Galaxy S7 and S7 Edge hands on: So good you can almost forgive TouchWiz
|Specs at a glance: Samsung Galaxy S7/S7 Edge|
|Screen||2560×1440 5.1-inch/5.5-inch AMOLED|
|OS||Android Marshmallow 6.0 with TouchWiz|
|CPU||Qualcomm Snapdragon 820 4-core SoC / Samsung 8-core Exynos 8890 SoC in international version|
|GPU||Adreno 530 GPU|
|Storage||32GB, 64GB or 128GB|
|Networking||Dual Band 802.11b/g/n/ac, Bluetooth 4.1, GPS|
|Ports||Micro USB 2.0, headphones|
|Camera||12MP rear camera with OIS, 5MP front camera,|
|Size||143.4 x 70.5 x 6.8 mm|
|Starting price||€699 (~$700) / €799 (~$800)|
|Other perks||Fingerprint reader, heartrate monitor, RGB notification LED, NFC, Qi and PMA wireless charging, Qualcomm and Samsung quick charging, Samsung Pay|
OK Samsung, you got me. After years of resisting Galaxy phones because of TouchWiz, and because they were made of plastic, and because, well, they were ugly as sin, you've gone and made a phone that I really, really want. The S7 Edge and its counterpart the S7 are beautifully designed, expertly constructed, and sport the kind of features I've been clamouring for for years, but could never find in a single device. They're so good, in fact, that I might even be able to forgive TouchWiz. Almost.
At first glance you'd be hard pressed to tell whether you were looking at an S6 Edge or S7 Edge, such is the design language both phones share, but the difference is immediately noticeable when you pick the S7 Edge up. Gone are the awkward camera bulge and the uncomfortable flat back of the S6, replaced instead with an almost flush camera and metal back that gently curves out to fill your hand. Even the increased thickness over the S6 isn't a bad thing. The S7 is easier to pick up off a table, seems like it'll be more comfortable to hold over longer periods of time, and—most importantly for a phone that costs a hefty €799 (~$800)—it feels worthy of its premium price tag.
The improvements to the S7 Edge's design may be small on paper, but such subtle refinements make a world of difference. This is the first Galaxy phone I've used that I can truly say matches up to the premium feel of an iPhone, the sort of thing that I'd fondle all day out of pure joy, and not because of an ever growing (and worrying) Facebook addiction. Those curved edges may be a little superfluous, but they make swiping in from the sides of the phone delightfully smooth, while also having the added benefit of next to no screen bezel along the sides. With its 5.5-inch AMOLED screen, the S7 Edge isn't a small phone by any means, but compared to the likes of Apple's iPhone 6S Plus—which has the same screen size—it's much smaller and easier to use in one hand.