Words and images by Lerato Sepotokele
The Mobile World Congress expo in Barcelona is fast becoming a distant memory, but now is the season for flagship phones announced at the show to start making their way to consumers. Today, it’s Samsung’s turn. And judging from their exclusive launch event held in Hyde Park last night, it’s fair to say the new Galaxy S7 and S7 Edge are only iterative improvements on last year’s models; but with slicker styling, the return of expandable storage and flagship-grade performance, they’re among the best Android smartphones money can buy.
You may’ve even clocked a few in the wild already, since anyone that pre-ordered either device should’ve received theirs earlier this week. We understand that not everyone’s that organised, though, so join us as we explore all the purchasing options on general, South Africa meet the all new Samsung Galaxy S7.
Recapping on the device, they both feature Android 6.0 Marshmallow, and both with have either an octa-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 820 (quad-core 2.15GHz + quad-core 1.6GHz processors) with 4GB of RAM. Both are available only with 32GB of internal storage, but that’s not exactly a problem, since both have microSD card slots. (Yep, they’re back!) I briefly played with both, and if there was a performance difference, I missed it completely — the S7 and the S7 Edge are incredibly powerful devices that easily dealt with my short-term fiddling.
Samsung went with 12-megapixel rear camera sensors instead of 16-megapixel affairs like last year. Here’s the thing, though: They’ve opened up the aperture on those lenses to f/1.7 and bumped the pixel size on the sensors, all to improve low-light performance.
There are some crucial differences between the S7 and the Edge. Curiously, the Edge is a physically bigger device; it has a 5.5-inch curved Super AMOLED display, as compared with the normal, flat 5.1-inch panel on the S7. Both, by the way, have always-on modes so you can check the time and notification without firing the phones up for the umpteenth time. You can also customise the screen displays to your own personality and preference to be more viewer friendly.
The CPU is 30% more powerful than its predecessor. It has a 3000 and 3600mah battery for the S7 and S7 Edge respectively, and now integrated with Vulkan graphics technology for all mobile device gamers and also features intuitive gaming capabilities. Mobile gaming is now growing at an ever increasing rate and is indeed the future of mobile technology. It’s been revealed that there is even a growth amongst the female counterparts with a growth of 36% of all mobile gamers, there is progress.
Noteworthy contract packages are listed from Vodacom with the S7 and S7 Edge starting at R599 and R699 respectively (includes additional 6GB of data, wireless speaker or free access to the Deezer music streaming service) while their MTN pricing is set at R449 and R649 respectiively (includes 30GB once off data).
Samsung undoubtedly has a hit in both the S7 and the S7 Edge — the question is whether all the good they’ll do will offset the company’s recent rough patches.