The Galaxy S6 and its derivatives are good phones, notable for their design, performance, and the new technologies they brought to market. But they fell short of perfection: Deficiencies in ergonomics, battery life, and multitasking held them back, as did the exclusion of several features Samsung’s customers associated with Galaxy phones.
The Galaxy S7 and S7 edge appear to address many of these issues. The curved edges on the back make the phones easier to handle and more comfortable to hold. Bigger batteries should prolong battery life, and the extra RAM should improve the multitasking experience. Expandable storage with microSD cards and IP68 environmental protection, last seen on the Galaxy S5, also make a comeback, although a swappable battery is still MIA. Throw in the Snapdragon 820, which performed well in our initial tests, and some interesting changes to the camera, and the new Galaxy S7 and S7 edge seem like solid flagship phones.
In the U.S., both devices will be available in Black Onyx and Gold Platinum, but only the Galaxy S7 edge will be available in Silver Titanium. The new phones will be available from AT&T, Sprint, T-Mobile, U.S. Cellular, and Verizon Wireless, along with other major retailers, on March 11, with pre-orders starting at 8:00 a.m. EST on February 23.
As an initial incentive, consumers who purchase a Galaxy S7 or Galaxy S7 edge between February 23 and March 18 will receive a free Samsung Gear VR and a six-game bundle (opens in new tab), while supplies last.