The Samsung Galaxy S6 was undoubtedly one of the hit devices of 2015, especially the edge model(s). Samsung needed to shift-up design and it did, refining the appearance of the handset, as well as making essential tweaks to the user interface.
But the day of the SGS6 is done and attention has turned to Samsung’s next Galaxy. It’ll more than likely be called the Galaxy S7, considering Samsung tends to keep its phone-naming conventions steady, and we’ve seen almost an unprecedented level of leaks surrounding Samsung’s next flagship handset.
What will the Galaxy S7 feature? What does it look like? What kind of specs does it have? This is your go-to place for finding the answers to all your Galaxy S7-related questions, be that the Samsung Galaxy S7, Samsung Galaxy S7 edge, or Samsung Galaxy S7 edge+.
Samsung Galaxy S7: Release date
The Galaxy S6 launched at MWC 2015 and the Galaxy S5 at MWC 2014 and the Samsung Galaxy S7 will also be launched at the annual trade show held in Barcelona.
Samsung has confirmed that it is holding Unpacked 2016 on 21 February at 19:00 CET, in Barcelona, where it will be revealing the next Galaxy. The information has been widely shared across social media, with Samsung creating a short teaser video featuring Gear VR. The date is set, so mark your calendars and we’ll be covering all the action right here, or you can watch the event live on YouTube or via the Samsung Newsroom.
According to serial leakster Evan Blass the US will see the Galaxy S7 hit shelves from 11 March and it should also arrive in Europe on the same day, according to tweeter Shai Mizrachi – a tech journalist and university lecturer from Tel Aviv. We believe that will just be the S7 and S7 Edge with an S7 Edge+ potentially released later in the year. However, even that carries doubt with reports claiming Samsung might switch UK attention to the forthcoming Galaxy Note 6 instead.
According to Android World, Samsung will open pre-orders for the Galaxy S7 and Galaxy S7 Edge on 21 February in at least the Netherlands. They’ll be available in three colours and as 32GB models. Samsung might even include a free Gear VR headset with the pre-order, according to Droid-Life. This pre-order special will only be available until 10 March.
Samsung Galaxy S7: Design
One of the biggest surprises with the SGS6 was the launch of two models. All the rumours so far predict that Samsung will again be launching multiple models, offering flat and curved “edge” displays.
SamMobile said Samsung will continue to release two variants of its flagship smartphone. One has the model number SM-G930 and a flat display, while the other has the model number SM-G935 and a dual-edge curved display. Both variants are codenamed Project Lucky and are being internally referred to as the Hero and Hero2, respectively.
There’s been a rumour that claimed it’ll be built from a different type of metal, a magnesium-based alloy, to be specific. These claims are supported by leaked cases from ITSkins that shows the S7 looking similar to the current S6, although this could be the case manufacturer trying to grab some headlines.
Renders based on schematics that were sent to third-party case manufacturers back up some of the claims and designs we’ve seen touted before. They appear in a video posted online, although it is claimed that the rendered phone in question is a Samsung Galaxy S7 Plus, rather than a standard version, with a 6-inch screen.
Evan Blass writing for Venture Beat offered up a new rendered image of the S7 and S7 edge – and we can see from it that the two upcoming phones look almost identical to the existing S6 line. This leaked image is significant because it’s probably legit. Blass via his own Twitter account also offered more images.
A recent “press image” he posted also shows the SGS7 edge in silver.
Another leak – this time of a few images purportedly of an S7 chassis – shows a slot that looks suspiciously like a USB Type-C connection port. The Wall Street Journal also reports that sources reveal it’ll definitely come with USB Type-C, although others suggest it will have Micro-USB.
A self-claimed Samsung employee has leaked that the S7 will feature a premium black chassis, slim camera with no bump, dust and water resistance, microSD slot plus options of black, white, silver and gold variants.
Overall, it looks like the design is going to remain fairly close to the existing devices.
