WSJ: Galaxy S7 to go on sale in March, with pressure-sensitive screen, USB Type C, and microSD

by: Bogdan PetrovanDecember 14, 2015
2K

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The Wall Street Journal has a blockbuster report this morning that reveals a lot of details about Samsung’s upcoming Galaxy S7.

The report cites “people familiar with the matter” and offers information on the Galaxy S7’s design, features, and even release date. As a caveat, the sources warn that, with three months to go to the release of the device, some things can change. The report is unusually rich in details, as stories like this go, so let’s dive right in and analyze them.

Galaxy S7 and S7 Edge

Despite rumors of Plus versions being in the works, the report only mentions two models: the regular, flat-screened Galaxy S7 and the curved-screened Galaxy S7 Edge.

Pressure sensitive screen

According to the WSJ’s sources, the biggest new feature of the Galaxy S7 and its curved companion, the Galaxy S7 Edge, will be a pressure sensitive display that will work a lot like the 3D Touch feature available on the iPhone 6S and 6S Plus.

It’s not mentioned in the report, but Synaptics could be the company behind this pressure sensitive solution. The touch solutions developer recently announced ClearForce, a pressure sensing technology that will become available in smartphones from early 2016.

Type C port – fast charging

The Galaxy S7 will come with a Type C port, as seen on the latest Nexus generation. Reportedly, the device will draw a “full day’s charge in under 30 minutes and in some cases significantly faster than that.” For comparison, the Nexus 5X requires about 1.5 hours to charge up to 100%. It’s not clear what a “full day’s charge” means, but it sounds like Samsung may be able to one up competitors in this crucial area.

Small design changes compared to last year

The Galaxy S7 and the S7 Edge will be relatively similar to their predecessors. The devices won’t be “major departures” and the changes will be “less striking” compared to the revolution brought by the S6 this year.

The microSD slot is returning to the Galaxy S7 only

One of the people tipping WSJ off said that a microSD card slot will “likely” be available on the Galaxy S7. Only the flat model is explicitly said to get this feature, so the S7 Edge will probably be missing it.

samsung galaxy s7 review aa (20 of 20)See also: Best Android phones (December 2015)255

Retina scanner?

Samsung is allegedly “considering” equipping certain versions of the Galaxy S7 with a retina scanner. No details are offered on this feature, but the wording implies that it’s similar to ZTE’s Eyeprint ID feature, found on devices like Blade S6 or Grand S3. Not to be confused with an iris scanner, this feature uses the front facing camera to analyze the unique pattern of the fine blood vessels from the user’s retina. You can see it in action here.

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Camera: improved low-light performance and flush with the body

The camera on the Galaxy S7 will reportedly bring an improvement in low-light photography, which remains the weakness of mobile cameras across the industry. The camera module will be flush with the body of the S7, claims the report. If that’s accurate, Samsung found a way to offer a high-quality modern camera without the bulge we’ve seen on many flagship phones this year.

Launch and release date

Finally, the sources say the Galaxy S7 will be launched in the United States in mid-March. The actual launch is “expected” to happen around MWC, which is scheduled for February 22-25 in Barcelona. There were several rumors that implied that Samsung would launch the S7 and S7 Edge earlier than usual, but if this report is accurate, it will be business as usual.

samsung galaxy s7 first look aa-16See also: Samsung Galaxy S7 rumor roundup: release date, price, specs, features30

So, there you have it – a ton of info on the hottest device of early 2016. While there’s still room for changes, this report is very plausible. Let us know your thoughts!

  • Kiss my Asthma

    Well I’m disappointed that the plus version will not be released simultaneously, so I guess I’ll have to wait for September, but I guess if they decide to add micro SD support to the regular version only that would make the choice easier for a lot of people.

  • Steve Brain

    Offering a micro SD support for only the cheaper, more commonly bought version? How very unlike Samsung. Even less reason to spend the extra $150 AUD just to have curved edges.

    • The-Sailor-Man

      The form of the frame of the regular S7 is likely what makes SD possible.
      I guess S7 and S7 Edge will come with same price, now when the edge display tech is cheaper

      • saksham

        i disagree with you completely the edge is very unique to make it feel special samsung will keep at least a $100 margin from the regular one

      • saksham

        i disagree with you completely the edge is very unique to make it feel special samsung will keep at least a $100 margin from the regular one

      • saksham

        i disagree with you completely the edge is very unique to make it feel special samsung will keep at least a $100 margin from the regular one

  • Kunal Narang

    Samsung Galaxy S7 will be a Monster!

    • Avieshek Rajkhowa

      No, Note 6 will be the Monster!

  • Wow, I was afraid for Samsung from the past rumours. This is it!

  • Eddie Hicks

    The only thing that appeals to me is the very fast type C port charging. I have 64gb S6. There is no need for me to have expandable storage because I’ll never come close to needing more but I know others will. I have my S6 in a clear case which makes that camera lens bump flush. The pressure sensitive screen seems maybe a decent feature but not something that would make me decide to buy it. And there seems to be issues with it on the iPhones. Of course that doesn’t mean it has to be the same on Samsung but it seems like more tech that can cause more problems.

  • Roby

    I want at least a 3000 mAh battery in it before I consider buying.

    • saksham

      dude 30 minutes of charge and full day juice!!! slurrp

      • Roby

        I’m not a woman to carry half of my stuff with me wherever I go including my charger.
        A phone I use is supposed to last a full day with ease.

        • J G

          note 5. problem solved

          • Roby

            That’s the plan if the S7 is a flop when it comes to battery :)

  • saksham

    samsung has done it again ! i love you samsung

  • J G

    if the regular s7 has a sd card slot while the edge version wont…ppl will flip. personally i never liked the edge version and it was annoying to hold in the hand. love my note 5 64gb so heres to waiting on the next note :) note for LYFE!

    • The-Sailor-Man

      I could guess that the regular s7 form of the frame gives space for SD

      • J G

        doesnt matter. the s6 edge is the more “premium” you see samsung push. How are you going to push your more “premium” of the the 2 variants and NOT have the one feature 90% of people have been complaining about not happening. doesn’t make sense.

  • V-Phuc

    where’s N5IB? Surprised not to see him being the first to comment on this column? LOL.
    Anyone surprised by the “rumored” microSD slot back on the S7? So all that BS about how the Exynos cannot support the microSD is just that, BS? Unless Snapdragron 820 allows it but not Samsung Exynos still can’t? Regardless, if that becomes true, many loyal Samsung will be somewhat appeased, though if they have already upgraded to something else, the S7 may miss the mark again. Not everyone can afford to upgrade flagship phone to flagship phone every single year.

  • yuppery

    Who even looks for a samsung galaxy PLUS?? When there’s the note series…

  • Greg Bucker

    still has touchwiz? maybe the s8 will get that right. if it came with mostly pure android that thing would be amazing.

    • There are “Amazing” Nexus models available for you.

  • TJ

    More gimmicks huh? Ridiculous

    • Hoek

      Gimmicks? what out of these would you consider a gimmick, id say the retina scanner but the rest are not gimmicks imo.

      • TJ

        Retina scanner, camera, pressure screen and whatever else they’ll throw in. SD card is big win though.

  • What about the IR BLASTER??? I cannot be at ease with Samsung as I was in the past without the IR BLASTER………

  • doug_jensen

    How likely is the S7 to have a user-replaceable battery like the S4?

  • generic eric

    I missed the replaceable battery. Why did they leave that out of the article?