How Big Is The Galaxy S7 Screen

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Everything you know about the Galaxy S7 and iPhone 6S is wrong. Once accused of becoming increasingly identical, in 2016 the ranges offer very different propositions. The result? A tantalising contest where each phone scores big wins and takes heavy losses. So which should you buy: Galaxy S7? iPhone 6S? Neither? My detailed review has the answers. Let’s go… Note: my thanks to Carphone Warehouse UK and Samsung UK for extended loans of the iPhone 6S and Galaxy S7 respectively Samsung's Galaxy S7 (right) has learnt a lot from Apple's iPhone 6S (left).

Image credit: Gordon Kelly Design - Style Vs Style and Substance Welcome to the year the master surpassed the apprentice. Having spent years making plastic ugly but highly practical phones, in 2015 Samsung launched the Galaxy S6 and proved it could craft handsets every bit as well as Apple. One year later Samsung has now surpassed them. Yes, the iPhone 6S remains a beautifully sculpted phone. Carved from a block of aluminium, it exudes quality.

Every port, speaker hole and curve is machined to within an inch of its life and the quality of the iPhone 6S is obvious the moment you pick it up. But that’s where the good news stops. Build quality on both the iPhone 6S and Galaxy S7 is exceptional, but Samsung's phone is more practical. Image credit: Gordon Kelly Where the iPhone 6S is luxurious so is the Galaxy S7 but, unlike Apple’s handset, the Samsung’s phone is actually nice to hold.

It’s curvature feels far more comfortable and secure in hand. Meanwhile the Galaxy S7’s top and bottom bezels are far narrower making the 5.1-inch device feel little bigger or heavier than the 4.7-inch iPhone 6S: Galaxy S7: 142.4 x 69.6 x 7.9mm (5.61 x 2.74 x 0.31in) and 152g (5.36oz) iPhone 6S: 138.3 x 67.1 x 7.1mm (5.44 x 2.64 x 0.28in) and 143g (5.04oz) On top of this the Galaxy S7 adds substance: wireless charging, the return of expandable storage and water resistance - none of which the iPhone 6S can match.

I’ll deal with wireless charging and expandable storage later and focus on water resistance now because it works brilliantly. Yes the iPhone 6S has some (unofficial) water resistance, but the Galaxy S7 fully lives up to its claims of surviving full submersion for up to an hour in 1.5m of water. Being able to take that call in the shower, adjust your music playback in the bath and not worry about emailing during a heavy downpour makes for a very welcome differentiator.

Water submersion poses no problems for the new Galaxy S7 Image credit: Gordon Kelly And yet neither of these phones are perfect. Both remain far too slippy in hand and you’d need to be Spider-Man not to drop them at some point without a case. The glass back of the Galaxy S7 is a key factor in this and it also gets sticky when warm as well as being a fingerprint magnet. So why have it? Currently glass is key to wireless charging, but a solution could be on the horizon.

Winner: Galaxy S7 - all the build quality of the iPhone 6S with a lot more practicality Read more - Galaxy S7 Vs Galaxy S7 Edge Review: Should You Upgrade? Displays - Brains Vs Beauty In 2010 Apple changed the smartphone market with the ‘Retina Display’ in the iPhone 4, but in 2016 it is Samsung which is now way out in front. Galaxy S7: 5.1-inch, 2560 x 1440 pixels, 534 pixels per inch (ppi), Super AMOLED iPhone 6S: 4.

7-inch, 1334 x 750 pixels, 326 ppi, LCD Yes the stats imply Samsung has a significant edge, but in truth their resolutions and panel types are not the main factors. The Galaxy S7 simply gets the big stuff right: it is brighter, sharper, has more vivid colours, deeper blacks and works better in bright daylight. Side by side there’s simply no comparison. The Galaxy S7, coupled with the Galaxy S7 Edge, have the best smartphone displays currently available, period.

Even outdoors the Galaxy S7 (right) has a dramatically sharper and more vivid display than the iPhone 6S. Image credit: Gordon Kelly Also looking good - though of less value, in my opinion - is the S7’s new ‘Always-on’ display. What this translates to is the ability to permanently show the time/date/calendar or an image at all times which can be handy. That said it isn’t as useful as similar screens on Google and Motorola’s Nexus and Moto ranges which provide glanceable information that includes Android notifications.

So yes, Always-on looks nice and battery drain is reasonable (circa 1% per hour) but I ended up switching it off.   And yet where the Galaxy S7 has beauty, the iPhone 6S has brains. Arguably the headline feature of the iPhone 6S is ‘3D Touch’, a pressure sensitive panel which can differentiate between taps, firmer presses and pushes. The good news is this adds a new dynamic to iOS - you can deep press on icons for quick launch options (eg on the camera: selfie, video and slow mo modes) or ‘peek’ (preview items with a press - like emails and URLs) or ‘pop’ (open the aforementioned items with a further push).

