samsung-galaxy-s7-edge-android-nougat-aa-9

When major versions of Android are announced, it normally takes third-party OEMs a few months to update their devices with the latest version. Motorola and LG are normally two of the first manufacturers to release updates to their devices, while others, such as HTC and Samsung, tend to lag behind a bit.

This year, though, Samsung began rolling out a beta version of Android 7.0 Nougat to its flagship Galaxy S7 and S7 Edge devices before many other manufacturers could. If you’re lucky enough to own one of these devices and are wondering what to expect, we’ve got you covered. Let’s take a look at Android 7.0 Nougat (beta) on the Galaxy S7 Edge.

Don't miss:

Android 7.0 Nougat review: an Android version for Android fans

April 14, 2017

First thing’s first – want to test out Android Nougat on your S7 or S7 Edge? You can! Just make sure you have an active Samsung account and the Galaxy Beta Program app installed (it can be downloaded through Samsung’s Galaxy Apps store). Alternatively, users can download the Samsung Members app which is available in the Google Play Store or Galaxy Apps depending on the region. Once you’re signed up, just wait for a software update to arrive for your device. That’s it. Once the update is complete, your device will be running the latest version of Android.

Before we get into what’s new in Nougat, let’s first talk about something many users are curious about:

Just how stable is Android 7.0 (beta) on the Galaxy S7 Edge?

Very. Unlike the experience you’d get with other software preview programs, this build (NRD90M to be exact) is extremely stable. Personally, I’ve found day-to-day performance to be a breeze, and I haven’t experienced much lag at all.

With that said, if you do opt to test it out, don’t be surprised if an app crashes here or there.

Now let’s talk about what changes Nougat brings to the table. To start, let’s focus on improvements in the user interface:

UI improvements galore

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Nougat on the Galaxy S7 and S7 Edge brings along with it a good amount of improvements and tweaks throughout the user interface. New animations, a completely revamped settings menu, and a new font are just some of the things you’ll notice right off the bat.

Samsung has been changing the way it approaches its TouchWiz interface for years now, and we’re seeing even more changes to the interface with Nougat. Everything is cleaner, simpler, and much more easy to use, which is a huge step up from TouchWiz in years past.

Pulling down the notification shade for the first time, you’ll notice a lightly-colored row of quick settings below the date and time. Pulling down once more will open the quick settings menu, which is now completely customizable. Why is this good news? If, for example, you don’t want to keep a rarely-used quick settings tile (like Smart View or Ultra Power Saving Mode) front and center, you can now remove it.

Blue Light Filter

samsung-galaxy-s7-edge-blue-light-filter-android-nougat-aa-1

Ever since the Galaxy Note 7 fiasco, Samsung has been working hard to bring a number of features found in the Note 7’s Grace UX to the S7 lineup. One of the most useful features Samsung was able to bring over to the S7 line is the new blue light filter. In case you’re unfamiliar, blue light filters reduce the amount of blue light emitted from your screen, which allows for less eye strain particularly at night.

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You can toggle the blue light filter on and off by tapping the quick settings tile. A long-press of the quick settings tile will take you to the blue light filter settings, where you can change the opacity and set which time you’d like it to turn on or off. You have the option to set a custom schedule for the filter, or it can turn on and off automatically with the sunset and sunrise.

Revamped settings menu

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Gone are the days of giant, confusing settings icons.

One other stark change with Nougat is a revamped settings menu. The entire menu is now in list format, which makes the menu much easier to navigate. Each category is listed in bold font with a short description of what you’ll find in that category. For instance, under the Display category, you’ll find “brightness, blue light filter, font” settings and more.

One other notable addition to the settings menu: if you’re looking for a particular setting but can’t seem to find it, you’ll get little suggestions at the bottom of each settings page that will help point you in the right direction. If you’re in the Display category, for instance, and can’t seem to find what you’re looking for, you can find a small prompt at the bottom of the settings page with suggestions. Simply tap on one of those suggestions to jump right to that page.

