Samsung Galaxy S7 Edge Philippines Review : Gets TechPinas Badge of Excellence

I've been using the Korean Giant's 2016 flagship phablet - Samsung Galaxy S7 Edge - as one of my daily drivers for a little more than two months now. And if I were to describe the handset in one line, as someone who's already very familiar with it, I would say that it's near perfect.

Samsung Galaxy S7 Edge, SGS7 Edge

To support that statement, allow me to give you a list of the seven things or features that I love most about this high-end smartphone as well as that one sore point for improvement that the company might want to address on a future iteration of the product.

Samsung Galaxy S7 Edge, SGS7 Edge

Let's start with the good ones.

(But before that: For those who are asking, I bought my unit from argomall Philippines, which is being led by my good friend, Mr. Karel Holub, former General Manager of Nokia Philippines. I documented my entire argomall online store purchase experience in this TP entry.)

1. Downright Gorgeous Design and Water-proof Construction

Flaunting an anodized aluminum mid-frame sandwiched by two scratch-resistant Gorilla Glass 4 panels that gently curve down the sides, SGS7 Edge is quite simply the most beautiful flagship smartphone that I've held this year, so far.

Samsung Galaxy S7 Edge, SGS7 Edge

Frankly, its design language and build are almost the same as that of its predecessor from 2015 (the sleek Samsung Galaxy S6 Edge, which remains to be a head-turner, mind you) but the subtle improvements - including the less protruding camera module and the more flush or snug-fit construction - make this year's version clearly superior looks-wise.

Samsung Galaxy S7 Edge, SGS7 Edge
Samsung Galaxy S7 Edge is expensive -- and it looks and feels that way too.

On top of that, this smartphone is also IP68 Certified, which means that it is not only protected from dust ingress but it's also waterproof when submerged in a meter of liquid for up to 30 minutes. I don't recommend that you use the phone to shoot videos underwater, though. Just think of it as protection against accidental splashes or drops in the sink.

Samsung Galaxy S7 Edge, SGS7 Edge

2. Large and Brilliant Ultra-HD SuperAMOLED Display

Ever since the launch of the first Samsung Galaxy S-series handset, the Korean company's SuperAMOLED display panel, which looks absolutely amazing regardless of the viewing angle, has been one of the line's main selling points. Samsung Galaxy S7 Edge continues this tradition and even takes it a level higher.

Samsung Galaxy S7 Edge, SGS7 Edge

The 5.5-inch 4K or Quad HD 1440 x 2560 pixels SuperAMOLED screen of the Samsung Galaxy S7 Edge truly brings photo and video viewing as well as 3D game-play visual experience to a whole other stratum by delivering the deepest blacks and the most vibrant hues. And with extremely high pixel density of 534 ppi, this display also delivers the clearest details, making each each image pop.

Samsung Galaxy S7 Edge, SGS7 Edge

3. Intuitive Edge Screen Features

On top of making the handset more handsome and eye-catching, the curved screen of Samsung Galaxy S7 Edge serves another, more practical purpose.

Samsung Galaxy S7 Edge, SGS7 Edge

Swiping on the Edge Panel tab - which can be re-positioned and customized depending on the user's preferences - gives access to Samsung's unique and intuitive Edge UX interface.




The UX has different pages or sections that can be navigated with mere swipes of a finger.

Apps Edge lets you access your most frequently used apps quickly, even while you're using another mobile application or playing a game.

You can add family members, close friends, or office mates to OnCircle icons of People Edge so you can call or send messages to them far faster than you normally would.

Create shortcuts to specific in-app functions like composing text messages or taking selfies using Tasks Edge.

Check the weather forecast before going out of town via the Weather tab.

Read the latest headlines on CNN and Yahoo! News.

And finally, browse your S Planner calendar to see what your schedule is like for a specific time period, like for the day, the week, or for the whole month.

