Let me confess, I was not really impressed by my first sighting of the Samsung Galaxy S7 edge. I thought the new flagship looked a bit too much like the old flagship, the S6 edge. But first impressions and hands-on reviews from launch events are half-baked at best. But now I have used the S7 edge for well over a week and I have no doubts about this phone. Here is my review.
Samsung Galaxy S7 edge
I am using a 32GB version of the S7 edge for the review. Yes, the phone is not very different from its predecessor, except for the always on-screen which I think is a good addition though not revolutionary in any way. The phone feels good in your hands, and though it has not yet slipped from my hand, there is a constant fear at the back of my head.
From a design front, the one noticeable change is the fact that camera bump has been pushed into and is a much thinner protrusion than before.
Specs: 5.5-inch QHD Super AMOLED display (2560 x 1440) | octa-core Exynos 8890 processor | 4GB RAM | 32GB storage space | 12MP rear camera + 5MP front camera | 3600 mAh battery | Android 6.0 Marshmallow with TouchWiz UI
Price: Rs 56,900
What is good?
Like with most Samsung phones you don’t have to wait for the screen to awe you. No one does it better that this little Korean company when it comes to screens, be them small, be them big, be them curved. The S7 is not different and everything looks unrealistically good on this screen, even your own selfies. The S7 phones also have an always on black lock screen which displays basic information like time, missed calls, new messages and the like. Thankfully, this feature doesn’t seem to be sapping the battery much, which is good.
The edge screen is now improved and more effective. It is almost like an extra homescreen layer that you can access whatever you are doing on the phone. It does add to productivity, if you can remember to use it.
The S6 series had a great camera, and I would have thought it was difficult to better that. But Samsung seems to have done just that, especially when it comes to low-light photography. I tried all kinds of stuff in the dark – the camera was really impressive, in fact even a notch ahead of the Apple iPhone 6s Plus. The regular stuff is great too and the phone offers amazing detail when the light is great. And the focus adds an extra layer of fun and richness, making pictures look as if they were shot with a DSLR. The camera app is also much improved with some unique modes like Virtual Shot. But the Pro mode should be enough to satisfy our creative needs.
The sheer performance of this phone is hard to match. You can try everything from multi-tasking to gaming and ultra-high definition video, and this phone will not break a sweat. It is among the coolest flagships I have seen and that is saying a lot as high-end phones usually tend to be a bit hot under the collar.
Also, despite the performance the battery is dependable. I got 12 hours of life with very heavy use and that too over a 4G network. Reduce the brightness of the screen and you should be able to squeeze in a few more hours. In fact, I once used the phone for an hour with just 5 per cent battery left.
What is not that good?
The fingerprint scanner on the phone is a pain and has a very low success rate. You will eventually get in, but that might take some serious twiddling of the thumbs. This is a quirk that Samsung will have to fix without delay.
While I love the low light photos that the S7 can click, you shouldn’t really bother zooming in on the photos too much. I noticed a lack of detail when you start going deep into these photos. Not such an issue since no one blows up this pictures that big.
Do you need the edge?
The edge is a great extra feature to have. But you will need serious presence of mind to use it. Also, it is, at least for now, just another way to do some stuff and there is nothing that can be done exclusively using the curved bit of the screen. So decide whether you want to spend extra to get this real estate on the sides. The S7 is a great device even without it.
Should you buy?
The S7 and S7 edge might not be really innovative, but what Samsung has done is make the phones almost near perfect by making it bugless — if you can overlook the fingerprint scanner. That is innovation in itself, if you ask me. If you ask me there is no better phone to upgrade for Samsung fans who are now on S5 or under. For them this phone takes the experience to a whole new level. For sheer performance and camera, this is the best Android phone you can buy at the moment.
However, make sure which phone you want – the S7 or the S7 edge. They are both great, but you might just be happy with the S7, without the edge.