Samsung Galaxy S7

Released less than a year after the Galaxy S6, Samsung's latest creation has understandably been greeted with a degree of scepticism among smartphone users. Although the Korean electronics giants are undeniably at the forefront of mobile innovation, a mere eleven months worth of development time would surely test even their ability to make genuinely meaningful advances in their technology - right?

In many ways this is true: today's smartphone industry is so competitive that companies can't afford to hold back on new features, thus any that were ready for launch last year, would duly have been launched last year. On the other hand, mobile development never quite sits still; innovations from the supreme to the superfluous continue to abound, even if they are only occasionally enough to tempt us to splash out on a new model.

So, what does the S7 have that the S6 doesn't? On immediate viewing, the appearance is almost identical: that super slim smartphone look isn't going anywhere any time soon. In actual fact, the model has been made a trifle smaller this time, standing at 5.61 inches to the S6's 5.65. In principle, this means the S7 ought to be slightly sturdier (which means you can slip it in your back-pocket without having to worry about it going wonky). Despite this, the screen has been kept the same size, just with smaller borders.

The S7 is also (purportedly) waterproof, which isn't strictly a new feature, but merely the return of one that was originally introduced in the S5. For anyone who doesn't make their living as a scuba diver, this is not exactly a game-changing addition, but it should - along with the dust resistant body (ports are helpfully sealed to prevent the transmission of any foreign objects) - hopefully help to prolong the lifespan of your mobile by a couple of years.

In terms of software, Samsung have kept faith in Android, using their latest "Marshmallow" operating system for the S7 (this was released in October 2015, so expect an updated system to be made available fairly soon). Marshmallow is not exactly a groundbreaking system, its principle innovations being greater security safeguards and the addition of some new emojis, but it has received a largely favourable reception among users.


Samsung TouchWiz Software

The S7 also comes equipped with TouchWiz - Samsung's exclusive touch screen software. This is where things get a little complicated: unlike Apple, Samsung don't have the privelege of designing their touch software to fit their operating system. This means that, with each TouchWiz update, there is likely to be a cumbersome teething period where Samsung wait for Android to get to grips with their updated software.

Verdict


Samsung S7 Range
In the tech community, the popular consensus is that the S7 is a solid smartphone, albeit one disappointingly bereft of new features. Ahead of its launch, much has been made of the potential for greater durability: the body is slightly reinforced and it can better withstand exposure to moisture and murky fingers. However, without any user testimony, it is difficult to judge the veracity of these claims.

Compared to the iPhone 6S, there is little significant difference in the user experience. As mentioned above, Apple promise fewer updates and smoother installations. The S7 also comes in slightly more expensive, and in a change from previous Galaxy models, this time the camera is no better than that of the iPhone - although unlike Apple, Samsung have successfully made the jump to wireless charging.

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