Update: now that the Galaxy S7 and S7 Edge are out, we recommend you to read our complete Galaxy S7 Review and Galaxy S7 Edge Review (one article, two phones). Check the complete Galaxy S7 specs and the Galaxy S7 Edge specs as well, or see how S7 vs. S7 Edge turns out.
We’ll keep the article below as an archive, in case we want to go back to what was said, just before the official launch.
There are many phone-related announcements made every year, but only a handful are good enough where everyone sits up and pays attention. Kicking things off in the early part of the year would be the Samsung Galaxy S7, or, at least, that’s what we’re assuming based on Samsung’s previous release/launch history.
All that we know about the device right now is based on rumors, but what we do know is that it’s almost a guarantee that Samsung will launch a new Galaxy S handset, so if you are curious as to what we might expect this year, keep reading as these are a list of compiled rumored specs and features.
Table of Contents:
- Curved Display Variants
- Display Size & Resolution
- Pressure-Sensitive Display
While there might have been some contention about Samsung’s earlier designs that allegedly copied Apple’s iPhones, Samsung has definitely come into their own over the years. However if you are hoping that this year’s Galaxy S7 will sport a brand spanking new design, you could be disappointed.
The rumors are claiming that the design of the Galaxy S7 won’t differ too much from the Galaxy S6. Is that a good or bad thing? The Galaxy S6’s design was pretty good and if you liked it, then we suppose this is good news, but for those who are always hunting for the next new thing in design then this could potentially be a bit disappointing.
Recently leaked renders and a photo of the front panel of the phone has lent some credence to the rumors, but since they’re not official it’s best not to read too much into it. However if there is, at least, one change Samsung will be making to the design/build, it is that they could turn to the use of magnesium that should lend itself to the overall durability of the handset, but we reckon in terms of appearance, after a coat of paint chances are the average smartphone user won’t be the wiser.
Update 01/07/2016 – A video has surfaced (see above) which shows off the alleged rendering of the phone. Supposedly this is based on the 3D CAD files used by Samsung’s partners to create cases for the phone. It was leaked by uSwitch and @OnLeaks, the latter of whom has had a pretty decent track record when it comes to leaks and rumors in the past.
Update 01/29/2016 – New renders of the Galaxy S7 have surfaced.
Update 02/01/2016 – Additional renders have shown up, showing off the back of both phones.
Last year Samsung launched the Galaxy S6 Edge and the Galaxy S6 Edge+. Both of which are essentially versions of the Galaxy S6 with curved side displays, with the latter being the larger model. It is likely that Samsung will be repeating their efforts as there are rumors that Samsung could launch 3 variants possibly at the same time, which we can only assume is the Galaxy S7, Galaxy S7 Edge, and the Galaxy S7 Edge+.
However the reliable leakster @evleaks has suggested that we can expect four variants, the fourth being the Galaxy S7 Plus, which presumably will be the larger, flat-screen version of the phone. The variety might seem like a lot, but Samsung has seen quite a fair bit of demand for the curved variants of their flagship, so for them to capitalize on its popularity is expected and makes perfect sense.
Update 01/27/2016 – A tip from @evleaks has suggested that the S7 Edge+ might have been cancelled, or at least delayed to the later part of the year where it could launch alongside the Galaxy Note 6.
Like we said earlier, the design of the Galaxy S7 isn’t expected to deviate too much from the Galaxy S6. Alleged leaked dimensions have revealed that the phone will remain the same size as its predecessors. However, this is just for the Galaxy S7 and not for the Edge+ rumored Plus models.
Assuming that Samsung is indeed maintaining screen sizes, then chances are the Edge+ and Plus models for the Galaxy S7 will be of the 5.7-inch variety. There haven’t been any rumors to suggest that Samsung could bump the resolution either, and alleged leaked specs of the Galaxy S7 Edge+ seems to have “confirmed” that. Right now the resolution for 2015’s flagships is at 2560×1440.
While it does seem that the move to 4K is the next logical step, it doesn’t seem like too many manufacturers are eager to make the jump. Sony has attempted 4K displays with the Xperia Z5 Premium, but safe to say it did not really take. While Samsung could surprise us with 4K displays for the Galaxy S7 series, don’t be surprised if Samsung were to maintain the resolution at 2560×1440.
The race to create the fastest, most powerful, and most energy-efficient smartphone is still going on and we doubt that the train will be slowing down anytime soon. This year’s Galaxy S7 should be no different. However there are rumors that Samsung could turn to both Qualcomm and their own Exynos chipsets to power the handset, so depending on your region you could get either chipset.
