The Galaxy Note 5 and S6 Edge+ may have only recently launched, but Samsung will already be well under way with development of its next flagship smartphone, the Galaxy S7. Although we’re still a long way from launch, some early details have surfaced which give us some idea about what we can expect from the handset.
First up, the Galaxy S7 seems to be going by the codename Project Lucky, as several mentions of such a device have appeared in a couple of benchmarks recently. We’ll start with these benchmarks, as they give us a little look at the possible specifications for the S7.
New processing hardware
Qualcomm is gearing up to launch its Snapdragon 820 SoC in early 2016 and a Samsung Lucky device has passed through AnTuTu sporting this chip. The handset also sports 4GB of RAM, which matches the amount included in Samsung’s most recent smartphones, along with a 16 megapixel rear camera and a large 5.7-inch display.
A separate rumor from Korea suggests that Samsung may be preparing to launch two sizes of its Galaxy S7 at the same time. One with a 5.1-inch QHD display and one at 5.8-inches, possibly with a 4K resolution that would match the Sony Xperia Z5 Premium.
A separate Geekbench listing also reveals a Samsung LUCKY-LTE device featuring a custom octa-core chip, so the company may be going back to two SoCs for regional variants with different modem support. The speculation is that this could be a new Exynos processor from Samsung, dubbed the M1, as the profile doesn’t appear to match up with any existing chips.
There is also reference to a universal8890 motherboard in the listing, which means that the chip might appear as the Exynos 8890 come launch. The make-up of the SoC is unknown but it seemed to benchmark well ahead of Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 820, although it is far too early to infer any real world performance results at this stage.
The return of microSD?
An additional leak suggests that the Galaxy S7 will arrive with familiar 32GB and 64GB internal storage options and that microSD card support may be returning too, although we are unlikely to see a replaceable battery. Current Samsung flagships make use of fast UFS 2.0 internal memory, which isn’t compatible with the memory controller used for SD cards, hence why Samsung has had to drop support for extra storage. Samsung may have found a workaround or could backtrack on UFS 2.0, but this rumor seems a little more doubtful than the others.
Finally, although the benchmark listing points to a familiar 16 megapixel sensor in the S7, Samsung is said to be testing a new 20 megapixel ISOCELL camera sensor, which the company has dubbed the “all lens cover.” That could mean anything, but it’s possible that Samsung will return to its own sensor technology if it produces superior results. The company may also reserve its ISOCELL sensor for some models, as it did with the Galaxy S6.
There is still a long way to go until we hear anything official about the Galaxy S7, so the rumors here are likely to change over time. Still, what do you want to see from Samsung’s next flagship smartphone?