One of the most anticipated smartphones of the first part of the 2016, Galaxy S7 Edge, was tested in our laboratory, but also and above all for more than a month on the road (even in extreme conditions). In my technical analysis you will understand why for me is the best smartphone currently on the market.
Display: simply a work of art
Samsung confirms his great qualities as a manufacturer of display unleashing its Galaxy S7 edge an extraordinary 5.5 ” inch screen Super Amoled CAPACITIVE technology from 2560 x 1440 pixel resolution (for a total of 534 ppipixel density). The cold numbers, by themselves, cannot render on the visual experience (brightness, contrast, viewing angle) that Samsung offers its prospective customers becoming once again as the best maker of screens for smartphone!
Technically, Samsung chose again a PenTile matrix shaped Diamond, which is a particular pattern that does not include the triad RGB pixel shared but willing in particular, each of which has a diamond shape. The particular arrangement, allows to better manage different levels of efficiency and longevity: blue and red, which are the two colors less efficient are larger, the Green subpixels.
The provision also does not create particular problems about rendering of the diagonals and, above all, minimizes the color shift, which is the emphasis of color to change viewing angle. The color shift is one of the minor improvements over the already excellent screen of the Galaxy 5 Notes, and the colors turning towards yellow by tilting the terminal can be stored as faults of the past. It is clear, even to the naked eye that Samsung has improved its top of the range 2016 than the previous generation in great contrast to different levels of brightness.
One of the major limitations of Android, color management, is the inability to manage dynamically changing color profile within individual applications. Samsung has thought well to prepare, as usual, 4 profiles that must be manually set to take into account the different uses (photo, video, gaming, web browsing, etc.). Adjustable screen mode tries to automatically adjust the color profile to the application (it only works in those Samsung).
Maximum brightness was between 495 nits. This value appears perfectly in line with that of the 5 Notes. We measured the maximum brightness that the Terminal reached in very bright environments and screen stood at values greater than 750 nits. The Panel of the smartphone that I purchased is less bright than the one I tested at MWC 2016 and away from theoretical data revealed at the fair by Samsung (900 nits). In my opinion, are the maximum brightness and the new readability in sunlight the strengths of this screen over the previous generation of Samsung. In addition, in the same direction, management of automatic Adaptive brightness.
In particular, we noticed how device software to store the settings you’ve chosen ambient light in different and this is really an advantage compared to the usual standard factory settings chosen by the smartphone manufacturers.
In natural mode calibration tends to make people not perceiving the user the typical over saturation of color OLED screens. The Color Gamut achieved is almost perfect and equal to101% of the standard sRGB/Rec. 709 In photo mode, the accuracy is very good, the color saturation is increased to make the colors brighter. In particular, the standard Adobe RGB Color Gamut has a color space larger than 17% of the standard sRGB/Rec. 709. Samsung calibration is mind blowing for a consumer product and fits really lovers of photography. In cinema mode the colors are more saturated and the temperature is increased to make a better white with blue giving the scene a feeling colder. Here the color space is 140% wider than standard sRGB/Rec. 709. The Adaptive mode has a color space setting of 131% of the standard sRGB/Rec. 709.
In the basic mode the DeltaE is equal to 1.1 (one of the lowest values ever measured and comparable to the color rendering of Lumia 950 Xl) and only in photo mode moves away from the theoretical limit of 3 to be 4.25. In the table below there is the choice of the RGB mix used in each mode.
In photo mode we measured a colour temperature of 6715 K higher than that of 6490 K other modes and second only to cinema mode which arrives at 6880 K.
The screen of the Galaxy S7 Edge has, as the latest top of the range of Samsung, a Super Dimming mode that allows you to set the minimum brightness value of 1.5 nits (lower of 2 nits that I had measured on 5 Notes). This minimum will allow us to work comfortably without straining your eyes or disturb others when we are in very dark environments (eg bedroom). In this mode, the display still offers 24-bit color space and image quality remains excellent.
We also enjoyed the welcome mode “always on” display that is enhanced by the Oled technology as you can choose to illuminate only the individual sub-pixels so as to show the date, time, battery level and notifications, without unlocking the smartphone.
Good news for those who have polarized (you won’t type circular). Samsung versus Lg range Apple and worried even to render readable screen.
The power consumption is really minimal (65 mW-90 mW) as the light is just 60 nits.
The only real drawback I faced on this screen is the PWM (Pulse-Width Modulation) which causes the so-called “screen flicker” when lowering the brightness.
