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We Tested: Samsung Galaxy S7 Edge

 

The Samsung Galaxy S series has always been under the social media spotlight each and ever year. One reason accounted for is that Samsung is also known to innovates their hardware and the design of their flagship smartphones. The spectacular highlight of the Samsung Galaxy S6 Edge goes to its unique dual curved display, which makes consumer anticipates what’s new being offered by Galaxy S7 and S7 Edge. When the Samsung Galaxy S7 and S7 Edge has just been revealed, both of them slightly disappoint us as it still features the same design. However, the Galaxy S7 and S7 Edge comes with redefined edges and new dimension which makes it more attractive from the last generation.

With the S series flagship line nominated as the most anticipated smartphone from the Android community, the Galaxy S7 and S7 Edge is packed with latest Samsung Exynos 8890 processor based on 14nm manufacturing process. It also features the iconic dual curved glass on its side along with a less-protruding camera module on the back. Without further ado, let’s have an in-depth look for the Samsung Galaxy S7 Edge.

 

Samsung Galaxy S7 Edge Specification:

  • 5.5′ Quad HD Super AMOLED Always-On display
  • Snapdragon 820/Exynos 8890
  • 4GB RAM
  • 32GB/64GB ROM
  • support MicroSD expansion
  • 12MP rear,F1.7 aperture,DualPixel auto focus technology
  • IP 68 water and dust resistant
  • support wireless charging
  • Fingerprint unlock
  • 3600mAh battery
  • Android 6.0
  • 157g
  • 7.7mm
  • Available in black, gold, silver and white

Recommended Retail Price: RM3099

Design

Although the Samsung Galaxy S7 Edge has a similar resemblance of its previous generation, Samsung has actually put in some efforts into redesigning the dimension for it. The casing box also comes with a new design along with a USB On-the-go accessories that maximizes the potential for the Galaxy S7 Edge users.20160406_174525

 

From the front, the Galaxy S7 Edge looks much more bigger its expected size with a 5.5 inches display. The curved glass display on the size minimizes the space wasted on the bezel which make this phone truly unique.20160406_174632

 

The curved glass display has minimized the bezel size for the S7 Edge.20160406_174924

 

Beneath the screen comes with the conventional Samsung Home button along with capacitive touch navigation keys on its side, The Home button is slightly protruded which comes integrated with a fingerprint sensor.20160406_175010

 

The proximity sensors, LED lights and front facing camera and the Samsung Logo is located on the top. The front dial speakers is also slightly protruded from the glass.20160406_175232

 

From its bottom, the dual curved glass display catches the most attention in its uniquely shaped design. Bottom I/Os are 3.5mm audio jack, microUSB charging adapter and mono speaker.20160406_175416

 

From the top, Samsung has packed the hybrid SIM slot which can be inserted with microSD+SIM or Dual SIM. Unfortunately it is not possible to use 2 SIM and 1 microSD at the same time.20160406_17574220160406_175754

 

The volume rocker and power button are the location conventionally at the left and right of the smartphone.20160406_175858

 

The S7 Edge camera module still appears protruded but much more flatter compared to its last generation S6. Along with the camera module comes with the LED flash and heartbeat monitor.20160406_180412

 

20160406_180903The rear panel of the S7 Edge still features glass-like panel but it is now much less a fingerprint magnet.

 

 

Display

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The dual curved display is ultimately the spotlight of the Galaxy S7 Edge. The 5.5 inches Quad HD Super AMOLED display with the curved edge now has more feature and functionality with the Android 6.0. The newly added Apps Edge allows applications to be launched directly from the display.20160406_181743

 

How would the dual curved screen will impact daily user experience? During web browsing, video and games, the display are slightly curved which might be unusual at first but there isn’t much impact as these area still remains touch sensitive.20160406_181457

 

When the smartphone display is directly in front of light source, the curved edge has a chance to reflect light which render the uncomfortable viewing experience. However, these can be compensated by adjusting to the suitable brightness level.20160406_182018

 

The dual curved display also provides a new and unique viewing experience for first time users. When scrolling between applications, the icons and slowly ‘rolled’ into the edge of the display which looks pretty cool and special.20160406_182544

 

The S7 Edge dual curved display still comes with the conventional edge light when a phone call is received. A custom colour can be set towards different caller ID which user can identify without picking up the smartphone. User can also reject the call by simply tapping onto heartbeat sensor located beside the camera.

