Samsung Galaxy S7 Edge Review + GIVEAWAY! [UPDATE: Contest Closed]

Samsung Galaxy S7 Edge Display

Springtime is here, and that not only means the Canadian winter is saying goodbye (good riddance!), but Samsung has just released their brand new 2016 flagships: the Samsung Galaxy S7 and S7 Edge.  I’ve been lucky enough to get my hands on a brand new Galaxy S7 Edge, which I’ve been using for the past two weeks.  If you’ve read my reviews of the Galaxy S5, or Galaxy S6, you’ll know I’ve had my frustrations with Samsung.  With the Galaxy S7, however, I’m officially a fan.  These devices not only feature top-tier hardware, but their software is a winner as well.  Keep reading for our full review, and your chance to win a brand new Galaxy S7!

Hardware

Samsung Galaxy S6 Edge vs S7 Edge

The Samsung Galaxy S6 Edge vs S7 Edge

When you buy a Galaxy S-line phone, you know you’re getting the top of line hardware on the market.  With the Galaxy S7 and S7 Edge, that’s no exception.  Both the Galaxy S7 and S7 Edge boast a gorgeous 1440×2560 AMOLED display, a 12MP rear camera, 5MP wide-angle front camera, 4GB of RAM (wow!), and a Snapdragon 820 processor.  Last year, the S6 and S6 Edge were essentially the same phone despite a curved screen on one, which caused a lot of confusion among buyers as to which phone was better.  To me, there’s no real purpose of a curved screen, despite it looking cool.  This year, however, my recommendation is different, and that’s because the S7 Edge offers more than its non-curved counterpart.

This year, the Galaxy S7 Edge features a larger 5.5″ curved screen (vs. the S7’s 5.1″), and a larger 3,600mAh battery (20% larger than the S7’s battery).  For these two reasons alone, I’d recommend the S7 Edge to everyone over the S7.  That extra battery life is precious, and can really make the difference between being left with an empty battery at the end of the day or not.  Should you require a top up of power during the day, both phones feature Qualcomm’s incredible QuickCharge technology, letting users quickly fill up in no time, as well as fast wireless charging support (with a $80 wireless charging accessory).  If you’re buying extra chargers, it’s essential that you make sure they’re QuickCharge compatible for the best experience.

Samsung Galaxy S7 Edge Selfie Camera

My just woke up hair on the wide Galaxy S7 selfie camera

My two favourite parts about the Galaxy S7 and S7 Edge are the added option of expandable storage and their water resistance.  Expandable storage allows anyone to add up to 200GB of storage to the phone with a microSD card, which is much less costly than purchasing a larger phone model – a common issue that iPhone users know all too well.  More and more Android devices are adding this feature, and I welcome it with open arms.  While Android 6.0 Marshmallow adds the ability to merge the SD card as internal storage for app storage, I highly recommend against this feature as it causes a lot of things to not work.  Rather, expandable storage should be used for music, photos, and documents.

The other feature I absolutely love about the Galaxy S7 and S7 Edge is the addition of water resistance.  This was present in the Galaxy S5, but required a small door to be opened and closed every time you wanted to charge the phone, which ended up breaking for many people, including me.  With the Galaxy S7 and S7 Edge, the entire inside of the phones have been coated to be water resistant, so there’s no need for an additional part.  Water resistance is an incredibly useful feature and it really removes a level of worry that many people have about using their phones in the rain, or spilling on them.  With the Galaxy S7 and S7 Edge, your phone can endure through the elements.



Of course no review would be complete without a look at the cameras, both of which are once again the best cameras I’ve ever used on an Android phone.  Samsung has lowered the number of megapixels from 16 to 12 in this generation of the Galaxy, which allows for larger pixels and better low-light performance.  The Galaxy S7 and S7 Edge are the first smartphones to feature dual-pixel technology, so they capture better photos in low-light environments and focus incredibly fast.  I was blown away by the professional-looking blurred backgrounds (or depth of field) I was getting from these cameras, as well as the Galaxy’s ability to focus on subjects up close.