This type of flickering is not directly perceivable by users (unlike the CRT monitors), but if this may cause eyestrain or headaches received by each of us with different intensity.
Several times in my technical analysis I explained as an empirical system to verify, without technical devices, if your smartphone has a PWM is to photograph or film with other smartphone the screen to check for the presence of bars that scroll vertically or diagonally (flicker). As can be seen from two images captured frequency 240 HZ and is also visually remains confirmed “flicker” that becomes apparent as soon as the brightness reaches 125 nits.
In summary, for those who are lost among the many numbers and parameters of my analysis I can simply confirm that who will buy the new Galaxy S7 edge will be in your hands, without fear of contradiction, the best screen in the first half of 2016 and with a fidelity definitely superior to almost all screens (tv, pc, etc.) you may have in your home or Office.
Battery: brava Samsung
The Galaxy S7 edge uses a battery 3600 mAh fast charge system including wireless. The wall power adapter has an output 5/9V and 1.6/2A
In our usual test, instead, where we perform only one task to your smartphone until you download it completely, these values are reached
This Galaxy edge talk time consumes very little S7 to witness the great work done by Samsung for business users. With heavy usage you can easily cover a day and touched the 5 hours of active display.
The test duration of Pcmark and Geekbench confirm the results of our test.
Full charging takes around 100 minutes by cable while the 50% of the charge can be reached in 40 minutes.
Finally it is important to note that this smartphone has multiple Options via software to increase battery life. From elementary ones such as adjusting the screen brightness to the most complex ones such as “limited power” which provides about 4-5 hours “extras” for use by adjusting the speed of processor cores or extreme mode where the interface is simplified and becomes in shades of gray. It is known that the AMOLED screens consume less of LCD screens in the display of the color black. This is because while in the LCD screens a black pixel is obtained by jamming the same pixel-blocking the backlight–at a AMOLED there is no backlight. Every tiny subpixels is like a little red, blue or green. If the screen should display the black, does not need to block any light, simply will not turn on any of the colored sub pixels.
User interface and functionality: the fluidity finally reached
The Samsung Galaxy 5 Notes had been issued to launch with Android 5.1.1, and already in my technical analysis I had titled the TouchWiz UX appeared lighter and optimized compared to the UI on the Galaxy S6. With android 6.0.1 and with the new top of the line S7, Samsung has continued in this rut by improving overall visual appearance and yet the fluidity of almost all the main menu and main applications trying to change your mind to many users the consideration that the TouchWiz is a customized upon Android more invasive and “buggose”.
One of the major novelties Galaxy S7 software is definitely the edge Always On Display that allows you to keep active the display to show clock, notifications of calls and messages, calendar or an image.
Unfortunately this feature is a work in progress and, for example, is not active when you reload your smartphone wirelessly.
It is possible to personalize content, style and background of the UI. Samsung store there are many themes compatible with this function. As the Galaxy you can also enable a clock edge S6 night that displays information about the time, date and battery on the curvature of the screen. Via settings we can choose the time frame in which it is to be active, even 24 hours a day. Activating the latter function is deactivated the function Always on.
Thanks to its EDGE Panel, we can keep on the right or left edge, we can quickly access contacts, apps and features. Leading EDGE Panels have open APIs and can download new ones through the store even though the top paid. Don’t miss a chance to show the feeds tag edge by sliding your finger quickly over the border to display off and get an edge lighting when we receive a call.
The TouchWiz is now even better, we can have a grid of 5 x 5 also in the app drawer that can also be eliminated by using an experimental feature in the Galaxy Labs. Can also divide the display into two simultaneously active to keep as many applications and decrease in floating window one or more applications by sliding your finger from one upper corner towards the Center.
Smart Manager, an application that allows you to optimize the performance of the device is now present as a system application
Another innovation on this Galaxy S7 edge is the Game Launcher that in addition to group all games in one place also offers a number of features. Can enable energy savings which limits resolution and fps, suppress warnings during the game, lock keys, reducing the game to icon, make screenshots or record our matches up to a maximum resolution Full HD images captured even from the front camera. Videos can then be easily shared. Galaxy S7 edge, it also supports libraries Vulkan Khronos and, therefore, we expect even more realistic graphics and immersive about upcoming games released in the Play Store.
