Why I think $800 is too much for the Galaxy S7 edge

This article may contain personal views and opinion from the author.

It is born out of glass and metal, with cutting-edge tech in tow. Its goal is to offer everything to everyone, to be a no-compromise solution, a one-stop shop for high-end smartphone buyers. In short, it wants to be the ultimate smartphone. But is it? After a week of using it, I can say there are things about it that make the Galaxy S7 edge appear markedly underperforming for an $800 phone.

Remember the phrase "$800 phone", because it's key. Nowadays, not many smartphone makers keep selling products above the $600 mark, let alone close to $800. Which is wise on their part, because few Android manufacturers have been able to deliver such value-packed devices, except those decked out in stuff like titanium, alligator leather and gemstones. There is no doubt the Galaxy S7 edge is a versatile, powerful smartphone, but does it really live up to its exorbitant price? The answer will be unique to each consumer, depending on what's important to them. To me, the S7 edge does not live up to the expectations set by its incredibly high cost.

The quest for premium

The word "premium" is heavily abused by tech media these days. Everything that involves just a tiny bit of metal or glass is immediately called "premium". But this feels like a blatantly shallow understanding, no? A premium smartphone, at a premium price (which is what I consider the tiers above $600), should not only look great and feel great – it should also behave delightfully. It should make you feel good, even special, in many subtle ways. Pay attention to the minute details, though, and you'll see that Samsung's Galaxy S7 edge is not close enough to offering this type of premium experience.

True, its specs and feature sheet is probably longer than this article, but while features like microSD cards or desktop-class amounts of RAM work great for the more affordable tiers, they aren't that relevant when it comes to the expensive, borderline luxurious smartphone class. The person who's ready to pay $800 for a smartphone typically isn't looking to save a few bucks by going the microSD route. Also irrelevant at this point is the big, clumsy head-mounted plastic box that's sometimes bundled with the S7, and that's of little use other than those sad, lonely nights. The same plastic box that its maker can't sell, so it's basically giving it away. But that's a whole other topic.

What is relevant, however, is what comes after the buzz, the hype of the rushed-up reviews, and the reoccurring thirst we have for something new. This is where the Galaxy S7 edge's user experience started showing its ugly face for me. I'll share with you some examples of the things that, to me, hold the S7 edge back from achieving greatness. There are many other issues (some of which I'll mention afterwards), but I'll use the following five to illustrate what I mean.

Exhibit 1: The confused ambient light sensor

The last Galaxy S smartphone I personally owned was the Galaxy S4 from 2013. One of the bigger gripes I had with it had to do with the automatic brightness feature, which was remarkably consistent in setting the wrong brightness level. The display was either too bright in dark conditions, or too dark in bright conditions. Very rarely would it guess the correct brightness level. Three years later, the Galaxy S7 edge isn't any better at setting the proper brightness levels automatically. This became yet another occasion for my 2006 car to delight me, as I found out that it actually auto-adjusts the brightness of its prehistoric infotainment system more accurately than the cutting-edge GS7. Go figure! Anyway, the sensor of the S7 tends to be too generous with the brightness, and it's also too sensitive – it reacts too sharply to even the slightest changes in ambient light.

I would say the S7 edge sets a precise brightness level in about 50% of the time. This is a huge detractor from the experience of not just premium phones, but of any modern-day smartphone. But if this could be of any help: I'm generally not the type of user who likes to “max it out”, be it brightness or volume. I like things nice and balanced, so if you're the type who has no problem with the screen blasting away at full brightness all the time – this issue (and probably the following ones as well) shouldn't bother you too much.

Exhibit 2: The almost-there fingerprint scanner

Whether due to the specific shape of the home button or something else, the Galaxy S7 edge's fingerprint scanner doesn't work seamlessly. My success rate with it has gravitated around 70%, which is dangerously close to the 'occasionally irritating' mark.

The trouble with the S7 edge's scanner is that it tends to be quite inaccurate when you don't position your finger perfectly on top of it. As I noted, this may have something to do with the S7's more elliptical home button area that can't accommodate the whole of your fingertip. Which doesn't change the fact that it's not accurate enough, of course.

Exhibit 3: The distracting always-on display

The always-on display of the Galaxy S7 (edge) is a new feature that is not available on most other phones yet. However, I'm bringing it up because, to me, it's a very good example of a feature that's forward-looking, but not yet ready to be part of the premium smartphone experience. Why?