Touch ID is still limited, but support is growing slowly. Image credit: Gordon Kelly This isn’t original (the BlackBerry Storm had similar functionality in 2008), but in theory it is brilliant and the potential for third party developers (particularly in gaming) is vast. So why is the reality a lot less appealing? I put it down to software implementation. As it stands iOS has no obvious way to indicate when 3D Touch options are available.

Consequently you just hard press everything and see if anything happens: app icons, UI elements, etc. It’s complete guesswork and there’s no consistency between how third party developers implement it. Consequently using 3D Touch currently degenerates into speculation and memory. In time I’m sure this will improve and 3D Touch, like the Retina Display, will prove a hugely important and influential feature (probably copied by others) but for now it’s a work in progress that doesn’t make up for a screen which is falling far behind the competition.

Winner: Galaxy S7 - the iPhone 6S has the more interesting tech, but many will forget about 3D Touch until it becomes more intuitive. Conversely the S7’s jaw dropping display will make you smile every time you wake up the phone. Next page: Performance, Fingerprint Readers and Camera - the fightback begins…

See Also: Sony Vlogging Camera With Flip Screen

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Think of it as the Galaxy S6...S. The Samsung Galaxy S7 ($672 for 32GB as tested on Verizon Wireless; $699.99 unlocked) looks so much like the Galaxy S6 that you'd be excused for thinking it's not a major upgrade. Rather than reinvent the design like it did last year, Samsung has focused on performance improvements in the S7, restoring crowd-pleasing features that were missing from the S6 (like a microSD slot) and boosting battery life.

It's the best Android phone available in a truly one-handed form factor. That said, we're giving our Editors' Choice to the very similar Galaxy S7 Edge, which has more functionality and better battery life in a package that's not much bigger. Similar Products Size and DesignThere's been a lot of talk over the last year about how smartphones are getting boring—essentially, how they've plateaued in terms of changing our lives.

I think the industry is just taking a breath before it goes crazy with virtual and augmented reality, which we've started to see with Samsung's Gear VR. But smartphones are still our most personal computers. They're our always-ready cameras with which we record our lives. They're our cloud-based brains that Waze us around town or Google the answers to pressing questions. They're our connections to our friends and family, via Facebook, or text message, or old-fashioned phone calls.

They're essential, used hundreds of times a day, and even an incremental improvement in how they work is still an improvement in our lives. Here's an incremental improvement, for instance. As someone who uses my phone on the subway a lot, I've been raging for years about phone size bloat—how smartphones are getting wider and wider, making them harder to use with one hand. I'm happy to say that the 2.

74-inch S7 is actually narrower than the S6 (2.78 inches), making it the same width as the HTC One M9, and narrower than any other high-end Android phone I can think of. That will make the S7 the go-to device for anyone who thinks that high-end phones are just too big. The Galaxy S7's AMOLED screen is the same size (5.1 inches) and resolution (2,560 by 1440) as the S6's screen, but as Dr. Ray Soneira of DisplayMate Labs points out in a detailed report, Samsung amped up the brightness quite a lot.

The S6 already had an excellent, highly visible screen; the S7 is even better. Both phones put the iPhone 6s to shame. Samsung has returned waterproofing to the Galaxy S7, without the need for the irritating port cover from the Galaxy S5. This time, it's using a water-repellent coating inside the device. I washed and dried the phone, and even spilled hot coffee on it, with no issues. The phone is rated IP68, which means it's fully submersible and dustproof.

From left to right: Samsung Galaxy S7 Edge, Samsung Galaxy S6, Samsung Galaxy S7, Apple iPhone 6s But yes, otherwise, the S7 looks a lot like the S6, although slightly more rounded back is just a touch thicker, to allow for a bigger battery. The bigger battery, in turn, gives the phone less of a protruding camera bump on the rear. At 5.36 ounces, it's heavier, too (the S6 is 4.87 ounces). But it's still a metal-and-glass unibody design, coming in black or gold, with a physical Home button that functions as a fingerprint sensor below the display.

The sensor is the same as the one in the S6; very good, but it'll miss an off-center touch. The phone also still uses traditional micro USB, not USB-C, for charging and accessories. While the phone is about the same size as the Galaxy S6, many existing Galaxy S6 cases just barely won't work on the Galaxy S7. It's a real pity. When I slotted the S7 into an S6 case, I found the headphone jack was moved slightly to the right, so the hole for the jack on the case was in the wrong place.

