It’s all about the Samsung Galaxy S8 and Galaxy S8 Plus this week, with the two highly anticipated smartphones making their way to consumers in a few days. Those who own their predecessors may be contemplating an upgrade, and some who aren’t looking for the latest and greatest might even consider buying the Galaxy S7 or Galaxy S7 Edge now, given how much cheaper these phones will become.

Now a year old, are the 2016 Samsung flagships still worth it? We find out, as we revisit the Samsung Galaxy S7 and Galaxy S7 Edge!

I found the Galaxy S7 Edge to be so impressive when I did its review that it became my daily driver of choice for the majority of 2016. The great news is that many aspects of the phone that I loved continue to hold up extremely well a year later.

The Galaxy S7 Edge is still one of the most beautiful phones that Samsung has ever designed. The dual curved edges felt really sleek and refined, and solidified the fact that this was no longer an experiment but rather a permanent design change, as is evident from its successors. The design wasn’t entirely without flaws however, and accidental touches on the sides of the screen still happen. That said, this issue certainly wasn’t prevalent enough to make it a deal breaker.

Its smaller sibling, the Galaxy S7, may have looked a touch more generic with its regular flat front, but it’s still a solidly built and still great looking device in its own right. The other advantage of the Galaxy S7 is when it comes to one-handed usability — its 5.1-inch display is a better fit for those not looking to make the jump into phablet territory and also skirts the issues the curved edges of the Galaxy S7 Edge creates.

Speaking of the display, both the 5.1-inch and 5.5-inch screens of the Galaxy S7 and Galaxy S7 Edge respectively are vibrant and gorgeous, and are easily some of the best displays in the market even in 2017. You may not get HDR support or the new 18.5:9 aspect ratio of the Galaxy S8, but on the bright side, you won’t have to deal with black bars when using apps that aren’t optimized or while watching 16:9 videos in the landscape orientation.

There are some aspects that are seemingly outdated with these phones, like the presence of a microUSB port. For someone like me that has fully transitioned to USB Type-C, going back to this port did take some getting used to, but shouldn’t be a big deal for those who haven’t jumped on the USB-C train yet.

I’ve never been a fan of capacitive navigation keys or physical home buttons, but Samsung made clever use of the latter by turning it into a shortcut to launch the camera. It is extremely quick and felt very intuitive, and it is disappointing that you won’t be able to do that with the Galaxy S8 and Galaxy S8 Plus, which use on-screen software keys. The tactile home button also doubles as a fingerprint scanner, and is a far better placement than the rather awkward positioning of the sensor on the Galaxy S8 devices.

Samsung’s latest software update brings Android 7.0 Nougat, a cleaner interface, and many of the features that will be available with the Galaxy S8 to its predecessors, so you aren’t going to really be missing out on the software side of things, except for cool new additions like Bixby and DeX integration. However, the update is pretty new, and you may have not yet received it.

The Galaxy S7 and Galaxy S7 Edge may not be powered by the latest and greatest processors anymore, but they remain speedy and reliable. Battery life is also fantastic, as the 3,600 mAh battery of the Galaxy S7 Edge is one of the largest that Samsung has ever put in their flagships. And this is an area that hasn’t seen much of an upgrade with the Galaxy S8.

The Galaxy S8 and Galaxy S8 Plus is obviously going to be more powerful, but with other features mostly remaining intact, such as wireless charging, fast charging capabilities, and dust and water resistance, the difference in power may not be enough to justify the premium that the latest flagships command.

The camera is still extremely good as well, which isn’t surprising since it was one of the best smartphone cameras in 2016. It’s definitely one that I would be happy to use in 2017, which is a testament to Samsung’s prowess in this category. Samsung has made an upgrade to both the front and rear cameras with the Galaxy S8, but I don’t think the camera is going to be the top reason for anyone to switch from the Galaxy S7’s to the Galaxy S8.

