As Samsung moves on from the release of the Galaxy Note 5, the next cab on the rank is the Galaxy S7 smartphone. This remains the premium handset from the Korean manufacturer, and is thus of supreme importance to Samsung. So here ValueWalk runs down all of the latest rumors and murmurings related to this forthcoming device.
Galaxy S7 – Release date
Following Samsung’s adoption of the Agile production method it has been mooted that devices could be developed by the company in a shorter timeframe. However, considering that the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona will take place in late February next year, an earlier date than usual, and this has been the traditional unveiling location for the Galaxy S series, we perhaps shouldn’t expect an earlier Galaxy S7 release.
Barcelona’s Mobile World Congress runs from February 22-25, so it seems quite probable that we will see the Galaxy S7 unveiled at this event. This would make it the third year in succession that Samsung has unveiled a Galaxy S device at the Barcelona trade show. Such an occurrence would suggest a release date at some point in March, possibly around the middle of the month.
It is early days to be discussing the possible pricing of the Galaxy S7, but considering that Apple has frozen the iPhone price point with the iPhone 6s, it seems extremely likely that Samsung will follow suit with the Galaxy S7.
This is always a key aspect of any smartphone, but display technology is particularly important to Samsung for several reasons. Firstly, the company has come to be particularly associated with screen technology, considering that it has been the largest seller of television sets since 2008. Additionally, Samsung has pioneered several aspects of display technology in mobiles, not least the curved screen variants that it introduced with the Galaxy Note Edge back in 2014.
In the meantime, Samsung has been both displaying publicly and experimenting privately with foldable smartphone technology, and this could be a commercial reality as soon as 2016, at least according to a report from Business Korea. Including this in a Galaxy S7 would enable Samsung to be a pioneer once more, and it seems a distinct possibility. Samsung may also consider 4K resolution for the Galaxy S7, particularly as Sony has now released the worlds first 4K mobile device.
A particular long shot is that Samsung could include a holographic display in the Galaxy S7, with a patent for the technology having already been uncovered. Of course, this is extremely unlikely to come to fruition, but it is a tantalizing prospect that we may see one day in the Galaxy S series.
Samsung has lagged behind Apple in terms of design quality for some time, but it has closed the gap with recent releases. One particular aspect of the Galaxy S7 that many punters would like to see would be the introduction of waterproofing. Samsung would need to balance this with continuing to deliver a stylish design, but it would certainly win over consumers, particularly as it is widely rumoured that the iPhone series will incorporate the quality in order to make the handset a more obvious companion of the Apple Watch.
Samsung could also reinstate micro SD, with pressure on the corporation to deliver an increased amount of storage in the Galaxy S7.
No-one should underestimate the importance of camera technology in the makeup of contemporary mobile devices. In addition, once upon a time, it was acceptable to deliver just one quality camera, but the ‘selfie generation’ now demand an excellent front-facing snapper as well.
With this in mind, Samsung has already announced a new camera sensor which we can reasonably expect to feature in the Galaxy S7. This could enable the manufacturer to eliminate the unsightly camera bulge that featured in the Galaxy S6, with Samsung recently unveiling the world’s first 1.0 micrometre 16MP CMOS image sensor.
This ultra-thin camera unit is based on Samsung’s proprietary ISOCELL technology, and enables the device to absorb considerably more light. This will improve the quality of low-light shooting, and the smaller module involved in this camera unit should ensure that the Galaxy S7 is a slimmer than previous iterations of the series.
Korean media outlets have also reported that Samsung is testing a dual-camera set-up for the Galaxy S7, which is expected to resemble the one found in the HTC One M8. Samsung might also choose to bump up the megapixel rating in both the front and rear-facing cameras as it looks to establish a significant gulf once more between its premium smartphone and the iPhone series.
There has been an inordinate amount of speculation related to the Galaxy S7 processor, not least because there is a huge debate regarding whether or not Samsung will utilize its own proprietarily Exynos technology.
The Korean Electronic Times has already suggested that Samsung will utilize Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 820 processor for Galaxy S7s sold in the US and China, and Samsung’s own Exynos chip for Galaxy S7s in other markets. This would be a repetition of the policy that the corporation has utilized previously. In line with this rumour, devices have appeared on the Geekbench benchmark database that seemed to support this proposal.
Meanwhile, Samsung has also recently announced mass production of new 12Gbit LPDDR4 DRAM chips for mobile devices. The Korean corporation claims that these new models run 30 percent faster than current 8Gbit chips, and also that they consume 20 percent less power. Putting these two outstanding figures together, it certainly suggests that the Galaxy S7 will be an extremely powerful performer.
Samsung may have slightly lost its lead in the battery life department, but the Galaxy S7 could change this significantly. Reports have suggested that Samsung’s research and development department has already delivered a battery that will enable the handset to enjoy a five-day battery life. In June, researchers from Samsung’s Advanced Institute of Technology reportedly discovered a way to extend lithium-ion battery life using graphene and silicon. These reports suggest that the Galaxy S7 could have an outstanding battery life when it is released next year.
Samsung and Android fans will be hoping that all of these rumors turn out to have substance ahead of the emergence of the Galaxy S7.