Android Authority recorded a really good video capturing normal people’s views on the LG G5 and Samsung Galaxy S7 Edge.
Most of the people interviewed were using iPhones.
Android Authority recorded a really good video capturing normal people’s views on the LG G5 and Samsung Galaxy S7 Edge.
Most of the people interviewed were using iPhones.
Below are a selection of photos taken with the S7 Edge Camera over the last couple of days.
Yesterday was a very wet day, and all 3 dogs got a good soaking including myself.
The Girls – Fury and Tiggy
What a Difference A Few Days Makes
My favourite shot non dog shot taken 5 days ago at Foggintor Quarry, Dartmoor
Welcome to my review of the Samsung Galaxy S7 Edge. This review is going to take a slightly different spin to previous reviews as I am going to look at the overall “experience”.
We live in a world whereby phones leap forward in specifications. But does that translate into a good phone? In my experience not always. So what have Samsung managed to achieve? Well if you own a S7 or S7 Edge you can tap into the world of virtual reality with Samsung’s Gear VR. This is really a low cost way of accessing virtual reality. Gaming takes on a new pleasure with the Game Launcher. More later on that. Then you have Gear S2 smartwatches which really are one of the best smart watches out there. Finally, Samsung include Hi-Res Bluetooth and wired music upsampling. You can experience the best of this using their Level One Pro Bluetooth headphones.
The Samsung S7 Edge is beautiful. That alone should be a good enough reason to own it. But it gets better. It is dust and water resistant to IP68. It includes a lovely QHD 5.5 inch screen that fits in such a narrow near bezel less frame. This means that despite being a 5.5 inch screen it is a breeze to hold. The in hand grip and feel is further improved by all the curves on the back. The mix of glass and curves is stunning. Samsung added back the micro SD card along with a base internal storage of 32gb. This is excellent as my 200gb Sandisk micro SD card holds my photos and around 90gb of music. But I cannot stress how beautiful this phone looks. Just make sure you wear gloves as its a fingerprint magnet.
The User Experience
Samsung is still using Touchwiz on its phones along with Android 6.0.1. With the S7 Edge this takes a lighter affair. The look is totally customisable with its skin deep themes. I recommend 2 themes. Android 6.0 and Flatron. Android 6.0 theme creates a Nexus style look and is my current favourite. The Edge panel is included but now becomes useful. I use this to access my most used apps. I spent time adjusting the position of the tab on the Edge screen so it is perfectly lined up with a thumb swipe.
This will be the first phone whereby I won’t be installing a third party launcher like Nova. Touchwiz is better in many ways especially the deep level theming.
When I first got my S7 Edge I nearly threw it out of the window into the trash bin. I got the dreaded camera failed message when launching the camera. This was a conflict with the Smart Stay option in settings, which has now been resolved with the last software update. Apart from that its been a wonderful experience. The attention to detail is superb.
Samsung include their Ultra Power Saving mode. So should you run short on battery, you can switch to this mode and with just 1% battery get 10-13 hours more run time. This is on a restricted basic. Only 6 apps will work and you only have a very limited choice. My setup includes the Phone, SMS, WhatsApp and Twitter. The standard power saving mode is available too.
However, the 3,600mAh battery is a powerhouse. I posted last week a screen shot of my battery status at 53%. This was at 9pm. Click HERE. I had managed just under 5 hours screen on time. So based on the estimations provided I was on track for 9 – 10 hours screen on time. Remarkable. Normally I get 6 hours screen on time but it is increasing. Is this voodoo magic? Not really. I have bluetooth, WiFi, NFC, push email x 3, and use all the social networks – Facebook, Twitter, Google+, Tumblr, Flickr and more. I have also installed 110 apps/games. So how does the S7 Edge manage such high screen on times. It includes automatic power saving options for every app. I let the phone manage these automatically. The power app saving doesn’t happen until you have had an app installed for 3 days.
Samsung also features an always on display which is slightly adjustable. I have turned this off as I found it too bright and consequently annoying. It also only displays notifications for Samsung apps. At night I do use the night clock option which runs along the curved edge. This is not too bright and perfect for checking the time at night.
After three weeks of using the S7 Edge, you realise just how well the software integrates so tightly with the hardware. This is the best phone Samsung has EVER produced.
Samsung pretty much include the kitchen sink with this phone. But they have removed some features that were present on the S6. The most noticeable is the infra red blaster. However, throwing videos and photos on to my TV via WiFi actually worked with no errors whatsoever. More impressive is that I don’t own a Samsung TV.