So there you have it for this look back at the Samsung Galaxy S7 and Galaxy S7 Edge! These phones may have been released early last year, but they definitely don’t feel outdated at all. They’ve aged very well inside and out, and are phones that you will certainly be happy with, not only if you already own one, but if you are considering buying it soon. The Galaxy S7 and Galaxy S7 Edge were great smartphones when they were launched, and remain really good smartphones one year later.

  • 4Ui812

    I’ll wait for the S9. The upgrade from the s7e is kinda pointless.

    • Grant D

      How about the note 8? or not a fan of the s-pen?

      • 4Ui812

        I’ve never had a need for the pen. I suppose it’s good for business people.

        • Grant D

          It’s nice, but my hands aren’t that big so usually it’s the size of the phone that keeps me from going for the Note lineup.

          • 4Ui812

            I have big hands and even I thought the note was big. The s7e took me a few weeks to feel comfortable using it with one hand.

        • Daggett Beaver |dBz| ✓ᵛᵉʳᶦᶠᶦᵉᵈ

          It’s great for a lot of things once you learn what it can do. I use it constantly.

          I think the thing I use it for most is selecting text. SO much easier than using your fingers. Press the S Pen button and select.

          But it has lots of other features I like — that’s just the one I use most.

          • 4Ui812

            Nice.

      • Gibbs

        I personally love the feeling of a fountain pen or any real pen! when I had a note I almost never used it.

    • RiTCHiE

      Word, i have the same. The s8 aint worth the upgrade.

      • Happy

        But, but, but these 10% performance increase…

        • RiTCHiE

          lol well only good point that the s8 has is that the battery life is still oke after a year of use because they said it will be around 95% rather then 75% on the s7 but other then that i dont think the s8 is that great

    • Gilles LeBlanc

      Yea, I’m gonna wait to see what the battery life is like in the reviews. I also would like to see a root and full support for the new screen format. My feeling is these requirementd won’t be met by the S9 .

      • 4Ui812

        I just found out today that Samsung won’t unlock the bootloader of the S7E. I’m not into rooting or custom roms anymore but it’s like WTF I own the hardware. I’m not digging that at all.

        • Happy

          Yet one more reason to move on….

  • xoj_21

    i am sticking to me s7 edge for a while longer, i foudn where i can replace the battery when it craps out

  • JamieStone13

    Staying with the s6, unless of course I win the competition. Otherwise I’ll upgrade in 2018 and get a contract with Virgin media or EE. Unsure whether I should get a pixel though. Speedy updates, but the hardware and look doesn’t seem good next to the Samsung s8. I guess we’ll see how the pixel 2 turns out.

    • Super Pete

      I have a strict policy of never buying generation 1 hardware. It worked out for me with the pixel since Google admittedly ran out of time with it after going back to the drawing board too close to release time. I have high hopes for the pixel 2…We’ll see

      • JamieStone13

        Just gotta hope they don’t run out this time. The XL 128gb version has been out since November in the UK store, I remember seeing somewhere.

    • Scott Wittig

      S7 edge is way better, so much more battery time. I had the 6 as well for a short time.

      • JamieStone13

        I’m really just in it for the software tbh. And whether or not the pixel 2 will be any good will only be revealed as leaks start to spread. Also, Samsung has lied to me simply because their staff aren’t told anything about software upgrades. Telling me that the update is rolling out when noone in the UK has an unlocked version of the S6 with Nougat. But I’ll probably cave in and get the s9, just for the looks :p

  • Super Pete

    I have a nexus 6p and a galaxy s7… I still prefer my 6p. I find the s7 lags in more places where it shouldn’t considering its specs

  • MasterSoup

    If Samsung refreshed this phone and put in a type C port, either as an S7 or one of those Galaxy J or A phones, I’d buy it in a heartbeat.

  • Daggett Beaver |dBz| ✓ᵛᵉʳᶦᶠᶦᵉᵈ

    It was never worth it for me. I love the S7 Edge, but the display is too small, and I want a stylus.