 

Camera

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A true Android flagship must come with a superb camera, same goes to Samsung Galaxy S7 Edge. Although the S7 Edge only comes with a 12MP rear camera, the camera module is made up of 1/2.5 inches Sony IMX26 image sensor. This is one of the best camera outside suited for low light shooting at f/1.7 aperture and a ultra-fast autofocus time. Beside, this camera also comes with the new PDAF2.0 technology also known as Dual Pixel!Screenshot_20160406-183505

 

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Let’s see how good is the camera from the S7 Edge.

Running on Android 6.0, the camera application from the new TouchWiz UI has improved to some extend. However, most settings still remains the same.

 

The stock camera app supports several shooting mode such as video collage, Hyperlapse and selective focus etc.

 

As seen on video above, the Galaxy S7 Edge camera offers a blazingly fast auto-focus speed at different focal length. It is no doubt that the S7 Edge offers one of the best camera from all flagship out there.

 

Color Optimization

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As seen from voucher, the Galaxy S7 Edge is able to reproduce the exact colour level with no off-set.

 

Outdoor shooting

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In bright outdoor environment, the Samsung Galaxy S7 Edge can produce a high quality picture with excellent clarity and resolution. The autofocus time is relatively fast which allow us to instantly snap the picture without any delay.

 

Night Shooting

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With the large f/1.7 aperture, the Samsung Galaxy S7 Edge camera work flawlessly in the night. On the second picture, the scenery was captured from 7th floor and it is seen that all image details are clearly preserved. However, there is some noise present in these images where Samsung can improved in their future camera.

 

In-door Shooting

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The low autofocus time also gives the S7 Edge lot more advantage when taking indoor photos especially during instant snap and shoot. Most details are well preserved in the pictures.

 

Food shooting (Macro)

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Picture above says it all.

 

Low light indoor shooting

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Both pictures above are taken in an extremely low light environment. Although the first image suffers from noise, the second picture shows an outstanding quality which doesn’t seem to be taken during in low-light environment.

 

Shooting during rain

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Shooting inside water (camera submerged inside water)

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A water-resistant smartphone has limitless shooting possibilities.

More sample images (click to enlarge)

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Selfie Test

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Although the front facing camera only comes at 5 megapixels, the camera still come with f/1.7 large aperture which makes the pictures appears more bright and more details are captured.

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The new light mode enhances selfie image brightness in low light shooting environment.20160407_124702

 

Selfie flash from the Galaxy S7 at the right shows a significant difference between both pictures.

 

Operating System & Software20160406_184755

The Samsung Galaxy S7 Edge comes pre-loaded with Android 6.0 and a customized TouchWiz Nature UX6.0. Although this new TouchWiz does not bright new icons and design interface but it is now much more optimized and majority of bugs has been fixed. Along with the Edge Screen, the TouchWiz comes with new feature that allow multitasking functionality. Let’s see what the new TouchWiz has to offer.

 

Side Panel curved display feature

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initpintu_副本2initpintu_副本3The new Side Panel comes with a new design and comes integrated with Flipboard. User can use the side panel to launch different application, reading news or to check for reminders and calendars!

 

If you found that the side panel icon is too big or too messy, you can always adjust the icon size and location that suits you the most.

 

There are a lot of applications that are compatible with the Side panel. More apps can be downloaded which comes with paid or free version.

 

New app icon design

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Along with the material design concept from the Android 6.0, the Galaxy S7 Edge icon now appears more rounded and flattened. Their design is going towards the concept from the Google Now Launcher.

 

Galaxy Labs advanced feature: Turning off the App Drawer

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As there are lot of Android and iOS smartphones that ditched the use of App drawer, Galaxy S7 Edge also offers this new feature from Galaxy labs that allow you to turn off the application drawer from your home screen. You can report your user preference on this new feature too.

 

Permission and control

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The new TouchWiz UI also comes with the Permission and Notification settings originated from Android 6.0. User will now have total control of the application permission use and prompt of notification.

 

Always On display

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Another highlight of the Samsung Galaxy S7 Edge is the Always On display through the revolutionary OLED display. As most of the time consumer rely on smartphone just to check the time and date, the always on display saves the time to unlock smartphone as user can refer to the time and date that always shown on the display. Samsung official stated that the Always On display does not increase the consumption of battery so it is perfectly safe to use.20160406_190636

 

Previously available on Galaxy S6 Edge, the Night Clock functionality still remains available on the Galaxy S7 Edge. However, the presence of this feature is insignificant as the always on display has does the job displaying time and date on the display all the time.

 

Games ToolsScreenshot_20160406-112311405_副本

 

Are you annoyed by the call that you received when you play your favourite games on your smartphone? The Galaxy S7 Edge has the Game Tools software that avoid disturbance when you play games on your smartphone. User can also share the gaming progress or achievement by performing one key screenshot and share it to your friends.

