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Android Handhelds News

Samsung Unveils Galaxy S7, Galaxy S7 Edge and Gear 360 VR Camera (hothardware.com) 142

MojoKid writes: Samsung held their annual Unpacked event at Mobile World Congress 2016, officially unveiling their next generation Galaxy S7 and Galaxy S7 Edge smartphones. The Galaxy S7 sports a 5.1-inch QHD Super AMOLED display with 2560x1440 resolution, while the Galaxy S7 Edge wields a larger 5.5-inch dual-edge screen also at 2560x1440. Among the new features are the company's always-on display technology. When you pull the Galaxy S7 or Galaxy S7 Edge out of your pocket or purse, you'll be able to peek at basic information like the time, calendar, or notifications without touching or waking the display. Both devices also feature "Dual Pixel" 12MP cameras. Using dual-photodiode technology, this is an alternative to phase-detection auto-focus that's supposed to work faster and better. Samsung also claims the rear shooters on the phones capture 95% more light through a wider f1.7 lens. Both are powered by a Qualcomm Snapdragon 820 processor, 4GB of RAM with 32GB of internal storage which is expandable via microSD, along with 802.11ac MU-MIMO Wi-Fi, BT 4.2, NFC support, fast wireless charging, and 3,000 mAh (Galaxy S7) or 3,600 mAh (Galaxy S7 Edge) batteries. Both are water-resistant and dust-resistant designs with IP68 certification that will withstand total submersion for 30 minutes. The company also announced a new Gear 360 VR video camera and a partnership with Facebook-Oculus. The Gear 360 sports dual fisheye lenses each with high resolution 15MP CMOS image sensors capable of capturing 360-degree video at 3840x1920 and 30-megapixel (7776x3888) still images. When the Gear 360 is synced to a compatible Galaxy phone, you can preview footage in real-time using the phone as a remote.
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Samsung Unveils Galaxy S7, Galaxy S7 Edge and Gear 360 VR Camera

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  • Samsung vs Nexus (Score:2, Interesting)

    by WSOGMM ( 1460481 )
    I may be buying a smartphone soon. I'm considering getting the nexus 6p because you can root it without voiding the warranty, and because I'll be buying my phone independent of the network contract. Also, I'm most concerned about longevity/durability given the price of these smart phones.

    Any reason I should go for samsung instead?

    Or maybe cheapness trumps durability? so the nexus vs moto G?

    I'm looking for your personal opinion if you had any reason for choosing one phone over the other

    • I never had problems rooting non-carrier samsung phones.

      In fact, it was pretty much a necessity, because Samsung loads the phone up with so much crap, it's like buying a new laptop.

      • Key tech not mentioned in TFS:

        o Replaceable / upgradable battery?
        o Memory card slot / bay?
        o Standard change connector (or better yet, wireless charging)?

        And finally, as a Note III owner, did they fix the damned over-sensitivity / under-rigidity at the edges so you can hold it without feeding unintended input to the touchscreen?

        • From TFA:

          There's also 32GB of internal storage, now expandable via microSD (up to 200GB), along with 802.11ac MU-MIMI Wi-Fi, Bluetooth 4.2, and NFC support, fast wireless charging capability, a 3,000 mAh (Galaxy S7) or 3,600 mAh (Galaxy S7 Edge) battery that's not removable, and of course Android 6 Marshmallow. All of this comes wrapped in a water-resistant and dust-resistant design with IP68 certification that will withstand total submersion for 30 minutes.
          • by fyngyrz ( 762201 )

            2 out of three, pretty good. And the battery... the wireless charging means I can put wireless chargers everywhere I put the thing down and not have to mess with it otherwise. It's not optimum, but it's still pretty spiffy. Guess I know what my next phone is going to be. :)

            Thank you!