  • Rob Geeson

    I’ve got an s7 Edge arriving tomorrow, brand new, which cost half of its’ launch price. I’ll sell it at Easter next year and pick up the s8+ at half cost.
    I used to have to have the best flagships every year – but now I think that phones are so good I figure I can hang back a generation each cycle and save some cash.

    • Paco Inurreta

      I also bought a S7 Edge that is arriving tomorrow! :D

      And yes, totally agree with you. This is the first phone I buy that is “old” but still extremely capable.

    • Jim

      I think that is the best policy in buying new technology and getting good value, don’t get the bleeding edge. I got the S7 edge when it came out and it is still a great phone, enough so that getting an S8 is a real waste of money to me. I’m interested in seeing what the Pixel XL2 and Nokia 9 are going to look like in comparison to the S8+ before I make a decision on a new phone.

    • Emmet

      Where did you get it half off?

  • Tom

    Just got my obligatory warranty replacement right before it expires. I think I can wait for the S9 now.

  • Eddie Hicks

    I would keep my S7 Edge another year but mine has an overly sensitive screen. Almost every time I touch it an app opens. I already ordered a S8 and it’s scheduled to be delivered tomorrow April 18th. The only thing about the S8 that gives me concern is the position of the fingerprint sensor. I use Samsung Pay almost everyday and feeling for the sensor on the rear probably make the process longer. Not to mention getting fingerprints on the camera lens. But none of that is more of a concern than once and for all getting rid of that screen issue.

    • User

      What makes you think the S8 is different?

      • Eddie Hicks

        As the reviewer said there is an issue with accidentally opening apps on the edge. But some S7 Edge’s screens are more sensitive than others. Mine unfortunately is one of them. There are also owners with the opposite issue of screens that are harder to respond to touches. So I guess that indicates that the sensitivity of the screens are not exactly all the same. The issue was commonly discussed on the xda development forums some time back.

        • User

          OK. Wasn’t aware of that. However I felt that same way with mine and I turned off the Edge apps and am more careful when I’m inside an app. I’m guessing it is normal of an app to open once you touch it…no matter how light.!

          • Eddie Hicks

            I hear that often but there are some that are overly sensitive. I played around with friends S7E phones and I also played around with the S8 in a Verizon store. There is a difference with my S7E and I’m not the only one experiencing it.

    • Don Rambarran

      Get a case and viola!!! It solves everything trust me

      • Eddie Hicks

        I always have my phones in cases. I already have a case for my S8 that is being delivered today. It does help a little.

  • Joshua

    Ill be holding on to my S7E till the S/Note 9 or 10.

  • Got a brand new s8 coming in tomorrow along with the DEX, I would have probably stuck with the s7 edge had it not been for the cracked screen on my current s7 (I hate cases). I think it’s a great update for s6 owners and iphone users looking to switch, but probably not worth it for someone who has a perfectly working s7 edge. I fell in love with the Samsung dex so much that I’m also selling my PC so I can afford it, so by by Microsoft, finally putting you down for good..

  • missmotta

    Any S7 Edge users regretting thier choice because of how fragile they are? I have a regular S7 and am contemplating getting the Edge but I’m afraid I’ll break the damned thing. Even with​ a case they seem scary. My S7 has a Spigen hybrid case and I’ve dropped it multiple times with great luck so far.

    • User

      Depends how you use it. I have the S7E since day 1 without a case or a screen protector and still looks like new

    • Theres a Dongle 4 That

      No issue for me in a year. I have a screen protector and clear case on it. Have dropped it from pocket level twice. No hint of damage. But just be careful with it like all expensive tech

    • Jim

      I’ve had the S7 edge since day 1 with a Spigen wallet case from the beginning. No damage, marks or scratches whatsoever; the phone looks the same as it did when it was new. Also, my battery is functioning to full capacity, as closely as I can tell. I usually run the battery between 40% and 85% of full-charge, not too much inrush current when I charge it and not too much voltage on full-charge.

