Samsung's Galaxy S7 EDGE has been officially announced - we take a look at the handset
Let's take a look back at the best of 2016 shall we? If you're an iPhone fan or you're embedded in Apple's ecosystem already, then you're left with the iPhone 7 series; not bad, but the major overhaul is coming in 2017 by all accounts. For everyone else in the Android space that basically leaves a handful of options, including the LG G5 or Samsung's Galaxy S7/S7 EDGE series, all three of which launched in FEBRUARY, so are bascially the oldest phone's of the year and are still kicking pretty much everything else's ass. The last choice came in at the last minute, and that's Google's Pixel and Pixel XL, which launched in October, and are pretty much the only other phones this year to draw our attention properly away from Samsung and LG's stuff.If Richard's glowing review of the Pixel XL is anything to go by then we may finally have a contender fit to take on the Galaxy S7 and Galaxy S7 EDGE inside 2016. Yes folks, so far the Galaxy S7 series, despite being announced in February this year, has managed to fend off pretty much all comers as the king of the smartphone space - not a bad innings by any stretch. While the LG G5 was an innovative piece of kit, which launched around the same time, for whatever reasons consumers didn't flock to it the same way they did to Samsung's devices.
In the run-up to the big reveal, both Galaxy S7 devices proved possibly Samsung's worst-kept secret to date, not that this is meant as a slight against Samsung - pretty much every manufacturer is unable to keep things wrapped up tight these days and in-development products always leaks onto the web in abundance. Consequently, once again much of the Galaxy S7 and Galaxy S7 edge design, and many of the features, are not a surprise to anyone who had been keeping an eye on things in the six months or so ahead of the launch.
As per the rumours, the Galaxy S7 and Galaxy S7 edge are not tremendously different design-wise from the Galaxy S6 series, and this is no bad thing because those devices were absolutely gorgeous, made from high-end materials, and offered a premium feel in the hand - in my opinion some of the best handsets Samsung has ever made. All good stuff.
But there are still some noteworthy differences and new features to make the Galaxy S7 edge stand out from its forebears.
Enough that consumers are very interested, it seems, as according to a statement from Samsung's Dutch branch pre-order figures for the Galaxy S7 and Galaxy S7 edge in Europe were 2.5x higher than the Galaxy S6 series the previous year. The Galaxy S7 edge also proved the most popular model, accounting for 61% of all pre-orders inside Europe. The news came a few days after Samsung's chief of mobile, Koh Dong-jin, made a less precise statement that pre-orders globally had exceeded the firm's expectations.
Although Samsung has lost a LOT of money and brownie points off the back of the Galaxy Note 7 "explosiongate" fiasco, there are signs that it is now clawing things back. That $5bn hit from the Note 7 is still there, of course, but of the $14bn decline in share market value the firm experienced following the catastophe it has now clawed back $9bn in one day of trading on November 30. Prior to the Note 7 debacle, back in August 2016, Samsung's share price peaked to an all-time high of $1480 per share, of course following the emergence of the Galaxy Note 7's issue, that figure drastically dropped off a cliff. Now though, Samsung has seen a share price increase up to a new all-time high of $1496 per share topping the firm's market valuation at $224 billion.
"Gloss Black" Colour Variant To Launch Early DecemberDreaming of a shiny black Christmas? No? As weird and non-traditional as that sounds, it's apparently what Samsung is conjuring up right now. The firm has clearly been paying attention to Apple's handsome sales figures of its high-gloss "Jet Black" colour variant and wants a piece of that inky ebony pie, if only to help shore up the losses made by the Galaxy Note 7 debacle. Word comes out of Samsung's home nation of South Korea, on November 21, via local publication The Investor and its anonymous "industry sources" on the inside.
These mysterious persons claim that a new colour variant of the Galaxy S7, which is notably much shinier and glossier than the matte-finish Onyx Black Galaxy S7, will arrive in early December. At present it is not clear what kind of fancy name this new variant might have, whether it will be a limited distribution (South Korea only?) or global.
On November 23, images have leaked showing the Galaxy S7 EDGE in the new glossy black finish, apparently confirming that the new colour variant will include the EDGE model. The photos were posted by a Samsung employee on the Chinese Weibo social network. There is still no confirmation on exactly when (other than early December) the new colour will arrive, or what regions it will be distributed in, but we're expecting it to see quite a wide distribution globally and an arrival as early as possible to maximise Samsung's Christmas profits!
Samsung Galaxy S7 EDGE Pops Up Running Google Daydream VR
When Google announced the Pixel and Pixel XL alongside the Daydream VR headset it was quickly established that the duo would be two of the first devices to operate with the new VR kit. At the same time, we'd previously heard about how the in-development Galaxy S8 featured an alleged 4K display purpose-built for VR, and its "Project Dream" codename. While we wouldn't like to jump the gun ourselves, we could hardly blame anyone for assuming that this focus on the Galaxy S8 as a VR-built handset from Samsung might mean that the already launched Galaxy S7 series would not be compatible with Daydream VR. However, there's new evidence which suggests this might not be the case after all.
A video has appeared on Youtube showing Galaxy S7 EDGE users in Canada (with the Exynos 8890-based variant) running with the Google Daydream VR hardware and managing with the Google virtual museum application without too much fuss. Obviously what this means is that it is possible to run a Galaxy S7 EDGE on Daydream with plenty of poking and tweaking; technically it's not officially supported in this way, at least not yet - the Galaxy S7 EDGE isn't an officially Daydream compatible device, nor does it officially have Android Nougat right now (a minimum requirement for Daydream VR) but clearly someone has loaded it onboard probably through Samsung's Beta program using non-final software.