Inasmuch as the Chinese are coming (no pun intended), believe me Samsung is currently pretty much the only company that can compete against Apple in terms of sales, innovation, and build quality - although several other phone manufacturers have improved a lot in this regard (yes, we're looking at you, Huawei!).
So when the company started working on the Galaxy S7 lineup, Samsung wanted the device to be premiumfrom head to toe, trying to offer a luxurious handset that looks better than the previous models, offers innovative features, and has the latest in terms of hardware.
The brand new S7 series got to see daylight earlier this year and is now up for grabs in the majority of markets, with buyers allowed to choose between the standard S7 and the Edge version that comes with curved screen edges.
The Galaxy S7 Edge is currently the best you can get in Samsung's portfolio, at least until the arrival of Galaxy Note 6, which is expected to boast an addition of its own innovations.
But for the moment, the S7 Edge is the best of the best in Samsung's lineup, so after testing the standard S7, I decided to take this bigger model for a spin and see what it's up to. Discover all mine findings in the next chapters.
Design and build quality
The Galaxy S7 was designed to be premium, and Samsung clearly accomplished its goal. The South Koreans used only metal or glass for an overall appearance that looks exquisite (glass is on both the front and the back, and metal was used for the surrounding frame).
There's absolutely no plastic on the phone, and the attention to detail is impressive, to say the least. The side buttons are made of metal too, and while the bottom part looks very similar to the S6, which in turn seems to be inspired from the iPhone, it definitely contributes to the premium feel and perfectly blends into the overall design.
As compared to the S6 lineup, the Edge models are now bigger, as the previous versions came with a 5.1-inch screen while this one now has a display of 5.5 inches. This doesn't necessarily mean that it's much bigger, as Samsung spent a lot of time redesigning the bezels.
The Edge has almost no side bezels, which becomes more obvious when you unlock the screen. If you keep it turned off, the black screen matches the black case, and you can barely notice the display margins, so everything blends quite nicely here too. When putting the Edge and the iPhone 6s Plus side by side, Apple's model looks huge and ugly, especially when viewed from the back. The Edge is much easier to carry in the pocket, as it’s a lot smaller than the iPhone despite having the same screen size.
Both the front and the back of the phone come with curved edges, so its name makes even more sense now than it did for the previous Edge and Edge+ models. The back of the device is similar to the one on the Note5 and comes with curved edges, which really makes it more comfortable to hold in hand, despite the rather thin edges.
But the curved sides helped Samsung make the device look a lot narrower than it actually is. If you compare it with a phone the same size, the S7 Edge looks much more modern and simply seems to be easier to be carried around than other "flat" phones.
The glass front and back, however, have their downsides too. The phone is extremely slippery, and you notice that from the very first minutes of use. Unless you have a sweaty hand, it's really difficult to use it for a longer period of time without having to readjust its position. A case is absolutely needed, and we've found some pretty good ones online (as compared to those manufactured by Samsung, which leave a lot to be desired). Also, note that Samsung used plastic to protect the Flash on the back, so you can scratch it quite easily.
At the same time, the phone's glass construction helped Samsung make it water-resistant, as this type of material is more effective when it comes to waterproofing and isn't damaged in the long term, as is the case with some metals.
All in all, the Galaxy S7 is a modern piece of jewelry, and it's a pleasure to hold it in the hand, at least until it slips. Try to avoid dropping it because we've already seen some units that met the ground, and the result isn't pretty.
Hardware and performance
The Galaxy S7 Edge is the best of the best you can get from Samsung at the moment, so it's only natural to expect it to come with very powerful hardware and with all the features currently available on a mobile device. And the Edge truly delivers.
First of all, the Edge sports a 5.5-inch display with a resolution of 1440 x 2560 pixels and really small bezels, which make the curved screen really easy to use. The display takes quite a significant part of the phone, and this is living proof that Samsung did a terrific job of reducing the bezel size and in the end offering a much more exquisite design.
The Galaxy S7 Edge has a screen to body ratio of 76.1 percent while the iPhone 6s Plus has only 67.7 percent. The difference is huge and clearly shows that Samsung really focused on making the display the centerpiece of the whole phone.
The Edge also comes with Gorilla Glass 4 on front and back, so it's scratch-resistant. This doesn't mean that you can drop it on the ground, though, as we've seen some units that got through this, and as we've already told you, the result is ugly. The Super AMOLED screen also supports Always-on Display, a new feature introduced on the S7 that keeps the time and missed text and phone notifications on the screen in the same way Microsoft's Glance screen does on Lumia devices.
The S7 Edge is smaller than the iPhone 6s Plus - 150.9 x 72.6 x 7.7 mm (5.94 x 2.86 x 0.30 in) versus 158.2 x 77.9 x 7.3 mm (6.23 x 3.07 x 0.29 in) - and lighter - 157 grams versus 192 grams.