As Samsung uses an AMOLED screen, it's forced to change the position of the always-on clock or calendar every, like, 30 seconds. Otherwise, the burn-in effect may start to manifest, which means that if a single, static image is displayed for too long on the screen, it may temporarily or even permanently “imprint” onto the AMOLED screen – it remains visible like a faint trail on the display, even though you've moved on to viewing other stuff. Because of this, the clock's position changes quite often, and so does its brightness from time to time, which proves to be an annoying and unnecessary distraction. Because of the change of state on the screen, the user's glance is frequently drawn to it, only to find that nothing has really changed.

I agree this issue may smell like 'first world', but so does the Galaxy S7 edge, which is an $800 phone. It should know better than to distract its first-world user unnecessarily.

Exhibit 4: The outdated forecast

A big part of what makes a premium smartphone truly premium is that it just works. By that, I mean that you should be able to take it out of its beautiful box, turn it on, log into your accounts, and start enjoying a great experience. For this to happen, the smartphone should be pre-configured so that its default state makes sense for most people. Or at least for the people who may end up buying it.

One of the most glaring examples of the opposite in the Galaxy S7 edge is the built-in weather functionality, which, by default, is set to update once every 6 hours. Once, every six hours... Correct me if I'm wrong, but I think those of us who tend to leave their homes every now and then, as in, multiple times a day, have long recognized the concept of changing weather conditions. It goes like this: weather conditions change, sometimes quickly and unexpectedly.

So why does the Galaxy S7 edge present me with an outdated, often multiple-hours-old weather forecast on the homescreen? This is not TV, we shouldn't need to 'wait' for the nightly weather forecast, to learn what the weather is probably going to be like tomorrow. These days, our smartphones have constant and relatively cheap internet connection, so the data they feed us with should be always up-to-date. Yes, there's an option to change the update interval, but the thing is the default state should make sense, and on the S7 edge, it does not.

Exhibit 5: The weird gaming experience

Samsung is touting the Galaxy S7 edge's gaming features, with the new Game Launcher app and all, but for me, the gaming experience was pretty much broken out of the box. The S7 edge unit I used made the colors of games appear grotesquely 'boosted'. As in, with severely increased contrast and saturation. This happened even with the Basic screen mode, which isn't supposed to have any “adaptive” features. As a gamer and normal human being, I find this type of system behavior atrocious. There was no clear option to turn this “feature” off – I even tried disabling the Game Launcher, which didn't do it either. I was pretty much stuck with ugly colors in all games.

At some point, somewhere, I did something that eventually fixed it, but as the experience often is with this phone's software, I couldn't understand what it was that did the trick. I think it got fixed when I disabled (in one of the obviously many possible ways) the Game Launcher. Then, upon re-enabling, the issue didn't reappear. The other S7 unit we have here in the office doesn't seem to show this problem, so it might have been a bug of some kind.

Guess we'll never know, and that's exactly what's troubling me here – such strange experiences just tend to happen every now and then with the S7 edge (and I guess with the normal S7 too). It is these experiences that kept me thinking that if I had actually paid for this product, I would have been quite frustrated.

I'll stop here. There are many other issues I've noticed in the S7 edge that make it seem unworthy of the “premium” title in my eyes, such as the occasions when I had to tap multiple times on the Spotify play button on the lock screen for the touchscreen to even register my action (maybe it has something to do with the button being close to the curve of the panel?); or that one time when the S7 lied on the desk, playing its notification tone every 15 seconds for no apparent reason – absolutely nothing was happening on the phone, and no actual notification was coming in; or just how easy it is to accidentally touch the capacitive multitasking or back keys and cause further frustration; or how the whole touch interface likes to “jiggle” around your finger, as if the touchscreen is excessively sensitive (which it may be).

In light of the overly optimistic reviews the S7 edge is getting left and right, I felt there is value in offering you an alternative point of view, showing you a glimpse of the not-so-glossy part of the product. To summarize, I think that if you generally just like things big and loud, bass to the max, the edge may very well fit your lifestyle. But, if you tend to have an eye for the subtle and delicate, yet profound details in a product, maybe you should look elsewhere.

