Samsung Galaxy S7 vs Galaxy S6: What Buyers Need to Know

Now that the impressive Samsung Galaxy S7 is official and coming on March 11th, potential buyers are weighing all of their options at the moment. And with good reason. With that in mind here we’ll be taking a look at the Galaxy S7, and how it compares to the current Galaxy S6 it’s set to soon replace.

In April, the Galaxy S6 and Galaxy S6 Edge were released and have been among the most popular smartphones over the past 10 months. On February 21st though, Samsung unveiled a similar yet highly improved Galaxy S7 and bigger Galaxy S7 Edge.

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Read: Galaxy S7 Release Date Breakdown

For nearly an entire year the Galaxy S6 and Galaxy S6 have been the best phones available, along with the Note 5. Not to mention the competition like the LG G4 or iPhone 6s. Many users are still picking up the Galaxy S6 right now, especially with heavy discounts, but with a Galaxy S7 release near some may want to wait. Here we’ll be examining what both phones offer, and where Samsung improved.

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As expected, many of the Galaxy S7 rumors that have been floating around since as far back as September and October were rather accurate. While there aren’t four different models or a crazy 6-inch Galaxy S7 Plus option, Samsung delivered two stunning phones with different screen sizes for any and all consumers.

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We did get two phones that look similar to last year but are vastly improved. From a similar design yet IP68 water resistant, micro-SD slots, a great new camera, and even a bigger 5.5-inch Galaxy S7 Edge. Samsung really came through this year. Here’s what you need to know about the Samsung Galaxy S7, and why you shouldn’t get the Galaxy S6 right now.

Galaxy S7 Release Date

On Sunday Samsung silenced all the rumors and set the tone early for the Galaxy S7 release date. Making this one of the fastest releases from one generation to the next, and the fastest release after being announced in Samsung’s history.

The Galaxy S7 and Galaxy S7 Edge will be released in the United States and most regions around the globe on March 11th. This has been 100% confirmed. Select carriers outside the US are shipping early on the 8th, but those in the U.S. can expect it to arrive on March 11th from all major carriers, Best Buy, Target, Staples, Walmart and many other retail locations.

Rumors were all over the map regarding a release date. Some suggested March 4th, while others claimed April like last year. Evan Blass and our own sources were right, and the new phone will hit all shelves on March 11th.

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Galaxy S7 Design

Just like we heard time and time again, the Galaxy S7 looks very similar to the Galaxy S6 from last year. There are a few very subtle changes, as well as a rounded back to make it easier to hold, and feel thinner in the hand. That said, it will be a very different phone that’s better, faster, more powerful, has better battery life and more. Like Apple it may look the same, but it’s actually a huge upgrade.

Galaxy S7 (left) vs Galaxy S6 (Right)

Galaxy S7 (left) vs Galaxy S6 (Right)

The overall look is nearly the same from the front. The Black model doesn’t have silver accents on the fingerprint scanner or the earpiece speaker, but the silver and gold models do. Giving it a cleaner front face. The front camera is slightly bigger as it has a wide-angle 5 megapixel f/1.7 lens, but otherwise the entire device looks nearly identical.

Samsung’s Galaxy S7 has the same all glass and aluminum design, camera on back, fingerprint scanner in the home button and more.

Samsung kept the same 5.1-inch 2560 x 1440 Quad-HD S-AMOLED display for the Galaxy S7, and increased the Galaxy S7 Edge to 5.5-inches for those that want a bigger display. Leaks were all over regarding this, but now that’s it’s official we have all the details.

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Galaxy-S7-vs-S6

Everything is nearly identical right down to the 3.5mm headphone jack, micro-USB charging port (not USB Type-C) and even the speaker. The Galaxy S7 is on the right in the image above.

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There are three very important changes though, which we’ll explain more below. The Galaxy S7 is IP68 dust and water resistant. It can be submerged in nearly 5ft of water for over 30 minutes with no problem. Samsung also added a bigger 3,000 mAh battery, and a 3,600 mAh battery in the Galaxy S7 Edge. Then last but certainly not last, Samsung heard the world’s complaints, and returned the micro-SD slot. It’s on top inside the SIM card tray. Now owners can add a 200GB micro-SD card full of photos, video and more.

Galaxy S7 Specs

So if the Galaxy S7 will look nearly the same as the Galaxy S6, and come in the same sizes, what makes it different and worth buying? All the technology and upgrades that took place. This phone is faster, more powerful, will last longer, takes better photos, should feel thinner in the hand thanks to a rounded design on back and more. Here are the numbers for those interested.

Galaxy S7 Specs

  • 5.1-inch 2560 x 1440 Quad-HD Display (5.5-inch Galaxy S7 Edge)
  • Quad-Core Qualcomm 820 Processor with 4GB of RAM (Exynos outside the US)
  • 32 GB of storage with a micro-SD slot (no 64GB option)
  • New 12 “Dual Pixel” Rear Camera with f/1.7 aperture, OIS and more
  • 3,000 mAh battery with Fast Charging, Wireless Fast Charging (3,600 on Galaxy S7 Edge)
  • Android 6.0.1 Marshmallow with TouchWiz
  • Fingerprint Scanner
  • IP68 Dust & Water Resistance
  • Always-on display feature
  • Flater Design (nearly no camera bulge)
  • more

As you can see above, the Samsung Galaxy S7 sounds pretty good. The Snapdragon 820 processor and 4GB of RAM will make it faster, smoother, and perform great. Gaming, multi-tasking and more should all benefit from this, not to mention battery life. The micro-SD and battery were two things Samsung really needed to address, and they nailed them both.