 

 

Battery

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The Samsung Galaxy S7 Edge comes with 3600mAh battery and supports quick charge technology. The Exynos 8890 does the power management job perfectly well that 20 to 30% of battery still remains available after one day of normal usage. If you are a heavy user, it is still not possible for this phone to last for more than 8 hours.IMG_20160407_133928

On a side note, Galaxy S7 Edge also comes with a rear panel that supports wireless recharge technology.

 

Charging test

With initial level at 20%, 30 minutes of recharge has bring the juice level up to 60% thanks to the 9V/1.67A quick charge technology.

 

Battery consumption test

  • ½ hr Waze & Data:7%
  • ½ hr FB + data:5%
  • ½ hr FB + WiFi:4%
  • ½ hr Browser + WiFi:4%
  • ½ hr Game + WiFi:14%
  • ½ hr YouTube:8%
  • ½ hr WhatsApp+WeChat+Camera+WiFi:9%
  • ½ hr Music:2%
  • 1 hr Video playback:10%(½ hr headphones)10%(½ hr speaker output)

Battery left (5 hours): 27%

After our 5 hours stress test, it is shown that the Galaxy S7 Edge battery has vast improvement compared to its predecessor. The Exynoss 8890 also shows excellent performance in battery consumption management which not affecting the performance demanded from the software. With its quickcharge capable battery, the Galaxy S7 could last for a day or two.

 

Standby test:

Our overnight standby test with active social messenger (Whatsapp, Wechat, Messenger) running on the background only drained 3% over 5 hours in the midnight. Well done!

 

Performance20160406_192133

With the octa-core Exynos 8890 processor, the Galaxy S7 Edge is one of the top performer in CPU processing in mobile industry today. The Mali-T880 GPU and 4GB LPDDR4 RAM further brings more multitasking capabilities and heavy visual gaming should not be a problem for it. The 14nm process Exynos 8890 has slight lower performance than the Snapdragon 820 but it is not a big issue for this smartphone. However, prolonged usage of this smartphone with heavy load on the processor will result in overheating which may be uncomfortable for the user.

 

Benchmark Result

AnTuTu Benchmark v6.1.2

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GeekBench 3 Benchmark

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Epic Citadel GPU Benchmark

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As seen on different benchmark result above, the benchmark score from Geekbench and Antutu show outstanding scores that outblows other competitor smartphone. However, the GPU from the Exynos 8890 is slightly left behind from the Adreno GPU in Snapdragon 820 but it still performs fine. The smartphone is also highly responsive even though it has went into Deep Sleep (Doze mode).

 

Gaming test

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During our testing, there is no frame drops or lag experienced. However, prolonged gaming will result in slight overheating after 1 to 1.5 hours. The dual curved display might be uncomfortable for same you might easily mispress the side of the display when you hold your phone in landscape position.

Video testIMG_20160407_130102

The 2K AMOLED display makes the visual experience of the Galaxy S7 Edge outstanding. If you think 32GB is insufficient to store all of your favourite drama or movies, you can expand the storage up to 200GB with microSD card. Although the visual experience of this smartphone is outstanding, the audio output is considered satisfactory as it only comes with a mono-speaker at the bottom.

Music testIMG_20160407_130305

The Samsung Galaxy S7 Edge does not comes with an official stock music player. To be able to play a music from your phone, user must use the Milk Music platform to play it through Google Play Music. You can also download your preferred music player on the Play Store to play music on your smartphone.

Web Browsing testIMG_20160407_130343

The stock browser on the S7 Edge works flawlessly on most website including Zing Gadget. Thanks to the high performance processor and large display, you can enjoy different content from different website in a single display.

Water and dust resistantIMG_20160407_131241

The Samsung Galaxy S7 Edge is IP68 water and dust resistant certified. There should be no issues if you answer calls or play your smartphone in the rain or during the shower (although we didn’t recommend it).

 

ConclusionIMG_20160407_131224

In short, the Samsung Galaxy S7 Edge has one of the most unique display in the entire Android smartphone market today. The dual curved display also comes with side panel which you could launch any preferred app easily. The performance from the hardware and its camera are excellent even in low light situation and the processor is able to handle heavy load with minimal amount of overheating. The charging rate for this smartphone is also satisfactory which you can opt out powerbank if you forgot to bring during the day. In short, it is one of the best smartphone that you can get during the year of 2016!

 

 

 

作者简介

Alex Wee

Alex Wee

A smartphone addict, IT and InfoSec enthusiast. Contact me at [email protected]