As we hunt for the best android phone of 2016 we take a look at the first contender, the Samsung S7. If we had to sum up Samsung’s achievements in the phone contest, we would call it ‘rediscovery of its soul’. Top notch hardware in an adorable form factor and a barely palatable price.
Clearly one of the best looking phones of 2016
Return of the Form Factor
The first significant take away for 2016 seems to be the reentry of the 5.2 inch display size, almost all flagship phones seem to gravitating towards smaller and more practical display sizes for one handed use. The S7 is no exception with a 5.1 inch AMOLED display with a ppi of 577, thats as many pixels as we would ever need for a crisp display.
The overall glass and aluminum build makes for a beautiful and premium finished body but slippery for our liking, that apart the gorgeous display and tight form factor makes it a pleasure to gawk at. Clearly one of the best looking phones of 2016.
The S7 is a rare case of performance that matches and even surpasses the flagship looks. Under the hood Samsung packs powerful processing in the form of Qualcomm 820 in the US and Exynos 8890 in international markets. Both chipsets are extremely powerful with the Exynos 8890 breezing past the 820s in everyday use and in power effeciency. The 820s coupled with the Adreno really blow past the 8890 in graphics intensive games but at the cost of battery efficiency. Either way they are the most processing power that can be stuffed into our pockets in 2016.
With 4GB of RAM and 32GB of storage the phone can easily shuffle a handful of open apps without a glitch. The 3000mah battery can easily last 1.5 days of moderate use. After a day of occasional tweets, an hour of music, an hour of youtube and a few phone calls, there’s more than 40% left at the end of the day. The S7 could easily last a couple of years before you make the next upgrade. The microSD slot supports upto 256Mb of extra storage for media and personal data.
Gorgeous AMOLED display but oversaturated colors are a thing of the past, you can now choose your color saturation and tones in the settings. We have’nt come across a better AMOLED display so far. The Always-On display has a lot of potential to display useful information but does not match the interactive and more natural functions of the motox active display feature.
Like many of the DSLR manufaturers Samsung seems to have realized that the megapixel wars are leading nowhere, instead Samsung wants to focus more on capturing better photographs. Settling for a 12MP rear camera with dual pixel technology seems to be a good move for better phots, the f2.0 even allows for more light and better low light performance, in fact the best in the cellphones market today. Its really hard to nitpick with a wonderful camera, but TAC is great and nitpicks and we just want to pick out that the HDR seems a bit overdone for our tastes.
S7 could just be the perfect phone for 2016 and maybe a little beyond too
Software is another story, Samsung’s Touchwiz has made big leaps and moves from the early days of being a cartoonish skin over android. But we are still suckers for a vanilla android experience. Throw in a 3rd party launcher like Nova or Google’s own launcher for a better experience. And this could just be the perfect phone for 2016 and maybe a little beyond too.
Android 6.0 (Marshmallow)
Qualcomm MSM8996 Snapdragon 820 Quad-core / Exynos 8890 Octa-core
5.1” Quad HD Super AMOLED 2560 X 1440 (577 ppi)
Corning Gorilla Glass 4
4GB RAM (LPDDR4), 32/64GB (UFS 2.0)
microSD (up to 256GB)
Camera: Dual Pixel 12MP (F1.7) Front: 5MP (F1.7)
Sensors: Accelerometer, Proximity, RGB Light, Geo-magnetic, Gyro,
Fingerprint, Barometer, Hall, HRM
Connectivity: WiFi 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac (2.4/5GHz), MIMO,
Bluetooth® v 4.2 LE, ANT+, USB 2.0, NFC, Location
Battery Capacity: 3000 mAh, Quick Charge 2.0 with upto 60%
charge in 30 minutes
Wireless Charging: Yes
Audio: 3.5mm jack, 24-bit/192kHz audio
Active noise cancellation with dedicated mic