The Galaxy S7 and S7 Edge include a home button that doubles as a fingerprint reader.  Samsung has improved the technology from previous generations, making the reader faster than ever, and therefore more likely to be used by the masses.  I found it worked well, though was sometimes hard to use when sitting on a table.  This is a useful feature considering most Android phones lack a fingerprint reader.

With the Galaxy S7 and S7 Edge, you’ll also be getting support for Samsung Pay, coming to Canada in late 2016.  Samsung Pay is one of the most exciting mobile payment technologies on the market, as it is the only mobile payments technology that works with both NFC tap-to-pay readers as well as traditional swipe machines.  To use it, you simply hold the phone next to the swipe area of a reader, and voila!  While I haven’t tried this yet myself, I’ve heard nothing but good things.

Samsung Galaxy S7 Speaker and Bottom Ports

Samsung Galaxy S7 Speaker and Bottom Ports

If I had to critique the hardware in any way, it would be for the amount of fingerprints the glass rear of the device collects.  This isn’t an issue on the plastic and metal backs of other devices made by HTC or Apple, which is why I wish Samsung would follow suit.  The other let down for me was the speaker quality, which I felt had limited volume and was tinny.  The speaker grille is located on the bottom of the phone – a poor location considering I often found myself adjusting my grip as to not cover the speaker.  This may be a tradeoff necessary for the water resistance, but I’d like Samsung to focus on sound quality more in the future, especially when other flagships such as the Moto X Pure offer incredible front-facing stereo speakers.

Software

The software on the Galaxy S7 and S7 Edge is far better than anything I’ve found on Samsung devices of the past.  I don’t say this lightly, as I’ve often vowed to not purchase Samsung phones because I felt the software experience was too far removed from how Google intended Android to function.  With the S7 and S7 Edge, I can honestly say that Samsung has fixed most of the quips I’ve had with their software, to the point that I’m considering purchasing the phone myself.  I often complained about how Samsung’s TouchWiz interface looked childish and different than Google’s beautiful Material Design interface.  TouchWiz on the S7 and S7 Edge is much cleaner, so much so that I had no desire to change the icon pack or homescreen to something different.  Samsung’s new icons and colour palette are much easier on the eyes, more modern, and bring out the crispness of the AMOLED display.  A fantastic improvement.

TouchWiz Customization on Samsung Galaxy S7

More customization in TouchWiz!

My other issue with Samsung’s previous phones has been the amount of software pre-loaded on the device that duplicated Google’s own apps.  With the Galaxy S7 and S7 Edge, Samsung took this issue very seriously, almost eliminating their own bloatware entirely.  This is a win for all users, advanced or not, as they will not have to decide which calendar, SMS, or Translation app to use, as an example.  If a power user wanted to replace the Samsung SMS app, for example, with Google’s official Messenger app, they could do that.  While duplicate apps remain, they are limited to the browser and calendar apps, which is very acceptable.  It is also great to see that Samsung’s newsreader called Flipboard Briefing can be turned off very easily to remove it from the homescreen.  Progress!

Samsung Galaxy S7 Edge Display_2

Ruler, anyone?

On top of these major improvements, Samsung has expanded the functionality of the Apps Edge on the Galaxy S7 Edge.  This lets users easily swipe in from the curved glass of their device to see a variety of information including favourite contacts, apps, a ruler, recent messages, or the news.  If a user wants more capability, they can download additional panels in the Galaxy app store.  I found this to be a really nice feature that came in handy while using the device.

With the Galaxy S7 and S7 Edge, Samsung has introduced an always-on display feature that shows the time or weather when the screen is off.  This is made possible because with AMOLED displays, Samsung can show true black-levels on the screen without using any power.  Basically, if a pixel is showing black, it’s actually off.  While smart in concept, the feature is very limited, especially in terms of showing notifications.  Hopefully this is improved in a software update, as competitive always-on displays, like the Moto X Active Display, are much more robust and show all types of notifications.

The Good

  • Water resistant
  • Incredible camera
  • Less bloatware included
  • The best displays on the market
  • Samsung Pay compatible
  • BONUS: Compatibility with the awesome Samsung Gear VR (review coming soon!)

