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Hands on with the evolutionary Samsung Galaxy S7 and Galaxy S7 Edge

Florence Ion | Feb. 22, 2016
Samsung's flagship devices incrementally improve on last year's devices with a beefed-up camera, faster processor, and curvier design.


I wish this photo was more in focus, but you can see in the final results that the Nexus 6P’s low-light abilities pale in comparison to the Galaxy S7. Credit: 
Florence Ion

Samsung even provided a demo comparing the low-light capability of the Galaxy S7 compared to the iPhone 6S. I took advantage of this setup and swapped out the iPhone for the Nexus 6P, which also boasts a 12-megapixel sensor with relatively capable camera in low light.. I took a test shot with the Nexus 6P for comparison purposes and, based on the results shown above, the Nexus 6P’s f/2.0 aperture simply isn’t enough. 


The Galaxy S7 offers a few new camera modes I didn’t have time use.  Credit: 
Florence Ion

The Galaxy S7 and S7 Edge’s rear-facing camera is still deliriously fast. Both phones offer the ability to quickly launch the camera by double-pressing the Home button, and there’s even a few new camera modes to choose from. Unfortunately, I didn’t get a chance to dive into the manual features on the Galaxy S7, but I’m looking forward to seeing how it shoots photos in the real world.

Software for the niche

It’s no secret that I’m not a fan of Samsung’s TouchWiz overlay, but at least the Galaxy S7 and Galaxy S7 Edge run on Android Marshmallow. You’ll have access to the granular application permissions featured on stock Android, as well as Doze mode, improved copy and paste, and Now on Tap.

At the very least, TouchWiz’s notifications shade has been renovated. It’s now a transparent white with blue accents, rather than a stark blue with yellow accents. Samsung’s applications haven’t changed since their revamp for Lollipop, however, and each phone still comes bundled with Microsoft’s mobile Office applications.


The Game Launcher bundles together any games you have installed so you can easily locate them when you’re ready to play. Credit: 
Florence Ion

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Then you can choose to shut off notifications or lower the frame rate to fine tune your mobile gaming experience. Credit: 
Florence Ion

Samsung also took some of the features from several of its standalone applications, like its Game Tuner, and implemented them directly into the operating system. When you start playing a game, there’s a little pop up that indicates your phone is in a “game mode” of sorts. You can choose to do things like shut off notifications so they don’t interrupt your game, adjust the frame rate so that the app isn’t using up too much power, or even record your game play to upload to Twitch or YouTube later. These are definitely features catered toward the gaming crowd, though you don’t have to use them if you don’t want to.

 

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