Phone and Network PerformanceQualcomm is back. Last year was a bad one for the leading chip manufacturer, during which it put out some decent processors and one real disappointment, the Snapdragon 810. Well, the Snapdragon 820 is no 810. It has the finest modem in the business, and what's looking like highly competitive app performance. The Snapdragon 820's X12 modem supports LTE download speeds up to 600Mbps and uploads up to 150Mbps, using technologies that help with every carrier.

4x4 MIMO will make for faster speeds on while 3x20 carrier aggregation becomes important on Sprint. I couldn't perform any tests that pushed the limits of LTE performance, but I could check Wi-Fi and weak signal conditions. The phone had no trouble with a 150Mbps symmetrical Wi-Fi connection. On Verizon's network, the S7 did a better job holding onto LTE in poor signal conditions than the iPhone 6s, pulling out better data rates.

My first day with the phone, I saw some odd behavior involving the phone not recovering or trading up to 4G LTE from dead zones, but that seemed to sort itself out after a few days. The phone supports voice-over-LTE (VoLTE) and Wi-Fi calling. The unlocked model supports all US carriers, even Verizon and Sprint. If you buy a model directly from a carrier, it will exclude certain frequency bands for each of the other three carriers.

The phone will work on other carriers, but not as well as that carrier's model or the unlocked unit. So if you buy a carrier unit, it's best to treat it as a phone exclusively for that carrier. If you want to move it around, get the unlocked model. (We have tested the Galaxy S7 on Verizon, Sprint, and T-Mobile.) Call quality is fine, but I wish it was a little better. The earpiece is plenty loud, and there's no distortion; that's not the problem.

And noise cancellation is excellent. I suspect the issue is just Verizon's voice codecs. With standard calling, voices sound a bit harsh with a trebly punch. On VoLTE, you get a more balanced sound without the harshness, but it's not HD-level precise unless you're calling another phone on your carrier. Battery on the sealed-in 3,000mAh cell is noticeably better than on the S6. I did more battery tests than usual on this because the Galaxy S6 had an annoying habit of draining its battery really quickly in standby mode.

Unfortunately, this behavior tended to appear only after a month or two, and I haven't had the S7 for a month or two. But early signs are promising. The S7 got 9 hours in our video streaming rundown, as compared with 7 hours, 13 minutes for the S6. In standby mode without heavy CPU usage, the S7 drained 11 percent of its battery in eight hours. Not bad. Intense usage killed it in about 6.5 hours, which isn't too bad either.

The phone supports both fast charging and dual-standard wireless charging. Using the included fast charger, we got the phone from zero to fully charged in around 90 minutes. Android PerformanceThe Galaxy S7 runs Android 6.0.1 Marshmallow with Samsung's skin over it, on a 2.15GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon 820 processor. It's the first of several Snapdragon 820 phones we'll see this year, most notably, the LG G5 will join it very soon.

The Snapdragon 820 benchmarks faster than any other chip we've seen in an Android phone. With Geekbench scores of 2,333 single-core and 5,330 multi-core, it beats the Galaxy S6 (1,440 single/4,811 multi) and the Galaxy Note 5 (1,472 single/5,020 multi) handily. GPU performance is also better, taking the GFXBench Manhattan test from 15 frames per second (fps) on the previous generation, to 25fps here.

Now, whether it's faster than the iPhone is another question. The iPhone 6s still benchmarks faster in single-core mode than the Snapdragon 820 does, with a Geekbench score of 2,475, and it does much better with on-screen graphics frame rates because of its much lower resolution screen. The question of whether single-core performance or multi-core performance matters more is still intensely debated in programming circles.

What really matters is how the phone performs in practice. I like to use the controls of Asphalt 8 to check for responsiveness, and the S7 is as smooth as butter—as you'd expect. Apps launch quickly and there's no lag. The S7, like the past two generations of Galaxy phones, also has dual-window or pop-up multitasking. Samsung has, once again, tried to lighten the burden of its Android skin. While the icons are still all restyled, Samsung ditched its Briefing screen to the left of the main home screen.

It has also resisted the current, horrid trend to get rid of the app drawer in favor of a more iPhone-like interface. One likable customization is the always-on screen, which floats the time, date, battery status, and basic notification information on the screen at all times; you can swap it out for a calendar or one of a few preset images. The always-on screen information is and doesn't appear to consume much battery.

And you can always turn it off if it's not for you. But there are a ton of bloatware applications, consuming a total of 9.17GB on our Verizon device. As Verizon only sells a 32GB model, that's pretty rough. And bloatware apps can't be deleted or moved to SD cards. The other carrier versions were also loaded up with bloatware. The bloatware load is at least somewhat alleviated by the phone's microSD card support.

