
The phone has a Snapdragon 820 SoC which is currently the fastest available for a smartphone and is lightning fast. 4GB of RAM, 32GB UFS 2.0 memory allows for speedy transfers and writes. The addition of a micro SD slot is welcome and the Adreno 520 GPU allows you play the latest and greatest games. There’s nothing faster out there right now. However, this phone did tend to run very hot when I did the initial setup. It was so hot it made my hand sweat, but after this setup, I have yet to have the phone get that hot again.
The OS experience is wonderful and Samsung has implemented so many features over the years that it can be overwhelming. From being able to transfer your files from your old phone via Wifi or USB, to advanced security features, excellent power saving technology, and features for gamers, there’s a lot packed into this tiny brick. Samsung’s Game Tools and Game Launcher are awesome to use and I have been a fan since day one. Being able to launch a game from the Game Launcher allows you to keep your phone at maximum performance, or you can turn it all down for smaller games that aren’t graphics heavy. Game Tools allows you to customize each game individually if you want as well.
Samsung’s themes and icons are nice to see on the S7 and make the phone feel unique and personable. Samsung is the only phone maker right now that has this feature, but LG is trying to catch up but their theme updates are slow going. Samsung has other things packed in here like Samsung Gear, VR, Pay, and many other proprietary apps that are robust and work well with their own products.
I really can’t pick this phone apart from the Note7 as it’s exactly the same — same button placement and feel, same style, same screen, same everything. If you were screwed by the Note7 this has all the exact same hardware but in a slightly smaller form factor. It still has some of the same issues that have plagued Samsung smartphones forever such as the occasional slowdown if you don’t constantly keep up on optimizing your phone and it does run hot if the CPU is pushed too hard. Hopefully, this eventually goes away with the next phone and I don’t know if the OS can’t keep up with the CPU or the other way around, but as time goes on this issue should not exist.