    • Gibbs

      Hmm I have a caseless s7 edge and only dropped it once :) But the screen has a few scratches(before dropping too). disappointing for a gorilla glass as my nexus 4 had non. I only dopped it once. and been super gentle with it.

      I dropped it into my wooden floor which might not be as hard as the streets or anything (sure isn’t) so that might be why it didn’t even get a scratch

  • Gator352

    i pre ordered the S8+ to replace my S7e. Nothing is wrong with it, i just like new tech! But i might cancel as i still love my S7e….

    • Gibbs

      I hate to say this but don’t judge phones so fast. specially Samsung phones usually act awesome the first day and start getting crappy so fast. even after factory reset or re-flashing with odin :|

      • Gator352

        hasn’t been my case. i also don’t have 1000 apps and every cloud service running at the same time.

        • Gibbs

          well I’m talking about time only. not number of apps :)

  • John Elwood

    A friend of mine has the S7. The battery life has degraded significantly over the past year. I’ll take my chances with the supposedly improved battery of the S8. I have an S4 at the moment so time for an upgrade. If I had an S6 or S7 I would definitely wait for an S9.

    • Jim

      I have an S7 edge that I got when they came out. The battery on mine hasn’t deteriorated noticeably. Unless your friend got a dud or charges it improperly, I’m not sure where the problem is.

  • Happy

    Or, instead of feeding the Samsung planned obsolescence department and paying for their lavish ad campaigns, one can wait and see what Xiaomi (Mi6), OnePlus 5 and Axon 8 have to offer.

  • G1andonly

    Well I had the 1st generation of the s7e and it was to sensitive, drove me crazy how bad it was, so after 6 months I traded it in for the zte zmax and if was a nice phone but I needed more and decided on pre ordering the s8 but when I went to t-mobile the coral blue s7e was on sale for about $460 plus I had credit. I had never seen the coral in person and man was it nice. I ended up getting it and the palm rejection has been completely fixed on this unit, is it just on the coral blue because it doesn’t seem as curved as the black one I had, still curved but maybe a millimeter difference. Anyway I’m happy as can be and am now good till 2019 as this one was made in December 2016, the battery is great and it’s awesome on 7.0.

  • Gibbs

    Samsung’s have a history of getting slow overtime. and just general ctrappyness (my note 4’s battery died so fast and etc). at least for me.

    But if you’re a Samsung fan or don’t have any other choice other than Samsung (In my country it’s only either LG or Samsung or HTC or Apple and apple is ridiculously overpriced) i’ts not bad. I bought it for 550-600$ and It’s not bad! I bought it around 4 months ago I think. it’s a bit laggy but livable. I have the edge.
    the display ghosting is just awful. and my previous amoled phone has burn in and looks very yellowish and disturbing after a year and a half of use. I had to replace the battery after a year too. Hoping it will be different for my s7(it’s lagging already, but not as bad as my note 4 which was unusable). I have an exynos version

    The battery life is amazing! or atleast was. it’s recently gotten bad but I’m sure it’s a rogue app or something. at least I hope.

  • Poopik Shmill

    And that’s why I’ll keep my S7 edge for another year.
    Maybe the S9 will bring back the fingerprint sensor to the front.

  • Emmet

    Tell me the truth owners…how is the battery life and software 1 year later?

    • PC_Peasant’s number 1 fan

      The truth is the more you use and charge it, the worst it gets.

  • Don’t know never actually had a samsung Galaxy phone but from the reviews I’ve read there are actually some better features from The galaxy S7 than the s8 though the s8 has the most latest model or software, there similarity is still seen.

  • Dave

    I just bought a new, unlocked S7 for $465, a saving of $285 or over 60% savings. The S8 is nice but there are so many really nice things that the $285 saving can buy.

  • Kieran Martin

    I love the standard S7 and don’t really like the curves. I would like to know how good the battery is on the S7 please. The only reason I don’t like the curves(edge display) is because it makes a lot of cases look awfull.