Samsung’s flagship of 2016, Samsung Galaxy S7, was released on 12th of March 2016. The things that sold this one to me are: 12MP, 1.7 aperture camera (that gave me to finally take photos in 4K!) and super-bright and high-contrast Super AMOLED display. It was a hard choice between Galaxy S7 and Galaxy S7 Edge, but I went with no-edge version, as, at that point, I firmly believed that “over-the-edge” display was just a gimmick. As we have seen with Galaxy S8 and Note 8, it is clearly not and gives the display the most awesome look! If I were to choose between these two phones today – I would have went with Edge model for sure!
I have bought mine Samsung Galaxy S7 in August of 2016 and now I have decided to ask myself a question: is it still relevant a year and a half after the release date? Let’s get right into it!
CHARGING AND BATTERY LIFE
Samsung Galaxy S7 comes packed with Li-Ion 3000 mAh battery that can hold a punch! I’m a pretty heavy user, as I try to use my phone to the max. On heavy days, I may have to charge my phone after 4-6 hours of intense workload, but when I go easy on it – battery can hold up to 12 hours without the need to re-charge. So if you are a mild user – you will be good getting through the day without the need to get more juice in that battery.
As Galaxy S6 did, S7 also comes with the ability to wirelessly charge the phone, which is really handy, but the best part about this phone’s battery is – Quick Charge 2.0! Low on power? Hook it up to a wall with a Quick Charge adapter (comes in a box) and in 30 minutes your phone will be at 60%! This feature saved my day too many times to overlook it.
PERFORMANCE & FEATURES
I will not go over any benchmarks, as they are all over the internet, instead I will just convey my personal experience to you.
I don’t use Samsung’s native launcher TouchWiz anymore, as it was not able to provide the level of customization that I need. Instead, I have decided to go with Apex Launcher and I don’t regret it, but because of it your experience may be a bit different. While I was using TouchWiz, I had not experienced any lagging, stutters or freezes, but still I have gone past it.
I don’t game on my phone, so if you wanted to see here if Galaxy S7 hardware is still good in games at this point – go to some other review or PM me and I’ll give you feedback on games that you’re interested in. Outside of games – I have never experienced any freezes or stutters; this phone still handles everything that I throw at it beautifully.
Multi-tasking on the screen of this size is good, but Note series are much better in that because of the extra real estate. Launching two apps side-by-side is the feature I was waiting for a long time to be in a phone and I have never had any problems with it, it was a silky-smooth experience.
Fingerprint scanner still works perfectly, despite the fact that the button is a bit loose.
Double-press on the home button turns on the camera and turns it on quick! Also, it can be reassigned to turn on some other apps and even a triple-press could be set up, but it will cost you the speed of turning a camera on double-press.
Camera was the cornerstone of my decision to by this phone. 12 MP, 1.7 aperture rear camera with optical stabilization, ability to take photos in 4K! [email protected], [email protected], [email protected] video recording! You couldn’t ask for more at that point and this camera still holds up very well. Pretty wide aperture gives the ability to take quite good pictures in low light scenarios and in the daylight photos look just marvelous! And double-press on the home button that turns on the camera just makes it perfect for quick capture!
The app is very solid. Auto settings do well, but if you want to capture the true magic of the moment – use Pro settings. It gives you a lot to play with, so it is possible to take a photo exactly how you want it.
Other camera settings are also quite fun: HDR, Panorama, Slow Motion, Surround Shot, Dual Camera and filter/effect layers in just a swipe away.
STRENGTH AND DURABILITY
Samsung claims that Galaxy S7 has a dust/water resistance of IP68. I had not had any problems with that, it is truly water-resistant. Using the phone in the shower – no problem, dropped it in a pool – don’t leave it in for too long and it will be fine.
Glass that is on the front and the back panel is Corning Gorilla Glass 4. It can take a beating, but I have managed to crack both of my panels in one day only a month after I bought the phone. It had dropped from 40-50cm (15.8-19.7inch) – from the ground onto solid concrete face down. Screen did not survive that punishment. The back panel was broken on the same day, but this time it was dropped on the top-right corner, only the surface stayed the same – concrete. To my surprise, the front panel did not crack any further because of the second drop. I had changed both of the panels and never had to do it again.
My panels are a 1-year old at this point. Besides the fingerprints, which are attracted to glass panels like bees to honey, my front panel has only 1 tiny scratch on it. Back panel suffered more: there are 3 visible scratches, one of which is pretty deep. If you want to get a skin – do it! I have never used one and I’m against cases, as they ruin the looks, but I should have gotten one (dbrand skins are just awesome).
The speaker grate was of a silver color when I bought it, now – it is black, as the coating came off with time.
Another small thing is – home button got a bit loose after some submersions in water.
- Loud speakers
- Slick design
- Hardware still holds up to the challenge
- Fingerprint scanner on the front
- $230+ used on Amazon; $300+ refurbished on Amazon
- Lack of customization in TouchWiz
- Slippery back panel
- Coating on a speaker grate
- $489 new on Amazon
All in all, Samsung Galaxy S7 is still holds up pretty good. If I would get one today I would get an Edge version, but it is more expensive (slap another $100 on top). If the over-the-edge screen is not your thing – the base version is just as awesome. Get a skin to protect the back and you have a still very good phone that won’t let you down!