The Bad

  • Low quality speakers
  • Fingerprint magnet
  • Always-on display does not show full notifications

The Bottom Line

I’m not afraid to admit that I’ve always been hesitant to buy a Samsung phone after my experience with the Galaxy S5.  The Korean giant’s handsets have always been solid devices that are great for most people, but I could never get over their gimmicky software and added bloatware.  The Galaxy S7 and S7 Edge change all that for me.  Gone are the duplicate apps that plagued the previous devices, and TouchWiz has been cleaned up for a much more stock-Android look.  On the hardware side, the Galaxy S7 and S7 Edge offer the best cameras and displays on the market, though audio quality suffers due to the devices’ water resistant coating.  Simply put, if you’re looking for a high-end device that can do it all with the latest specs, the Galaxy S7 and S7 Edge are for you.

Samsung Galaxy S7 Giveaway

What would a GadgetGuide review be without a giveaway?!  Our friends at Rogers and Samsung Canada have been kind enough to provide a brand new 32GB Samsung Galaxy S7 that one lucky reader will win.  Fill out the Gleam form below for your chance!  Full terms and conditions are below.

GadgetGuide’s Samsung Galaxy S7 Giveaway!


332 thoughts on “Samsung Galaxy S7 Edge Review + GIVEAWAY! [UPDATE: Contest Closed]

  1. Haven’t had a Samsung since the S3 and really liked that phone! This sounds just as good and high quality that Samsung delivers on. Thanks for giving me a chance to replace my messed up crap phone!

  2. I love the water resistance feature, would be great on vacays with the fam! My S4 is looking a little tired, so this upgrade would be pretty sweet!

  3. This phone is so very useful since I can even use it in business to do Samsung Pay. The camera is great, and it even is water-resistant which truly makes this phone worth the money you spend on it.

  4. I’d love to win the Samsung Galaxy S7 because I currently have a Windows based phone that’s about 4 years old …I’d love an Android based phone for all the great apps and features.

  5. I’d love to win it mostly because of the camera and the storage. I love taking photos and both of those would really come in handy for that! The fact that it’s water resistant is great too; it means I don’t have to worry as much if I accidentally drop it on the trails or something.

  6. My phone is outdated, doesn’t work half the time & is very frustrating to use! Would love to win an amazing Samsung Galaxy S7 Edge!

  7. I would love to win because I have never owned a samsung or android phone before and I really would like to try it out. I am tired of people leaving hate comments about Apple and about Samsung when they have not even tried the other phone out. I want to try this glorious phone out so I can experience both myself (I have an iPod 5) and then make my own fair and honest opinion. Thanks for the opportunity to win this glorious device!

  8. There are a million reasons why I would love to get this phone, but mostly to replace the poor performance and processing power of the iPhone 5S I’m currently on contract for. I had the Galaxy S vibrant, S5 and S6 and would love to rejoin Team Android!

  9. Everything I have read about reads its pretty much state of the art except for a few,to me anyway,minor faults.

  10. i would love to win this new Samsung because i still don’t have my own smartphone! thanks for the great prizes

  11. Would love to win because my iPhone is becoming unreliable.. Autocorrect occasionally on the fritz, especially while charging, and one day my battery unexplainably died after sitting for 5 hours, despite being full when I left it.

  12. I would love to win because I’m a hardcore Samsung fan!! 🙂 Love the water resistant and the less bloatware (hated how I can’t remove pre-installed apps I don’t need!). Love the 1440×2560 AMOLED display, the a 12MP rear camera, and the 4GB of RAM for the multitasker in me!

  13. I really want to WIN a Samsung Galaxy S7! It is an awesome phone anybody would be lucky to have!! I am a single mom to 4 teenagers and I dont have a phone at all! I need it to keep in touch with my family and friends and to use the camera to take pictures of my first grandchild, a baby girl born November 27 2016! Thank-you for even a slim chance of owning this GREAT phone!!