The microSD card pops into the SIM card slot, above the SIM card, and the phone supports cards up to the current maximum 200GB card SanDisk offers. Samsung disabled Google's Adoptable Storage feature, which makes the memory card look like internal memory to the system, so you still have to move apps back and forth from the Application Settings screen. You can move downloaded apps to the SD card, but not built-in apps.

Samsung Gear VRMany people who order the Galaxy S7 will get a free Gear VR headset with it as a promotion, so I took a spin with the S7 inside of one to see how it went. My colleague Will Greenwald really liked the Gear VR when he reviewed it with the Galaxy S6, and I spent some time with VR porn in a Gear VR at CES earlier this year. Spending some time with the S7 watching music, movie, gaming, and, yes, adult content, I found that it didn't overheat (unlike in Will's experience, so that's a plus), but also that I've become spoiled by more powerful PC-based VR experiences like on the HTC .

The Snapdragon 820 processor makes for perfectly smooth motion with no lag, but the content in Samsung's MilkVR app is disappointing in terms of resolution: as I watched movies and music videos, I could see the pixels in a distracting way. For people that wear glasses like me, the Gear VR has another annoying flaw: you can't change the focus of the two lenses independently, so I get a lot of double vision.

I'm interested to see if I get a better experience from LG's upcoming 360 VR headset. That said, there's probably more content for the Gear VR than there is for any other headset, and its ability to let you watch your non-VR movies in a virtual big-screen format can be worth the price of admission alone—especially if it's free. Photos and VideoThe Galaxy S7's camera isn't much better than the S6's, but that's fine.

The S6 has a terrific camera, and the S7 has a faster focus lock. Samsung's new promises mostly have to do with low light. Samsung replaced the Galaxy S6's 16-megapixel camera with a 12-megapixel shooter with larger pixels, to improve low-light performance. It also increased the number of focus pixels, to speed up focus in low light. The latter part works: There's none of the pulsing you see on the S6 as the camera struggles to find focus.

The S7 is also better at white balance than the S6, making my skin look orange less often. The low-light improvements are minor at best. In one of my several low-light tests, the S7 took a much brighter image than the S6 did. But I didn't find that in other tests, and whether my hand was shaky mattered far more than anything else. Both the S6 and the S7 cameras outperform the iPhone 6s, though, with sharper and less noisy images.

The 5-megapixel front camera is also very good, but a minor improvement over the S6. Mostly images are a little less noisy. The bigger improvement for selfies comes in the addition of a Selfie Flash mode, which lights up the screen when you're taking a shot in the dark. Video now records at up to 4K resolution at 30 frames per second on the main and 1080p on the front camera. Video recording is and maintained 30 frames per second even in very dim conditions.

In terms of audio and video playback, the Snapdragon 820 can handle any content you can throw at it. There's no way to attach the S7 to a big screen , though; you need to use wireless screencasting. ConclusionsThe Samsung Galaxy S7 is a no-compromise luxury and the top of the Android lineup. It's also pretty conventional. There's nothing crazy here like the LG G5's dual cameras or modular build, just a good-looking, powerful smartphone that refines the performance of last year's model.

The S7 is also the smallest flagship Android phone out there. It destroys every other Android device in its size class. But it's hard to argue for the S7 as a $672 upgrade from last year's $650 S6, simply because the changes are pretty incremental. Maybe if you're paranoid about spills it's worth the peace of mind. If you've been holding onto an earlier Samsung Android phone on Verizon, though, and you're looking for a small but powerful device, now would be the time to upgrade.

The S7's hardware is better in almost every way than the iPhone's. And yet I can't unequivocally recommend it instead of an iPhone, because of the apps and services that are exclusive to Apple phones. If you're a big mobile gamer, want to put your phone on a professional camera mount, or want to use FaceTime, well, no S7 for you. You're locked into Apple's world. The S7 sets the bar for this year's smartphones, much like the S6 did last year.

LG plans to meet that bar and add innovative features, at the cost of a slightly wider design, and one that I suspect will have slightly shorter battery life. HTC will likely try to outdo Samsung with an all-metal design and more tasteful icons. There will also be plenty of competitive larger phones, starting with the Galaxy S7 Edge, which takes our Editors' Choice honors thanks to its longer battery life and innovative edge functionality.

But if you're looking for a spill-proof, single-hand-operation 4G smartphone with a terrific camera, the Samsung Galaxy S7 fits the bill better than anything else on the market. Samsung Galaxy S7 Bottom Line: There's nothing radically new about it, but the Samsung Galaxy S7 delivers the best Android smartphone performance in a relatively small package.

Wilma Lawrence

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