Update: A new rumor suggests we could see the Samsung Galaxy S7 as soon as January 2016.
Samsung’s Galaxy S6 and Galaxy S6 Edge reinvigorated the flailing smartphone brand giving it a new lease of life with a fresh design and some brand new features.
Samsung is going to have to do a lot of work to be able to repeat the trick again, but there’s much more that can be improved upon in the new phone.
We don’t expect to see the new handset until early 2016 though – usually Samsung takes time out in early March to announce its flagships at MWC in Barcelona, so we expect it to be the same again this year.
However, rumors are already beginning to roll in for the new phone so here’s everything we’ve heard so far.What is it? The next flagship phone from Samsung’s Galaxy S line.When is it out? We expect early in 2016, potentially MWC in late FebruaryWhat will it cost? Expect expensive – it’s bound to be one of the more costly phones to buy next year.
When it comes to the new Samsung Galaxy S7, we want to see Samsung departing from the usual design of a standard, blocky phone.
What we want now is something innovative, something that pushes the boundaries and takes into account all the awesome technology Samsung keeps promising.
So here’s how we think it should shake down – techradar’s Galaxy S7, complete with all the technology Samsung has talked about… and some of our own desires too.
The main difference is, again, the screen. If Samsung is going to make a success of the Gear VR, it needs a better screen, and leaping forward to 8K will make shoving the phone on your face a pin sharp experience.
The other big thing we’re hoping to finally see is the iris scanning technology that supersedes the fingerprint scanners we’re seeing everywhere. With dual hi-res scanning cameras on the front, with enhanced aperture, simply turning the phone screen on will prove who you are.
The edges of the super sharp screen are now properly pushed to the side of the phone, with the notifications now showing properly either side – the S6 Edge has the curves as decoration, but now they’re actually going to be used.
And bass-rich speakers on the top and bottom will utilise Samsung’s omni-sound technology to make the phone a true media marvel – no more backwards-facing tinny sound here.
Of course, TouchWiz still remains… but hey, there’s only so much we can hope for…
Samsung has recently been unveiling its Galaxy S flagships at MWC and releasing them shortly after, which in 2016 would mean a launch in late February or March. However an analyst at SK Securities reckons the Samsung Galaxy S7 could be unveiled as soon as January for an early February launch.
We’d take that with a grain of salt but it’s not the first time we’ve heard word of an early launch. A rumor from the South Korean website Newsis apparently cites insider sources who claim that Samsung started work on the Galaxy S7 about 2 to 3 months ahead of its usual schedule.
If this is true (and that’s a big if, as the sources of this rumor are unclear and unverified), it could just mean that Samsung is eager to start work on the S7 as soon as possible to give it a longer development period.
However some people are getting excited because it could mean that Samsung is gearing up to launch the Galaxy S7 early, we might see a second Galaxy S flagship handset in 2015. In fact December has already been mooted as a potential Samsung Galaxy S7 release date, while another source points to a more vague late 2015 date – although we reckon that’s highly unlikely.
Traditionally, Samsung usually releases one Galaxy S and one Galaxy Note flagship device a year, so it would be a big departure if it released the S7 in 2015. This rumor could just be a case of getting lost in translation, so we’d recommend caution when taking it at face value.
Given that Samsung has only just overhauled its flagship design for the Galaxy S6 we’re not expecting massive changes in the Samsung Galaxy S7.
One rumour has suggested it’s going to be much bigger than the Galaxy S6 with a 5.7-inch screen – we’re taking that with a big pinch of salt though as it sounds quite out there.
On top of that the Galaxy S7 may be built of a different type of metal. Sources claim the company is experimenting with magnesium based alloy that will make the phone stronger whilst keeping it light and allows the heat out when the processor is working hard.
A slim metal and glass build seems likely and whatever we get it’s likely to be premium, especially as there’s a rumor that the battery won’t be removable specifically because making it so would compromise the design.
Interestingly there’s talk that Samsung could offer the Galaxy S7 in two different sizes. One with a 5.2-inch screen and one with a 5.8-inch one and supposedly at least one of them will have a 4K display. Given there’s already the Samsung Galaxy Note 5 and Samsung Galaxy S6 Edge+ though we wouldn’t hold our breath for a phablet version of the S7.
