All Hands on Tech: Samsung Galaxy S7 Edge

This week, we’re looking at the Samsung Galaxy S7. And we’re talking more about using it in reality and less about what it offers in virtual reality.

The user interface offers a lot. Samsung offers a great default option with its TouchWiz UI that will make even the most casual smartphone users happy. For those who want to customize their Android rig like they would modify a hot rod, there’s lots of options for that too. You can change your launcher to run core Android for instance, giving your device a whole different look and feel, plus more integration with Google Now services.

But there’s a lot of good reasons to stick with Samsung’s UI. After making about 76 different Android devices (no, I haven’t counted) Samsung seems to have struck the right balance of tweaking Android without cluttering up the experience. Edge users have access to a special ‘Edge UX’ feature that users of the vanilla Galaxy S7 don’t.

This menu slides out from the side of the screen with the swipe of your thumb. You can use it to quickly launch an app, or in many cases access a specific task in an app.

Plus, you can launch a quick call or text message to your most-often used contacts. A Yahoo News feature even offers the option to scroll through headlines. Third-party developers can build their own Edge panels, so we might see some interesting additions here.

This is Samsung’s flagship smartphone we’re talking about. So you know the hardware is going to be top of the line. I won’t delve into all the specs, but know that this device will be able to smoothly handle just about any work you can throw at it. It’s got the most recent Snapdragon chipset and 4 gigs of RAM. There’s 32 GB of on-board storage, plus you can expand that with a micro SD card slot – as much as 200 more gigs! You’ll also see other bells and whistles that we expect from smartphones these days, like a fingerprint scanner. The screen is really sharp, with a Quad-HD display.

One amazing feature of this phone is the water resistance. If you’ve ever ruined your smartphone from dropping it in a puddle or worse, you’ll appreciate that this device has a really good chance of surviving a bit of a soaking.

If you have last year’s Galaxy S6 or S6 Edge, there’s probably not enough motivation to upgrade here. Yes, the designs are slightly improved, the specs are a bit better, but I don’t think it’s enough to get most people to open up their wallets again.

If you’re trying to make the choice between the Galaxy S7 and the S7 Edge models, screen size might play a factor. There’s some who might prefer the smaller 5.1-inch S7, but know that the curved screen and backing on the Edge make it surprisingly easy to handle for such a large device. The only other major difference is access to the Edge UX productivity features.

If you’re buying these smartphones off contract, expect to pay $1,000 Canadian for the Galaxy S7 Edge. The plain Galaxy S7 is $900. They’re both available now.

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Jim Love, Chief Content Officer, IT World Canada

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Brian Jackson
Brian Jackson
Editorial director of IT World Canada. Covering technology as it applies to business users. Multiple COPA award winner and now judge. Paddles a canoe as much as possible.

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