  14. I would love to win the Samsung Galaxy s7 for my son! He’s going to be 19 this summer, and he’s a Samsung/Android lover and this would be perfect for him! Thanks for the chance.

  15. I don’t have a smart phone of any kind and this one has all the features I would love if I could afford to buy one.

  16. First, thank you for the giveaway, because without out – well, none of us would have the opportunity to win this awesome smartphone – so again, thank you!

    Reason I would love to win this smartphone is because of the many features that is has that my current iPhone does not.

    For one, like yourself I love that this phone has expandable storage – something that I desperately wish my iPhone had. I cannot say how many times I have had to back up my phone, because I get that warning that I cannot take a photo, video, or download an app.
    Second, I think every one can agree they love that this phone has water resistant. That helps for all those times we have wet our phones.

    • Good luck! As a tip for you with your iPhone, download Google Photos. It will back up your photos to the cloud with unlimited storage and save you some precious space on your device!

  17. I would love to win the Samsung Galaxy S7 because it would be my first phone. I have never had my own phone and have always had to share one with my husband. This Samsung looks Perfect for me 🙂 Thank you for the chance to win and have my OWN Phone !!

  18. The Samsung Galaxy S7 looks like a fantastic phone. I am having issues with mine so I think it is time for a new one!

  19. Whoop, there it is. Need & luv to try the water resistant feature. Need a phone to work. . Thank you for the awesomeness, the contest, and generosity. 🙂

  20. I would love to win this beauty because I do not have a smart phone that works. The screen is cracked and since it is an older model(HTC) it is slow and choppy. It is too frustrating to work with.

  21. I would so love to win this because I have been using Samsung phones for years!! And so have my kids!! They are awesome phones and I just love the look of the new 7, plus I want to try out the camera on this one as I am still using the 3. Thanks!!! 🙂

  22. What is not to love, I have an old, old blackberry, it does not even have a touch screen, the SAMSUNG is what I need, so versatile for my needs and looks great.

  23. I love the camera and water resistant features best , i have the S5 and its getting old , so would love to win the S7 , fingers and toes crossed thanks for the chance , woohoo !

  24. After hearing positive feedback about Samsung phones from my friends and reading this review, I would LOVE a Samsung phone of my own!!!!!

  25. I would love to win this phone. I have been without a phone since my S6 was stolen and, as a single mom, just don’t have the money to replace it yet.

  26. I would love this new phone as I have ever only had very basic phones and never one where I was connected to the internet etc. I like how this one is water resistant and has a longer battery life. Those are the two main reasons I’d love this phone and of course it looks real awesome!!!

  27. I’ve always been an iPhone user but I’ve heard such wonderful things about Samsung S7 that I’m dying to get my hands on one. Love all the features which the iPhone doesn’t have and it looks so slick and nice. Would be nice to know how cool it is to use a phone that has a screen that goes all the way to the edge!

  28. I would love to win the Samsung Galaxy S7 Edge for its water resistance, software and camera capabilities!

  29. I want to win one for my wife. She is currently using the Galaxy S5 and she loves it. We want to give the S5 to my mother in law because she needs a phone. So if I win I will give it to my wife and the s5 my wife is using goes to my mother in law. It is win win win for everyone. Happy wife, happy life

  30. Because I have an older phone not touch screen. The features on this phone are awesome and I know I would enjoy it. Thanks

  31. THIS… THIS is why I need a new Samsung Galaxy S7… As a civil engineer, I was using my iPhone 4S to take pictures at a location. I was engaged in my work and suddenly heard a twig break behind me. I turned around, and I was no less than 20 feet from a GIANT black bear. I shrieked some primal sound and wailed my phone at Momma Bear’s nose. I raced back to the truck … Momma Bear was trotting back through the woods, cubs in tow. I noticed a glimmer from the mouth and looked closer, realizing that the bear now was taking the phone with her.

    It sounds like the S7 would be durable enough for a bear to use it!

  32. The Samsung Galaxy S7 sounds really good from your super review, since you’re a fan it must have something good about it so I’d love to win it, thanks so much for the chance to win this.

