Samsung Galaxy S7 hands on

Review

Meet the Samsung Galaxy S7 and it's amazing 12MP Dual Pixel camera...
by
Samsung Galaxy S7 hands on

Living with the Samsung Galaxy S7

I couldn’t believe my luck when the Samsung Galaxy S7 landed on my desk. I was going to get to spend some time with this year’s hottest Android phone. Obviously I couldn’t wait to get it up and running, so it was out of its box in an instant.

When I first looked at the phone, I was a little underwhelmed. The curviness of the Galaxy S7 just didn’t look as sleek as I thought it would – I think Samsung’s A-series looks more professional. But as soon as I picked up the phone the looks made more sense.

Every soft curve seems to have been carefully thought out, making the phone more comfortable to hold. That’s especially true of the slight curve on the back of the phone.

The S7 is also reassuringly weighty. It’s not a heavy phone, but it feels solid, like it’s been put together really well. And, to be fair, it has been built well – it has an IP68 rating, meaning it can survive being dunked in 1.5 metres of water.

Getting set up

When I turned the phone on, it was easy to get set up. As with all new Android phones, you get prompted to use Tap & Go, a handy bit of software that lets you tap your old phone to your new one to transfer your accounts.

What really impressed me was that the S7 then asked me which launcher I wanted to use. The launcher is the homescreen and app drawer of your phone, and I was being asked if I wanted to use Samsung’s or the one from my old phone.

When I selected the Google Now Launcher that was on my Moto X Force all my apps and widgets appeared, laid out exactly as they were on the other phone.

First impressions

As I flicked through the S7’s menus and rediscovered my apps, I was really impressed by how responsive the screen was. Everything felt and looked perfectly smooth and happened instantly. I’m used to fast, high-end phones, but this was another level.

The screen looked dazzling too. It’s a 5.1-inch Quad HD super AMOLED panel, so I thought it would be just as good as the 5.5-inch Quad HD AMOLED screen I’m used to on my X Force. I was wrong.

The Galaxy S7 has an unbeatable screen. Colours look brighter, pictures look sharper and you notice the difference straight away.

As you can probably tell, I was liking the S7 from the off.

Testing the camera

I enjoy taking photos, and a phone’s camera is probably my favourite snapping tool as it’s always in my pocket. So one of the first things I did with the Galaxy S7 was see what the new 12MP camera could do.

Honestly, it’s an amazing camera. Getting up close to some flowers for a macro shot really showed the quality. Just take a look at the samples I took below.

Samsung Galaxy S7 camera sample

Samsung Galaxy S7 macro photo

Samsung Galaxy S7 camera sample

Samsung Galaxy S7 landscape photo

Recharging

After getting used to the S7 and having fun with its camera, it was time to recharge.

With the Galaxy S7, Samsung has upped the power of its charger, pumping more electricity into the battery faster. So despite the S7 having a big 3,000mAh battery, it fully recharged in about 50 minutes. That’s a third of the time it took top smartphones from two years ago to charge.

What’s even more amazing is that the phone felt colder after it was charged. That’s thanks to Samsung’s unique liquid cooling system. A series of tiny pipes in the phone are filled with a material that dissipates heat so the computer chips don’t get damaged. And I can tell you it works incredibly well.

The full battery got me through the next two days – an impressive feat for any new phone as I tend to use them pretty intensely to start with. The screenshot below shows just how well it lasted (the big drops are from games).

Gaming at another level

One thing I was really excited to try out was Samsung’s new Game Launcher. It’s an app that lets you block notifications, lock the ‘back’ and ‘recent’ keys and even cut the quality of your games to save power.

The notification blocker was my favourite feature. You could lose yourself in the game without getting distracted by emails and other apps. And it was good that I could lock the capacitive buttons as it meant I didn’t accidentally leave the game when my fingers got over-excited.

One thing I can’t really comment on is the Galaxy S7’s new graphics. It can run Vulcan graphics, which is meant to rival games consoles, but the boost in quality I saw was probably down to the incredible screen. It’ll be the coming generation of mobile games that will take full advantage of the S7’s abilities.

My verdict on the Samsung Galaxy S7

After spending a few days with the Galaxy S7 as my only phone, I’ve decided I love it. It’s not perfect – the always-on display got annoying as I kept catching it out the corner of my eye and thinking I was getting a call – but it’s still the best phone I’ve ever used.

I can’t believe how good the screen looks and the two-day battery life is impressive. But the thing I really like is that it just feels good. It’s comfortable to hold and gives you a real sense of quality

If you want to get your own Samsung Galaxy S7, you can order it now at Carphone Warehouse. Or, if you have any questions, drop us a comment below.

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