Samsung unveiled the Galaxy S7 and S7 Edge smartphones at Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, bringing several features to the devices that were missing from the S6 and S6 Edge.
As expected, the Galaxy S7 and S7 Edge look near identical to their Galaxy S6 and S6 Edge predecessors with the same high-end metal and glass design and front-facing fingerprint sensor.
However, this year’s models come with the added bonus of ‘pint protection’ as Samsung has equipped the Galaxy S7 series with water resistance in the form of an IP68 rating.
The Galaxy S7 hasn’t received much of an improvement in the display, using the same 5.1in 1440x2560 AMOLED offering as last year’s model. The Galaxy S7 has a 5.5in screen, bigger than the 5.1in display on last year’s model, but this retains the same QHD resolution.
Like the newly announced LG G5, the Galaxy S7's display offers always-on functionality, which means that owners can check the time and notifications without having to pick up the handset. Unlike LG's phone, third-party widgets can be downloaded for the always-on screen.
The Edge display on the Galaxy S7 Edge has been given some added functionality too. You can swipe over the edge to view the home screen, for example, and create your own shortcuts to display on the curved panel. What's more, Samsung opened the SDK to developers last month, so expect more functionality soon.
Samsung is aiming the Galaxy S7 and S7 Edge squarely at gamers, saying that the new processor, which is 30 percent faster than that seen in the Galaxy S7, and the bigger 3,000mAh and 3,600mAh batteries and support for the Vulkan API ensure longer playing time, while the internal cooling system keeps the device from overheating.
There's a 12MP camera on the rear of the Galaxy S7. It uses a larger 1.4um pixel size than the 16MP camera on the Galaxy S6, and is the first to use 'Dual Pixel' technology which Samsung claims delivers brighter and sharper images in low light.
The smartphones will be available in blue, silver and black colour options, and with 32GB or 64GB of storage.
On the software side, the Galaxy S7 and S7 Edge will run Android 6.0 Marshmallow with Samsung's TouchWiz UI on top. Samsung Pay will be included, and the firm announced that the mobile payments service will come to the UK next month.
The Samsung Galaxy S7 and S7 Edge are available to pre-order and Samsung will throw in a free Gear VR headset for early orders. Carphone Warehouse will be one of the first UK retailers to offer the handsets.
Exact UK prices haven't yet been announced, but keep an eye on our Galaxy S7 price, release date and specs roundup for all the latest details as we get them.
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