  33. Would love to be able to upgrade. Water resistance, amazing camera, and expandable storage! Love Samsung.

  34. I would love to try this phone. I have the S5 and really like it. The advances they’ve made since then would be wonderful to have

  35. I’ve been hesitant as well to purchase a Samsung as well but with the improvements you mention they are on my short list again. I love that it’s water resistant too — I always use a case but with a house full of kids my cases break, leak, get removed and back up is always nice.

  36. I would love to win because I have the s4 and my contract has ended, phone has just about bit the biscuit and definitely in need of a major upgrade.

  37. I would love to win so I can throw out the phone that I’m now using..it would be great to win an actual smartphone..yep probably the only one still not using one

  38. So many reasons to want a Galaxy S7 Edge! Loving the review and the sound of the camera! Lots of my photos are taken in lower light conditions with having young kids. Super exciting stuff, thanks for the chance to win!

  39. I would dearly love to win the 32 gb Samung S7 because My 3GS iphone can no longer update so most of my favourite apps are useless! Thanks for the chance to win the S7!

  40. I would love to win an S7, my phone is really old and I cannot use any of the new apps. I am trying to save money for school so this would be a great gift! Thank you and good luck everyone 😀

  41. I love samsung, I have a Tablet but don’t have enough memory, nice to sync this so I can now be called a Samsung lady

  42. I’d love to win because Samsung is my favourite tech brand and this IS the hottest phone out there!

  43. This would be such a blessing. I love the water proof part. I have ruined phones before by either dropping and or getting wet so this would be so awesome for me

  44. I have been using the same blackberry 9900 for about 5 years now. Unfortunately their OS is no longer supported by many apps, it would be nice to be on android and have a relevant OS again. I’ve heard great things about the galaxy!

  45. I would love to win this phone since it would be such an upgrade over what I currently have. The high quality camera and long battery life are the features that excite me the most. Thank you for this opportunity!

  46. battery life is definitely something that interests me about this phone, and i’m definitely wondering about android phones….hmmmm

  47. I’d love to win the Samsung Galaxy S7 because I really need a great phone like this one. I love the awesome display of the Samsung Galaxy S7,the fact that it’s water resistant and that it has expandable storage!!!
    I have a Samsung Galaxy 3 tablet and I would love to sync the two.All my fingers
    are crossed to win this one!Thanks for the chance. 🙂

  48. The S7 EDGE is supposed to be amazing. I have not seen one up close and personal. The ones who have bought it love it though.

  49. I currently have a Samsung & love it, but I would upgrade to this if I won & give my daughter my older model since she just broke her phone screen last month. Really like the water resistance feature.

  50. I would like to win this phone because I need a water resistant, crack resistant phone that takes amazing pictures!

  51. I’d love it for the good camera. Mine is pathetic….first world problems. 😛 But I would still love it.

  52. My Selfless – Husband has an outdated android phone – so small he has to use glasses/magnifying glass to read texts. He is 51. He bought our son in Grade 7 a phone and would rather wait to purchase one next year. Father’s Day is coming up would be a great thrill to gift him with something modern – let’s say a reward for being a top notch provider – father/husband….Thank you George …. Wife/Son.

  53. OK, I surrender. The S7 would be a nice response to the kid’s pleading….Dad, get a cell phone. It’s time.

  54. My son has a Samsung phone and really loves it but I have never had a cell phone. I would like to get one, one day.

  55. My Samsung S4 was stolen and I’m using a Blackberry. That’s right. A Blackberry!!
    Rafflecopter name: Ei Leen

  56. I would love to win this because my husband is desperately in need of a new phone..His birthday is in June and I know how much he would LOVE to get rid of his flip phone!

  57. You had me at water resistant …I’ve soaked a few phones in my lifetime, aaaand longer battery life. Thank you for the opportunity 😊

  58. This phone has simply amazing features! I must be among the few who has actually ever owned one. Now I’m sold for sure!

  59. for the same reason I like Charlize Theron … I have no words to explain it! thanks for the super draw would be a dream to have in my hands …;)

Don't be shy, leave a reply