The latest entry in the Samsung Galaxy S series boasts a water-resistant case that has stood up impressively to independent testing by major industry magazines. It’s important to note that the case isn’t totally waterproof; it’s rated to survive being submerged in up to one meter of water for up to 30 minutes. That’s more than enough to survive getting caught out in the rain or the occasional drop into a puddle, however. It’s also similarly well protected against dust exposure.
Aside from the waterproofing, the other major new feature of the Galaxy S7 is the return of the micro SD card slot, which had been removed from the Galaxy S6. This slot can accept cards that are up to 200 GB in size. Each phone comes stock with 32 GB of internal storage.
The S7 is otherwise fairly similar to the S6, which is good considering that the S6 got most things right and was very popular among consumers. The chassis design is very similar, only making slight changes to the design of the buttons and the camera protrusion. The stock operating system has moved up to Android 6.0 “Marshmallow” with 4 GB of RAM. The camera is a 12-megapixel model mounted on the rear with a Dual Pixel image sensor. The battery life in this model has also been improved a little over that of the S6, and when the touchscreen is off and no apps are running Samsung claims that the phone will only use a half a percentage point of battery life each hour.
Upgrading to the S7 Edge gives you a 5.5 inch display, an increase of nearly half an inch from the standard S7. The Edge also features a slightly larger battery capacity than the S7. The screen on the Edge is a dual-curved design that gives it a unique look unlike any previous Samsung model.
In terms of software, each phone ships with the new TouchWiz software package as well as a proximity sensor that will lock the touchscreen automatically if the phone is placed in a pocket, pouch or enclosed case. Apps run faster than just about any other phone on the market, making this the ideal choice for those who like to play mobile games.
While it is possible to criticize the S7 for not making many changes, the S6 was already one of the best Android phones on the market and Samsung’s conservative approach to tweaking it has made it even better, making it arguably the best overall Android phone available until the S8 rolls out next year.