4. Top-notch Still Camera

I'm a Nokia Lumia 1020, Nokia 808 PureView, and Apple iPhone 6S Plus owner so I'd like to believe that my standards are pretty high when it comes to mobile photography or using a smartphone as a point-and-shoot camera substitute.

Samsung Galaxy S7 Edge, SGS7 Edge

That said, I'd like to say that, of all Samsung Galaxy handsets that I've owned and used so far, Samsung Galaxy S7 Edge is the absolute best of the bunch when it comes to snapping photos. And for me, as a tech blogger and mobile imaging enthusiast, this is the best thing about the Korean Giant's flagship Galaxy releases this year.

There are three things that I particularly like about SGS7 Edge's camera:

1. Touch focus is really fast. It locks in on the subject almost instantly.
2. Colors replication is natural and isn't over-saturated or too muted.
3. Even in low light conditions, details are still captured well and light sources don't leak, which are clear benefits of having a large Dual Pixel sensor.

Check out some images that I shot using my Samsung Galaxy S7 Edge in various lighting conditions:










Sometimes, darker tones get a bit washed out but it's nothing that can't be addressed with manual mode or post-processing using the editor within the photo gallery.




Even the phone's 5 MegaPixel selfie cam performs really well. The Beauty Mode evens out the user's skin tone and enhances facial features.


But what I really like about it is that it doesn't make me look too fair unlike the front cam on other smartphones; You see, I'm proudly moreno.

My only subtle gripe with the SGS7 Edge selfie cam is that you have to position it more than a foot away from your face if you don't want to avoid the 'bottle-nose' fish-eye lens effect.

5. Reliable 4K Video Recorder with Optical Image Stabilization

With ultra-high 4K resolution, a fairly large sensor for enhanced low light performance, and Optical Image Stabilization (OIS), which compensates for shaking or hand movements while shooting clips, SGS7 Edge's video recorder is one of the most reliable out there. Whether you're using it to capture a concert performance at night or to record extreme summer activities with friends at the beach, Samsung Galaxy S7 Edge's video camera delivers.



6. Beastly Internal Hardware and Epic Gaming Performance

Running its TouchWiz-flavored Android 6.0 Marshmallow OS with a 64-Bit Octa Core Exynos 8890 processor that incorporates a powerful ARM Mali-T880 MP12 graphics chip, SGS7Edge is definitely one of the most capable Android smartphones this year when it comes to flawlessly running the most specs-intensive 3G games that can downloaded from the Google Play Store. The two titles that I enjoy playing on my handset are God of Rome and WWE Immortals. The device just gets a bit hot after 10 minutes of running those games but doesn't really bother me too much.

7. Dual SIM Capability and The Return of the microSD card slot

Whereas last year's Samsung Galaxy S6 Edge lacked both a secondary SIM slot (which is almost a requirement on smartphones released in a market like the Philippines) and a microSD card slot for expanding the storage space, the bigger and more powerful 2016 refresh comes with those two value-added features, delivering even greater bang for the buck.

Samsung Galaxy S7 Edge, SGS7 Edge
The caveat, however, is that the user would have to trade one for the other since the microSD card slot occupies the same space as the secondary hybrid nanoSIM slot.

Main Point for Improvement

I know. Samsung did the best it could as a handset maker to give SGS7Edge great uptime by putting a big 3,600 mAh battery inside it. But the thing is, based on my experience, it's still not enough.


As a power user who pushes my smartphones to their limits when I take them out for work (that is, I always have 4G turned on), I barely get a whole day of battery life from my Samsung Galaxy S7 Edge. As you can see in the screengrab above, I usually get just around seven and a half hours of uptime from the device on a full charge.

I don't know. Maybe the 'Active' version would be more ideal for me in this regard. The thing is, though, that version is a lot thicker and is currently only available in the United States via AT&T. Not to mention, it doesn't have Dual SIM Dual Standby capability.

Verdict

Echoing what I said in my initial statement, Samsung Galaxy S7 Edge is not perfect -- but it sure is close to it.