Galaxy S6 Specs

  • 5.1-inch 2560 x 1440 Quad-HD Display
  • 8-Core Samsung Exynos Processor with 3GB of RAM
  • 32/64/128GB storage options, no micro-SD card
  • 16 Megapixel Camera, 5MP front camera
  • 2,550 mAh battery with Fast Charging, Wireless Charging
  • Android 5.1.1 Lollipop (Marshmallow coming soon)
  • Fingerprint Scanner
  • Big Camera bulge
  • Curved screen on Edge model
  • more

As you can see, there are multiple differences. The biggest one being the return of the micro-SD card, but that isn’t all. The Galaxy S7 will finally have a big battery to compete with the other phones on the market. The Galaxy S6 had a tiny 2,550 mAh battery, and even the 5.7-inch Galaxy Note 5 is only 3,000 mAh. So having that same big battery on a smaller and more efficient Galaxy S7 with Android 6.0 should be very promising.

Galaxy-S6-13

For Samsung to improve nearly every aspect, return the micro-SD slot, add IP68 water and dust resistance, and make the camera better all in roughly the same device, was quite a task. Users should be rather excited about the Galaxy S7 or Galaxy S7 Edge.

Rumors of a pressure-sensitive display like Apple’s 3D Touch or a Retina Scanner turned out to be false, but the Galaxy S7 has plenty already to make it a worthy successor to last years Galaxy S6.

Galaxy S7 vs Galaxy S6: Camera

Yes, the Galaxy S7 camera is only 12 megapixels, compared to the 16 megapixel camera everyone raved about and loved in the Galaxy S6. However, Samsung’s new camera has some impressive technology that could make it the best camera inside any smartphone ever released.

Screen Shot 2016-02-21 at 10.02.32 AM

The Galaxy S7 features the first “Dual Pixel” camera sensor for a smartphone. It has a huge 1.4 or 1.5um pixel size, and a blazing fast f/1.7 aperture that could potentially rival some DSLR cameras. It’s that good. The phone uses all of the pixels to have an extremely fast and accurate auto-focus, image stabilization for clear photos, and a huge 12 Dual Pixel sensor that can capture more light faster than most smartphone cameras available today.

Samsung actually claims it captures nearly 95% more light than other competing smartphone cameras, and does it faster. Meaning stunning photos, great indoor or low light photography, and image stabilization to cap it all off for amazing videos in 4k and more.

We haven’t had a chance to fully test out the new Galaxy S7 camera yet, but with Samsung boldly saying it blows away the iPhone 6s Plus camera in every aspect, it should be rather impressive once it arrives on March 11th.

Galaxy S7 Battery Life

One of the biggest complaints last year about the Galaxy S6 and S6 Edge was battery life. For a big powerful phone Samsung only added a small 2,550 mAh battery. Even the Galaxy S5 from 2014 had a bigger 2,800 mAh battery inside. This was unacceptable, and the Galaxy S6 didn’t last nearly long enough.

As we said above, Samsung completely fixed that too this year. The screen, new Snapdragon 820 processor, Android 6.0 and more are all more efficient, so battery life should be much improved. Add in the fact that the Galaxy S7 and Galaxy S7 now have a 3,000 and 3,600 mAh battery, this phone should last far longer than the model last year.

Galaxy-S7-main

We still have Quick Charging, which recharges the phone from 0-50% in less than 20 minutes, and fully recharges in about 70-80 minutes. Samsung also employed a similar Fast Wireless Charging technology as the Galaxy Note 5. Meaning these phones are better in every way, yet will last longer and recharge faster. Want one yet?

Carriers, Pricing and More

Of course the Galaxy S7 and Galaxy S7 Edge will be released on all major carriers, but the color and storage options are different this year. They only have a 32GB model (but it has a micro-SD slot) and the Galaxy S7 comes in Black or Gold. Then the Galaxy S7 Edge comes in Black, Gold or Silver. That’s it.

Read: Galaxy S7 Pre-Order Date & Time

Again, all carriers will release the Galaxy S7 on March 11th. The Galaxy S6 is still available, and deals may start to surface along with heavy discounts. If you don’t need the latest and greatest, the S6 is still a wonderful smartphone worth considering.

Galaxy-S7-water

The Galaxy S6 was $199 with a new 2-year contract and $599 outright for the 32GB model from most carriers, then went up with more storage or the Edge curved screen model. The Galaxy S7 has a little more technology inside, and costs a little more. That said, carriers have some good pricing plans in place. It looks like the Galaxy S7 costs around $680 (give or take a little) and the Galaxy S7 Edge is $760 or more. Sprint is asking the least, while AT&T is cheaper on a month-to-month basis.

  • AT&T: Galaxy S7 is $23.17 per month for 30 months = $695.10
  • Verizon: Galaxy S7 is $28 per month for 24 months = $672
  • T-Mobile: Galaxy S7 is $27.91 per month for 24 months = $669.84
  • Sprint: Galaxy S7 is $27.09 per month for 24 months = $650.16
  • US Cellular: Galaxy S7 is $28 per month for 24 months = $672

The Galaxy S7 Edge is only a few dollars more per month from each carrier, which ends up putting the total price a little over $750 for Samsung’s new 5.5-inch flagship water-resistant smartphone.

All said and done the Galaxy S7 and Galaxy S7 Edge look to be a worthy successor to the Galaxy S6. The looks might be rather similar, but these are completely different phones on the inside. Stay tuned for more details, video, and the release date come March 11th.