Related phones

Galaxy S7 edge
  • Display 5.5" 1440 x 2560 pixels
  • Camera 12 MP / 5 MP front
  • Processor Qualcomm Snapdragon 820, Quad-core, 2200 MHz
  • Storage 32 GB + microSDXC
  • Battery 3600 mAh(36h 3G talk time)
Galaxy S7
  • Display 5.1" 1440 x 2560 pixels
  • Camera 12 MP / 5 MP front
  • Processor Qualcomm Snapdragon 820, Quad-core, 2200 MHz
  • Storage 32 GB + microSDXC
  • Battery 3000 mAh(28h 3G talk time)



1. Mxyzptlk unregistered

I have to agree.

4. tedkord

Posts: 17418; Member since: Jun 17, 2009

You? Really? No way!

75. rubyonrails3

Posts: 375; Member since: Oct 01, 2014

Fingerprint is really bad annoying he is very correct about it. I owned four phones with fingerprint Nexus 6p, Samsung phone, htc one A9 and iPhone 6s. IPhone has THE best fingerprint scanner then comes Nexus 6p theb A9 and last S7 edge.

85. Adreno

Posts: 755; Member since: Mar 12, 2016

iPhone has the best fingerprint scanner? Your fingerprint convinience differs from one to another. Galaxy S7 Edge has the best scanner, based on my usage convinience. I only want to scan a portion of my index finger, not the whole of it. Heck, your fingerprint scanners ranking is subjective to your own usage pattern which isn't everyone else's.

103. submar

Posts: 713; Member since: Sep 19, 2014

@Adreno Check this out:https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fWFgRls8Y9Q&ch​annel=SuperSafTV

117. Adreno

Posts: 755; Member since: Mar 12, 2016

So... what's your point? You buy into everything you see on Youtube?

112. ph00ny

Posts: 2055; Member since: May 26, 2011

On the note5 it works as long as there is nothing on the sensor (ie water, dust etc)

173. cheetah2k

Posts: 2275; Member since: Jan 16, 2011

More fkn Apple clickbait bu115hit articles. #appleiphonearena just does my head in these days.

223. MSi_GS70 unregistered

It's just one human opinion.. Nothing else.. The price will go down fast.. Not like on ipone where 50% features lacks compare to S7.. And battery is embarrassing on ipones.. The article relased for sake of ipone from apple company, because is looong way to release 7.. :-) And ppl started feeling that hurt that ppl abadoning their iphones.. It is just jealously.. Nothing else.. So articles like these are under control of apple and comes on surface via phone sites.. Samsung nearly preparing note 6 and apple will go down in shame u bet guyyyyz

25. Good-Is-Better

Posts: 105; Member since: Nov 12, 2015

If you can't buy it, get the iPhone 6s plus. I think it will be a lot cheaper and moreover, you favorite.

32. TechieXP1969

Posts: 14967; Member since: Sep 25, 2013

I agree too. In fcat I woudl say any phone that cost $800 isn't worth it. iPhone included and especially so. Right? Come how much does PA need to pay you to not even remotely argue that fact? PIGEON!!!!!!

53. chenski

Posts: 774; Member since: Mar 22, 2015

I agree as well, especially when you consider what the competition has to offer for much less

118. ibend

Posts: 6747; Member since: Sep 30, 2014

fot $749 for you can get 1080p 5.5inch screen with huge bezels, 16GB non expandable storage, and fruit logo on the back, lol I wonder why did they ignore that and write this lame excuse about S7edge being overpriced, lol


Posts: 1168; Member since: Oct 05, 2015

$800 is too much to pay for any phone. Might as well by a PC instead. I will not spend more than $450 max for a high end phone...wait about 6-8 months after launch and watch the prices fall.

65. zeeBomb

Posts: 2318; Member since: Aug 14, 2014

Meanwhile its pretty much a thousand in CDN dollars.

68. matistight

Posts: 997; Member since: May 13, 2009

All complaints from a Verizon phone. Coincidence? I think not.

109. NoToFanboys

Posts: 3231; Member since: Oct 03, 2015

Of course, the blind Samsung hater would definitely agree.

136. Mercedes-Benz

Posts: 403; Member since: Jan 18, 2015

I agree with some on the points . No doubt that the s7 design and camera is very beautiful . But the stock android's ambient display or Motorola's moto display is more useful than Samsung's always on display . Samsung's software touchwiz has always been half baked and buggy . The fingerprint scanner on the 6S is indeed better . @adrenos stop acting like a little spoiled fandroid extremist . At least YouTube is prove that the 6S fingerprint scanner is better .

