We’re here at MWC 2016, where Samsung has just taken the wraps off of their latest flagship offerings. As was the case last year, the company has also released an Edge variant alongside its main flagship product, the Galaxy S7. What does this curvy device have to offer? Let’s find out, as we go hands on with the Samsung Galaxy S7 Edge!

Design

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The Galaxy S7 Edge looks just as sleek as its predecessors

This year’s Galaxy S line brings with it refinements to the design language instead of being a complete overhaul, which is perfectly fine, given that there wasn’t a whole lot wrong with last year’s models. It still features a metal and glass unibody construction, but everything has pretty much been rounded off at every angle. The back tapers down along the sides, similar to what was seen with the Galaxy Note 5, and with the more rounded corners and sides, the device no longer has that sharp feel in the hand that was seen with its predecessor. The device feels a lot more comfortable in the hand, and the curves on the back contribute significantly to the handling experience, and even more so in the case of the larger Galaxy S7 Edge.

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Moving around the sides of the device, the buttons are all in the same spots as last year’s flagships. One important thing to note is that Samsung decided to forgo USB Type-C this time around and instead opt for the standard Micro USB port. We aren’t entirely sure why Samsung made this decision, as it’s been made pretty clear that Type-C is the new standard for Android devices.

Display

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Both flagships now come with always-on displays

The Galaxy S7 Edge is also much larger when compared to its predecessor and its flagship sibling, with it now featuring a much large 5.5-inch display. It is, of course, a Super AMOLED panel once again, with a Quad HD resolution. It offers saturated and vibrant colors, good viewing angles and brightness, and deep, inky blacks. A new addition to the display experience is the fact that it is now an always-on display, which lets you peek at the time, notifications, calendar, and weather information — all without having to wake up the phone. For those worried about the effect on battery life, Samsung claims that the always-on display results in a battery drain of less than 1%.

Performance and hardware

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The Galaxy S7 Edge will be powered by either a Samsung Exynos or Qualcomm Snapdragon 820 processor, depending on the market. We’re still waiting on official word from Samsung regarding the exact model of Exynos used. Regardless, all versions are paired with 4GB RAM.

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Samsung has certainly noticed the uproar that was a result of the removal of staple features like a removable battery and expandable storage with the previous iterations, and while the former is still not available, the latter makes its way back into the fold. The device comes with dual SIM capabilities, with the secondary SIM slot also serving as a microSD card slot, leaving users with having to make the choice between dual SIM features or expandable storage. Also returning from the Samsung Galaxy S5 is water and dust resistance, with the Galaxy S7 Edge coming with an IP68 rating for the same.

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Another big issue with last year’s devices was battery life, but with the Galaxy S7 Edge, Samsung is looking to address that concern by packing in a large 3,600mAh battery. There should be no reason why this phone cannot comfortably allow for a full day of use, if not more. Fast wireless charging also makes a return here, and also Quick Charge capabilities, that should have you up and running in no time.

Cameras

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The camera has also seen quite a few improvements. First off, the large camera bulge is pretty much gone this time, and while the camera still protrudes a little bit, it is nowhere as significant (or worrisome) as before. The camera is 12MP shooter, which may seem like a downgrade from the 16MP primary camera of its predecessor, but what you get is a much large pixel size, at 1.4 microns, that allows for much improved low-light performance, which is augmented even further with its f/1.7 aperture. The camera is also utilizing a dual pixel setup, which is the first of its kind on a smartphone, and this allows for faster focusing, even in poorly-lit conditions.

Software

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On the software side of things, you get the latest iteration of Touchwiz on top of Android 6.0.1 Marshmallow, and this is probably the cleanest version of the Touchwiz UI we’ve come across. The squared circle icons aren’t the most aesthetically-pleasing, but they are definitely a big improvement over Samsung’s previous icons. Also gone is the blue and green color scheme, for a far simpler blue and white.

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And as noted in our Galaxy S7 hands-on, Samsung has added in an experimental feature to the software that allows you to remove the app drawer if you’d like. LG decided to forgo the app drawer altogether with the G5, but it’s optional with the S7 and S7 Edge. We’ve also heard rumors that Android N, the next major version of Android, will axe the app drawer as well, so it looks like both Samsung and LG might be getting a head start with the change.

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The S7 Edge comes with quite a few new Edge-centric features

The dual curved edges still give off that really cool waterfall effect, and Samsung has added some additional software features to take further advantage of the Edge display. You still get the People Edge and Apps Edge like before, but there are now two columns of apps, which makes it a lot more useful. New to the edge features is Tasks Edge and the Edge panel. Tasks Edge, as the name suggests, lets you add shortcuts to specific tasks, like adding a calendar event, composing a text message, and other activities that you would normally do regularly. The Edge panel, on the other hand, is basically a slew of customizable widgets that you can pick and choose between, such as stocks, Yahoo news, Calendar, or Weather, to quickly give you information at a glance.

Specs

 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

Gallery

Wrapping up

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So there you have it for this quick look at the Samsung Galaxy S7 Edge! A more refined design, a larger display, the return of key features, a further streamlined software experience, and more features to take advantage of the Edge display means that the Galaxy S7 Edge does bring a lot to the table. If you found its predecessor to be lacking, the latest Samsung flagship may have done its part in addressing those concerns. We’ll be sure to update this post as we learn more about this device.

What do you think? Could this be your next smartphone? Be sure to tell us your thoughts in the comments below!

Lanh Nguyen

Lanh is a YouTube host and reviewer based out of Kansas City. He has been with the Android Authority team since early 2014.