Phone, address book and Messaging: one step ahead
Receiving mail is good, but not great. Especially in 3 g you can witness every now and then in some inexplicable fall of signal. Great, instead, 4 g reception and improved compared to recent top-of-the-range Samsung speed of the handover.
Theaudio capsule is very good, similar to the Galaxy S6, but with a slightly less hot. Our test of the sound pressure of the mono speaker confirmed the auditory sensations.
This mono speaker is slightly lower in quality than the 5 Notes.
The WIFi signal is very good and here a comparison with 5 Notes. As you can see nearly identical performance.
Qualitatively the speaker takes out a good volume, but with a normal quality and sometimes with a slight metallic sound only audible at maximum volume and on certain frequencies.
As you can see from the graph the sound is full of tall, medium are just enough while the bass just mentioned and absolutely not at the level of the Nexus 6 p or Htc M9. In my opinion, the audio experience was optimized to ensure excellent performance during the Conference calls.
Address book and messaging
The contacts application has not changed much compared to Notes 5.
Fast and accurate the keyboard that offers a feed sound and vibration, slide finger writing and ability to customize its height. Good also the pressure system text that can be multilingual.
Connectivity and web browsing: nothing to envy to competition!
This smartphone contains a really important set of connections, ch. 9 for LTE connectivity supporting download speeds of up to 450 MB/s while on HSPA networks, you will get a maximum download speed to 42Mbps.
The Wi-Fi has the ac 802.11 2.4 GHz dual band type and 5 GHz. Even the GPS (A-GPS/GLONASS) is lightning with a cold fix after just 2 seconds and with an accuracy of about4 meters. When compared to a professional GPS the error is 2% and the average result of the bug in android that doesn’t update frequently the location.
Then there is the Low Energy mode 4.2 Bluetooth and apt-X (Smart Ready) for better audio streaming. Usb 2.0 has no functionality MHL and then forget about the tv out cable. The port supports USB HID devices as well and a keyboard and mouse. Also the NFC chip.
Oddly, Samsung chose to not enter the IR sensor for remote control of household appliances and the FM radio.
Another interesting feature is the one that allows you to use fingerprints to access websites (this option also on other Samsung). The first time you enter the site you must use the username and password as usual and then tick the option “remember login using fingerprints”. From now on, just put your finger on the home button to log in on that particular website. There is to be noted that this option does not work with all types of logins.
The browser is the Internet from Samsung in version 4.0. Web pages, even heavier ones, manage to be better managed and offer a high flow in scroll and responsiveness to double tap and pinch in and out. This browsing in secret, the vista PC and the ability to insert password via fingerprint recognition.
Performance: without compromise!
In 2015, Samsung has refused to use the SOC Qualcomm in its top of the range because of problems in operating temperatures. In particular, the life of Snapdragon Qualcomm 810, which changed how architecture in 2015, caused a wave of layoffs and an internal reorganisation of the chipset manufacturer that gave birth to the Snapdragon 820.
In 2015, the stereotyped phrase he wanted the SOC Exynos worse than that Qualcomm was in fact translated into barely perceptible difference in daily use for the average consumer. In many of my technical analysis in 2015 I highlighted that the real difference in performance was in LTE modem and in the policy of complete openness towards the open source community with the publication of source code of drivers of the chip. In 2016, the difference is even thinner as the modem Exynos received an upgrade to LTE cat 9 (maximum 450 MBit/s Download, upload 50 Mbit/s) while the one mounted on the Snapdragon 820 is LTE cat. 12/13 (up to 600 Mbit/s download, 150 Mbit/s upload). If you’re wondering if for me the Exynos is less than Snapdragon 820 the answer starts, in 2016, it depends on what factors we consider and globally still Yes, but whether this difference the note in actual use then no.
With battery testing GFXBench we tested the performance stability of SoC under prolonged load. Here, the T-Rex-test is performed thirty times in a row and recorded the frame rate. After the first 15 test starts global performance may drop about a 45%. Then the system loses a little more power, but anyway this SOC behaves really well.
Our camera in these situations show a Terminal temperature of 43° (ambient temperature of 20°) in the lower right at the SOC. Nothing particularly relevant and in line with temperature eg. the Lumia 950 XL.
This smartphone uses a liquid cooling system because it uses a drop of ethylene glycol that is wrapped inside small tubes, which are made of copper. The liquid passes on an evaporator that is exposed to the heat of CPU and GPU. Here is transformed into gas and this steam then passes through the pipes until you come to a spreading plate, where heat is released and the vapor becomes liquid and then returns to the evaporator and so on.