Then again a benchmark believed to be for the Samsung Galaxy S7 claims it has a 5.7-inch display, so maybe it will be growing. It lists a 1440 x 2560 QHD one though rather than 4K.
Another rumor states that the Galaxy S7 may be coming with a curved screen. According to supply chain sources the phone will be launching with a flexible display after Samsung put in some big orders with Taiwanese manufacturers. It may end up being a separate version of the Galaxy S7 much like with the Galaxy S6 Edge, but it’s interesting all the same.
A new trademark filing suggests Samsung is working on its own new super-strong display technology called Turtle Glass. It’s set to replace Corning’s Gorilla Glass 3 and we may see it launch on the Galaxy S7.
There’s even talk that Samsung will go further and deliver a foldable phone, but this seems incredibly unlikely. Even if the technology is in place (which is a big if) it’s doubtful that Samsung would risk something so new and untested on its flagship.
In recent years HTC has been a significant rival to Samsung, launching similarly impressive phones at around the same time, so we’d expect the HTC One M10 could be a Samsung Galaxy S7 rival. Very little is known about it yet but it’s sure to be stylish and likely to be very powerful.
Other than that there’s the iPhone 6S and iPhone 6S Plus, which are likely to still be selling very well by early 2016, while the Sony Xperia Z6 or whatever Sony’s cooking up next could steal some attention away from Samsung too.
An AnTuTu benchmark shows a phone believed to be the Samsung Galaxy S7 as having a 16MP rear camera and a 5MP front-facing one. Those are the same camera specs as the Galaxy S6, but that has one of the best smartphone snappers around so that wouldn’t be such a bad thing.
Another AnTuTu benchmark has also leaked showing a duo-camera on the phone in a similar vein to the HTC One M8.
There’s no word on what size the battery will be yet but according to one rumor it won’t be removable as it’s apparently not possible to have a removable juice pack without compromising the design. Given that the Samsung Galaxy S6 has a sealed battery this doesn’t really come as any surprise.
The Samsung Galaxy S7 will almost certainly launch with Android Marshmallow. In fact snaps of supposed internal Samsung documents regarding its Android Marshmallow update have made their way onto social networking site Weibo, and appear to confirm the rumored Galaxy S7 codename ‘Jungfrau’ and a key spec of the upcoming flagship.
That spec is Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 820 processor, which is expected to launch later this year and is set to feature in some of the biggest phones of 2016. That Snapdragon 820 rumor has since been echoed by other sources and in a benchmark.
The fact the Snapdragon 820 chip is being linked to the Galaxy S7 is interesting, as Samsung ditched Qualcomm’s offering for the Galaxy S6, instead exclusively using its own Exynos processor. Samsung didn’t disclose the reasoning as to why it opted to do this, but the current top-tier Qualcomm chip – the Snapdragon 810 – has been plagued by reports of overheating and patchy performance.
Perhaps this is a sign of Qualcomm’s return to form in the chipset market, although it’s too early to confirm either way. However while Qualcomm has been touted as the maker of the Galaxy S7’s chip, other benchmark results have leaked onto the internet that claim to show Samsung’s next SoC, the Exynos M1, could potentially power the new Galaxy.
These benchmarks show the hardware used to make the Exynos M1, and it looks like it uses a series of custom ARM cores. Intriguingly the benchmarks also show that the Exynos M1 is much more powerful than the Snapdragon 820 in almost every aspect.
While we’d advise taking these benchmarks with a pinch of salt it would mean that the Samsung Galaxy S7 could be a more powerful handset if it again shuns Qualcomm’s hardware. Whatever processor we get we’re expecting to see 4GB of RAM, not least because the Galaxy S6 Edge+ has that already.
The Samsung Galaxy S7 is bound to have a fingerprint scanner, just like the Galaxy S6. There’s also a rumor that Samsung will add a microSD card slot to next year’s phone, but internal storage may take a hit, with only 32GB and 64GB models currently rumored.
There’s no word yet on what the Samsung Galaxy S7 will cost but we can tell you right now that it will be very expensive. While a price cut would be nice we’d be surprised if Samsung launched it for any less than it initially charged for the Galaxy S6. If we had to guess we’d say it could start at up to around £600 / $650 / AU$1,100.