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Samsung S7; Rethink what a phone can do

Samsung S7 banner
Samsung S7 banner

Techtrends, was invited to the Samsung S7 launch event last night at the Taj Pamodzi hotel. The launch was a gala dinner, with the cream of Lusaka’s society mingling with Samsung personnel.

Samsung S7 Menu
Samsung S7 Menu

Now that is a menu, and we half expected the beautifully designed menu to have instagram. The Samsung S7 is a premium phone, targeted at the buyers of another phone named after a fruit. As it was a dinner launch I had very little time to play and test the device.

The Samsung S7 comes in two primary flavours, the Samsung S7 ‘flat’, and the Samsung S7 Edge. The Edge is the premium premium device, with the curved much larger 5.5 inch screen compared to the 5.1 inch S7.

Samsung 7 vs S7 Edge
S7 compared to S7 Edge

The image clearly shows the size difference between the two handsets. If you have smaller hands or prefer one handed use then the S7 ‘flat’ is a much better handset for you. The S7 Edge is a definitely two handed, small phablet. Both phones have, to my eyes, identical resolution and colour reproduction, as judged in a semi-lit ballroom. In the technical manual, it states that both phones are qHD, giving you brilliant image quality but the S7 flat has a higher pixel density. Both phones have exceptional displays and I give them an easy 8 out of 10. I cannot give a 10 because I have not tested them in full sunlight, where I do spend a significant potion of my life.

With images, videos and the occasional email, onboard storage has long been an issue in the premium phone market. Makers tend to charge exorbitant amounts to buy the next storage level up handset, and give you no option for expandable storage. Samsung have solved that problem by adding a microSD slot in the hybrid SIM tray, the maximum size micro SD card you can insert is 200GB. For now we deem that sufficient. The phone runs Android Marshmallow (important when it comes to expandable storage).

Samsung S7 Marshmellow
Samsung S7 Marshmallow

If you are not yet aware, Marshmallow allows you to format a micro SD card as part of your internal storage. This means you no longer have to select where to store files as the operating system has a single, large pool of storage to use. Brilliant and a welcome addition Samsung.

The phones are IP68 rated, meaning they are dust and water resistant. This is a requirement in the premium phone market. The Samsung S7 family is dust tight, and protected against 30 minutes of immersion in water, up to a depth of 1.5m. The design is capless, meaning the phone is always water proof, and you do not need to block any ports to achieve resistance. The capless water and dust resistant design was achieved by applying rubber seals to the USB port, SIM tray and headset jack.

With selfies being the new vogue for last years design, the cameras have been upgraded accordingly. Samsung have however done something a little different, and stopped the arms race for who can squeeze the most mega-pixels, just incase you needed your selfie printed on a billboard. The Samsung S7 approach is to equip each camera with a ‘Dual Pixel’, enabling faster auto focus to take crisp, clear pictures. Every pixel has two photodiodes that enable super-fast focus. The pixels are larger than previous generations at 1.4 micrometers, helping take brighter pictures in low light conditions. The front and rear cameras both have brighter F1.7 lenses, to help you take better low light pictures. To feed the selfie monster, the screen will act as a flash so that you can take your selfie even when there is no Zesco. One of the great additions to the camera is motion panorama. Motion panorama allows you to capture live scenery within your panoramic pictures, turning them into ‘video stills’.

A lot of work has been put into the hardware ecosystem supporting the phone. Unfortunately, all the pretty stuff was locked away in secure, perspex display cabinets so all we have are images.

If you in the market for a premium phone, have a good hard look at the Samsung S7. If we do get a demo unit we will give you an in depth review, but based on what we saw it is a great phone, with an unmatched vendor hardware ecosystem.




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