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SamsungOne

You might also notice the font looks a bit different. That’s because the Galaxy S7 and S7 Edge are now using the company’s SamsungOne font, which was unveiled back in June 2016. Samsung says SamsungOne isn’t just a font; it’s a family of scripts that covers 26 writing systems, more than 400 languages and over 25,000 glyphs. Overall, the font seems clean, legible and Samsung-y. For reference, check out the image of Google’s Roboto font compared to SamsungOne:

samsungone

New animations

The S7 Edge’s user interface has been quite snappy overall, and that’s thanks to the new animations Samsung threw in with Nougat. Below we’ve attached a short video showing these new animations in action:

Device Maintenance

samsung-galaxy-s7-edge-nougat-device-maintenance-aaSamsung also included a new Device Maintenance tool, which can be found in the device’s settings menu. What does it do, exactly? If your phone is running slowly, draining battery too quickly or experiencing any other normal smartphone problems, this new tool will help find the culprit. Once you open it up, it’ll automatically begin running a test. Your device will then be given a performance score out of 100. You can choose the Optimize now button which will fix the errors, or tap on the separate categories at the bottom of the screen to get more granular information.

In my experience, this new Device Maintenance tool has done a good job at finding the obvious things. Most of the time it will offer up suggestions to close background apps, clear cached data, or some other semi-obvious outlier. This feature won’t be for everyone, but it’s there if you need it.

Also, if you need help remembering to clear these things out regularly to help with device performance, you can add a Device Maintenance shortcut to your home screen.

Performance Mode

Since none of us use our phones in the same way, Samsung has added in a few new modes that will cater to those who spend more time gaming, watching videos, and more. Your Galaxy S7 or S7 Edge should be in Normal mode by default, but you can easily switch to a different mode that will better suit your needs by heading to the Device Maintenance app and tapping on Performance Mode.

Depending on which mode you select, your phone’s settings will change to better cater to that profile. For instance, choosing Entertainment mode will result in your display increasing to 100% brightness, your screen resolution increasing to WQHD, and your video enhancer and UHQ upscaler being turned on.

New display settings

Samsung is giving users the option to scale down their displays to a lower resolution

With Android 7.0 Nougat, Samsung is giving users the option to scale down their displays to a lower resolution. Under the Display portion of the settings menu, you can opt for the full WQHD (2560 x 1440) resolution, or bring it down to FHD (1920 x 1080) or HD (1280 x 720). This feature first debuted on the Galaxy Note 7, which offered users more screen resolution options as part of the phone’s Power Saving Mode.

It’s worth noting that the latest Android 7.0 beta scales down the display to 1080p by default, so you’ll need to manually change it back to Quad HD if you’d like to take full advantage of the high resolution display.

See also:

Latest Nougat beta for the Galaxy S7 defaults to 1080p display

November 23, 2016

Improvements to Always On Display

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Last but not least, Samsung included some improvements to the Always On Display that makes it a little more functional.

Samsung’s Always On Display has been one of the most customizable implementations among Android manufacturers, though it’s been pretty useless if you need to actually interact with anything on your screen. Previous versions of the Always On Display would show when your phone receives a new notification, but there was no easy way to jump to that notification if you wanted.

Now Samsung’s Always On Display can jump right to a notification with a simple double-tap. It took a pretty long time for this feature to arrive, but I’m really thankful it’s finally here.

Other Nougat goodness

There’s a lot more where that came from. Samsung packed a lot of good stuff in this update, some of which we’ve already talked about in our Android 7.0 Nougat review. With Android Nougat, you’ll see improvements to multi-window and the ability to quickly switch between apps with a double tap of your recent apps key. You’ll also be able to directly reply from notifications without jumping into the app, as well as take advantage of bundled notifications.


Overall, I’ve been enjoying Android 7.0 Nougat on the Galaxy S7 Edge. Not only has Samsung brought its users a solid, feature-rich beta experience, but the company is building this version with user feedback. It’ll be interesting to see what features make it into the final, consumer-ready version of Nougat, and what features are left out.

Are you liking what you see so far with Nougat on the S7 and S7 Edge? Be sure to tell us your thoughts in the comments below.

Jimmy Westenberg
Lover of all things Android, Star Wars, dogs, coffee, and music.
  • armann24

    This made me jump the gun and try it out for my self (Galaxy s7 Edge owner) ;)

    • NicholasGoss

      Curious with how this went for you. I’m constantly told that they have reached the maximum number of testers.