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by ganjadude ( 952775 )
      ive been a samsung fan for a few generations now however I personally am looking forwards to the LG G5. They are giving us a removable battery whereas samsung has decided we dont want it ( I blame tech journalists who wants smaller and smaller handsets) Same chip as this phone but more versatile IMO
      • ive been a samsung fan for a few generations now however I personally am looking forwards to the LG G5. They are giving us a removable battery whereas samsung has decided we dont want it ( I blame tech journalists who wants smaller and smaller handsets) Same chip as this phone but more versatile IMO

        Removable batteries come with the trade-off of a bulkier device and/or reduced battery capacity. The G5 is slightly larger then the S7 (149.4 x 73.9 x 7.7mm vs 142.4 x 69.9 x 7.9mm) , slightly heavier (159g vs 152g) and has a battery that holds a slightly lower charge (2800mAh vs 3000mAh). Personally I prefer a sleeker device with a higher battery capacity to removable batteries. Fortunately unlike the IOS ecosystem, Android is a open platform and there is a plethora of devices out there to satisfy most any

        • my complaint is that the phones these days have gotten to skinny as it is, gimme an old candybar size thickness with a battery to match and id be happy.

          to me, its function over form, and when I go out hiking for a few days at a time, a removable battery is a necessity
          • They need to be skinnier in order to support the bigger screens. You can't have a 5.5" screen on something as thick as an old Nokia that fits will in a pocket. Function and form are interconnected so it's not really a matter of function over form, but a matter of alternative forms prohibiting certain functions. More people want a large screen device for media consumption, which means the form will tend towards thinner.
            • if a note can have a removable battery, than anything with that screensize can

              as i said above, I blame these tech journalists (AKA bloggers) who seem to praise all things apple to push everyone in that dirrection
          • My solution to paper thin phones has been a phone case for some time. Protecting my phone from dropping it is an added bonus.
        • Removable batteries come with the trade-off of a bulkier device and/or reduced battery capacity. The G5 is slightly larger then the S7 (149.4 x 73.9 x 7.7mm vs 142.4 x 69.9 x 7.9mm) , slightly heavier (159g vs 152g) and has a battery that holds a slightly lower charge (2800mAh vs 3000mAh). Personally I prefer a sleeker device with a higher battery capacity to removable batteries. Fortunately unlike the IOS ecosystem, Android is a open platform and there is a plethora of devices out there to satisfy most any

          • by Junta ( 36770 )

            And do you really care about the battery capacity in mAh? It's how long it lasts that matters - until there are relevant battery tests, you don't know if that 200mAh actually translates to something useful.

            While there are many more factors to a device than battery capacity to govern runtime, the batteries contribution is strictly governed by the mAh. The argument is that the mechanical engineering to enable a removable battery necessarily means a smaller battery (among other things). So the removable battery goal runs against the goal of long runtime for a given weight. It is reasonable enough.

            I personally would favor a middle ground. Generally it's either 'you can change out batteries without a tool, no

        • The G5 has a larger screen, that's mainly why the phone is larger.

        • by GuB-42 ( 2483988 )

          The Galaxy S5 is 142 x 72.5 x 8.1 mm and 145g with a 2800mAh battery, removable and waterproof.
          That's 10% bigger in volume, 5% lighter and 7% less battery life, very close. You can recover that battery capacity by changing it after 1 year (batteries degrade), you may keep the old one as a backup.

      • by thaylin ( 555395 )

        I am with you, plus the whole Type C vs microUSB (2.0) Samsung still does not want to get rid of.

    • Re:Samsung vs Nexus (Score:4, Interesting)

      by danbob999 ( 2490674 ) on Monday February 22, 2016 @04:07PM (#51561273)

      Nexus is really about getting software support. You will have the latest Android version, while Samsung will be 6-12 months late (and will update only once). You also get monthly security updates.
      Nexus are also less bloated. Samsungs tend to ship with two alternatives for the same program. Samsung's version always suck more.

      But hardware-wise, the S7 is better than the 6P. The 5X might have the best value however, with recent price drop. Moto G is a good cheap alternative.

      • The 5x would be just about perfect except that it doesn't have an SD card and they artificially limited the internal memory options to segment their market. It's a shame. If 32GB is enough, I agree it's a great value.

        • 16GB is enough for me (and is probably still the most popular option). I'd like 32GB more, but they are charging too much. Pictures can be deleted after they were uploaded to Google Photos (for free at full quality up to 16 megapixels). That was my main storage concern. 16GB is enough for a few GB of music and a few GB for applications.