It should be noted that the diffusion plate does not have a fan or similar and there are no heat inside the tubing pumps to move the liquid or steam. It is a passive system and its purpose is to bring the heat from the CPU/GPU and dispel them over a larger area. From the measured temperatures from the thermal imaging camera have to say the system does well its job even if we can’t a miracle.
Multimedia: quality without compromise!
The audio quality of this smartphone is truly remarkable and certainly merit of DAC of Walfson on Soc Exynos and the difference with S7 edge with SOC Snapdragon 820 you feel full.
Camera and video camera: as a reference for a smartphone
The rear camera is powered by the sensor Sony IMX 260 direct successor of Sony IMX 240, installed aboard Galaxy S6 and Note 5, which went from 16 resolution to 12.2 Mega Pixels.The size of the sensor are 6.69 x 5.55 mm and 1.4 µm pixels in format 4:3. Camera technology, further strengthens the trend we’re seeing in the last few months, which sees relatively larger sensors, less defining for the benefit of the quality of the collection.
The analysis of the shots clearly shows us an excellent photo quality though want to warn you that when seen from the screen of the smartphone sometimes leave open mouth as if to show high resolution PC views, although still presentable. I managed to get great shots in all situations with a balance between contrast (dynamic range) and even where intentionally I researched the marked presence of light and darkness I have obtained over exposed shots. A special mention for macros, which thanks to the zoom range received as a gift for the Grand opening of the sensor, which astonish for cleaning and bokeh. At night the stabilization has proven to be very effective by allowing us good shots even Freehand. In this condition, though, the shots taken using a tripod made us appreciate even more the sensor that has gathered a great amount of light. Here, too, the only fault I found and that software, in some situation, tends to saturate the colors giving the white a strange patina yellowish clear. Samsung has promptly resolved this bug by placing an update software even as we end this technical analysis
The front camera has proved, however, only average, especially at night, and the disappointment is heightened just for comparison with the excellence attained by the rear camera. Is possible via software improve the complexion, clean up skin blemishes, and at the same time correct the geometry of the face.
Optical stabilization is led by an STMicroelectronics K2G2IS with IMU in six axes. In our test video we found an all-too-aggressive intervention in motion compensation, resulting often in obvious distortions if videos are shot in high resolution (UHD) so without the intervention of digital image stabilization. This aspect depends largely on the software, so we expect future improvement as well as there was for the camera. In the videos shot in full HD do not have problems of distortion, as the digital image stabilization mitigates the intervention of one being, in fact, excellent. Autofocus autofocus tracking performances are excellent with good detail preservation even with high illumination, low noise and good color rendition and exposure. The flaws I found are those of a presence of artifacts and the loss of detail in the videos in low light, plus an uneven color in all conditions.
The management software
The Photo app is really complete and smart also its startup as there allows for quick snap “point and shoot” mode by pressing the stand-by, 2 times in quick succession the home button. The interface is simple, yet full of settings that are always easily identified.
By pressing the “WAY” we will have access to a number of features: manual capture, selective focus, collage, landscape or slow effect. It is also possible to download from the store for free other modes or presets.
PRO mode enables the manual controls for focusing, ISO, white balance and timing.Remarkable ability to 3 settings profiles, similar to what the modern reflex or mirrorless.
Creative photography enthusiasts will click on the “standard” where they can enable some color profiles: color temperature, tint, contrast, saturation, light and shadow. As for the presets you have the ability to save two custom profiles, assigning them to slots T1 and T2. The latter feature is very useful even in the videos, allowing you to record images “not worked” for touch-ups in post production.
Samsung Galaxy S7 Edge is without any doubt the best smartphone of this beginning of 2016 bringing Samsung on Olympus Android smartphones. We have a successful product with a form factor that makes it unique and recognizable. But don’t be fooled just aesthetics and the new IP68 certification as these are just some of the arrows that Samsung has in its quiver: screen, performance, battery, camera must be top of the class. With this Galaxy, Samsung S7 Edge did not achieve a perfect smartphone, but has raised the bar for the other competitors and increased, lovers of the brand, the expectations for the upcoming Notes 6.
amsung Galaxy S7 Edge is available online from bass8 to 594 euros or by Trony to 669 euros. The price is decent but there are 6 better models.
Samsung Galaxy S7 Edge Teardown
Samsung Galaxy S7 Edge Teardown
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