The Gala S7 marks the return of the microSD slot and water-proofing, and while the battery is still sealed (which doesn’t seem likely to change going forward), Samser has been a lot more generous with the capacity for this generation. Gala flagships have always led the way when it comes to imaging, their cameras always being among the top performers in the market. This time around, Samsung went backwards to play a different game of numbers: fewer but larger pixels, all 12 million of them capable of phase detection. Lightning-fast autofocus is the promise, and we’ve already seen the S7 deliver on it.
AMOLED has long since shaken off the stigma of being all punch and no precision, to actually bring the best of both worlds. The Always On displays are all the rage this season, and being able to light up individual pixels has always made this specific technology inherently suited for the job. “Why so late?” is probably the question to be answered.
The bottom holds the microUSB 2.0 port (no Type-C port for better or for worse), the primary mic, a single speaker and a 3.5mm jack. None of these are aligned with any of the other, which may bother a particular demographic, but in such crammed spaces you take what you can get.
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Meanwhile, the IP68 water resistance has improved from the S5, allowing submersion of up to five feet for 30 minutes, plus there’s no annoying flap covering the charging port.The microUSB port has been waterproofed, but the S7 won’t charge if it detects water in its hole. If you’ve taken the phone for a plunge in the bath, you’ll need to dry the charging port before plugging in. Samsung hasn’t reinvented the wheel with the design of the Galaxy S7, but it didn’t need to. The Gala S6 was an excellently styled device, and the S7 has managed to improve on that.
What do you get
The size, shape and general design of the Gala S7 means it’s easier to hold and operate one-handed too. I could reach the other side of the screen with my thumb with far less strain, and it required little to no shuffling in the hand to move around the whole display.
The FM radio is perhaps gone for good, the assumption apparently being that the jury has ruled in favor of streaming over the internet. The IR blaster is another feature due for retirement – the S6 had it, then the Note5 didn’t, and now with the S7 the trend is clear.
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- No FM radio (except for T-Mobile units in the US, so far)
- No IR blaster
- No stereo speakers