      • armann24

        well found out that I can’t get it because I do not live in USA, UK, and handfull of other countries that they are testing it in :(

        • Marius Muntean ✓ᵛᵉʳᶦᶠᶦᵉᵈ

          did you try using a VPN, maybe the app is not searching for the location based on phone model and just by IP.

      • I live in the UK, so managed to get straight in at the first time of asking.

      • Angie Jones

        I’m in the UK and my s7e is unlocked, and I got in with first time of registering! :)

    • chris

      me too 🤗 there are really nice new features. With this update coming i totally forgot the Pixel. If Samsung keeps updating The s7 and s7 edge they have nothing to fear from Google.
      i can’t wait to see what surprises TouchWiz brings with the final version of 7.0.
      i hope 7.1 is not too far on the line. The Note 7 downfall at least showed Samsung The value of updating hardware software to keep it fresh and relevent. when The pixels were announced i fought the s7 was old because of the software but Samsung came back in the lead with this updates news.

    • The Focus

      Me too.

    • David Martrano

      By the time my edge receives nouget the S8 series will already be released, that’s not cool at all especially if you Carrier is Verizon!!

  • JOSH!

    I’m curious, how is the battery life and fluidity considering every other update samsung’s done on phones ruin battery life and causes stuttering …and even overheating.

    • Jimmy Westenberg

      I haven’t noticed many changes in battery life, but your mileage may vary.

    • Armand Bernard

      I found it to be just as good as before Nougat.

    • Vivek Rameses

      Really good actually on 1080p. Get an extra two hours of battery life.

  • kurolife

    “Motorola and LG are normally two of the first manufacturers to release
    updates to their devices, while others, such as HTC and Samsung, tend to
    lag behind a bit.” Except that the HTC 10 is already on Nougat while all the flagships from the manufacturers you’ve mentioned aren’t……

    • LionStone

      Yep!
      Correction: “…while others, such as Samsung, tend to lag behind a bit.”
      Fixed.

      • Cicero

        Did your HTC android 7 have the complexity of Samsung TW with android 7?

    • Jimmy Westenberg

      You’re right. HTC did roll out Nougat earlier than expected this year, but they do tend to fall behind compared to other manufacturers.

      • StilsonCanyon

        “they do tend to fall behind compared to other manufacturers”

        Absent any objective evidence, I will have to go with my personal experience. Last year I received Marshmallow on my M9 months before Samsung users did. Then there was the Nougat OTA that landed on my HTC 10 on Friday, which I would wager is months earlier than an OTA will land on Samsung flagships.

        So, unless you can show some hard evidence, I think my personal experience trumps your bias.

        • LionStone

          Hah! Right on AA for deleting my comment with 2 links that shows HTC was 2nd after Google with the Lollipop and Marshmallow updates. Just search “Android manufacturer upgrade score card”

          • StilsonCanyon

            I was going to mention that the upgrade to Lollipop on my AT&T M7 seemed to come quickly as well. However, that was my first Android phone and I wasn’t following the scene as quickly, so I couldn’t be certain if they had beat the pants off of Samsung.

      • kurolife

        The M9 got Marshmallow before it Samsung and LG counterpart, I remember only Motorola that did an amazing job with that update and was followed straight away with HTC. Since the One M7 HTC did a terrific job updating their flagship, the issue is always mid range phones but I don’t think that’s something specific to HTC, heck some OEMs never update some of their mid range phones

    • TechTonic

      came to comment the exact same thing. HTC is usually one of the fastest to update their devices, in some cases the fastest

  • LionStone

    After using Nougat on my HTC10, this version on the S7 just looks horrible. If it really was “clean and simple” there would’ve been an official OTA already. Come on Jimmy, you can even get the new Bolt/10evo out of the box right now with Nougat installed!

    • aergern

      You act like you’re on a Nexus/Pixel. You only got it 4 days ago. But if it was simple then HTC would have had it out the door in early October, eh? Because 7 was publically in beta for months and they had the code base .. right? sheesh.

    • it’s me tim-cock.

      What an idiot. 😧😧

      • LionStone

        Let me guess, you have a Samsung…lol 🤣🤣

        • The Zombified

          LOL Did you read the article headline????

