January 30, 2016
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The hype train for the Galaxy S7 and Galaxy S7 Edge arguably began the minute the Galaxy S6 and Galaxy S6 Edge launched last March. Unlike most phones however, this was as much a part of “the next big thing” as it was a reaction to some of the polarizing decisions Samsung made in its pair of flagship smartphone products: Gone was the user-replaceable battery, and gone was the support for microSD, two tenants that the Korean OEM had been a champion for over the years and whose previous design language arguably substantiated the removable plastic rear panel.

With respect to this year’s offerings, the leaks began last month, and have suggested numerous bits of information, some of which seems to be conflicting. It is basically “known” there will be a Galaxy S7 and Galaxy S7 Edge, with less certainty about a Galaxy S7+ and Galaxy S7 Edge+. The picture is further complicated by claims the S7 Edge+ has been canceled, that the S7 Edge will be larger than the S7, that the S7+ will release simultaneously, and so on and so forth.

Thanks to a new pair of leaks by Evan Blass (@evleaks) possible first press renders of the new devices have surfaced. Look, but not without some degree of skepticism for there is at least one questionable detail to be gleaned:

As the pictures contain a number of different, important issues, some analysis is necessary. To begin with the first picture:

s7-s7-edge-1

This picture presents the most plausible possibility of being a Photoshop creation: note the presence of the fingerprint-sensing Home button, especially on the Galaxy S7 (left). The shape clearly looks deformed along the bottom portion. In addition, the Home button on the Galaxy S7 Edge (right) looks to be tilted slightly downwards. It is also worth pointing out that the front camera sensor on the S7 Edge looks somewhat larger than it does on the S7.

It would remain to be seen however, why someone would go through such lengths to fake the pair of images and yet leave such glaring “tells” for all to see. As a somewhat bizarre coincidence, a leak from last week presented a possible front panel for the S7 which included the same  misaligned, “bent” button:

galaxy-s7-leaked-2

Assuming these are the real deals however, there are some important points:

  1. The Fingerprint-sensing Home button has a slightly different shape than that seen on the S6 and S6 Edge, however it does not look like the narrow rectangular shape that was contained on leaks published in December.
  2. The phones look to be pure black in color, which actually goes along with the report of an all black variant. Last year’s models were released in a shade such that the phone appeared to be more blue than black in most lighting conditions.
  3. The lock screen time is set for 12:45 on February 21st. Based on past launches, it is expected that Samsung will introduce the Galaxy S7 right before MWC, which this year will be held on February 22 to 25. As such, Sunday, February 21 would be right on target.
  4. There is a new wallpaper seen on the background. The Galaxy S6 and S6 Edge introduced a new type of wallpaper for the brand, with previous models having more of an artistic, creative vibe going on.
  5. The Galaxy S7 Edge (right) is clearly larger than the S7 which goes along with rumors suggesting it will have a 5.5-inch display and the standard model remaining with last year’s 5.1-inch size factor.

As for the second – arguably more perfect looking – leak today:

s7-s7-edge-2

Despite the Home Button on the Galaxy S7 Edge (left) being a bit borderline, there are a few other good take away points:

  1. The background image clearly looks to be a “7” in a fashion not unlike what Google does with its Nexus packaging. As for if Samsung would include such a picture in the pre-installed gallery is another story.
  2. The Galaxy S7 (right) again appears to be the black variant, however in this light comes across as almost silver-grey, which might give a hint to the reflective surface tint. The frame appears to be more silver than black however, which might disappoint those hoping for a deep black metal encasing.
  3. In this image the front camera sizes look to be of the same size.
  4. There is no USB-C port, rather instead a standard option can clearly be seen. This is in direct contrast to a report that claimed to confirm the presence of USB-C in the product. Still, while SamMobile claimed to have confirmed the inclusion, things could have changed, or its source may have been mistaken.

Perhaps the big elephant in the room is that which has yet to be mentioned: the lack of a new design. For better or worse, reports have been leaking for weeks that indicate the Galaxy S7 and Galaxy S7 Edge will reuse the same design language as last year’s models. Instead, the focus is said to have been made internally, with better cameras, a more powerful SoC, microSD support, a larger battery, water resistance, and more.

What to make of the pictures?

Despite the overall legitimate looking nature of these press renders, certain things don’t add up. The Home button for one thing, and the lack of USB Type-C for another. It is unknown as to what the back side will look like, as well. For reference, this is what the first leak of the phone looked like:

samsung galaxy s7 render cad

And a more recent leak, which @evleaks images do have a much stronger resemblance to:

Exclusive: Galaxy S7 leak Shai Mizrachi

In the above image however, the Galaxy S7 (center) is clearly shown to have a curved back side – like the Galaxy Note 5 – and this is not present in the second alleged press render from today. While it’s still unknown what the rear will look like, at the very least should the S7 have a rear curve, it would differentiate the design from the Galaxy S6.

Wrap Up

At this point in time, the idea that the Galaxy S7 Edge will be larger than its standard sibling is further reinforced, along with the presence of an all-black color variant. It remains to be seen however, just what the final products look like. Until Samsung formally announces the new pair of smartphones, the world can only wait with baited breath.

For all the details about the Galaxy S7 and Galaxy S7 Edge, be sure to check out our comprehensive rumor round-up here.

 

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