Introduction


With sales of its flagship S line going downhill ever since the Galaxy S4, Samsung opted for a change of pace with last year's Galaxy S6. Redesigning the handset from the ground up, the South Korean electronics giant finally delivered a phone it could be proud of when even in front of fashion-conscious buyers.

Still, sales of the Galaxy S6 have proven anything but record-setting, and so with the Galaxy S7 Samsung is going for a sort of Hail Mary pass by combining what seems to be the best of both worlds: a utilitarian set of features, packaged into the same attractive shell. And from where we stand, it's been quite successful, begging the question of just how much of an improvement over its predecessor we're talking about.

Let's find out!

Design

Solid improvements on the design front, with better ergonomics, water resistance, and less bulk.

If you were keeping tabs on the Galaxy S7 prior to the unveiling of the phone, you'll know that rumors were spot on. Like, 100% spot on.

In other words, what we were promised by leaksters is what we received—a very Galaxy S6-esque device, with a metal frame encircling the phone, and Corning Gorilla glass on both sides. Interestingly, though, that doesn't mean improvements weren't made, and most of them are immediately apparent.

For starters, the Galaxy S7 adopts the back curvature of the Note 5, making it notably more comfortable to hold, though a dozen or so grams have been added to the bill (138 vs 152 grams, or 4.8 vs 5.4 ounces). The difference in weight is striking, and we felt it as soon as we held the Galaxy S7 for the first time. The phone is also just a tad bit smaller than the Galaxy S6, though it has grown thicker (7.9 vs 6.8 mm, or 0.31 vs 0.27 inches).

The increase in thickness is not random, though, for the Galaxy S7 is IP68-certified and therefore dust- and water-resistant—a feature that was ditched after the Galaxy S5, but is back in again. In addition to that, Samsung has managed to fit a considerably larger battery, but more on that later.

Finally, it's worth pointing out that the glass rear of both devices is equally as welcoming to fingerprints and just general messiness.


Samsung Galaxy S7

Samsung Galaxy S7

Dimensions

5.61 x 2.74 x 0.31 inches

142.4 x 69.6 x 7.9 mm

Weight

5.36 oz (152 g)

Samsung Galaxy S6

Samsung Galaxy S6

Dimensions

5.65 x 2.78 x 0.27 inches

143.4 x 70.5 x 6.8 mm

Weight

4.87 oz (138 g)

Samsung Galaxy S7

Samsung Galaxy S7

Dimensions

5.61 x 2.74 x 0.31 inches

142.4 x 69.6 x 7.9 mm

Weight

5.36 oz (152 g)

Samsung Galaxy S6

Samsung Galaxy S6

Dimensions

5.65 x 2.78 x 0.27 inches

143.4 x 70.5 x 6.8 mm

Weight

4.87 oz (138 g)

To see the phones in real size or compare them with other models, visit our Visual Phone Size Comparison page



Display

Overall, the Galaxy S7's display is a great performer, but actually a bit of a disappointment after the S6.

With the 5.1-inch display of the Galaxy S6 already closing in on 600 pixels per inch, there was (thankfully) little reason for Samsung to keep on adding more. So, things have been kept the same, with the Galaxy S7 also sporting a 5.1-inch panel with a Quad HD (1440 x 2560) resolution. It's more than you'll ever need, at least unless you're really into virtual reality.

That much, however, you could surmise yourself. So the question is, has anything changed with the display of the Galaxy S7 that isn't immediately obvious? And the answer is yes, and not for the better, unfortunately.

Examining the two devices within their most color-correct Basic mode, we first notice that the balance between the primary colors (red, green and blue) has changed, and whereas we had green in excess with the Galaxy S6, we now see blue dominate and red continuing to be underrepresented. In result, the color temperature has gone to the colder (bluer) 6850K versus the essentially perfect 6580K of the Galaxy S6.

Gamma, too, has taken a hit for the worse, with an overall poorer average showing, but also consistently off-the-mark values across the brightness spectrum. In practice, this results in an image that has had its brightness artificially boosted somewhat, regardless of whether we're talking shadows, mid-tones, or highlights.

Maximum brightness, too, has suffered, and is now sitting at just under 500 nits, compared to over 560 for the Galaxy S6. Legibility in direct sunlight, therefore, might be affected in extreme conditions, though we had no issues whatsoever ourselves.

On the whole, however, the screen of the Galaxy S7 continues to be a leading one, and even offers slightly superior color accuracy and grayscale response than its predecessor, despite its other (relative) shortcomings. It also has a new handy feature that its predecessor likely won't be getting, even with a software update: Always On Display.

Always On Display, as the name implies, means the screen of the S7 will always have something shown on it. There are a number of themes available for it already, and third-party developer access has been promised. In its simplest form, it means that you'll be able to glean the time and date, along with incoming notifications, without having to wake the screen. Since AMOLED displays allow for just a few pixels to be lit up at will, it follows that the Galaxy S7 won't consume too much power doing this. The phone is also smart enough to tell when it's inside a pocket or facing down, in which cases Always On Display will be... off.



