Samsung Galaxy S7 and S7 edge unveiled

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We take an exclusive first look at Samsung’s top new phones…
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Samsung Galaxy S7 and S7 edge unveiled

Samsung Galaxy S7 - what’s new?

The big moment has finally arrived – Samsung has lifted the lid on its top smartphones for 2016, the Samsung Galaxy S7 and S7 edge.

At an exclusive show in Barcelona, the world’s biggest phone maker showed off the new smartphones to a cheering crowd. Both phones are loaded with the latest tech and new features, so let’s take a closer look.

The looks

When you pick up the new Galaxy S7, the first thing you’ll notice is the new curved back. It’s a bit like the front of the S7 edge, where the sides slope away and make the phone feel thinner. This specially shaped back also makes the phone more comfortable to hold.

Samsung Galaxy S7 edge

With the Galaxy S7 edge, it’s the size that really stands out. Its 5.5-inch screen is noticeably bigger than the 5.1-inch one on the flat S7. Both screens, however, keep the Quad HD resolution that we’ve seen on the latest premium Samsungs.

One thing that you won’t immediately notice is that they’re both water resistant. They’ve been certified IP68, which is the highest level of dust and water protection on smartphones.

The features

When you turn your new Galaxy S7 or S7 edge on, you’ll be faced with the latest Android software, Marshmallow. It brings some really handy new features, like battery-saving Doze and the new in-app searcher Now on Tap.

It’s not just the new version of Android that has new features - Samsung’s updated its software too, and now the Edge Screen can do more. A new double-wide edge gives you more room for favourite contacts and apps, as well as enough space to get proper snippets of news and live sports scores.

There’s also an always-on screen feature that shows your latest notifications even when the phone’s asleep. That means you only have to glance at your phone to get updates, rather than pick it up and unlock it.

Samsung Galaxy S7 always-on display

Gaming is a big part of the Galaxy S7 and S7 edge too. A new games launcher keeps things from running in the background when you’re playing a game, which should help battery life and performance. And it’s now really easy to record your screen and voice while playing – perfect if you want to launch your own YouTube channel.

Away from the bigger new features, the software is full of design improvements and there are lots of little things that’ll make using the S7 and S7 edge a bit easier.

The camera

One of Samsung’s biggest announcements about the Galaxy S7 and S7 edge was the new camera. The headline figure, 12MP, is lower than last year’s 16MP Galaxy S6 camera, but Samsung says its new technology means photos will be better than ever.

Samsung Galaxy S7 camera

It uses something called Dual Pixels to capture more vivid shots. This lets the phone focus much faster, even keeping moving objects in perfect clarity.

To make shots brighter (which is really handy when taking photos at night), the lens has an ultra-wide f/1.7 aperture, a number that you’d only normally see on professional camera lenses.

The new sensor is also thinner than regular ones, which means the camera doesn’t stick out too much anymore.

The battery

If you currently have a phone that you need to charge halfway through the day, you’ll want to take notice of the Galaxy S7 and S7 edge as both phones have big new batteries.

The flat S7 is powered by a 3,000mAh battery, which is an impressive 20% up on last year’s Galaxy S6. That should give most of us a two-day battery life.

The S7 edge, however, goes even further with an enormous 3,600mAh battery – almost 40% bigger than the S6 edge. Such a big power pack could take you into a third day between charges.

What’s more, both phones come with wireless charging built in that’ll take your battery from flat to full in just 150 minutes. So even when you do have to charge the new Galaxys up, you just put them on a wireless charging pad instead of fiddling with cables.

The processor and memory

A phone’s processor and storage aren’t normally the most exciting things, but the Galaxy S7 does have something that’s grabbed out attention – a microSD card slot (yes, we’re geeks).

Alongside the 32GB or 64GB of built in storage, both the S7 and S7 edge have space for a memory card. That means you can add up to 200GB of extra room for your music, movies, apps and games.

On the speed front, both phones use Samsung’s home-made Exynos processor. It’s a new octa core chip clocked at 2.3GHz – in other words, it’s one of the fastest mobile processors around. And that’s backed up by 4GB RAM, which lets you have loads of stuff open without slowing the phone down.

How good are the Samsung Galaxy S7 and S7 edge?

It’s early days, but based on what we’ve seen so far the Galaxy S7 and S7 edge are both really nice upgrades on last year’s phones.

We’re impressed that Samsung managed to bring water resistance and a microSD card slot to the phones without affecting their premium, sleek design. We also love the new camera. It really does take great photos and now it’s flush to the rest of the phone – no camera hump.

If you’ve fallen for the Samsung Galaxy S7 and S7 edge like we have, you can pre-order them both now. When you do, you’ll get your new phone three days before general release, and we’ll even throw in the new Samsung Gear VR so you can enjoy the latest virtual reality experience.

What are your thoughts? Join the conversation here…

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