Galaxy S7 gets reviewed! But is Samsung's best good enough?
My colleagues over at Android Central have your complete Samsung Galaxy S7 review and companion Samsung Galaxy S7 edge+ review ready and waiting for you.
On the GS7, editor-in-chief Phil Nickinson gives some prudent advice about security:
And the camera:
But overall he really likes it:
On the GS7 edge+, editor Andrew Martonik has some quibbles about carrier bloat-ware and the edge software itself not being super useful. Overall, he really likes it as well though:
I'm sure some people will call it the Galaxy S6s — a joke based on Apple's iPhone 6 to iPhone 6s strategy — because it really is a better Galaxy S6, but I'm not sure it qualifies. iPhone 4s introduced Siri. iPhone 5s introduced Touch ID. iPhone 6s introduced 3D Touch. There's no equivalent user experience step here that I can find.
I've only had a short time to try out a few of the review units, so I can't form a real opinion of my own yet. I did dislike the finish almost immediately, though. Making it look like polished metal when it feels like glassy plastic creates cognitive dissonance, which just ends up making it seem undeservedly cheap. The non-faux-metallic ones don't feel anyone nearly as faux, obviously.
Some of the photos taken with the Galaxy S7 camera also looked worse to my eyes than the 6-month old iPhone 6s Plus camera, especially when it came to color accuracy (refer back to what Phil says, above). I applaud Samsung for not being afraid to drop megapixel count for pixel size, but I worry they may not have ended up with the best balance.
And yes, I still think the lack of care in the industrial design betrays a potential lack of care throughout. For example, I still can't find out how fingerprint data is kept safe, absent a secure enclave (SEP) like on Apple's A-series processors.
The water-resistance is legit cool. Apple has unofficially made the iPhones 6s far more water resistant as well, but having it up front and center, and at this level, is reassuring.
I'm sure some lazier reviewers will compare specs, including number of cores and size of memory, but iOS and Android are different beasts. It's like comparing the engine in Lambo to the engine in a tractor trailer. No spec in the world can fix software consistency or coherence. Or, apparently, prevent carrier bloatware from getting installed.
Overall though, while undeniably the best Galaxy S ever, I don't think it even rises to the level of an Apple S-year update, much less a full version update like we'll be getting this year. And, as a fan of competition, thats incredibly disappointing.
That said, and my personal tastes aside, if you don't want an iPhone, Samsung has certainly done enough to keep the Galaxy S7 as the most popular alternative. (Though you may want to investigate other options as well.)
My personal tastes not aside, if you're at all on the fence, and not in immediate need, wait for the iPhone 7, compare the two 2016 flagships, and decide which one best suits your needs.
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Rene Ritchie is one of the most respected Apple analysts in the business, reaching a combined audience of over 40 million readers a month. His YouTube channel, Vector, has over 90 thousand subscribers and 14 million views and his podcasts, including Debug, have been downloaded over 20 million times. He also regularly co-hosts MacBreak Weekly for the TWiT network and co-hosted CES Live! and Talk Mobile. Based in Montreal, Rene is a former director of product marketing, web developer, and graphic designer. He's authored several books and appeared on numerous television and radio segments to discuss Apple and the technology industry. When not working, he likes to cook, grapple, and spend time with his friends and family.