Samsung today pulled the wrapping off two new top-of-the-range, water-resistant Galaxy S smartphones at Mobile World Congress, featuring a more advanced camera, a bigger battery, super-fast charging and a cooling system to prevent overheating.
Available in black, gold, silver and white colour options, the Galaxy S7 and S7 Edge feature a 5.1-inch and 5.5-inch quad HD superAMOLED screens respectively.
As with last year’s S6 Edge, the latter features a secondary screen for quicker access to key features. Which if you include that in the display measurement actually brings the screen up to 5.7-inches, by or reckoning.
Dubbed Edge UX, the interface for the edged screen now allows more scope for customisation than before. This lets you create shortcuts to your most used functions, such as email, selfie mode, panorama mode or third-party applications.
The handsets are also home to an always-on display mode that shows essential info, such as the time, date and notifications, so you don't have to wake it up and expend extra battery power unneccessarily. Impressively, the always-on function is smart enough to work out if a handset is in your pocket, at which point it ‘goes black’.
Both phones are dust-resistant and water-resistant, with an IP68 rating. That means they can spend up to 30 minutes submerged in up to a metre and a half of water and will live to tell the tale.
In a sop to power users, there’s a microSD card slot too, which allows you to boost storage by up to 200GB. That’s an awful of capacity for a smartphone. Winningly, the microSD card slot doubles as a SIM card slot.
The rear camera on the S7 and S7 Edge is a dual pixel, 12-megapixel number, while at the front there’s a five-megapixel snapper for selfies.
The rear camera’s big sell is a sensor that absorbs more light and features bigger pixels. The pixels are 30% larger than those on the iPhone 6S Plus for improved performance in challenging light conditions.
There’s a rethought panoramic mode too, in the form of Motion Panorama. Rather like Apple’s Live Photos, this brings movement to panorama photos. And the shutter speed is now faster, as is autofocus.
Batteries are bigger this time around. The standard S7 has a 3000mAh battery, while the Edge’s comes in at 3,600mAh. According to Samsung, the former offers enough juice to watch an entire season of Game of Thrones on a single charge and both are equipped for fast wired and wireless charging.
Other features include an octa-core processor and NFC support so you can use it to pay for low-ticket goods and services with Samsung Pay when it launches in the UK later this year.