For those who are considering buying the Galaxy S7, I wanted to go over the essentials of what you should about the upcoming flagship before pre-ordering. This isn't a warning, or a suggestion, just a run down of the key features you might want to consider.
Let’s get the obvious out of the way. The Galaxy S7 will be fast and it will have a nice display. This is what we have come to expect from the Galaxy S series and the S7 is unlikely to disappoint again in this are, with a Snapdragon 820 (or equivalent) processor and QHD resolution display.
The not so obvious
Always on screen
As seen in recently leaked promotional material for the LG G5, the Galaxy S7 is reportedly arriving with an always-on display. This potentially would allow you to view the date, time and notification information without needing to physically interact with your device.
The benefits of this are two-fold: firstly it implies an improvement to battery life. Each time you wake a device to check the time or notifications it uses power and doing this repeatedly throughout the day can have a big impact on the overall standby time.
An always on screen suggests that Samsung is implementing a technology to better support this use of smartphones. Traditionally this has been tackled by only activating a portion of the display (see the LG V10), or with E Ink (as on the Yotaphone 2). We don’t yet know what Samsung’s approach will be.
Force Touch is a current smartphone buzzword and it seems set to appear on the Galaxy S7. Force Touch is a display technology with allows your smartphone to not only recognize taps on the display, but also pressure values.
This means the Galaxy S7 will be able to determine what is a hard press on the display from a light touch. I’ve written about the implications of Force Touch before, but essentially this increases the possibilities for what you can achieved with games, apps and navigating the OS in general.
We’ve seen examples of it being used to zoom, or to weigh small objects, but perhaps Samsung has developed some of its own ways to use the tech.
A bigger battery
It might not be such a big deal, but the Galaxy S7 looks noticeably thicker than the Galaxy S6 – it actually looks like the thickest Galaxy S for some years.
We don’t have any official images or dimensions yet, but we would speculate that the thicker frame will be housing a larger battery. Couple with the always on screen tech, this could mean that the S7 provides a stark improvement over the S6 – and possibly much of the competition – in the battery life stakes.
New camera tech
Samsung may be taking a leaf out of Apple’s book with its S7 camera setup, as rumor has it that its camera will decrease in megapixels compared to its predecessor. The Apple approach is less megapixels but better processing, creating photos that are less “detailed” (in the sense that they don’t look as good when expanded), but that look even brighter and more vibrant than much of the competition.
Many people still believe that iPhones produce the best photos and this may prove to be a sensible approach for Samsung.
So there you have it. Are you going to pre-order an S7? Or do you believe cheaper Galaxy S6 will be a better device? Let us know in the comments.