Last week, I installed the beta version of Android 7.0 Nougat on my Galaxy S7 Edge and my first impressions about the new software were positive, as you can can see here in my previous post. Now, after a week, are my impressions still the same? Keep reading to find out.
The fact that Samsung made some changes to its Touchwiz design isn't anything really new. While some users like the changes, others think the company went too far in changing the layout on their user interface. A good example of this is the S7 Edge's new phonecall user interface. Now, every time you receive a call, the system selects a background combining all the colors of your contact's profile picture.
Galaxy S7 Edge is faster and the battery life is significantly better
If the phone number of the person calling you isn’t registered in your contacts or they don't have a profile picture, the color will stay the same. In my opinion, the call layout is more elegant, better adapted to the display and much simpler.
Another feature that has a made a difference in my user experience over the last week is the ability to change display resolution to save battery. In display settings, you can now access Screen Resolution and choose between HD (720p), FHD (1080p) or WQHD (1440p).
I set resolution on my S7 Edge to halfway and found I didn't have any problems with the color quality in Full HD, but I did find the battery life was noticeably better. When you change the display resolution, all the Apps running in the background are closed.
However, this option isn't available if you switch on Performance Mode, which optimizes both the hardware and software features in order to offer the best experience when it comes to games, entertainment, and high performance display (maximum brightness and resolution). Obviously, with the Performance Mode activated, your battery won't last as long.
Now, the same cannot be said about the audio and video optimization features. Honestly, I couldn't see a big difference to either the brightness or vividness of the colors with this option activated. Regarding the audio, I didn't find as big a difference as the feature suggested there would be when using the phone's speakers. You do notice a small difference while using the headphones, but it was nothing that really blew me away.
For TouchWiz fans, it'll take a bit longer to get used to the new Grace UX
This feature can also be used for media apps like Samsung's video player, YouTube, Netflix, Google Play Films and TV.
It's worth pointing out that I didn't mention these two features in my first post, as I thought they'd be included in Android Marshmallow. However, both features were part of the software for the Galaxy Note 7 running Marshmallow.
Another feature of Grace UX on the Note 7 that was moved into the Galaxy S7 line were the camera features. The interface is much cleaner and easier to use. The modes are easily accessed by sliding you finger on the screen from left to right, and the option to take pictures in RAW format was moved to the main camera's image size menu. This feature on Marshmallow was available in the camera's main menu.
Finally, I can say that, even in the beta version, the Galaxy S7 Edge is faster, its battery life is significantly improved and the user interface is cleaner and better integrated with the system features. What I’ve noticed so far is that, just like when Google made some specific changes to their Pixel line that many Nexus users complained about, Touchwiz fans will take a bit longer to warm to the new Grace UX.
However, although taste is subjective, one thing can't be denied: the performance of the Galaxy S7 Edge is better.
New features for Nougat on the Galaxy S7 line
Today, Samsung released its second update to Android Nougat on Galaxy S7 and Galaxy S7 Edge for anyone participating in the Galaxy Beta Program. The update was distributed OTA and takes up 92 MB. According to the changelog, improvements have been made to software stability and performance, feature optimizations and bug corrections, such as the problem with Facebook suddenly shutting down.
For anyone who wants the most recent version of the Galaxy S7 Edge's software while it's still in the test phase, you should check out the installation tutorial for the Android Nougat beta version on Galaxy S7 Edge. The firmware has been available by a member of Samsung's test program, and that's what I installed on my own phone. So far the software is quite stable but it limits your ability to use Samsung Pay since it isn't an official OS version.
Have you already downloaded and started using the new version of Android on your Galaxy S7 or S7 Edge? What do you think so far?