Let’s not dance around the shark pool. The truth – a truth many tech writers have already acknowledged – is that Samsung’s Galaxy S7 Edge is the ultimate smartphone. It’s not perfect, but it’s the ultimate right now. And why is that, you might ask? Let’s dive in and investigate.
A few months ago I wrote that the Nexus 6P, in all its metallic glory, was the ultimate smartphone. At the time it was something of a minor miracle. But times change, and so does Android.
It was inevitable that a new phone would come along and upset the balance. While the Galaxy S7 Edge is no game changer, it's the best phone on the market right now. But it didn't just tick more boxes than every other phone. It stole the limelight and continues surprises me for a different reason each time I come back to it.
The S7 Edge is for the discerning Android user. It's not cheap, though, at around $750 or more. Buyers of the new Edge really want one, rather than simply needing a new phone. It does more than make calls and load Google Chrome. I think it encapsulates years of engineering and design learnings at Samsung HQ. It's the Korean manufacturer's most complete design expression to date.
I won’t jump straight into the specs and features. We’ve covered them extensively in our review. But I will point out how the Edge (and also the regular S7) has sold well, proving that Samsung found a winning formula that it had aimed for last year, but with limited success.
Samsung achieved a large market share bump in Q1 of this year. According to a recent report from TrendForce, Samsung had a 5.6 percent growth in market share over the previous quarter. TrendForce suggested that the S7 and S7 Edge were the main cause of the boost, with overall shipments up 2.5 percent during the same period.
Interestingly, all of the manufacturers listed in the report had little change in market share. Except Apple, that is. The iPhone manufacturer suffered a 6.5 percent drop in market share. Whether this was connected to Samsung’s growth or not is up for speculation, but I’d wager that more than a few Apple customers have now become Galaxy S7 Edge owners.
Art of refinement
The Galaxy S7 and S7 Edge are both exercises in refinement. Samsung has stuck to the recipe it used with last year’s S6 devices, but made minor improvements to what was already a good foundation.
With an improved TouchWiz design - with options to customize app icons and remove the app drawer - a 40 percent larger battery than the S6 Edge, a microSD slot and IP68 water resistance, there are many small but useful additions. There are also more customization options for the edge display, making what could be two aesthetically pleasing, but otherwise useless, edges offer a better user experience.
It’s the small details that make the S7 Edge the ultimate smartphone. The attention to detail shows Samsung’s willingness to give customers what they ask for. And when you own one, it shows others in the community that you take the Android experience just as seriously.
Do you think the Galaxy S7 Edge is the ultimate smartphone? Let me know in the comments.