While considerable attention has been lavished on the Galaxy S7 -and rightly so, since it's Samsung's horse in the race to be the best-selling smartphone of 2016- the Galaxy S7 Edge is also an important release.
In 2015, Samsung underestimated demand for its new dual-edge, curved-screen smartphone, a move that hit the company's bottom line . Despite its price premium, consumers loved the Galaxy S6 Edge and this year's version is dramatically improved, as Samsung looks to capitalize on those willing to shell out big bucks for the ultimate smartphone experience.
The new smartphones have been on sale for several weeks now and the reviews are rolling in. Here's our take on Samsung's stunning, but pricey smartphone, the Galaxy S7 Edge.
Galaxy S7 Edge Review: Bigger and Better
Last year's smartphone sales remained a disappointment for Samsung despite a radical upscaling of its smartphone design, switching to a premium metal-and-glass look. Running short of Galaxy S6 Edges didn't help, but the Galaxy faithful were upset about some of the changes that came with the new look.
A major theme for this year was addressing those concerns, and as a result, the Galaxy S7 series is water resistant, packs a much larger battery and regains expandable storage using microSD cards.
While the Galaxy S7 design was left largely unchanged, Samsung made a big move with the Galaxy S7 Edge. Literally. This year the Edge's dual-edge curved display grows from 5.1 inches to 5.5 inches, moving it into phablet territory.
Despite the growth, it's only slightly thicker and heavier than last year's model, while largely losing the camera bump on the back. That back is also slightly curved, making it more comfortable to hold than the model it replaces, despite being larger.
Compared to the Galaxy S7, the Galaxy S7 Edge is actually slightly thinner, likely because there was more room in the larger phone case to spread out the increased capacity battery.
Say Goodbye to the Edge+?
Last year, to complement the Galaxy S6 Edge, Samsung later released a phablet-sized version, the 5.7-inch Galaxy S6 Edge+.
With the new Galaxy S7 Edge display hitting 5.5 inches, having a slightly larger version is going to do nothing but confuse customers.
Samsung hasn't said anything officially as yet, but now that the Galaxy S7 Edge has gone super-sized and matches the size of rival Apple Inc. 's ( AAPL ) iPhone 6S Plus, expect the Edge+ to be on the chopping block.
Galaxy S7 Edge Review: Specs
- 5.5-inch, dual-edge Quad HD Super AMOLED display with Always On feature
- Qualcomm Snapdragon 820 CPU with 4GB RAM
- 32/64GB storage with microSD card expansion support to 200GB
- Primary camera has 12 MP dual-pixel image sensor with f/1.7 lens, LED flash, optical image stabilization and 4K video
- Dual-band 802.11ac Wi-Fi, Bluetooth 4.2
- Fingerprint sensor, accelerometer, proximity sensor, gyro, compass, barometer and heart rate sensor
- Fast charge + wireless charging compatible
- 3600 mAh Li-ion battery
- Weighs 5.85 oz, 0.30-inches thick
- Runs Android 6.0 (Marshmallow) with Samsung TouchWiz UI
- IP68 Certified water resistant
- MSRP $799 unlocked
The Galaxy S7 is a near-perfect smartphone and the Galaxy S7 Edge takes everything Samsung's flagship offers - high performance, expandable storage, the best smartphone camera on the market and water resistance - and adds the visual (and functional) punch of the larger, dual-edge display.
Samsung has learned from user feedback about previous Edge models, and the Galaxy S7 Edge makes better use of its larger "edge panels."
The result is easily the most visually attractive Android smartphone you can buy. That curved display and newly curved back make it among the most comfortable to hold, too, despite its considerable size.
While the Galaxy S7 will get the job done in style, the Galaxy S7 Edge is even more useful (thanks to that dual edge display) and makes a bolder statement. Even with its $100 premium over the Galaxy S7, the Galaxy S7 Edge has the potential to sell in significant numbers for Samsung and sets the bar high for this fall's iPhone 7 Plus release.
As of this writing, Robert Martin did not hold a position in any of the aforementioned securities.
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