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Second impression: Galaxy S7 Edge running Android Nougat

Samsung galaxy s7 edge nougat
© nextpit

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
calls n s7 edge
Phone call interface: receiving a call (left): making a call (right) / © NextPit

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.

calls n s7 edge 2
When you receive calls the colors change to match your contact. / © NextPit

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.

screen resolution n s7 edge
Being able to change the display resolution improves your battery life / © NextPit

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.

video enhancer s7 edge n
Video and audio media optimization features don't really stand out / © NextPit

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.

camera n s7 edge
The user interface of camera's software is much easier to use / © NextPit

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?

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Go to comment (19)
Camila Rinaldi

Camila Rinaldi
Head of Editorial

With over 10 years of reviewing smartphones and wearables, I recently became addicted to smart home gadgets. Even though I dove into the Apple ecosystem two years back, Android remains as one of my passions. Previously editor-in-chief of AndroidPIT and Canaltech in Brazil, I now write for the US market. I love my records and I believe that the best way to get to know a place is through its food.

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  • Saubhagya Vardhan 1
    Saubhagya Vardhan Dec 4, 2016 Link to comment

    They should add raise to wake because always on display does not support third party app notifications and with raise to wake we can view the notifications on the lockscreen whereas in aod we can't view the notifications we still have to unlock the phone to read the message.

    • Grippybananas 1
      Grippybananas Dec 5, 2016 Link to comment

      It does support third party apps in nougat

    • 1
      Jazal Saleem Jan 4, 2017 Link to comment

      ehh in the full version of s7 nougat the always on DOES support third party app notifications. so that wont be a problem anymore

  • Lars Rye Jeppesen 1
    Lars Rye Jeppesen Dec 4, 2016 Link to comment

    Any updates to the always-on display? The Note7 had a massive upgrade...

    • Zakariyya Al-Quran 1
      Zakariyya Al-Quran Dec 4, 2016 Link to comment

      Yes the display is the same as the note except the writing feature

    • 1
      Duane Hutton Dec 4, 2016 Link to comment

      Yes, I think it's almost identical to what the note had.

  • Douglas “DJ” Dunn 2
    Douglas “DJ” Dunn Dec 3, 2016 Link to comment

    I was able to use samsung pay today on the beta just fine

    Mike Edsel

  • Jason Clark 2
    Jason Clark Dec 3, 2016 Link to comment

    Is this test firmware still available? Where can I find it? Thanks!

    • Douglas “DJ” Dunn 2
      Douglas “DJ” Dunn Dec 3, 2016 Link to comment

      You download the galaxy beta app from the galaxy store, and inside that app (if spots in the beta are left) you register. After registering it comes as an ota updade so just go do a manual check for updates.

      • Jason Clark 2
        Jason Clark Dec 3, 2016 Link to comment

        Tried. Received message max number of participants has been reached.

      • 3
        Mike Edsel Dec 4, 2016 Link to comment

        Just keep trying. I tried about 20 times a day and finally after about 3 weeks I got in. Also your Samsung accounts must be on...i turned both on the health one and the regular soon as I did and tried again I got in. Or could be a coincidence

      • 1
        shad Dec 4, 2016 Link to comment

        The beta is now closed

  • Pierre Durand 2
    Pierre Durand Dec 3, 2016 Link to comment

    I had the Note 7 for a week and LOVED Grace UX. I had been with LG for three phones before coming over to Samsung. I like a lot of things on the S7 Edge but still can't wait for the Note 7 follow up.

    nightflyer2131Duane Hutton

  • 3
    Mike Edsel Dec 3, 2016 Link to comment

    Hi I have the test version and I use Samsung pay all the time. I use my s3 gear mostly but it does pop up on the phone.

  • Saubhagya Vardhan 1
    Saubhagya Vardhan Dec 3, 2016 Link to comment

    Samsung should seriously consider adding raise to wake and a capacitive home button to this update.

    • David Thomson 2
      David Thomson Dec 3, 2016 Link to comment

      Why would they add Raise yo Wake when they have Always On Display which is significantly better?

      Pierre DurandMike Edsel

    • Mahfuz Ahmed 1
      Mahfuz Ahmed Dec 3, 2016 Link to comment

      They should because it is kind of a pain and they should show u the notification in the always on display when you doing Tao it not try and make you open the phone and take you there.

    • 1
      shad Dec 4, 2016 Link to comment

      It's no raise to wake feature but there is a wave to wake feature

    • 7
      Ralf Fensch Dec 5, 2016 Link to comment

      Why capactive button's ? I don't like them. Take's space away from the screen. That was one reason I switched from HTC one (m7) to the Galaxy s6. I just hope Samsung is getting rid of that ugly grey, power saving bar on top of the screen and make it tranperent again, like it was on the s6 series.

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