Playing games on the Samsung is so enjoyable because Samsung added another piece of functionality called Game Launcher. As you install games they all appear in the Game Launcher app. Game Tools are available which include no alerts during gaming, locking recent and back keys, minimise and keep alive, screen shot and recording your game play with your voice too. You can of course connect a game controller. I use my Moga Pro Power. So now you can share with the world your gameplay, or simply play games without being interrupted. This is attention to detail again! Moga haven’t updated their app yet for Android 6.0 so you need to use a workaround which I provided details of HERE. If you want to view the quality of the game launcher recordings of me playing a couple of games, click HERE.
And what about the 12mp dual pixel f/1.7 camera?
The camera on the S7 Edge is superb at doing one thing and one thing only. Capturing the moment every time and perfectly every time. It has one of the fastest focus systems on a phone. It is practically instant. Not only that to launch the camera is just a double press of the home button in any app or even with the phone off. The burst mode takes 100 shots in a few seconds. When it takes the 100th shot, my iPhone 6S Plus had reached 40 burst shots. That is just how fast this phone is at taking pictures. Video is exemplary. Post processing does over sharpen the photos slightly. However, I am finding that the photos do not need any idea and are perfect for sharing.
I have reviewed the camera already. Click HERE. This includes loads of photo samples too.
The loudspeaker is a few db quieter than the iPhone 6S Plus, but still maintains a decent quality for listening to podcasts. USB Audio is fantastic. Using USB Player Pro app and my iBasso D-Zero MK2 with any of my headphones was superb. Using the S7 Edge headphone jack is a mixed bag. The quality is excellent again, but the headphone amp is not that powerful. Therefore, you will need some efficient headphones. I do recommend using third party music apps Poweramp or Neutron which improve the sound quality over Samsung’s own music app. Bluetooth includes APT-X and also Hi-Res Bluetooth via Samsung’s UHQ system. UHQ works only with Samsung’s official app and Google Play Music so far. Samsung’s Level One Pro headphones are compatible with UHQ. The Level One Pro headphones will be reviewed separately. I also used my Plantronics BackBeat Pro Bluetooth headphones and the output was crazy good. I have a theory that Samsung have focused the music quality deliberately towards bluetooth connections as inserting headphones could over time weaken the waterproofing. Bluetooth volume was really powerful and loud.
Samsung’s latest smartwatches the Gear S2 and Gear S2 Classic work perfectly with the S7 Edge. I will be publishing my review of the Gear S2 shortly.
The icing on the cake is the virtual reality experience. Connect the S7 Edge to the Gear VR and get ready to blow your mind. This will also impress your friends big time. However, the Gear VR can make you feel queasy. It does with me, so despite the wow factor and experience, I won’t be using it that much.
So let’s recap. Samsung have produced a phone with great battery life, great power saving modes to save your skin when you have just 1% battery left, a stunning camera with super fast focus speeds, superb audio especially via bluetooth, a gamers paradise, dust and waterproof, support for a micro SD card slot, excellent software and hardware integration, theming, an introduction to virtual reality and so much more, and then wrapped this up in a gorgeous piece of hardware. Samsung then let you choose from a range of accessories including cases and more.
Samsung nailed it with the S7 Edge. However, the market place does include other choices from the Xiaomi Mi-5 and soon to be released LG G5, HTC 10, iPhone 6S Plus and Huawei P9. So Samsung really had to make sure their new flagships were perfect.
In just over 30 days we will see how HTC, LG and Huawei compete against the S7 and S7 Edge. May the battle commence!
At the moment, the Samsung Galaxy S7 Edge is “amaze balls”.
Update – Android Pay and Samsung Pay haven’t arrived yet in the UK. But in addition to NFC, the S7 will also work on non contactless payment card machines. Another plus point.
Update 2 – And 30 mins after writing this review I started having an issue which arose when deleting photos in quick succession in the gallery app. Basically, the speed of deletion ground to a halt after deleting 2 in a row. I am using a 200gb Sandisk micro SD card with about 50gb used. Anyway, after some experimentation with some other micro SD cards, it seems there is another bug/issue I have found which arises when you have a lot of photos/music on your micro SD card. Tomorrow I will be discussing this issue with Samsung and will advise if there is any solution.
One of the features of the Samsung Galaxy S7 and S7 Edge is creating a short video of an event automatically.
This is features takes a selection of your photos and videos for a particular event and creates a quick video ready for sharing. You can tweak the video slightly too.
If you want to take matters into your own hand, then download Samsung’s Video Editor from the Galaxy App store.
