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Unveiled on February 21, 2016 at MWC Barcelona, the Galaxy S7 and S7 Edge are more of an evolution than a revolution, given the big changes Samsung made with the Galaxy S6 family last year. The Galaxy S7 and S7 Edge continue the vision that Samsung brought to light in 2015, but at the same time bring a return to some of these missing features and further refine the experience. Let’s take a quick look at what to expect from the Galaxy S7 family – we have everything from Galaxy S7 specs, to a full feature rundown, to pricing and availability info and more.

Samsung Galaxy S7 and S7 Edge essentials

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Samsung Galaxy S7 & S7 Edge design

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At first glance, there’s little about the Galaxy S7 that screams “different” when pitted against the design of the Galaxy S6. Both the S7 and S7 Edge are comprised of an aluminum frame with glass panels on the front and the back. It’s easy to tell that these are both Samsung devices through and through, as both sport big Super AMOLED displays, minimal bezels on the sides and physical home buttons below the displays.

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Both the Galaxy S7 and S7 Edge look very similar to their predecessors on the back, though this year Samsung managed to slim down the camera bump to a mere .46mm. In addition, both have slightly curved edges on the back, similar to what was employed on the Galaxy Note 5. This really helped in the handling department with the Note 5, so we’re very happy to see this design change make its way to the S7 and S7 Edge.

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Now talking about the Galaxy S7 Edge, this newer model sports a bigger 5.5-inch curved display compared to the S6 Edge that was the same size as the S6 proper. This likely isn’t a bad move on Samsung’s part – the bigger display on the S7 Edge is enough to differentiate it from the standard Galaxy S7, so folks might have a slightly easier time figuring out which device is right for them. Aside from that design change, the S7 Edge has thinner bezels on the left and right sides.

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Other than those minor changes, there isn’t really much new here. On the bottom you’ll find a Micro USB port in the center, a 3.5mm headphone jack on the left, and a single speaker grill on the right. The power/standby button still sits on the right-hand side of each device, and the volume rockers sit on the left.

Samsung Galaxy S7 & S7 Edge Specs

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 Samsung Galaxy S7Samsung Galaxy S7 Edge
Display5.1-inch Super AMOLED display
2560 x 1440 resolution
5.5-inch Super AMOLED display
2560 x 1440 resolution
ProcessorUS: Quad-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 820
Most other regions: Samsung Exynos 8 Octa
US: Quad-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 820
Most other regions: Samsung Exynos 8 Octa
RAM4GB4GB
Storage32GB32GB
MicroSDYes, up to 200GB (Uses SIM 2 slot)Yes, up to 200GB (Uses SIM 2 slot)
Dust and water resistanceIP68 ratingIP68 rating
Cameras12MP rear camera with f/1.7 aperture, 1.4-micron pixels, OIS
5MP front camera with f/1.7 aperture
12MP rear camera with f/1.7 aperture, 1.4-micron pixels, OIS
5MP front camera with f/1.7 aperture
BatteryNon-removable 3000mAh batteryNon-removable 3600mAh battery
Fast chargingYesYes
Wireless chargingQi and PMAQi and PMA
SoftwareAndroid 6.0 MarshmallowAndroid 6.0 Marshmallow
Dimensions142.4 x 69.6 x 7.9mm, 152g150.9 x 72.6 x 7.7mm, 157g

The Samsung Galaxy S7 comes with a 5.1-inch Super AMOLED Quad HD display, while the S7 Edge sports a 5.5-inch screen. Both the Galaxy S7  and S7 Edge will be powered by either a Samsung Exynos 8 Octa or Qualcomm Snapdragon 820 processor, depending on the market. Regardless, all versions are paired with 4GB RAM.

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Aside from that, they both sport 4GB of RAM, 32GB of on-board storage, and… get this… microSD expansion! That’s right — Samsung brought back expandable storage with the S7 and S7 Edge. You’ll be able to put up to a 200GB microSD card in the SIM 2 slot, which should definitely make Samsung fans happy.

