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7 things to love about the Galaxy S7 and GS7 edge (and 3 to hate)

Al Sacco | Feb. 22, 2016's Al Sacco goes hands-on with Samsung's new Galaxy S7 smartphones and spotlights the most notable new features, along with a few of the GS7 phones' potential shortcomings.

2) Galaxy S7, GS7 edge and microSD memory cards

The Galaxy S6 was the first Galaxy S smartphone that didn't have a slot for expandable memory, and though this wasn't a deal-breaker for most folks, it was a disappointment for many. With the GS6, the company was drastically trying to increase the aesthetic appeal of the Galaxy S line (after a lukewarm response to the boring GS5), and decrease the thickness, and I suspect that had something to do with the decision to ditch the microSD card.

Al Sacco

Samsung reversed course with the GS7 and again included a microSD slot. The company also figured out a way to include the memory card while maintaining the GS7's svelte frame; the memory-card and SIM card slots on the GS7 are one and the same. The GS7 phones currently support memory cards up to 200GB, though Samsung says they could be updated to work with higher capacity cards as they're released.

3) Galaxy S7, GS7 edge and 'Always on Display'

The two new GS7 smartphones have a new "Always on Display" feature that does just what it suggests and lets you quickly view a variety of information without ever touching your device to wake it. The feature isn't unique — Motorola's latest DROIDs have similar "Attentive Displays," for example — but it does make it easier to see the information that's important to you in less time. (The GS7 devices I used both ran Android v6.0.1 "Marshmallow.")

The customizable Always on Display can also use a motion sensor to wake the GS7 devices and display the date, time and message alerts; a calendar; or a personalized screen. And it has two different light levels so, for example, if you place the GS7 on your bedside in the dark, the Always on Display dims accordingly.

4) Galaxy S7 and GS7 edge are water resistant

Samsung has sold various water-resistant and ruggedized phones for years. It even makes a bulked-up version of the GS6, the GS6 Active, that's basically a GS6 with body armor. While the GS7 phones are not ruggedized like the Active, they are just as water-resistant

Samsung is careful to stress that while the GS7s are protected from water, they're not waterproof. The new phones have an International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC) protection rating of IP68, which means they offer "protection from contact with harmful dust" and are "protected from immersion in water with a depth of more than 1 meter," according to CNET. But you should by no means try to take underwater photos with a GS7 — or if you do, don't go crying to Samsung when your phone croaks.


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