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Samsung Galaxy S7 unboxing and first 48 hours

I have been using what will be a top-selling smartphone in 2016 for a couple days and am ready to give you my first thoughts. So let's jump right in and tell you more about the Samsung Galaxy S7.

Published onMarch 8, 2016

It was only about 2 weeks ago that we first started playing around with the brand new Samsung Galaxy S7 and Galaxy S7 Edge, back at Mobile World Congress 2016. Needless to say these beauties were among the main highlights at the event, so we are excited to finally be able to spend more time with these phones.

The Galaxy S7 Edge unboxing and first impressions post has recently been published by Lanh, and now it’s time for the standard Galaxy S7 to shine. I have been using what will be a top-selling smartphone in 2016 for a couple days and am ready to give you my first thoughts. So let’s jump right in and tell you more about the Samsung Galaxy S7.

A beautiful phone like the Samsung Galaxy S7 is worthy of equally good-looking packaging. Samsung certainly didn’t disappoint here, offering a box that is nearly identical to that of the Edge version.

The black box is minimalist and elegant, yet colorful with bright white and blue colors adorning the front in the shape of the device’s name. Open the box and there is plenty to be had, including a charging cable, power outlet connector, a pair of headphones, a wireless transfer dongle and, of course, the Samsung Galaxy S7 itself.

Of course, we can’t go over all the details without giving you a refresher on the Samsung Galaxy S7 internals.

  • Android 6.0 Marshmallow
  • Qualcomm MSM8996 Snapdragon 820 or Exynos 8890 Octa processor
  • 5.1-inch Quad HD 2560×1440 Super AMOLED display
  • 4 GB of RAM
  • 32/64 GB of internal storage (expandable by up to 200 GB via microSD)
  • 12MP rear camera with dual pixel, OIS and LED flash
  • 5MP front camera
  • 3,000 mAh battery
  • Fingerprint reader
  • IP68 certified
  • 142.4 x 69.6 x 7.9 mm

Needless to say Samsung has worked hard to rehash the look of its devices. They went back to the drawing board with the Samsung Galaxy S6 series in order to provide a better build quality and much more enticing looks, something that has carried on and continues to be a staple of the newest handset.

I honestly can not get over how great this phone feels in the hand. It is not only perfectly sized, but the curves on the back offer a level of comfort we simply couldn’t see in its predecessor. This design element more closely ressembles the Galaxy Note 5, which also has curved edges on the back.

While the Galaxy S7 and S6 are roughly the same size, the newer handset gives off the impression of being a bit smaller. Otherwise, the phone is very similar to all other Samsung devices released recently. The buttons are exactly where you would expect them to be, and the build materials are pretty much the same.

Something we can say is better about the Samsung Galaxy S7 design is the camera hump in the back, which has been greatly reduced (though it’s still existent).

Maneuverability is also great with this phone. It’s simple to reach from one side of the phone to the other, as is reaching over to the top to pull down the notification button. And though the phone’s metal and glass are still a bit too slippery for total comfort, the size and edges help you get a better grip on the handset.

Likely one of the strongest additions to the design is the Galaxy S7’s resistance to the elements. It sports IP68 certification, meaning no dust will be getting into the phone. And if it happens to get wet, all you have to do is wipe off the liquids and continue with your daily matters.

No surprises here: the Samsung Galaxy S7 sports a Super AMOLED QHD screen with a 2560×1440 resolution, measuring in at 5.1 inches. Pixel density is very high at 577 pixels per inch. And as you can expect out of Super AMOLED displays, this one offers those gorgeous deep blacks and punched out colors these panels are so famous for.

Of course, we also have to mention the always-on display mode, which so far hasn’t harmed my battery life very much. I am a fan of the calendar option, but you can also opt for other ones as well.

I happen to have the European version, which sports the Exynos 8890 with Mali graphics backing it up. How does it do? I will need to run some more tests, but I can tell you performance has been nothing short of amazing.

Samsung has been great at optimizing its processor for the phone, something that really shows. Everything is very fluid and smooth; I have encountered no hiccups or crashes so far.

We need to test gaming more, as well as benchmarks. You can read all about that when we publish our full review. For now, you can rest assured that this phone is definitely powerful and fast.

We had to take a moment to mention microSD support, which has been one of the most popular requests from Samsung fans and users. I have put in my 200 GB SanDisk microSD in here and it works like a charm. The 32 GB storage inside the phone is nice, but we know some of you will need more, and now you can satiate all your memory needs.

Of course, we can’t give you a definitive opinion on battery life just yet. We will be doing more testing, but for the time being, it’s sensible to say this phone can definitely hold its own.

There’s a 3,000 mAh battery in here. Even though it’s not as large as the Edge device’s battery, it can provide better battery times than any of its direct predecessors. Even with heavy usage, I was able to get 3.5 hours of screen-on time. The next day I decided to use the phone more moderately, which gave me over 5 hours of screen-on time.

Samsung has gone a different route with the camera this time around. We now have a 12 MP camera on board, but it does have its cool additions. Dual pixel makes auto-focusing much more efficient, as every pixel in there can help with getting your images in focus. It does seem to work very well, as auto-focusing does take only a split second. Pixels in the main camera are also larger, which means they can let in more light and speed up shutters, effectively getting rid of blur.

My only complaint with the main camera is that temperatures tend to get warmer in lower-light situations. This is something that can be fixed in manual mode, but the caveat can get annoying in auto. Overall, it is still an amazing camera, which is to be expected form a Samsung flagship device. Is it the best, though? We will have to wait and see.

The 5 MP front-facing camera is pretty good too, but it has its downsides. One of them is the fact that it lacks OIS, so you need a steady hand or plenty of light to take those sharp selfies. As for video, this smartphone’s front shooter can handle QHD video recording, which will be great for all the vloggers out there.

We have the familiar Touchwiz running on the Samsung Galaxy S7, with the same colorful and rounder elements we have seen in the past. The app drawer continues to be present, but there is a Galaxy Labs option that can turn it off.

Otherwise, we can still find all the common features Samsung has become famous for, including Smart Stay. We will definitely expand more on this during our full review. The main addition is really the always-on display.

We will continue to test the phone and put it through the paces. We have to use it more extensively, as well as do a camera shootout and perform a few benchmarks to see how both versions of the Samsung Galaxy S7 stack up against each other. Until then, keep it tuned to Android Authority for more details and hit the comments to let us know how you are liking the “the next big thing”. Are you considering buying one?

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