FEATURED VIDEO

28 Comments

1. kumarabhishek591

Posts: 150; Member since: Feb 22, 2014

No matter what phonearena has to say about s7 display being worse than s6. I saw comparison video which clearly shows an improved display on s7 than s7 though very negligible difference

12. torr310

Posts: 1645; Member since: Oct 27, 2011

S7 is definitely a better phone than S6 in every categories, but PA gave it lower score of 9 compared to S6's 9.3 As a S6 user, S6 should be like 8.5 to me.

20. Babert

Posts: 165; Member since: May 08, 2013

totally agreed! i have S6 and just for the crappy battery life i cant give it anything higher than 8.5

2. Shocky unregistered

Galaxy S6 actually scores around 86000 in Antutu, just saying.

3. adecvat

Posts: 638; Member since: Nov 15, 2013

S6 users should stay calm.

4. Zack_2014

Posts: 677; Member since: Mar 25, 2014

Lol no way the battery is worse than S6. Phonearena or TrollArena.

5. johanbiff

Posts: 415; Member since: Mar 31, 2015

if only you could post pics here I would attch a pic of my battery life with the S7 edge..6h 13min SOT over 1day and 16h very heavy use.

6. mobiledigger

Posts: 110; Member since: Sep 24, 2015

Am i just stupid for prefering the S6 design better than the S7's?

7. johanbiff

Posts: 415; Member since: Mar 31, 2015

jupp your stupid :)

26. solidnukem

Posts: 1; Member since: Mar 14, 2016

you're** check your spelling before you call someone else stupid.

27. bur60

Posts: 981; Member since: Jul 07, 2014

Front side s7 better, back s6 better (if u look at black s7)

8. Tomgabriele

Posts: 30; Member since: Feb 25, 2016

At the beginning of the Battery section - "The Galaxy S7 gained an inch or so in thickness" The would be one heck of an unwieldy device...I think you mean millimeter.

17. kevin91202

Posts: 642; Member since: Jun 08, 2014

Don't expect clear and concise writing from these so-called writers from PA.

9. johanbiff

Posts: 415; Member since: Mar 31, 2015

coming from a former S6 I can tell you that the S7 edge have ATLEAST 50% more battery life than the S6 can easy break the 7h SOT on this thing

11. Hoggington

Posts: 356; Member since: Feb 23, 2016

I'm getting easily over 9 hours of SOT on my S7e, Snap 820 version....40% brightness, auto off. I'm very impressed with the battery life. My best was 9:38 a few days ago and I plugged it in at 3%. Probably would have gone another 15 min. I'm coming from an S4, where my SOT was at about 1.5 hours. Granted, the battery was nearly 3 years old ;)

16. ajith25

Posts: 20; Member since: Mar 07, 2016

im using s4 octa version and i used to get a screen on time a tad more than 5hrs. after 9 months i got a sot of 3hrs.

22. Zack_2014

Posts: 677; Member since: Mar 25, 2014

Samsung Battery sucks, within a year your battery degrades more than 30%

25. Shocky unregistered

Had my Galaxy S6 a year and still getting around 3-4 hours SoT, although it's usually closer to 3 hours these days.

10. Bernoulli

Posts: 4359; Member since: Sep 01, 2012

lol loving the fanboyism and the spew of nonsense coming from the comment section, haha there's never a win with the general public it seems, it's either samsungarena for posting too many sammy-centric articles or iphonearena if there's an apple article.

13. biradar

Posts: 36; Member since: Mar 22, 2015

Nice comparison

14. biradar

Posts: 36; Member since: Mar 22, 2015

Both phones are tremendous

18. 48Chevy

Posts: 71; Member since: Jul 23, 2014

Superb devices!

15. Paella

Posts: 35; Member since: Aug 08, 2015

no samsung logo on the front looks so much better..

19. jinroh47

Posts: 11; Member since: Sep 26, 2014

the s7 fruit photo in sample comparison tool is way out of focus

21. AtheK

Posts: 50; Member since: Oct 28, 2013

wat crap, who wrote this article. S6 is 138 g, and s7 is 152 g, first not only does he make this blunder by swapping two headsets, but our writer goes on to say how S7 is lighter, and it is a striking distance. Guess he forgot which was S6 and which was S7 by looking from front :P Come on PA.

23. Tripax

Posts: 7; Member since: Oct 12, 2014

I can hardly see differences in photos and video, if not had to say was that picture of S7 and S6 thought it was always the same picture.

24. Blazers

Posts: 732; Member since: Dec 05, 2011

Just a quick comment....Samsung+ is available on the Note5 (and the S6 Edge+ I would assume).

28. gpancia

Posts: 1; Member since: Jun 25, 2016

S7 battery life is amazing. Cannot speak to S6 battery life from personal experience but I have heard several complaints from S6 users. Either way, they're both great phones - screen resolution "differences" aside! ;-)

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