In fact, we kind of already know which chipsets Samsung could use. From Qualcomm, it will most likely be the Snapdragon 820 which will be the company’s latest and greatest chipset to date. However, there have been claims of overheating which Samsung is apparently trying to resolve with head pipes.
For the Exynos chipset, Samsung has actually announced the Exynos 8890 and while they did not confirm it, chances of it making it into the Galaxy S7 are pretty high. After all, to date, all of Samsung’s Exynos chipsets are pretty much exclusive to Samsung’s handsets. The Exynos 8890, according to Samsung, will see a 30% improvement in performance and 10% improvement in efficiency over the last generation Exynos 7 series.
It will also see the use of an LTE Rel.12 Cat.12/13 modem, so on paper, your download and upload speeds should see a massive boost. Of course this is also dependent on the carrier and available bandwidth, but in theory, you should enjoy faster speeds.
Here’s where the rumors get interesting and a bit conflicted. It has been rumored that the camera on the Galaxy S7 could be of the 20MP variety and that Samsung could be improving on ISOCELL technology as they have recently trademarked the term BRITECELL. This is well and good except for the fact that another rumor has suggested that the Galaxy S7’s camera might sport a larger sensor, but have its megapixel count dropped to 12MP.
The idea is that with a larger sensor, you can still get good image quality without needing to take part in the megapixel race. This is something Apple has been doing where they have not been needlessly increasing the iPhone’s megapixel count, but instead focusing on lens quality, sensors, and its image capture software.
Samsung’s flagships have traditionally done pretty well in the camera department so regardless of Samsung’s choice for 2016, hopefully, the camera’s quality is maintained.
Apple has an uncanny way of forcing OEMs to scramble to include features on their phones found on iPhones. For example, while fingerprint sensors weren’t new, Apple made it the next big thing with Touch ID, and it looks like 3D Touch found on the iPhone 6s/6s Plus is no different.
There are rumors that Samsung could be considering using pressure-sensitive displays in the Galaxy S7. The technology is said to be provided by Synaptics who announced their technology last October. We can’t say for sure how Samsung plans on utilizing a pressure-sensitive display, but presumably, it will function the same way 3D Touch does, at least to a certain degree.
Audio – Let’s face it, audio quality on smartphones aren’t known for being the best, and it would be much better to watch videos or listen to music on a computer with proper speakers. However, a rumor claims that Samsung could be thinking of using a DAC from ESS to boost its phone’s audio quality.
Security – So far the accepted method of security for smartphones, and to a certain extent tablets, is fingerprint scanning. However we have heard reports that Samsung could consider the use of iris scanning. Iris scanning is said to be more secure.
Whether or not it will be as quick or convenient compared to fingerprint scanning remains to be seen. Microsoft has included similar technology to the Lumia 950 and Lumia 950 XL, but according to reviews of either device, it seems that it isn’t as convenient or as efficient compared to fingerprint scanning.
USB Type-C – Type-C will be the next standard as far as USB connections are concerned, so the rumors of Samsung incorporating Type-C into the Galaxy S7 isn’t really a stretch of the imagination. Granted there aren’t that many computers with Type-C ports yet, but someone’s got to get the ball rolling, right? However at the same time, we suppose we wouldn’t be surprised if Samsung decided against it especially if it were to inconvenience their customers.
Memory – The Galaxy S6 packs 3GB of RAM and seems to operate just fine with it. We have seen speed tests where the phone is pitted against other devices, but this is where the software comes into play and not so much hardware. We haven’t heard much about memory for the Galaxy S7, but it is possible that Samsung could maintain the 3GB or maybe even bump it to 4GB.
Storage – The Galaxy S6 came in 32GB, 64GB, and 128GB options. It is unlikely that will change this year although we have heard the possibility of the inclusion of a microSD slot, meaning that you could go beyond the 128GB mark.
Battery – There has not been any word on whether Samsung will bump the battery life of the Galaxy S7. There have been some complaints about the battery life of the Galaxy S6, but nothing too major. Once again it wouldn’t be a stretch to think Samsung will improve the battery life.
Safe to say that all of this should best be taken with a grain of salt for now, but there are claims that Samsung could announce the phone in February and given that MWC is taking place in February, we suppose it is possible. However do check back with us in the coming weeks/months as we’ll keep this article updated as new information drops.
Update 01/31/2016 – Samsung has officially announced that they will be holding an event on the 21st of February. It can only be assumed this is when the Galaxy S7 will be announced. This could be seen as a Release date. The Availability date will vary depending on the country and/or carrier.