          • My current phone fills up 16G just with apps (to the point I have to delete some to manage space). And I've got a 64G SD card for podcasts & pictures & maps & such. (I spend time in places with poor or metered connectivity, and having a local cache is extremely useful.) But everyone has their own needs, and if you don't need the space the 5x is a great choice. I'm mostly just annoyed when manufacturers 1) charge so much for memory, 2) use memory sizes as a way to artificially segment their produ

    • by Soulskill ( 1459 )

      I was in the market for a new phone last year. I was interested in the Galaxy S6, and it ended up high on my list. The biggest drawbacks to the S6 (for me) were: smallish battery, no USB-C, price, and questionable optimization decisions. The biggest drawbacks for the 6P were: no wireless charging, Snapdragon 810, and weight. (There are other downsides shared by both, like lack of a removable battery and the lack of an SD card slot. But that's becoming pretty standard these days.)

      Battery life was a key featu

      • by mikael ( 484 )

        Maybe having thermal vision on a smartphone will be the next thing?

        http://www.anandtech.com/show/... [anandtech.com]

        This is designed for architectural consultants to measure heat loss of buildings, but it can also be used to watch cats playing in the dark :)
        I guess there might also be market for trying to find lost pets at night as well.

      • by AmiMoJo ( 196126 )

        I'm looking forward to comparing the cameras on these two. Both claim to have better low light performance than other devices.

        The LG G5 looks near perfect too. Wireless charging will probably be an option, like with previous models. SD card slot, removable battery, supposedly good camera...

    • by EEPROMS ( 889169 )
      I have had two Samsung phones, they are well made but are full of bloatware and firmware updates are rare to say the least. I now have a Nexus 6p and love the phone, no more bloat, easy root access and monthly not once every 8-12 months updates like my last Samsung handset.
    • Personally:

      Any phone without a physical home button, is defective by design and I wouldn't pay a cent for it. I don't give a damn if it's cheaper, faster or whatever.
      I'd sooner use an iPhone 6S than a Nexus device.
      I think the new HTC M10 has a physical home button again (phew) - otherwise Samsung only for me, regardless of their issues (S7 is an improvement on the S6)

    • I'm looking for your personal opinion if you had any reason for choosing one phone over the other

      I prefer a tactile home button so I'm stuck with Samsung .

  • if I can't change out the battery, I'll use my Note 4 until it dies, then switch to the new LG.
    • by Freedom Bug ( 86180 ) on Monday February 22, 2016 @04:06PM (#51561255) Homepage

      Choose 2:

      - waterproof
      - replaceable battery
      - not crazy thick

      • Re: (Score:2, Flamebait)

        by sremick ( 91371 )

        With the Galaxy S5 you didn't need to choose and got all 3. That's why I'm still on my S5.

        Having to "choose" among those things is a falsehood spread by the manufacturers so that they can justify their money-making anti-consumer design practices, begun by Apple and now virally perpetuated by others such as Samsung. These are talented companies quite capable of making thin, powerful phones with removable batteries AND MicroSD card slots. They just choose not to... MicroSD cards mean they can't force you to b

        • and replaceable batteries mean you're more-inclined to just buy a new phone in a year or 2 when the capacity of the battery drops significantly.

          Furthermore people who claim a replaceable battery isn't necessary must be boring city dwellers without a sense of adventure. Having several removable batteries, and an emergency-only battery, for my S5 proved useful when hiking in Arizona and on a long bus trip through Utah in a bus without working 12v receptacles.

          • by ichthus ( 72442 )
            Replaceable batteries are not necessary. There, I claimed it. Just get one of these [amazon.com].
            • by sremick ( 91371 )

              Spoken like someone who either doesn't use their phone much, or is too young to remember the benefits of proper removable batteries.

              I have some power packs like that. However trying to carry around and use your phone while tethered to one is not much better than being tethered to a wall plug. It's utterly impractical. Do you hold the battery pack, wire AND phone all in one hand while talking? Or do you now walk around like holding a Wii remote+nunchuk? Or maybe you get a 6' USB cord and stuff the battery pa

              • by ichthus ( 72442 )
                Look at my slash ID. I'm probably older than you. My phone is in my pocket most of the time, and a single charge is just about enough to get me through the day (3 hours of music, maybe 30 minutes of gaming, 20 texts, 10 emails and 1 - 2 phone calls). But, if I'm snowboarding or something -- away from civilization and need extra power, I have the power bank in my backpack or jacket pocket with a long-enough USB cable to allow me to hold my phone and use it.
              • by tlhIngan ( 30335 )

                Spoken like someone who either doesn't use their phone much, or is too young to remember the benefits of proper removable batteries.

