One of the year’s key flagship handsets is here, but will it live up to the hype? We’ve gone hands on with the Samsung Galaxy S7 to see if the South Korean manufacturer has successfully re-imagined what the smartphone can do.

First impressions of the Samsung Galaxy S7

When you open a new handset these days, you to be blown away but for those of you who have had a look at the Samsung Galaxy S7, you may be a little underwhelmed. The Samsung Galaxy S7 is a gorgeous piece of engineering, but Samsung have not, ergonomically redesigned the wheel. This initial impression put me on the back-foot, afraid that it would be an entirely underwhelming flagship handset, but diving under the hood ensures that would not be the case.

Samsung Galaxy S7 design

While Samsung have no redesigned the wheel, they have seemingly perfected it. The Samsung Galaxy S7 is slightly narrower and shorter, we’re talking a hairs width here, but it’s also a tiny bit fatter, experiencing a little “weight gain” than the Galaxy S6. These bit of weight gain has led to Samsung focussing upon toning up the body work. Gorgeous chamfered edges make the handset extremely comfortable to hold. It’s nicely balanced and easy to control one handed, making these subtle changes to the bodywork surprisingly effective.

Samsung Galaxy S7 Chamfered EdgeIP68 waterproofing returns to the Samsung flagship family for the first time since the Galaxy S5. One major improvement on this front is manufacturing the waterproofing materials in the handset itself, meaning you don’t need to worry about a flap over the charger being closed in a certain way to protect the phone. This is a great move towards providing an improved customer experience.

Other than these changes, the aluminium uni-body remains and the colours the new handsets come in are likely to be appealing to most. Of course expandable memory returns through the medium of an intelligently designed SIM/Micro SD card tray. Samsung have also reduced the “camera nipple” seen in the Galaxy S6, though this could be due to the general “weight gain” experienced by the handset.

Samsung Galaxy S7 camera

CAMERASamsung would appear to be closer than ever to adding as many features to the on-board camera as can be found in a high-end DSLR. More importantly however is the sheer quality of the images the Galaxy S7 can create. The big development this year is shaving more valuable milliseconds off the focus time, ensuring you don’t miss those magic moments, and how the handset captures low-light images. Indeed, the camera excels in both these areas as well as colour vibrancy, video capture and maintaining live video streaming to YouTube.

Samsung Galaxy S7 battery

Samsung Galaxy S7 Always OnThe battery life is an extremely interesting one for us this year. Samsung have introduced an “always on” feature to allow you to see simple updates from your phone at a glance. From our time with the handset, we’ve yet to see any great power consumption with this feature, leaving the 3000 mAh handset achieving the usual day to two days depending on your usage levels.

Perhaps most impressive is the fast charge feature, which sees your phone battery shoot from 0% to 80% in thirty minutes.

Samsung Galaxy S7 features

Samsung S HealthUltimately, you want to know what sets the Galaxy S7 aside from the competitors. Gear VR is almost certainly going to be a massive feature, allowing users to enjoy fully immersive experience, from gaming to Netflix. Wireless charging remains in place, ensuring maximum convenience for users on the go.

S Health now allows users much greater insights into their health with improved accuracy and detail on several aspects, far reaching simple heart-rates.

One final feature, that isn’t new but perhaps is underestimated is Easy Mode. Should you have a loved one who may slightly less tech saavy, you can initiate easy mode which only shows basic functionality. While some may see this as a waste, in truth this is a feature which enables users to enjoy the handset.

Samsung Galaxy S7 opinion

This conclusion has become the norm. Samsung have created a gem of a handset which is undoubtedly one of the best on the market, but whether or not you should get it depends on what you have. If you are a Galaxy S6 user, there is not enough here to make this a justifiable step. However, if you are using an older handset such as the Galaxy S5, iPhone 5S or HTC One M8, you will not be disappointed by the Samsung Galaxy S7.

This handset has the potential to be the handset of the year by playing it relatively safe, re-introducing loved and lost features from years gone by and tweaking near perfection instead of complete overhauls. Don’t let an underwhelming first impression discourage you from what is a simply magnificent handset.

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Martin
It's funny how you come home one day, say you're starting a blog and four years later it's still going. Founding Editor of Goos3D, Martin is a massive tech fan, into movies and will talk about anything.Read more by Martin