Pre-Release Reviews Streaming in for Samsung Galaxy S7 and S7 Edge
With just days to go before they hit the market, Samsung's Galaxy S7 and S7 Edge are earning overwhelmingly positive -- if not outright glowing -- reviews. CNET, for example, called the S7 "the phone to beat," while Yahoo said the devices are "the best smartphones, period."
Currently available for pre-ordering, the Galaxy S7 and S7 Edge are set to be released Friday. The 5.1-inch S7 is priced by most outlets at $649.99 to $669.99, while the 5.5-inch S7 Edge ranges in price from $749.99 to $794.99.
Both devices feature a new dust-resistant design as well as a new waterproof design that ensures they keep running even after half an hour under water, according to Samsung. Running Android 6.0 Marshmallow, the new smartphones also boast an assortment of other new features, including a dual-pixel enhanced camera, more powerful battery with wireless charging and support for up to 200 GB of additional memory with the addition of a microSD card.
Standouts: Waterproofing, Memory, Battery
"If I could fly to South Korea and find the Galaxy S7's designers I'd give them a well-deserved hug," noted today's review in SlashGear. Although the new devices are likely to face strong competition from the yet-to-be-released LG G5 and iPhone 7, "there's a reason Samsung holds the top spot in Android devices and the Galaxy S7 will only strengthen that grip," according to SlashGear.
"[O]ur colleagues at Macworld U.K. have conceded that the S7 may even have the iPhone beaten on a few fronts," according to UK-based PC Advisor's summary of Samsung's latest releases. The Macworld review concluded the Galaxy S7 outperformed the iPhone 6s in terms of waterproofing, support for added memory, and improved battery performance.
Forbes, however, identified one "serious performance problem" with the Galaxy S7 and S7 Edge: inconsistency in processor models and speeds, depending upon where the devices are sold. In some markets, Samsung's new devices will feature an Exynos 8890 processor, while in others, the smartphones will come with Qualcomm's Snapdragon 820.
"And as the benchmarks show, while CPU performance is close, the Snapdragon 820 has dramatically superior graphics performance to the Exynos 8890," according to the Forbes review.
S6 Had 'Disappointing' Sales
Samsung is likely hoping the S7 and S7 Edge will have a better reception than their predecessors. Sales of the S6 and S6 Edge, which came out early last year, were disappointing, according to a number of analyses.
In a summary of global handset shipments released at the end of October, for example, Counterpoint Research concluded that demand for the Galaxy S6 devices was "soft," although the company did better with sales of its more affordable J series of smartphones.
The S7 devices improve upon the features of the S6 phone in a number of ways, including the new option for wireless charging, an always-on display and -- in the case of the Edge 7 -- a new dual-edge design, according to Samsung's specs. The S6 phones were also not waterproof or dust resistant.
Image Credit: Samsung.
Image credit: Product shots by Samsung.