Samsung Galaxy S7 Edge Hand-on Review

I bought the Samsung Galaxy S7 Edge G935F in Gold from Amazon a week ago.

ceHaW2sXWFcj6A lot of people have asked questions about this particular international version so I’ll answer some of those first. For starters, the one I got was the english edition for the Saudi Arabia market (see attached photos, the guides came in english and arabic). From what I can tell, the phone is the same as any other international edition but with different preinstalled apps. Mine came with a SA region specific app “Shaid” (seems to be a YouTube-esque app in arabic) that I uninstalled and WhatsApp. Other than that the only remaining bloatware was stock Samsung apps (no carrier apps, thank god), the only other thing I noticed that may be region specific is the S Planner app has a “Hijri dates adjustment” setting. Lastly this version ships with a non-us wall charger (aside from the regular stock accessories) shown in my review images. Mine also came with an adapter for use within the U.S., I have tried it and can confirm that it works with fast charging.

This phone also uses a different chipset (manufactured by Samsung, called Exynos 8890) than the U.S. version. Reviews I read noted that the phone was actually optimized for this chipset w/ better performance and battery life than the U.S. Qualcomm counterpart (Google it). In the U.S. version the Qualcomm Snapdragon 820 chip is used to support Verizon and Sprint customers whereas this version only supports GSM carriers.

To preface the review of the actual use of the phone, I have owned the following devices and used them each as a daily driver for at least a months time: Samsung Galaxy S4 GPE, Samsung Galaxy S5, iPhone 4, iPhone 4S, HTC One M8 GPE, iPhone 6, iPhone 6S, Nexus 5, Nexus 5X, Nexus 6P. The Galaxy S7 Edge has been the most delightful experience of the bunch. I won’t go into great detail here but the camera is phenomenal and launches faster than any other phone I’ve owned w/ a double tap of the home button. The camera’s auto focus is super fast and I feel like I’m able to get a capture a lot of moments that my previous phones were too slow to shoot. It’s also nice to be able to change the quick launch apps on the lock screen, I have the dialer and snapchat as mine.

Continuing a theme of high performance this phone is incredibly fast despite powering a QHD resolution screen. Apps are surprisingly quick to load and multitasking is a breeze (I even found some use in the Samsung’s split screen feature). The fingerprint scanner is on par with apple devices (and nexus 6p/5x) although because of it’s non-circular shape I find that I place my finger the wrong way more often. The battery is the best of any device I’ve used as a daily driver, I’ve been able to get through days of heavy usage like today (unplugged from charger at 5:45am, now at 25% at 9:03pm).

The screen is BEAUTIFUL. Not only is it easy to read even in direct sunlight (something I have seen other devices struggle with) but the colors are vibrant and the screen is huge without making the phone too big or bulky. Perfect for watching YouTube videos and browsing instagram.

Lastly a few notes if you buy this phone:

– If you’re not a fan of the stock Samsung launcher you can get the Google Now launcher from the Play Store, it’s the same one used on Nexus devices and feels smoother than Samsung’s launcher.

– This time around Samsung decided to give you bigger icons which drove me nuts, search for “Get more on your Galaxy S7, S6 or Note 5 screen with hidden DPI scaling settings” from Android authority to get a 5th column on the home screen and smaller UI elements.

– “Edge functionality” is just okay. The feature feels a bit less than polished because of the weak offerings in the Samsung app store – I have it turned off.

Edit 4/8/2016: sorry about the quality of the photos of the actual phone – they were shot with the wide angle lens of my GoPro whereas the other images were shot with the S7 Edge.

Edit 4/10/2016: added some higher quality images from my new camera.

Update 5/9/2016: I’ve been using the phone as a daily driver for over a month now. I’m still impressed by the overall gfx smoothness, how fast apps load, and camera performance.

Update 7/25/2016: still in love with this phone. I’m honestly not sure what would compel me to purchase a new phone at this point.. I also rooted the phone and changed the emojis to the iOS 9 set with the Emoji Switcher app from the play store. No more guessing when messaging my iOS friends =)

A lot of commenters have asked which seller I purchased mine from: Wireless Everything.

 

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