Samsung finally earns its Edge with the waterproof, always-on Galaxy S7







Every spring brings with it Samsung’s newest flagship, and this year, we’re getting two. Samsung has officially taken the wraps off the Galaxy S7 and Galaxy S7 Edge, the phones that will serve as a model for all its Android devices in 2016. 


Regardless, the stars have met the Galaxy. We’ve seen Samsung’s newest phones in person and finally have some concrete info and opinions to share about the latest and greatest Galaxy devices.

Two Galaxy S7 phones, perfecting the design

If you’re at all familiar with the Samsung’s 2015 Galaxy S6, Galaxy Edge phones, or Galaxy Note 5, you know precisely what to expect from the Galaxy S7. This year’s Galaxy phones are more about refinement than revolution. Like last year’s models, they have a smooth, brushed metal bumper and are covered in glass on the front and back. Both phones also have at least some curved glass as well. The standard Galaxy S7 has a 5.1-inch flat AMOLED screen but a gentle curve to its back, upping its comfort while in your palm. From a size standpoint, it’s almost identical to last year’s Galaxy S6 (and the Galaxy S5, for that matter). It’s a comfortable, standard phone that most people should be able to hold (unless you prefer very small phones like the old iPhone 5S).

High quality design
Water resistant
A battery case, Gear 360 cam, and more
Accessories
Processor and specs
Apps and software
Camera improvements

The same goes for the S7 Edge. It’s larger than the standard S7, with a 5.5-inch AMOLED screen that flows down over its two side edges on both the front and back like a shimmering waterfall. But unless you hold them next to one another, you’ll hardly notice that this device has a larger, phablet-sized screen. Samsung has curved the bezel down to near non-existence, making it feel like the screen falls right off the edge of the phone. Somehow, it has also curved the glass on the back and fixed the biggest problem with last year’s Edge phones: comfort. Because the glass now curves up so flush with the metal, the buttons have been smoothed out, and the back is also curved, it’s remarkably comfortable to hold the new S7 Edge. It’s all the more impressive when you consider how large the screen is.

This incredible refinement in design extends to the camera on the back of both phones, which still protrudes, but only about half as much as last year’s models.

The return of water resistance

We were shocked and pleasantly surprised that Samsung has water- and dust-proofed the Galaxy S7. Both phones have an IP68 rating, meaning dust should not penetrate them, and you can submerge both devices in up to a meter of water for 30 minutes with no damage to their precious electric innards.


This should be an absolute relief for anyone who’s ever used their phone in the rain or near the water, and a return to form for the Galaxy brand. The Galaxy S5 was waterproof in 2014, but the piece-of-mind feature was missing from the Galaxy S6 devices and Note 5.

That doesn’t mean you won’t want to invest in a durable case. Because glass covers its front and back, the Galaxy S7 and S7 Edge could very well be the most fragile phones available this year. And because they both feature proprietary, beautiful curved glass on the back and sometimes front, it may also cost hundreds of dollars to replace broken or cracked screens, should the slippery phone fall from your grasp.

The other major caveat to the glass design this year is how easy it is to cover in fingerprints. Over the course of an hour, we had to clean off the front and backs of our demo units several times, and still ended up with many photographs where the devices wear a lot of our oily hand prints. If this sort of thing bothers you, consider a competing phone, or buying a nice case. Seriously, you’ll want a case. We can’t stress that enough. Luckily, Samsung has some new options.

A battery case, Gear 360 cam, and more

Though it has already increased the battery capacity of the Galaxy S7 and S7 Edge from last year’s models, you may not have to reach for a Mophie or portable battery if you need some extra juice. Samsung is making its own battery case for the S7, which should extend your battery life by about 3,100mAh or roughly 2× the battery life of the phones themselves.


The standard S7 has a 3,000mAh battery and the S7 Edge has a 3,500mAh battery, both of which are several hundred mAh larger than last year’s models. We’re hoping this means better battery life all around — even if you don’t buy the power-extending case — but there are several factors we don’t yet know, including how much power the new processor in the phone will swallow, and how much juice the new Always-On screen will eat up





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