Samsung Galaxy S7: Display
One report from Asia Today claimed the Galaxy S7 will come in two sizes: 5.2-inches and 5.8-inches. A possible AnTuTu benchmark for an unknown Samsung phone (codenamed “Lucky”) indicates Samsung has made a device with a 5.7-inch 1440 x 2560-pixel screen. This 5.7-inch, 1440 x 2560 screen rumour is backed up by a leaked data sheet on nowhereelse.fr.
But shifting down from the larger 5.7 or 5.8-inch rumours, according to a report from South Korea’s ET News (via Reuters) the regular version will feature a flat 5.2-inch display, the second “edge” variant will feature a curved, 5.5-inch screen.
This information has been expanded on by Android Authority, claiming that indeed it will be two models – the flat S7 at 5.2-inches and the S7 edge at 5.5 inches, supplying possible dimensions for these devices. Indian import documents on Zuaba show a 5.5-inch Samsung device believed to be the S7 edge.
Then we have a report from Venture Beat, claiming two devices, the regular S7 with a 5.1-inch display and the S7 edge with a 5.5-inch display.
We’ve also seen talk of a ClearForce display. This display from Synaptics offers the sort of pressure sensitivity that the iPhone 6S and Huawei Mate S introduced. Samsung is always keen to include the latest technologies and this is an obvious area to target. A report from the Wall Street Journal, based on insider source information, also claims that there will be a pressure sensitive display.
Overall it looks like it will break down like this: Samsung Galaxy S7 – 5.1 or 5.2-inch display, Samsung Galaxy S7 edge – 5.5-inch display, Samsung Galaxy S7 edge+ – 6-inch display, if it is still in Samsung’s plans (see above).
Samsung Galaxy S7: Power and hardware
Supposed internal Samsung documents posted to Chinese social networking site Weibo appear to confirm the S7 (though it has the codename “Jungfrau”) is powered by Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 820 processor, even though Samsung avoided Qualcomm in 2015.
According to SamMobile, Samsung will release two variants of its flagship smartphone. One will arrive with an Exynos 8890 processor, while the other will have Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 820 SoC. A separate benchmark on Geekbench – supposedly for two variants of the Galaxy S7 – shows one Galaxy device with 3GB of RAM and another LTE version with 4GB of RAM. Both of these devices go by the codename Lucky.
Another Geekbench test, via NapiDroid, shows what’s claimed to be the Galaxy S7 running an Exynos 8890 CPU. This octa-core processor is running at 1.6GHz and is backed by 3580MB of RAM. That 4GB model has also appeared on a leaked datasheet backed by the Snapdragon 820. Supporting this, a leaked benchmark on nowherelese.fr suggests the new Eege model will come with the Snapdragon 820, Adreno 530 graphics and 4GB of RAM with 64GB of internal memory.
Yet another benchmark, leaked in early February near to the expected launch, shows that the S7 isn’t running as fast as the Qualcomm Snapdragon 820 reference handset managed. Perhaps this denotes a choke installed for power saving purposes.
Audio quality is expected to be impressive with a Korean report suggesting Samsung will use the Sabre 9018AQ2M chip for superior sound. This should mean the 32-bit audio DAC delivers near analogue quality sound and supports formats like DSD. With rumours suggesting Samsung is looking to buy Jay-Z’s Tidal music streaming service, the Galaxy S7 may come with some serious audio offerings.
It’s thought that the S7 will bring back microSD card expansion, using a dual card tray, a popular solution these days. This is thought to be joined by USB Type-C connectivity.
READ: Samsung Galaxy S7 vs Galaxy S6: What’s the rumoured difference?
Samsung Galaxy S7: Battery
The battery life of the SGS6 has been its downfall and will certainly be the aspect that most want to see improved. Some of this improvement could come down to new software and hardware efficiencies, but it’s also claimed that there will be increased capacity in the batteries.
The Samsung Galaxy S7’s battery is 3,000mAh reportedly, while the Samsung Galaxy S7 edge gets a 3,600mAh battery, housed within that slightly larger body – the latter being confirmed by 9to5Google. It stated that a recently-surfaced FCC filing revealed that battery size for the Galaxy S7 edge. That’s much larger than the 2,600mAh battery from last year as well as the Note 5’s 3,000mAh.
