Hey gang, Valkor here. After the explosive nature and universal recalling of the Galaxy Note 7, the folks at Samsung have a lot riding on the next mobile iteration – The Galaxy S8. The company recently held an unpacking event for their newest smartphone and a launch date looms in a couple of weeks. So, until that time, let’s take a look its predecessor – the Galaxy S7. Samsung has taken everything they’ve learned from the previous smartphones and have created something wonderful!
On the outset, the S7 looks very similar to that of the S6. However, that’s pretty much where the similarities end, as under the hood, the smartphone is so much more. At the top of the device is your sim card/memory card slot; that’s right, memory cards that are expandable of up to 256GB, are back with the S7, so you’re no longer stuck with just the internal memory (which has a storage capacity of 32GB). At the bottom of the device, you’ll find a 3.5mm port, microUSB port, and speaker. On the right side, you have your power/standby button and on the left is the volume controls.
Moving on to the front face of the smartphone, the S7 comes with a 5.1” QUAD HD AMOLED touchscreen, at the top and on the left, you have your notification lights and to the right is the 5MP front-facing camera. And at the bottom of the screen, you have both a physical and touch-based button. On the left brings up all of your recent apps, in the middle is the Home button with fingerprint recognition, and to the right is the back button. Switching over to the back, you’ll find the 12MP rear-facing camera and flash. Now, I was skeptical of the camera, since most of the ones I own are at a much higher rate. Regardless, I was impressed with the S7’s results and I’ll get to all that camera goodness. Here are just a few examples.
Internally, the Galaxy S7 is packing some power; it sports a Qualcomm SnapDragon 820 processor, using 4GB of RAM, and Qualcomm Adreno running the GPU. As far as the OS is concerned, the S7 uses Android Marshmallow 6.0, but as of this piece going up, it’s now running Nougat 7.0. Loading up the device, I found plenty of Samsung and AT&T’s (My current provider) apps taking up a good chunk of the processing power. And since I’ve gotten comfortable without all the extras from using the Nexus 6, I turned a lot of them off. Lastly, we can’t forget the battery, which the S7 comes equipped with a 3,000 mAh installed, and no back panel, so you can’t remove/replace the battery at your leisure.
Other notable features of the Galaxy S7 worth mentioning, it’s water resistant; this means no more worrying about raindrops, toilet/puddle flops, and coffee spills in the vicinity of your phone as the S7 is able to withstand “30 minutes in 5 feet of water” (from the press release). Next, the camera is capable of taking great pics in low-light scenarios. Full disclosure: I haven’t used the flash at all. In low-light scenarios, pictures come out looking spectacular. And when you mix it up with the camera tools, you walk away giving your images a professional look. And though the screen is a bit cramped, you can watch 4K movies and they’ll look pretty sweet, though not as sweet as a 50” UHD 4K TV (Just sayin’). There are a few other apps worth mentioning, but I switched off the majority a) for battery saving purposes and b) I didn’t need them.
When the Galaxy S8 arrives, it’ll pretty much be a step up from the S7; we’re talking bigger screens (I’m pushing for that S8+), stronger processor, and an improved front-facing camera, among other features. Until then, the Samsung Galaxy S7 is a pretty strong contender. And I’ll give you my reasons in the TOV Breakdown.
It took some time to getting used to the Google Nexus 6 as I was so used to the featured phones from Samsung, HTC and the like; the Nexus 6 was a simple yet amazing phone, and it’s the type I wouldn’t easily part with. That is until the Samsung Galaxy S7 walked into my life and changed my perspective. The S7 has everything, anyone could want in a phone – great design, beautiful display, an amazing camera, and a strong battery that will get you through the day. The camera is my favorite and one I didn’t think I’d enjoy as much. But I was really impressed with how well it takes photos, especially in low-light settings, and anytime I don’t have to use the flash is a good time. The battery life is another key feature I can get behind. While it's not as strong as the Nexus 6 battery, the truth is there’s only a little difference between the two. But just like the Nexus 6, I was able to get a lot out of that battery, being able to use my phone throughout my work morning and still making it home with a few percentages left. That’s better than a complete drain any day. And before I forget, the S7 is capable of wireless charging as well as “Quick Charge” when plugged in. Finally, the display is a thing of beauty as images and video look absolutely stunning! If you haven’t upgraded (or downgraded if you previously owned the Note 7), then the Samsung Galaxy S7 I’d highly recommend.
While not exactly perfect, the S7 does have a few issues, which are mostly nitpicky complaints if anything. First, I jumped on the S7 bandwagon mainly by the specs, but what I really missed was having that universal remote. Unfortunately, that feature was left out. Next, the placement of the speaker is in a pretty bad spot, especially if you’re holding the phone horizontally because your finger gets in the way and covers it up. Finally, battery life could have been improved ever so slightly, especially to beat out a phone that’s older than itself. The Samsung Galaxy S7 is available now, with the S8 and S8+ right around the corner; you can expect a full review of the S8+ once it hits the Val-Cave and I’ve had my way with it. Ahem. But if you’re currently looking to upgrade, you certainly can’t go wrong with the S7, which scores high marks in everything including looks, camera, and battery. So out of TOV 5 stars, I’m giving the Samsung Galaxy S7 a 4.5. And it’s been Valkor tested, TOV Approved!