The new Samsung Galaxy S7 is about to be released, and despite a similar look and feel to the S6 model, the phone has a decent number of new features to offer. These features are worth taking the time to read the list below if you’re interested in learning more about one of the hottest devices of 2016 so far.
The S6 is a great device, but it suffers from battery issues and a lack of removable memory, so an upgrade is good news as long as the problems are rectified. (Luckily, they are.)
The S7 also has an Edge model, and nearly all of the features on this list can be found on both devices.
Let’s get the List Started
1. MicroSD Card Storage
One of the most disappointing things about the older Galaxy S6 model was it dropped MicroSD card support. It’s great to see that you can now add up to 200GB of extra storage on the S7, and it won’t be outlandishly expensive.
If you love to have a large selection of films, music, photos and apps on your device, the S7 could be the perfect phone for you. The slot will fit in the SIM card tray, and it isn’t that difficult to remove and switch as is often the case with SD cards.
Either way, it’s better than the alternative of having tiers of models that go up in price alarmingly when you want decent memory.
2. Front Camera
The camera has been improved, although the drop in megapixels in the rear version might lead you to believe otherwise. Samsung have worked hard on the front camera, and it should be able to take high quality selfies when needed—including better night – time pictures.
Most of the focus has been placed on the rear camera, which is discussed lower down in this list.
3. Higher Capacity Batteries
Battery life hasn’t been the greatest on previous models, so increasing the capacity makes sense to bring it in line with the competition. A larger battery obviously helps to keep your device on for longer between charges, and it means the S7 should be able to keep going if you plan on using it extensively.
Unfortunately, the battery isn’t removable, but as you go through this list, you’ll see there are many improvements that help to extend the general battery life of the handset, so you’re sure to see a difference if you’re making the jump over from the S6.
4. Wireless Charging
Wireless charging was one of the best things about the S6, and it’s also found on the new Galaxy flagship handset. You just have to place your device on the charging pad, and it’ll get started straight away.
If you’ve never seen it in action, here’s an unboxing video featuring the older model to give you a better idea of how it looks;
The S7 doesn’t have a USB-C port, so wireless charging is still easy enough with a number of existing wireless chargers.
5. Water Resistant
The S7 and S7 Edge have a IP68 water resistance rating, which means they will stay safe in up to just under five feet of water, for roughly half an hour.
If your phone has gone swimming in the toilet or some other form of (let’s face it, pretty funny) water-based accident, it’s a welcome addition. It’s good to see the handset was made with robustness in mind. The device is also dust resistant, which means it’s a great option for the clumsier people among us.
6. Thermal Spreader
So, just what is a thermal spreader? It’s a small tube of water that acts like a radiator in your car, and it should work to cool down the processor as and when required to do so. It’ll help when gaming, or when you’re doing anything that causes the processor to get overheated.
It’s more interesting than it sounds, and it has a number of practical uses depending on how far you push your device.
7. Optimized for Gaming
For those of us that love gaming on the go, the S7 is another Android device that makes me want to leave my PS Vita at home. It has a new Game Launcher, which you’ll find in the app drawer, as well as a number of settings and features to customize your experience, including battery saving modes to keep you going for longer.
The thermal spreader will help to run even more powerful games and emulators on your device, and it’s a move that was a key focus when Samsung first started marketing the device.
8. Always-on Display
This is a new feature that shows the time, as well as notifications without fully waking the screen. This should help to further conserve battery life, and it’s a nice touch.
It’ll display the time, date, weather and notifications, and you can choose just what you’re able to see from the menu’s if you’re worried about your privacy. It works by powering a small part of the screen instead of the entire thing.
9. Marshmallow 6.0
Marshmallow 6.0 is featured on the Galaxy S7, and it improves on the older firmware in a number of ways.
If you want to find out more about the features found on Marshmallow, it improves the device in a number of ways, including better battery life, optimization, and added security.
10. New Processors
The S6 wasn’t exactly a slouch, but the new processors will help if you always find your phone running hot when you’re pushing it to its limits.
The exact chipset model isn’t known yet, but the thermal spreader will be used to keep it nice and cool, and it’s likely to be meaty enough to deal with most available games and emulators.
11. More RAM
The S6 came with 3GB RAM, and the S7 comes with 4GB worth.
So, what does a difference in RAM mean for you? It’ll make for lower power consumption, and it’ll help with resource management on the device. It’s a big upgrade, and it shows that we’re slowly moving into the next generation of mobile hardware.
12. Improved Rear Camera
The rear camera has a bigger aperture of f/1.7 rather than f/1.9. This should allow for at least 25% more light to reach the lens, which makes for better night-time photos, especially when coupled with slightly bigger pixels.
The Dual Pixel Autofocus is a new innovation that should help image-tracking for both photos and videos, with the technology developed by Canon. If you’re always taking snaps, the S7 camera should be able to handle your needs.
13. Faster 4G Download Speeds
If you’re just getting used to the superior speeds of 4G, you’ll be pleased to hear that the S7 can get download speeds of up to 450Mbps and upload speeds of 50Mbps.
If you want a comparison, the S6 was only capable of 300Mbps downloads, so that’s a relatively large increase, and you’ll be sure to notice the difference if you have access to eye wateringly fast internet speeds. (The upload speed remains the same on both devices.)
Faster speeds will always be welcomed, even though we’re unlikely to see widespread, fast internet connections until 5G is released in 2020.
14. Hybrid Dual-SIM Slot
This feature is always important for a wide variety of users who use their device for business, so it’s good to hear that the S7 comes with dual-SIM capabilities.
The SIM slot also houses the SD card space, so in one small space, most of the most important changes on the device can be accessed easily.
However, this means you’ll have to make a choice between which is more important for you, but at least Samsung are giving you the opportunity to decide for yourself. If multiple SIM cards are a must for you when you’re buying a new device, the S7 is a great option.
15. Fast Charging Capabilities
Despite not having a USB-C slot, the S7 still supports fast charging, which should also help battery life when combined with all of the other features that we’ve already gone over. Fast charging means that a device will regain power quickly while plugged in, and it’s good to see that the feature has been retained.
16. Virtual Reality
Virtual reality (VR) has also been introduced, with a new separate 360-degree camera that can be used with the S7.
It might not be the most useful feature for most people interested in the device, but it’s good to see that Samsung is at the forefront of new technology, as virtual reality has been making strides recently in gaming and social media.
17. Rounded Edges for More Comfort
The S7 definitely looks similar to the S6, but the rounded edges make the phone a lot more comfortable to hold, and it looks nicer overall. It might not seem like much, but previous versions were sometimes accused of feeling a little cheap, so making it nice to hold, (as well as more robust) makes sense.
If you’re desperate for more on the flagship device, here’s the official introduction video from Samsung;
The S7 is an exciting handset, and it has improved on the faults of it’s predecessor in a number of ways. The features we’ve discussed make it one of the best new phones on the market, and it’s great for gamers and businessmen alike.
It looks and feels great, and it has a SD card slot for as much memory as you need. If you’re interested, you could do a lot worse, and it’s definitely one of the best devices of the year so far.
If we’ve missed a great feature on the S7, or you have general questions about the device, let us know in the comments below, or you can contact us via Facebook or Twitter.