For those power users that push their phones to the limit, or are just really into heavy gaming, it’s also worth mentioning that Samsung is stepping up its game (pun not intended) when it comes to keeping the phone cool under intense use. How so? This time around, there’s a copper pipe running next to the processor that contains water, which will run through and cool down the processor as it gets warm during gaming and other heavy tasks.

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Both the S7 and S7 Edge come with 12MP rear-facing cameras with an f/1.7 aperture and a 1.4µm pixel size. For comparison’s sake, the S6 and S6 Edge came with 16MP rear cameras, f/1.9 apertures and a pixel size of 1.12µm. Something to remember here is that megapixel count isn’t everything — the cameras on the S7 and S7 Edge will be able to let in 25% more light than on the S6 and S6 Edge.

Samsung also decided to leave out removable batteries on the S7 and S7 Edge, which shouldn’t be too much of a surprise considering the mostly-glass build of the smartphones. The S7 comes with a non-removable 3000mAh unit, while the S7 Edge has a 3600mAh cell. Both have Quick Charging and wireless charging capabilities, which is definitely a plus.

Samsung Galaxy S7 & S7 Edge features

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Similar to what’s being offered on the LG G5, both the Samsung Galaxy S7 and S7 Edge come with always-on displays. The lock screens  have the ability to show time, a camera shortcut, notifications, weather information, battery percentage and a few other useful pieces of information. It was only a matter of time until Samsung jumped on the bandwagon, and we’re certainly happy the company is putting the Super AMOLED display to good use.

Another key feature Samsung brought back to its flagship line this year is dust and water resistance. Both the S7 and S7 Edge come with an IP68 rating, so each phone will be able to survive a small splash of water and a little bit of dust. And unlike what’s found on the Galaxy S5, the two new phones don’t have annoying flaps to shield dust or water from entering the ports.

Samsung Galaxy S7 & S7 Edge software

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Unsurprisingly, they both run a heavily customized version of Android 6.0 Marshmallow. Samsung’s Touchwiz overlay is still here in full force, though it’s clear Samsung worked pretty diligently to up the performance this time around.

One of the biggest change to Touchwiz this year is one some users might find a bit odd. The application drawer is now optional. By default, the app drawer is very much present here, unlike the LG G5 which axes it completely, but there is an experimental option found in the “Galaxy Labs” section of the settings that let’s you turn off the drawer and instead place all your apps on the homescreen. We’ve heard that Android N will supposedly ditch the application drawer altogether, so it’s not too surprising to see major OEMs like Samsung and LG making this transition.

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Other than that, the UI looks mostly the same on the S7. On the S7 Edge, however, Samsung threw in a few useful edge features that are quite cool. You’ll not only have quick access to your favorite applications, but Samsung has also added in something called the Task Edge for quick shortcuts to various tasks like sending text messages, etc. The People Edge has also returned, which houses quick access to your favorite contacts. There are also new spaces for adding shortcuts to third-party applications.

Samsung Galaxy S7 & S7 Edge price and availability

The Galaxy S7 and Galaxy S7 have been available worldwide from March 11, after several weeks of pre-orders. Unlocked, the device can be bought in the United States for around $600 for the starting version of the Galaxy S7 and from $700 for the Galaxy S6 Edge.

US carriers are offering the Galaxy S7 and Galaxy S7 Edge on contract or with monthly installment plans. Here’s an overview – note that all big carriers are offering buy one – get one deals, so make sure to check that out.

Wrap up

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So, what are your thoughts? Did Samsung hit the ball out of the park once again, or did they fall short? Do you have a favorite feature on the S7 or S7 Edge? Let us know what you think in the comments and be sure to continue on the conversation over at the forums.

Bogdan Petrovan
Bogdan is the European Managing Editor of Android Authority. He loves tech, travel, and fantasy. He wishes he had more time for two of those things. Bogdan's phone is a Nexus 6P.
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