Galaxy S7 Review: Yes, It’s Really Water-Resistant
The Samsung Galaxy S7 smartphone series is getting rave reviews all across the internet. From its water-resistant casing, to fast wireless charging, to its fantastic dual-pixel camera technology and powerful tech specs, there’s a lot to love about the Galaxy S7 / S7 Edge smartphones. Let’s take a closer look at the S7’s best features today in our review.
Samsung’s Galaxy S7 is the latest addition to its flagship smartphone lineup. Released in March, 2016, the Galaxy S7 has attracted significant attention for its powerful tech specs, water-resistant design, and sharp camera.
The phone has quickly risen to the top of smartphone ranking charts among both Android and iPhones, placing it ahead of other flagships like the Google Nexus 6P, the Apple iPhone 6S, the LG G5, and the HTC 10.
As one reviewer said, “the only phone that surpasses it is its own fraternal twin, the larger, curvy-screen S7 Edge.”
Over the next few months, another phone – like the upcoming iPhone 7 – may take the throne from the S7. But for now, it’s easily the best smartphone on the market. Let’s take a closer look at its tech specs.
Galaxy S7 Tech Specs
Let's not waste time and encapsulate the exceptional bright and bold bullet points on what makes the Galaxy S7 and Galaxy S7 Edge phones so enticing:
- Display: 5.1” with 1440×2560 resolution (577 ppi pixel density) (S7 Edge is 5.5″)
- Camera: 12MP capable of shooting 2160p footage, 5MP front-facing camera
- RAM: 4GB RAM
- Chipset: Snapdragon 820 (Qualcomm MSM8996, Exynos 8890 Octa processor)
- Battery: 3000 mAh lithium ion
- Operating System: Android OS 6.0 Marshmallow
- Internal Storage: 32/64GB (upgradeable with microSD up to 200GB)
- Sensors: Fingerprint, accelerometer, gyrometer, proximity sensor, compass, barometer, heart rate sensor, SpO2
- GPU: Adreno 530
- CPU: Quad-core 2.3 GHz Mongoose + quad core 1.6 GHz Cortex A53
The nearly perfect smartphone as some are referring to it as also now comes in Pink and Gold
-Curved back and sides make it comfortable to hold and aesthetically pleasing to behold
-Solid exterior (many reviewers praised that they dropped the phone and didn’t dent or break any part of it)
-Metal and glass backing (some reviewers actually dislike this sleek look, as it quickly becomes tarnished by fingerprints and smudges, so you may find yourself constantly cleaning it)
-Excellent camera. Despite having fewer megapixels than last year’s Galaxy S6 (16MP compared to 12MP on the S7), reviewers have widely praised the camera for its ability to take excellent photos in low light environments while also handling high-brightness, high-contract scenes more effectively thanks to its auto-HDR. Every review I’ve found online says that the S7 has a superior camera to the iPhone 6S, which is widely regarded as one of the best in the industry. The camera also comes with optical image stabilization, or OIS, which ensures your photos don’t come out looking blurry even when your hands are shaking.
-The front-facing camera is also being widely praised. The Galaxy S smartphones have always been fantastic selfie phones. This year’s S7 adds even more beautification features onto the front-facing camera (it automatically smoothes your lines and tones your skin during a picture, making you look younger and more beautiful). There’s also a front-facing flash – similar to the one you see on Snapchat. That flash works by flashing your phone’s brightness to 100% no a white display. Yes, it will cause you to be temporarily blind. But it’s a pretty effective flash for the next time you want to take a drunk selfie in a dark bar somewhere.
-Less bloatware. Samsung (and most other manufacturers) have never been good about dealing with bloatware. They all want you to use their apps. Bloatware apps cannot be uninstalled. On the S7, Samsung appears to have finally listened to its users. Bloatware has been slimmed down considerably, and you can even remove apps from your app drawer if you never want to see them again. If you’re the type of person who got upset every time you saw an app you didn’t use on your phone – like ChatON – then the missing bloatware will be a welcome change.
-The always on display is also being praised. This feature is turned off by default. But you can turn it on without having a significant impact on battery life. The always on display activates just a small number of pixels while leaving the rest of the pixels black. Samsung lets you use this display to show the time, notifications, and other information you may want to see on your screen. Many users actually claim they save battery life with this feature because they’re not constantly picking up their phones and turning on the display to check the time.
-Fast wireless charging. Wireless charging has been available on the Galaxy S6 and previous smartphones, but it has always been very slow (especially compared to the incredibly useful QuickCharge 2.0 technology). On the S7, Samsung has made wireless charging significantly faster. It’s just slightly slower than QuickCharge 2.0. You can buy a wireless charging pad for $60 (or cheaper for unofficial charging pads).
Galaxy S7 Cons
Reviewers have listed very few cons about the Galaxy S7. In fact, the only real “con” is the high price tag – which puts the Samsung right up there with the iPhone 6S and other premium smartphones.
Other reviewers also dislike that there’s only 32GB of internal storage space. However, you can add up to 200GB of additional space with a single SD card, so many users won’t find this to be a problem.
If you liked the removable battery on older Samsung models (it was removed in the S6), then you’ll notice that it has not returned in the S7. You can remove the back cover (something you couldn’t do in the S6) but you still cannot remove the battery.
Aside from these (relatively minor) complaints, the S7 has faced mostly positive reviews online.
Is It Really Water-Resistant?
Most of the Galaxy S7 commercials seen on TV focus on the water-resistant capabilities of the device. if you haven’t seen Lil Wayne pouring champagne over his $800 smartphone yet, then you probably haven’t watched any TV in the last few months.
So is the Galaxy S7 really water-resistant? It certainly is. In fact, it’s pretty much waterproof – but Samsung doesn’t want to tell you that and then have users take it underwater.
What’s the difference between being water-resistant and waterproof? Well, there’s actually an independent testing standard – the IP standard – dedicated to distinguishing between different levels of waterproof and water-resistant status.
Last year’s S6 was rated as IP67 water resistant, while this year’s S7 is rated as IP68 water resistant.
When a phone is rated as IP68 waterproof, it means it has been certified to have a certain level of resistant against the ingress of dust and water. The first number (“6”), refers to the phone’s dust-proof rating. A 6 rating is as good as it gets, which means that it should be impossible for any specs of dust to get inside your Galaxy S7.
The “8” is the water-resistant number. That’s the important number. An “8” is also a very high rating, and it means your phone’s internals are able to stay dry in water deeper than one meter for a certain period of time.
The Galaxy S7 has been independently certified to survive being underwater for up to 30 minutes in up to 1.5 meters (about 5 feet) of water without any ingress of water.
You still probably shouldn’t go swimming with it, but using the phone in the shower or in the rain is perfectly okay.
Galaxy S7 Pricing
Here’s how pricing broke down for the Galaxy S7 on release:
- Galaxy S7 16GB: $670 USD
- Galaxy S7 Edge 16GB: $780 USD
You can find discounts on the Galaxy S7 through American carriers and other worldwide carriers by signing up for a two year contract.
Should the Galaxy S7 Be Your Next Smartphone?
The Galaxy S7 is already one of the year’s best smartphones. Most reviewers have already placed it at the top of the smartphone rankings charts, although some of the smartphones released later this year (like the rumored Nexus 7.0 or the iPhone 7) could steal the throne.
If you’re in the market for a new smartphone and enjoy high-quality smartphone photography, water-resistant protection, and more powerful tech specs than the average computer, then the Galaxy S7 may be your next favorite smartphone.