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Samsung Galaxy S7: 7 things you need to know

samsung galaxy s7 angled

After months of rumours, leaked specs and spy shots, Samsung has finally announced its new flagship smartphone, the Galaxy S7.

While a lot of new phones add a new feature or two over their predecessor, the S7 adds bags of new ones.

It's got a new camera, waterproofing, and even shields you from cold callers.

It's been the star of Mobile World Congress so far, and will undoubtedly be one of the best phones of the year.

Enough hype. Let's jump in and see what makes it so special.

1 The camera sounds amazing

samsung galaxy s7 edge mwc 104

The Galaxy S6 had one of the finest cameras we've ever used on a smartphone, so the bar was set very high for the S7.

Thankfully it doesn't disappoint – the new snapper is quicker to focus, performs better in low light and it's less of a protuberance from the back too. Win all round.

The S7's snapper has a larger aperture, letting in more light, and larger pixels to absorb that light.

That means it's more effective at lightening dark environments, giving you better low-light performance. Those night-time shots will pack more detail than ever.

Dual Pixel technology also makes it quicker to focus. This splits each pixel into two sub-pixels that take in light independently of one another.

A processor works out the difference, helping the snapper autofocus more efficiently, and making for quicker, clearer shots.

The tech was previously found in Canon's great DSLRs. The S7 is the first smartphone to feature it.

The S7's camera actually has fewer megapixels than the S6's – 12 to its predecessor's 16.

The downside is you can't print photos out quite as large without any loss in quality.

But considering the benefits to image quality, and the fact no one prints photos nowadays – especially not big enough to see any difference – fewer megapixels is really no big deal.

2 It looks a lot like the S6

samsung galaxy s7 vs samsung galaxy s6

Some might be disappointed that the S7 doesn't have a radical new design. But while it might wear the same clothes as the S6, there's still plenty new, design-wise.

For starters, it's waterproof. Those with long memories will remember that the Galaxy S5 was waterproof, but Samsung dropped the feature for the S6.

Not only is the S7 waterproof, it doesn't have the annoying flaps over the ports which featured on the S5. Instead, the ports repel water.

Which means you don't have to peel back a rubbery flap every time you want to plug something into the phone.

Like the S6, it also comes in an Edge variant.

This means the screen bleeds over the left and right edges of the phone – not only does it look quite cool, it can also show notifications, your Twitter feed and headlines.

Put the handset face down on the desk, and you can see some vital information, without looking distracted and playing with your phone. Handy for meetings.

However, unlike the S6 and S6 Edge, the screens on the S7 and S7 Edge are different sizes.

The S7's is 5.1 inches (the same as the S6's), but the S7 Edge's is 5.5 inches (the same size as the iPhone 6S Plus).

They both have the same resolution of 2,560x1,440 pixels, meaning the S7's slightly smaller screen will be ever so slightly sharper, as the pixels are spread over a smaller area.

But it's doubtful you'll notice any difference.

3 It's water-resistant

The S7 is IP68-certified. What does that mean? It means you can submerge it up to three metres of water for up to half an hour and it'll be right as rain.

4 Long-life battery

The standard S7's battery comes in at 3000mAh. While the Galaxy S7 Edge's is 3600mAh. Both of which are much bigger than the batteries that power rivals' top-end smartphones.

According to Samsung, the former lets you watch a full series of Game of Thrones on a single, full charge.

5 It has expandable storage

microsd expandable storage

Samsung dropped expandable storage for the S6 and S6 Edge, putting the backs up of Android fans all over the world.

Expandable storage is one of the key selling points of Android phones over iPhones.

It means you can slot in a memory card and bolster your onboard storage, adding more music, films, games, apps, photos and more. By ditching it, Samsung did away with one of its phones' main selling points.

Thankfully, it's back for the S7 and S7 Edge.

The old microSD card slot used to be housed under the removable back of the Galaxy S5.

But Samsung did away with the removable back on the S6, prompting many to think expandable storage wouldn't make a return.

The microSD card now goes on the same tray as the SIM, and slides into the side of the phone.

6 It filters out nuisance callers

If you're sick of nuisance calls about mis-sold PPI or trying to help you claim for a car accident you never had, you'll love this feature.

The S7 identifies unknown callers and flags up possible spam calls.

To do this, Samsung has partnered with Whitepages, integrating its database of 1.5 billion phone numbers worldwide into the phone.

When someone calls, you'll see caller ID, so you can see which company it is. If it's spam, you can block the number.

And if a spam call does get through, report it and it'll show up so in future.

7 It's on sale on March 11th

samsung galaxy s7 mwc 103

There's not long to wait – the phone goes on sale on March 11th.

If you pre-order the handset, you'll get a Samsung Gear VR virtual reality headset thrown in for free.

Vodafone offers the phone (with the Gear VR offer) starting at £44 a month, plus a one-off fee of £29. That gets you unlimited calls and texts, plus 10GB of data.

Carphone Warehouse also offers the Gear VR for early birds, but Three doesn't. However, Three's tariffs start at just £35 per month, with a £99 upfront fee.

O2's prices start at £37.50 a month (plus £110 upfront), while EE starts at £44.99 a month with £49.99 upfront.

These networks also claim they'll send out their handsets on March 7th, so you might get yours a few days early of the official release date. Bonus.

See the Galaxy S7 and Galaxy S7 Edge in action with our hands-on videos.

Compare Galaxy S7 deals at our dedicated page.

Category: Features
Tagged: samsung
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