We’re mere days away from Samsung’s Unpacked 2016 event at Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, which means we’ll soon see everything the company’s latest flagship smartphone, the Galaxy S7, has to offer.
There’s been a torrent of leaks over the course of the past couple of weeks, which is why we’ve decided to collect as many rumours as possible in one place.
Evolution, not revolution is the name of the game
Perhaps the most significant takeaway from the leaked images we’ve seen of the S7 is that Samsung has taken an iterative approach with its latest flagship phone.
Throughout 2015 it seemed the company was preparing to add a variety of new features to its signature device. Citing several sources within Samsung, The Wall Street Journal published a report that said the S7 would include a pressure sensitive display and retina scanner. As we’ve gotten closer to Mobile World Congress, those rumours have died down. The latest images of the S7, courtesy of the always reliable Evan Blass and others, show a phone that features many of the same design cues that characterized its predecessor.
In fact, from a design perspective, likely the most significant change is that the S7 edge will be bigger than its predecessor. Most rumours suggest the phone is set to be 5.5 inches, which seems to indicate we may not get a edge+ this year.
Otherwise, it appears Samsung has decided to take an Apple-like approach with regards to its 2016 flagship. The company is betting that a couple of minor but often-requested changes will continue to spur sales momentum for the company.
The S7 will incorporate the best aspects of the S6 and S5
In fact, what’s gotten so many people excited for the S7 and S7 edge, is that Samsung appears poised to bring back several features that were lost in the transition between the S5 and S6. First and foremost, everything we’ve heard about the Galaxy S7 points to expandable storage making a return to at least some variants of the S7 family.
Taking a cue from other Android OEMs like Motorola, Samsung has redesigned the S7’s SIM tray to be capable of carrying both a SIM card and microSD card. The company has also reportedly invested a lot of time into making its Universal Flash Storage 2.0 standard better compatible with microSD cards — the standard’s previous incompatibility with expandable storage was one of the reasons Samsung did not add a microSD slot to the S6.
Also set to return is a waterproof case design that’s IP67 certified. We haven’t seen photographic evidence to definitively suggest this feature is a lock, but sources we’ve spoken to have confirmed the S7 will be resistant to the elements.
Alas, one S5 feature that most certainly won’t be making a comeback is a removable battery. On the plus side, Venturebeat reported last month that the S7 will feature a massive 3,000mAHh power source. Also set to return are wireless and fast charging. Between the addition of Android Marshmallow and its excellent power saving Doze feature, as well as the return of tech like fast charging, the S7 will likely avoid many of the battery issues that plagued older phones.
Say goodbye to the S6’s camera bump
For some people, the fact the S6 had a protruding camera completely dissuaded them from purchasing what was otherwise a tremendous camera package.
The good news is that the S7 almost certainly won’t have a protruding camera.
During an earnings call in late 2015, Samsung executives talked about their Britecell image sensor technology. The company revealed the sensor will be significantly smaller than previous generation image sensors without sacrificing on picture quality. Moreover, every leaked image that has shown the back of the S7 has revealed the phone’s camera module to be flush with the rest of the phone’s back.
And that about covers what we know about the phone. Samsung likely still has some surprises in store for us, which should help make the announcement exciting.
One other thing worth mentioning is Samsung will reportedly dual source the S7’s processor. Some S7 variants will ship with the company latest Exynos SoC, while others will instead include the Snapdragon 820, Qualcomm’s latest system-on-a-chip. For the most part, the company’s decision to use two different chipsets won’t affect Canadians. Here in the Great White North, we’ll get Samsung’s latest and greatest silicon, which is a good thing.
Related reading: LG G5 rumour roundup: Here’s everything we know so far