However, for that automatic, no hassle approach, this is a sample of what you can get.
Without a doubt the battery life of the Samsung Galaxy S7 Edge is far ahead of any other Samsung phone I have owned.
With a few tweaks I am now getting on a bad day 6.5 hours screen on time. Normally with previous Samsung phones the longer you use it the worse the battery becomes.
However the S7 Edge is a different kettle of fish. So how does 10 hours screen on time sound!
Well that’s what I got yesterday.
Now that was with my main sim installed. Push email on 3 accounts. Music streaming. Camera. Facebook. Twitter. Google+ .
Two nights ago my Samsung Galaxy S7 Edge received a firmware update. This has been stated as the March security update and some bug fixes. Well I had been playing with the S7 Edge all day yesterday and noticed the following changes and improvements.
– March Security update applied
– Camera Failed Bug – This appears to have gone. Re-activating Smart Stay in the display option of the settings app does not cause the camera to fail.
– Camera Post Processing – Samsung is still applying sharpening but it has been reduced. See below.
– RAW Shots- Following the changes above, I wondered if RAW photos had been improved. Shot below is a RAW shot that I post processed afterwards of a game controller knob.
And below is the original JPG in auto.
– Bluetooth Audio – The S7 Edge has a Hi-Res Bluetooth Codec called UHQ. This has been improved to prevent minor drop outs whilst using this Hi-Res format.
– Misc bug fixes and improved screen sensitivity
So have you found any other improvements or fixes.
The more you use the Samsung Galaxy S7 Edge the more you discover. The S7 and S7 Edge has a sandbox type area called Game Launcher. This automatically places all your games into this app. You can manually add or remove games as well.
You then have a range of game playing options, from recording your gameplay, stopping notifications whilst gaming and turning off the capacitive menu keys to prevent accidental presses.
Below are two games I recorded. You can also add you voice to the footage. You will notice the warning message about having the game music too loud and you will also see the icon bottom left to indicate recording.
What’s really impressive is I was able to play the game and record it at 720p. Both games were also connected to my Gear S2 and Moga Pro Bluetooth Game Controller. Just shows how powerful the Exynos processor is.
Just an update on the status of my review on the Samsung Galaxy S7 Edge. I had planned having this ready for Monday but Samsung have let me down. Their courier of choice doesn’t post at the weekends so the extra pieces I wanted to include with my review won’t arrive until Monday.
So what are these extras? Well firstly the Samsung Gear S2 smartwatch and secondly the Samsung Level One Pro Bluetooth headphones. I also have the Gear VR which will form part of the overall review.
You might ask why the Samsung Level One Pro headphones. Well these are enabled with Samsung’s Hi-Res Bluetooth codec which is better than APT-X. The Samsung Music app (just updated for the S7) includes an option for UHQ music upscaling. I do recommend using this setting at all times. The UHQ option is for wired headphones and any headphones that support the UHQ Bluetooth codec which include the Level One Pro headphones.
I have already published many posts on the camera so the other aspects I wanted to explore fully is the sound quality. This is via the loudspeaker, headphone jack and USB Audio. I have already spent hours testing the headphone audio using loads of different types of headphones. I have also used several USB DAC Amps. And to complete the test I have also used several android music apps. So my last part was to see what difference using the Hi-Res Bluetooth codec makes to the audio nirvana.
I have tested, owned and reviewed all the previous Samsung Gear smart watches. Just use the menu to find them. So I only thought it right to include the Gear S2 in my review of the Edge. And not forgetting the Gear VR.
So my review is likely to take a slightly different angle to many other reviews and explain the Samsung Galaxy S7 Experience. Because that is what really matters nowawadays.
The experience is what iOS iPhone users shout about. Well let’s see what Samsung can achieve!
Stay tuned for a roller coaster of a journey !
The above shot is full auto with HDR activated. I then took the same shot in the Pro mode and extracted the RAW image into Adobe Lightroom on my Mac to see whether the RAW image could be improved. After a few quick edits and conversion to a jpeg I achieved the shot below.
I then tried using 3 raw images with 3 different EV exposures. -2, 0 and +2. The aim to combine them in Lightroom using the HDR option. Sadly, Lightroom would not perform this merge as it produced an error message data not available in images to perform HDR merge.
My next option was using another Mac app, Photomatix 5 HDR. For this I combined 3 raw images with different exposures. This was a non runner as the boat name running along the edge was not aligned. This was despite the S7 Edge being on a tripod. This was very disappointing as this app produces amazing images.