Although short battery life remains to be the biggest chink in the armor of Samsung's renowned Galaxy S-series, in the case of the SGS7Edge, all of the model's strengths and highlights far outweigh and easily eclipse this main limitation.

Samsung Galaxy S7 Edge Philippines, TechPinas

And with that, on this day, I want to declare that I'm awarding Samsung Galaxy S7 Edge our TechPinas Badge of Excellence.

TechPinas Smartphone Technical Specs Table (TSTST)
Name : Samsung Galaxy S7 Edge
Type : Slate Form Factor (Full Touchscreen)
Price Category : High-End (Flagship Level)
Dimensions : 150.9 x 72.6 x 7.7 mm
Weight : 157 grams
Available Colors : Black, White, Gold, Silver
Operating System : Android 6.0 Marshmallow with TouchWiz Skin
Display : 5.5 inches (~76.1% screen-to-body ratio), Quad HD 1440 x 2560 pixels (~534 ppi pixel density), Super AMOLED, Gorilla Glass 5 capacitive toucscreen, Always On Display, 16M colors
CPU, GPU, Chipset : 64-Bit Octa Core Exynos 8890 Octa
RAM : 4 GB RAM
Internal Storage : 32 GB expandable via hybrid nanoSIM slot that doubles as microSD card slot supporting up to 200GB
Camera :
Main: 12 MegaPixels, f/1.7 aperture, Phase Detection Autofocus, Optical Image Stabilization, LED flash, 1/2.6' sensor size, 1 ┬Ám pixel size, Touch Focus, Geo-tagging, Face detection, Auto HDR, Panorama
Front: 5 MegaPixels, f/1.7, Dual Video call, Auto HDR
Video Capture : Main: 2160p @ 30fps, 1080p @ 60fps, Optical Image Stabilization, Auto HDR
Front: 1080p @ 30 fps, Auto HDR, Dual Video Recording, Live Panorama
Audio and Video Playback : Video: H.264, MPEG-4, H.263, VC-1, WMV7, WMV8, Sorenson Spark, MP43, VP8,
HEVC, Full HD (1080p), UHD (depends on variant) Audio: MP3, AAC/AAC+/eAAC+, WMA, AMR-NB/WB, Vorbis, FLAC(*), WAV(*)
(*) Ultra High Quality Audio (~192KHz, 24 bit) support
Ports : microUSB v2.0, TV-out (via MHL 3.0 A/V link), 3.5 mm audio jack
Connectivity, Sharing : 4G LTE Cat9, 3G HSPA+, WiFi: 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac (2.4/5GHz), HT80 MIMO(2x2) 620Mbps, Dual-band, Wi-Fi Direct, Mobile Hotspot, Bluetooth v4.1, A2DP, LE, apt-X, ANT+, NFC, S Beam, Samsung AllShare Play and Control, Samsung AllShare Cast (WiFi Display), Mirroring and Extension, Samsung AllShare Framework
Sensors : Accelerometer, RGB Light, Digital Compass, Proximity, Gyro, Barometer, Temperature, Humidity, Gesture, Heart Rate Monitor, Touch-Type Finger Scanner, UV
GPS : A-GPS, GLONASS, Beidou
Network : 2G Network GSM 850 / 900 / 1800 / 1900, 3G Network HSDPA 850 / 900 / 1900 / 2100, 4G Network LTE 800 / 850 / 900 / 1800 / 2100 / 2600 (TBC)
SIM Card Type : Dual nanoSIM = nanoSIM 1 (LTE) + nanoSIM 2 (2G, Hybrid)
Battery : Non-Removable Li-Ion 3,600 mAh battery, Wireless Charging compatible, Fast battery charging: 83% in 30 minutes
Uptime : Based on TP Experience, barely a whole day.
Value-Added Features : Flagship Release, IP68 Certified, Dual Pixel Camera
Announcement : Worldwide: February 22, 2016 at Mobile World Congress in Barcelona
Availability : Official: Philippines - March 11, 2016
Price : Official SRP upon launch ~ 32GB - Php 39,990

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