Samsung Galaxy S7: Second opinion

AndroidPIT Samsung galaxy s7 REVIEW 2
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Since everybody has been gushing about the Samsung Galaxy S7, and AndroidPIT’s senior staff collectively decided to crown it the best Android phone of 2016, I had it squarely in my sights. I was going to be the person to deliver some sober thoughts on the Korean mobile giant's new flagships. It can't be that good. Thus, it’s with a strange sense of disappointment that I must confess: I adore this phone. 

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AndroidPIT Samsung galaxy s7 5
A short second take on the Galaxy S7. / © ANDROIDPIT

Addressing concerns

First, I need to address some grievances. Game Launcher doesn't really add anything of value for me. I’m not saying that Android video game streaming doesn't have a place (that would be madness), it's just not a feature I see being relevant for most users.

Additionally, I'm not a huge fan of the always-on display. I do appreciate the intention, and some people will love it. Personally, I spend enough time looking at my smartphone display as it is, and more often than not I find it distracting (note that my job often requires that I have phones idle on my desk).

In my experience, however, the overall effect on battery was negligible. Perhaps if the device lasted more than a couple of days in standby it would present itself to be more of a problem. If you charge your phone every day (which you will probably want to do with the S7) it's fine to have it enabled. 

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The Always On display impact is negligible, but you might find the feature distracting.  / © ANDROIDPIT

The lack of Adoptable Storage, though disappointing, isn't a deal breaker as far as I'm concerned. I think formatting the microSD card to make it act like internal storage is dangerous territory and I prefer the classic option: you can still store music, videos, images and some app data on the device. Honestly, I'm just glad it supports microSD – some regions are limited to the 32 GB device and it's going to come in really handy in those spots.

Also, and I already discussed this in my comparison with the Galaxy S5: its display is very nice, but also similar to the standard set in the past couple of years. It's bright and bold as ever, but the differences between this and even a two-year-old phone is in the margins.

Additionally, TouchWiz on Marshmallow is very similar to how it is on Lollipop. The notification shade is a different color and you have a few extra battery options – in addition to the aforementioned game launcher – but it's kind of 'blink and you'll miss it'. 

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Lollipop (left) vs Marshmallow notifications shade. / © ANDROIDPIT

Finally, it's awkwardly asymmetrical (like the S6). Check out the buttons and ports: aside from the speaker, not one of them sits in the center of the rim. It's almost funny once you're aware of it.

Ultimately, the Galaxy S7 is just a really good smartphone with little in the way of useful new features. So why do I adore it?

Because it’s just a really good smartphone.

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The S7 is just a smartphone: and that's why it's awesome. / © ANDROIDPIT

Just a smartphone

The Galaxy S7 is something I've been screaming for: a phone that gets the core criteria right. The S7 is the culmination of it all: powerful, slim, metal, smooth, cool, fun. Run your thumb over that brushed aluminum edge. Double tap that home button and see how long it takes to snap a high-quality photograph. Jump from your web browser to your messaging app and back in seconds. 

It's nothing we couldn't do or didn't have last year, it's just the most refined version of it. 

The S7 feels balanced, it's somehow the right weight, the right size. Heavy enough to feel sturdy but light enough to carry around. Small enough to operate one-handed but big enough to ensure videos look stunning.

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You can even use the Galaxy S7 like a phone. / © ANDROIDPIT

And seriously, this camera is spectacular. Background and foreground focus is as smooth as it has ever been, you can take multiple shots in seconds with lightning-fast autofocus. 

I’ve never been one for recording videos or using any features other than for basic photographs, but I am obsessed with slo-mo and video capture. It just looks incredible (admittedly best when viewed on the phone's small display).

I’m not a video producer and I don’t wish to claim it’s up to “real” video production standards. But for the casual YouTuber or Facebooker: this will deliver immediate results that look high quality. 

That's the Galaxy S7: immediately impressive.

Final thoughts

Does this make it the best Android phone in the world? One week is such a short time for me to ascertain this. I haven't seen anything to suggest it couldn't be, and there's certainly more here to enjoy than on the past two iterations of the Galaxy S series.

So let's just put it like this: for a new phone to wow a person who sees new phones on a weekly basis is difficult. To wow someone with high expectations of said phone is even harder. The Galaxy S7 did both and I don't know how long I'll have to wait for it to happen again.

What are your views on the Samsung Galaxy S7? Let me know in the comments.

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  • rick Mar 23, 2016 Link to comment

    i need someone to help me, i have 1000$ to spend on a phone, case, screen protector. i got the s5 6 months ago. i like the s5, but i have been looking at the s7, not the edge, and i think the s7 also comes with 64 gigs of storage too. dose anyone have the s7, and can mabey give me a push into getting it.i like the snapdragon 820 , and is the camera really all that? im have Boost Mobile, and they dont carry the s7 with 64 gigs , so i might have to get it somewhere else. am i gonna regret getting the s7? someone help me decided, please.

  • Mark Crystal Mar 13, 2016 Link to comment

    To me only offering 32gb is a concern. I have a 64gb S6 Edge and have under 5gb of apps installed. My smartphone now only has just over 39gb of storage left which means if I bought a 32gb model I would be out of storage room now as it only comes with around 24-25gb of storage room left for end users and that is not taking in future firmware updates. Unless you rarely install any apps on the phone or use this smartphone for what it is meant to be used for then 32gb may be enough for the average person out there that just makes and receives call with few to no apps installed.

  • Abhyuday Mar 12, 2016 Link to comment

    Two words - completely unnecessary.

    • xa ax Mar 12, 2016 Link to comment

      Yes, your comment certainly is. I've looked at your history of comments and all of them tend to be complete rubbish. Please refrain from this behavior and actually have something worth adding to the conversation. Thank you.

  • Jasmin Hales Mar 12, 2016 Link to comment

    We have just bought one but there is no infrared transmitter on it so our remotes app no longer works on it.

  • Judah Richardson Mar 12, 2016 Link to comment

    "formatting the microSD card to make it act like internal storage is dangerous territory"
    - No it isn't. The feature works perfectly on my Shield K1.

    • xa ax Mar 12, 2016 Link to comment

      Yes it is. Most people like to take out their SD card and insert it into another device such as their PC. What do you think is going to happen once it is removed when it was configured as adoptable storage? Yes, this certainly is dangerous territory. You may never remove yours from your Shield K1 but the risk is there nonetheless if you happen to forget why you wouldn't want to do that.

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