So was the effort of shooting in raw worth it? No in my opinion. Just use a normal jpeg and edit in snapseed or similar and create this shot below.
On Monday, my full review of the S7 Edge will be live. This will include by audio findings and my view of the S7 Edge “experience”.
Samsung claim the dual pixel focus system is super fast. In my tests this is certainly the case. So how does it do at 70mph.
The below shots are shot behind a windscreen too.
Just as an update in case you missed the fix from yesterday, but predominately my S7 Edge camera was failed yesterday and wouldn’t take any photos until I discovered the solution. If you get this error message it should be because you have Smart Stay optioned enabled. This can be found in the main settings app, under Display, Smart Stay. Toggle this off for the time being until Samsung releases a fix for the conflict. If you turned Smart Stay off, and are still getting problems can you please get in touch.
Below are links to all 8 parts of my Samsung Galaxy S7 Edge camera review, comparison and shootout with the Apple iPhone 6S Plus.
Next week will be a post on RAW quality along with my ultimate review including the audio quality. Due to the issues with the camera failing, my final views will be postponed until next week. This will allow me time to examine raw quality too.
Update – Shooting in RAW
After yesterday’s night shots, I got asked for some examples of the camera at night without the use of a tripod. So here we go.
I had to use the Pro mode to reproduce the actual level of darkness. See below.
So that’s how dark it really is. Now for auto mode. Makes the shot much lighter. See below.
And finally a hand held shot of the church to compare with yesterday’s post. This was shot in auto.
Again it was really much darker.
As a comparison below is handheld shot from default camera app on the iPhone 6S Plus.
So do the handheld shots from the S7 change your view on its camera quality ?
This is my final part of my camera shootout / comparisons with the Samsung Galaxy S7 Edge camera. This is the part that surprised me the most. The photos were taken just before light disappeared and then at night. All shots were on a tripod.
For these tests I used the best apps on iOS to help the Apple iPhone 6S. Sadly not a single third party app on android works yet with the new Samsung Galaxy S7 Edge camera.
iPhone 6S – ISO 200 1/4s – Default Camera App
Same shot but using LowLightMode+ on ProCamera+ for iOS which combines upto 64 exposures into 1.
ProCamera+ makes a huge difference, so now it’s time to try Nightcap Pro for iOS. See below. Nightcap Pro does a great job too.
So now to using the Pro mode in the S7 Edge. Shot below is ISO 100 and a 2s exposure.
So same ISO 100 but now 4s in Pro Mode for the Samsung S7 Edge.
So let’s go back to the iPhone 6S Plus. It’s a lot darker now.
The default iPhone camera app picks ISO 160 and 1/4s exposure for the shot below. It’s really dark now and the default camera app shows it that way.
So next I tried ProCamera+ for the same shot. See below. And it does a much better job.
Ok so that was the iPhone. Now let’s switch back to the Samsung Galaxy S7 Edge. Below is auto mode. Now remember it was getting darker all the time so the S7 always had the short straw. In full auto it was too dark so I just used Pro Mode. Shots are in order of exposures at 100 ISO. First 1s, then 2s and finally 4s.
And now 2s. See below.
And finally 4s. See below.
Ok let’s try some light trails. First up iPhone 6S Plus using Nightcap Pro. Light trails cannot be done using the iOS default camera app.
And now let’s try with the Samsung Galaxy S7 using Pro Mode. See below.
Right let’s try a night shot with strew lamps. First up the iPhone 6S Plus. Using the default camera app, ISO 1,600 and a 1/4s exposure is selected. Shot below.
Let’s try ProCamera+. Shot below. As you can see it does a better job in its lowlight+ mode.
And finally on the iPhone I used Nightcap Pro. Shot below.
So let’s switch back to the S7 Edge. In auto mode it choose ISO 1,600 and 1/7s. Shot below.
I didn’t use Pro Mode as it started to rain so I had to abort. But I don’t like the yellow effect from the S7 auto shot. Also when zooming in the details were not as good as those from the iPhone.
So which phone is your winner and why?
The photos below were just snapped with the S7 Edge a short while ago.
It really is a lovely day on Dartmoor today.
George and Fury zig zagging. Or something. Not sure really but they were both charging around.
And here is George with his tongue. Fury and Tiggy are playing in the background.
A lovely shot of Fury. She looks wet and muddy 🙂
This is the view at the moment. Stunning.
And lastly here’s Tiggy, also wet and muddy 🙂
And now for some macro shots just taken a few minutes ago.