137. Mercedes-Benz

Posts: 403; Member since: Jan 18, 2015

Why get an s7 when u can get an android phone that has The came specs for cheaper price ? Thats the problem with android nowadays and why the iPhone commands a higher price tag . The iphone is unique

228. TechieXP1969

Posts: 14967; Member since: Sep 25, 2013

Because the St is more than just so3cs. Those phone are cheaper and none of them do what the S7 does.

213. submar

Posts: 713; Member since: Sep 19, 2014

S7 fingerprint scanner is faster.

141. imran86

Posts: 208; Member since: Sep 14, 2012

I strongly doubt you are actually Ray S.

153. kumaran55

Posts: 9; Member since: Mar 21, 2016

The 16GB iPhone 6s device components cost only $187 (SOURCE IHS - Mobile Handsets Intelligence Service ), and iPhone 6s plus cost $200. Where is the article? The new iPhone 5 SE components cost only $70-$100. It is the biggest money sucking company in the world (Apple). Apple just keeps releasing new crap that is actually just their old crap. They try to earn money by selling old products renamed.16GB iPhone is a garbage. Don't be an iDiot. Why I think $800 is too much for the Galaxy S7 edge? S7 Edge- Best processor ("Thermal spreader" cooling technology to avoid the phones overheating), Best display, Best camera (Dual Pixels camera - A first in the smartphone world), Best battery life, Powerful Game Launcher and new Vulkan API. microSD or dual SIM model, Fast wireless charging, Water-resistant (IP68 rating). Samsung Pay (NFC + MST), Edge UX, VR ($99 Free) and more. "Do not buy a 32GB S7 Edge" - The iPhoneArena campaign against S7 Edge. Haters are doing it because they can't find any flaw in the S7. idiots still complain no matter what they do. Why is Samsung the only phone criticized? Because it's not a iPhone. They have no complaints with the iPhones. They never complain about iPhones (article) but there's always something wrong with every Samsung phones. Just how honest are you? Have you no shame? Terrible, just terrible! shame on you a bunch of scammers. I think all this fake just a propaganda. What a biased article. The exaggeration in this post. Unliked. Don't try to think we are all dumb here.

172. SayMobile

Posts: 157; Member since: Jan 29, 2014

omg! i cant believe someone has return such an article ! . its utter nonsense , unreasonable , and totally unnecessary. Obviously came out of some hatred . How can PA post such an article !

182. SayMobile

Posts: 157; Member since: Jan 29, 2014


271. Babert

Posts: 165; Member since: May 08, 2013

as an S6 owner, and former owner of S1,S2,S3,S4,S5 and Note 2,3,4. I have to say I COULDN'T AGREE MORE with this article! and where is my SAPPHIRE glass?! I don't understand why on earth I have to pay almost a top tier laptops price every year for a phone that carries PREMIUM slogan like... and the screen gets scratched by wiping off grits and stuff with your sleeve?! if you carry and advertise the name PREMIUM like... then at least you have to have premium materials, not the ones already found on a Chinese phone like Xiaomi with half the price!

236. JunitoNH

Posts: 1946; Member since: Feb 15, 2012

Paying $500 for a "phone" is a lot, unless it has the ability to take the trash out.

270. Babert

Posts: 165; Member since: May 08, 2013

as an S6 owner, and former owner of S1,S2,S3,S4,S5 and Note 2,3,4. I have to say I COULDN'T AGREE MORE with this article! and where is my SAPPHIRE glass?! I don't understand why on earth I have to pay almost a top tier laptops price every year for a phone that carries PREMIUM slogan like... and the screen gets scratched by wiping off grits and stuff with your sleeve?! if you carry and advertise the name PREMIUM like... then at least you have to have premium materials, not the ones already found on a Chinese phone like Xiaomi with half the price!

274. gobby77

Posts: 3; Member since: Mar 31, 2016

So what do u think is a premium material? Aluminum? The Cheapest metal in the world?

273. gobby77

Posts: 3; Member since: Mar 31, 2016

I have to disagree.

* Some comments have been hidden, because they don't meet the discussions rules.

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