The new devices are thought to include wireless charging once again.
These below images have leaked on Twitter of the battery life. The left image shows a good two day battery life while the right shows a drain down in just 4 hours and 3 minutes. Presumably these are the two extremes possible for varied use scenarios.
Samsung Galaxy S7: Camera
An AnTuTu benchmark possibly for the Galaxy S7 shows it having a 16-megapixel rear-facing camera and a 5-megapixel front-facing camera, which are the same camera specs found on the Galaxy S6. But another AnTuTu benchmark revealed a duo-camera on the phone, so at this point it is unclear what the phone sports.
According to SamMobile, Samsung is testing a dual-camera setup in some prototypes as well as a 20-megapixel ISOCELL sensor. This could be backed up by Samsung’s patent of the term “Duo Pixel” which is expected to appear in the S7.
In addition, Samsung has officially unveiled a new 20-megapixel sensor so that could appear in the handset. The new sensor, dubbed Britecell, will offer new phase detection autofocus for faster, more accurate placement of object even when moving at speed. One of the changes wrought by this new sensor is size, with the Britecell being slimmer, potentially reducing the need to have the camera jutting out of the back of the phone. Samsung.hdblog.it also backed up talk about the inclusion of Britecell.
Slash Gear has taken a different approach to the “Duo Pixel” idea in that it speculates that the S7 could adopt a modular camera, like Google’s Project Ara handset. That way you would be able to buy add-ons to make the phone more Galaxy Camera-like. We’re less sure on this concept though.
The new type of camera could explain the lower 12.2-megapixel camera leaked on a data sheet. This also showed a 5-megapixel front-facing selfie camera. This was also supported by the leaked benchmark on nowherelese.fr, also suggesting 12-megapixel and 5-megapixel snappers.
This 12-megapixel camera was also supported by an AnTuTu benchmark out of China via Weibo. A claimed Samsung employee has also leaked that we can expect a 12-megapixel camera that will excel in low-light thanks to an f/1.7 aperture and larger sensor.
Actual photos of the Samsung Galaxy S7 and Galaxy S7 edge were caught in the wild in early February. These significant, close-up looks of the Galaxy S7s are very welcomed because they somewhat legitimise circulating reports while also adding fuel to the rumour-mill flames.
The two images that have leaked online appear to show the front of Samsung’s Galaxy S7 edge and the back of the Galaxy S7. These photos line up with previous rendered leaks, and from them, we can see that the phone’s camera housing appears slimmer than what the Galaxy S6 offers, suggesting Samsung has opted for a smaller sensor, though it is hard to confirm that at this point.
Other reports have also claimed the Galaxy S7’s camera will be 12-megapixels rather that the Galaxy S6’s 16-megapixels. Either way, this leak from Vietnamese site Reviewdao.vn is impressive, as we are finally getting to see what the new phones could look like in our hands. We can also see from the photos, for instance, that their exterior looks more plastic than glass.
It’ll be interesting to see if Samsung has decided to scale back with the premium features altogether.
Samsung Galaxy S7: Software
We expect the Galaxy S7 to launch with Android Marshmallow, the latest version of Google’s mobile OS – and supposed internal Samsung documents posted to Chinese social networking site Weibo appear to confirm that it will.
However, Samsung likes to stamp its own identity on its devices, so we’d expect the S7 to come with a tweaked version of TouchWiz. The SGS6 was something of a triumph, in many ways taming the flaws of TouchWiz, while still maintaining its Android identity. We’d hope that the offering sticks to this ideal.
According to a source of Android Geeks, software engineers from Samsung have said the Galaxy S7 will arrive with a photo feature like Apple’s Live Photos. Apparently the new feature is still under development so it might arrive as an update rather than on the phone at launch. It has been said that Vivid Photo, as it is thought to be called, won’t capture sound like Live Photos, meaning it can be shared as a GIF.