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Samsung Galaxy S7 vs Galaxy S6 – what does the new Galaxy flagship bring to the table and is it worth the upgrade

We’ve already compared LG’s latest flagship to the G4 and we’ll do the same with Samsung’s devices. In this article, we’re going to go through the specs, features and design of the new Samsung Galaxy S7, compare them to last year’s flagship offering – the Galaxy S6 and see if it is worth upgrading. Also, Samsung’s latest flagship is up for pre-order in some online stores, but the device will hit the market on the 11th of March.

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Design

With last year’s changes to the design of their flagship devices, Samsung took a huge leap in the right direction. Up until the Galaxy S6/S6 edge, each device from the Galaxy S lineup featured a plastic construction, which despite its pros, wasn’t really what people were looking for in a flagship device as far as design goes. The 6th generation Galaxy S phones, however, featured glass and metal in their and the majority of users welcomed the change. The devices not only featured top-tier specs but also had the stylish, premium look to go with them. Perhaps, this is the reason why the South Korean manufacturer decided not to mess too much with the appearance of this year’s handset, unlike LG, who completely reworked the design of their new G5.


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Anyway, the main difference between the Galaxy S6 and Galaxy S7 lies in the curved edges on the back of the newer model. They not only look good but provide a better and more secure grip on the phone, which is a welcomed change, due to the somewhat slippery glass panel on the back. Oh, and do you remember Galaxy S6’s protruding camera? Well, that’s a thing in the past now. We’re glad to see that Samsung is paying attention to the users’ wishes and we can judge for that from the next two changes. Even though everybody enjoyed the overhauled appearance of Galaxy S6, it lacked two features, which the previous Galaxy S generation devices had – microSD memory card slot and waterproofed design. Well, it looks like Samsung has right this wrong as well, as their new Galaxy S7 model has both of the aforementioned features.


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Moving on to the dimensions where the S6 has an edge over the newer S7 model, as its thickness measures at 6.8 mm vs 7.9mm. However, due to the curved edges on the back of the S7, we think you’ll hardly notice the difference. Also, the Galaxy S7 is a bit heavier than its predecessor – 152 grams vs 138 grams, but we can get pass this, knowing that it also packs a larger battery.

Hardware

Smartphone manufacturers are no longer fighting over who will provide the device with the biggest screen. Even though Samsung was one of the founders of this challenge, they seem to no longer be interested in increasing the size of the display. Instead, they’ve chosen a healthy 5.1-inch display for their new flagship offering, which provides big enough working space, while also keeping the phone comfortable to hold in your hand. Furthermore, the Galaxy S7 is overall smaller than the Galaxy S6, resulting in the display covering a larger part of the phone (72.1% vs 70.7%). Anyway, they’ve kept the Quad HD resolution of the screen, as well as the SuperAMOLED panel, but they’ve added a new feature to it – Always-ON, which we’ve already discussed in our LG G5 vs G4 comparison.


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Galaxy S7 also exceeds the older S6 in term of performance too. Last year’s model came with the Exynos 7420 SoC while this time we’re looking at the new Exynos 8890, which is also an octa-core mobile chip, but features four Exynos M1 cores clocked at 2.6 GHz. The S7 will also be available with Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 820 in the USA and China, and it seems like it’s the preferred choice for most high-end devices revealed this year. Anyway, the phone also has the Mali-T880 MP12 GPU and 4GB of RAM or the Adreno 530 for Qualcomm’s configuration. Due to the return of the microSD memory card slot, which supports up to 200GB of additional storage, Samsung has decided to not release a 128GB version of the device.

We’re also eager to test the durability of Galaxy S7’s battery. Our expectations are higher, due to its larger capacity, compared to last year’s model (3000 mAh vs 2550 mAh). Keep in mind, that the battery, just like the one in Galaxy S6, isn’t removable. Anyway, Galaxy S7 runs on Android 6.0 Marshmallow, while the S6 still hasn’t received the update and uses the 5.1 Lollipop version. We aren’t quite sure what changes, features and modes will Samsung’s TouchWiz UI bring, but we hope that they’re all for the best.


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Even though Galaxy S7’s camera sports less pixels than the one on its predecessor, it still has received some upgrades. We’re now dealing with a 12MP main camera with 1.4 µm pixel size, compared to 16MP and 1.12 µm pixels the Galaxy S6. Furthermore, the new model’s shooter has f/1.7 aperture, which will help you take way better shots in low-light conditions. Anyway, the camera has still kept the OIS, LED flash and 4K video recording features as well as all the shooting modes and manual settings. The front-facing camera is again a 5MP unit, but also boasts the same f/1.7 aperture. We already did a couple of sample shots with the new Galaxy S7 and even though they’re taken indoor with artificial lighting, you can still get a general idea of what photo quality to expect from it.

Specs sheet

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Specs sheetSamsung Galaxy S7Samsung Galaxy S6
OSAndroid 6.0 MarshmallowAndroid OS, 5.0.2 (Lollipop), will receive an update to 6.0.1 (Marshmallow)
CPUExynos 8890 (4-core, 1.58GHz, Cortex-A53 & 4-cores 2.29-2.60GHz, Exynos M1)Exynos 7420 (4-core, 1.50GHz, Cortex-A53 & 4-cores, 2.10GHz, Cortex-A57)
RAM4GB3GB
Storage32GB + microSD memory card slot32/64/128 GB / no microSD memory card slot
GPUMali T880MP12Mali-T760
Display5.1-inch Super AMOLED display with 1440 x 2560 resolution, Corning Gorilla Glass 45.1-inch Super AMOLED display with 1440 x 2560 resolution, Corning Gorilla Glass 4
ConnectivityWi-Fi 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac, dual-band, Wi-Fi Direct, hotspot, Bluetooth 4.2, LTE Cat9, GPS, NFC, microUSB v2.0Wi-Fi 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac, dual-band, Wi-Fi Direct, hotspot, Bluetooth 4.1, LTE Cat6, GPS, NFC, microUSB v2.0
Cameras12 MP, 1.4 µm, f/1.7, autofocus, 1.4 µm, OIS, LED flash, 2160p@30fps video (rear), 5MP, f/1.7 (front)16 MP, autofocus, OIS, f/1.9, LED flash, 1.12 µm, 2160p@30fps video (rear), 5 MP f/1.9 (front)
Featuresfingerprints sensor, heart rate sensor, IP68 certificate, Samsung Payfingerprints sensor, heart rate sensor, Samsung Pay
Battery3000 mAh (non-removable)2550 mAh (non-removable)
Dimensions142.4 x 69.6 x 7.9 mm143.4 x 70.5 x 6.8 mm
Weight152 grams138 grams

Official product videos