          • LionStone

            Really? And that means that everyone that posts here has a Samsung??? LOL

          • The Zombified

            Really did you read the article at all? Especially the authors final line?
            Are you liking what you see so far with Nougat on the S7 and S7 Edge? B sure to tell us your thoughts below.
            Kinda easier to have any thoughts on how Nougat is on the S7/S7E you’d need to have one to actually not troll. LOL
            I used to think iSheep were bad until I ran into Brand Trolls.

  • NicholasGoss

    I don’t believe anyone can sign up for the beta like the Nexus Preview. At this point, when I attempted, I was told Max users were reached. Is anyone else having different luck?

    • Angie Jones

      I managed to get on first time round on my s7e! :)

  • Cakefish

    Performance is better, battery about the same as Marshmallow.

  • freshprince_87

    Samsung is urgently trying to please their fans with a fast update since they failed them with the Note 7.

    • it’s me tim-cock.

      And why not heh? Move along+

      • freshprince_87

        Nope

    • thank you captain obvious

      • freshprince_87

        You’re welcome. Anytime JA

      • TechTonic

        lol

  • Tim R.

    “improvements to multi-window”
    No… The “new” Multi-Window is just shit. You only can close the Apps oder switch them. No Minimize, no maximize, no Drag&Drop!!! That’s Bullshit.

    The original Multi-Window from Samsung is thousands of times better…

    And the new Multitasking-Menu is also a Downgrade. The Cards are much bigger, so it’s harder to switch between them and you can see only ONE App at the same Time one the Screen. on the old one you see up to four.

    • it’s me tim-cock.

      Well that is how Google intended it to be. Wtf would you get mad at samsung? Blame Google because that’s the way it is on the shitty pixel.

    • Bashir-chan-kun-sama

      Oh man if it’s like that maybe staying on 6.0 is a good idea because I love multitasking.

    • Angie Jones

      I turned mine off because it drove me nuts. It would go into mult-window when I didn’t want it to! :(

  • Dimitar Maznekov

    Last 3 my phones are Huawei after over 15 yrs with Sony – I’m fully satisfied!

  • Julio García Muñoz

    I’ve never had a Huawei device, I wouldn’t mind giving one a try.

    • S.Yu

      They market themselves as an innovative company, yet they copied Samsung with their “Porsche Design” edition of the Mate 9, they copied Sony with their P8, and also with one of their short-lived Bluetooth speakers. They use their cash to get small companies like Leica and Porsche Design onboard to promote their brand, but it doesn’t change the fact that their “Leica” camera is still inferior to Apple’s, Samsung’s and Google Pixels, and that their curved Mate 9 design is a total rip-off from Samsung. I swear Porsche Design doesn’t do designs like that, if you look at their past designs for Blackberry and LaCie, you’d know how they really design their gear.
      Their consumer electronics sales took off in China catering to nationalists and people with an inferiority complex who drank too much of the communist Kool-Aid, because of how they portray themselves as the epitome of Chinese innovation, quite a despicable company.

      • Dusty

        I think those were just placed advertising comments in case you didn’t know.

        • S.Yu

          Good point, it’s what they’ve always been doing but this is subtler than what they’ve been doing in China. i.e. it would’ve been “China innovation! I’m Huawei’s mindless fanatic!”
          It would seem totally ridiculous but it’s really happening. They want their customers to take pride in being a mindless fanatic.

  • Camilla Russo

    Overall this looks a really nice new interface but the only thing that bother me it is this cartoonish blue toggle bar.

  • I’m wondering if the slow motion stuttering is finally gone, I’m still having issues with my Exynos Galaxy S7…

  • Zac Fowler

    Its beta program has reached its maximum number of participants 🙁

  • Vivek Rameses

    Looks like they changed the amount of icons in today’s update on the S7.

    https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/3444f8689490c02f38b7c00f97f7c36bf6b6cfe2ac20180d11cc7fd686f5c1dc.png

  • S.Yu

    On my S6E, after the most recent update a month ago, I still get highly annoying quirks like how I get junk messages and can’t just label them read, I always have to actually open them in the Messages app. Also when I switch input methods from a shortcut within an input method, it changes the default, and the only way to switch back is from Settings, and they raised the lowest brightness level so it’s harder to use in bed. Ultra stupid design decisions. I wonder what it’s like with newer models.

  • Vivek Rameses
    • sonybru

      You can change the grid size of the pull down

  • 4ui812

    I’m not digging that Samsung font. Roboto looks better in my opinion.
    Has anyone here tried out the beta and if so , is it worth it or should I wait for the official release?

    • tpberserk

      Samsung font is really nice but is one of those things that can’t last long… let’s say Roboto is better for long reading/period

      • 4ui812

        Agreed.

    • Angie Jones

      I’m using the beta now. Apart from a bit of lag every now and then, it’s way better than Marshmallow. My battery life is better. The only downside is not having Night mode, but that might come in the official version! :)

      • 4ui812

        Nice. I tried for the beta but it won’t let me have it :-(

  • M

    How about brining over mobile hdr to the s7 line just bought a tv with hdr and what a difference does it make, I mean this shouldnt be hard dont the s7 and note 7 use the same screen.

  • DylanStuart

    Huawei knocking out the best value phones as usual

  • Angie Jones

    Is Nougat 7.0 going to have a dark mode, especially on the notification drop down? It would be awesome if we could have a choice of theme colour! :)

    • steadymobb

      I can already do this on my s6 and did it in my note 7…it’s under themes.

  • Dmitriy Sukhanov

    I would like to try product of Huawei!

  • The Zombified

    Been Loving it so far. The Touch Wiz upgrades are nice since I lost them with my Note 7 Sniff. Facebook has crashed more than any other app its only FB.

  • Jesse King

    I can’t get the BETA,
    it told me app no longer supported in this country or on device..

  • herrbrightside

    UGLY!!!!! just UGLY !!!!! They should take a hard look at oneplus’s OS.
    i am in the market for a 5 inch AMOLED android . ideally the S7 should be the best choice. but the ugliness of touchwiz wont let me get this. + it isnt custom ROM(AOSP) friendly. such a waste

    i previously owned the s3 and s4 . The s7 is a great phone but i will NEVER USE TOUCH WIZ AGAIN !!!

    • Cakefish

      Themes let you change the entire look of the UI. Colour scheme, app icons and backgrounds can be changed independently of one another in Nougat. The beta doesn’t support themes fully but the final version will. Touchwiz on the S7 under Android 7.0 is worlds apart from the nightmarish days of the S4 and S3.

  • The Focus

    Every dark cloud ☁ has a very silver lining. 😂. The s7, S7 edge and note 5 users won’t be so lucky to get all there software updates if the note 7 was a hit, with no problems.

  • s2weden2000

    android 7 nutmilk…

  • Paul Williams

    Excited to try the Beta, but it keeps telling me that the Beta Program has reached the maximum numberor participants………..

  • Angryenglish

    It also brings the awesome Video Enhancer from the Note 7 for that HDR look with video apps like Youtube, Google Play movies and such

  • LoveDroid

    BEWARE with the Ultra Power Saving mode on Nougat 7.0 on S7 Edge
    I’ve got that lucky spot on to the beta program and installed Android 7.0 on my S7 Edge. Everything was going smooth, until last night. I realized that my batter is critically low (less than 10%), and I put the phone in to ultra power saving mode. When I woke up in the morning and try to unlock my phone, I ran in to a huge problem. The screen was not unlocking. I had my finger print setup, and when I used it to unlock, it was showing a keyboard, but the screen was not responsive. There is no way, I could unlock the screen and use the phone.
    I had to boot my phone in recovery mode and do a factory reset.
    So, be careful not to put in to ultra power saving mode in the Beta version.
    Note: I had my night clock active at the time I put the phone in to ultra power saving mode. Not sure if this may contribute to the problem.
    Did any of you face similar problem or any other problems with Nougat Beta?

  • Žydrūnas

    After the review, I actually started to enjoy Nougat on TouchWiz more than on stock Android because of looking like a more finalized, more comfortable to use version of latest Android OS.

  • Franky Velázquez

    Well if you have stupid AT&T you are out of luck. Since for the mayor 4 carriers they are the only ones that wont support the Samsung Beta Program. The app is not even available for download.

  • Akshay Motwani

    Does nougat added the feature on S7 fingerprint sensor that doesn’t need home button to be pressed for device unlocking?

  • Gary Boyce

    I still dont have the nougat update on my unlocked gs7 edge. Im in the uk. Is this normal?

  • Marcin Starzomski

    This update looks terrible, very hard to read and see what is going on. I did not ask for this. Make me want to never buy anything with a Samsung logo on it.