                I have some power packs like that. However trying to carry around and use your phone while tethered to one is not much better than being tethered to a wall plug. It's utterly impractical. Do you hold the battery pack, wire AND phone all in one hand while talking? Or do you now walk around like holding a Wii remote+nunchuk? Or maybe you get a 6' USB cord and stuff the battery pa

                • by sremick ( 91371 )

                  Carrying extra batteries ... how do you charge them? Samsung makes a dock for one phone (the S5, I believe) so you can charge the spare battery without the phone, but otherwise...? Do you charge the phone, then remember to swap the battery afterwards? Or do you just hope you remember to swap the battery and end up with a dead battery you carry along thinking it's full?

                  I have some separate battery chargers that you pop the battery into separate from the phone. It's pretty painless. They're cheap enough that I keep one at home, one at work, and one for travel.

              • As someone who carried a WinMO phone for almost half a decade, I say you are full of it. Amazon makes slim batteries that when attached, simply feel like you have a backpack battery. I use it ALL the time. I carried backup batteries for over 1200 days straight, now i just leave a few usb backup batteries in key locations.

                I have a version of this http://ecx.images-amazon.com/i... [images-amazon.com] for my Moto G, custom made by Motorola and the two work together perfectly. I can still use the phone no problem without it be
          • by vux984 ( 928602 )

            Furthermore people who claim a replaceable battery isn't necessary must be boring city dwellers without a sense of adventure.

            Or maybe we think outside the box and buy things things like:

            http://www.amazon.com/X-DRAGON... [amazon.com]

            http://www.amazon.com/Nekteck-... [amazon.com]

            Which work with multiple phones and even other devices, and tend also to be much more competitively priced than an OEM internal battery which only likely works with one particular model.

            • ... and is 10x or more the size and weight of a replaceable battery?
              • by vux984 ( 928602 )

                ... and is 10x or more the size and weight of a replaceable battery?

                Compare apples to apples.

                That linked unit is 10,000 mah. And its not hard to find units the same size that holds 20,000 mah. So its several times the power as the replaceable batteries too.

                And the solar model isn't really comparable, because that can keep you going indefinitely assuming sunlight.

                Seriously, you are just looking for something to complain about.

                • You forget the efficiency. External batteries discharge to charge the internal battery. The efficiency of that process is below 100%. Therefore 10,000 mAh in the external battery might only give you half of that internally.

                  • by vux984 ( 928602 )

                    The Industry standard for these is 80 to 90% efficiency.

                    Therefore 10,000 mAh in the external battery might only give you half of that internally.

                    So 10,000 mAh gives ~8500mAh; which is 3 full charges of an S5. They make 20,000 mAh packs, and even beyond. Or buy 2. Or buy one with solar... or ...

                • Compare apples to apples.

                  That linked unit is 10,000 mah.

                  You also have to consider the number of times that one spare battery is insufficient, but 4 or 5 recharges is sufficient. That's very rare for me, but YMMV.

                  • by vux984 ( 928602 )

                    You also have to consider the number of times that one spare battery is insufficient, but 4 or 5 recharges is sufficient. That's very rare for me, but YMMV.

                    If you need 5 chargers (5 x ~3000mah) = 15,000 then buy a 20,000 mah pack and you are good. Or buy a 40,000 mah pack. Or go solar.

                    I'm not really seeing the problem that you are claiming isn't solved.

                    • Way to go, completely misunderstanding the point.

                      My point is that having 10,000mAh is only an advantage if I need more charge than one spare battery provides. That never happens for me.

                      Carrying 10x the weight is a disadvantage if I don't need more than one recharge.

                    • by vux984 ( 928602 )

                      Way to go, completely misunderstanding the point.

                      Yup. I did.

                       

                      Carrying 10x the weight is a disadvantage if I don't need more than one recharge.

                      Gotcha.

                      http://www.amazon.com/Crank-Po... [amazon.com]

                      At 2.2oz It actually weighs LESS than than the 2.9oz OEM S5 battery.

                    • That's cool. I did not know that such devices exist.
          • by Pulzar ( 81031 )

            Why be limited by the manufacturer's battery, when there are so many options for external battery packs out there? You can get tiny ones, giant ones, and plug in not only your phone, but your friend's phone, your tablet, and any other device that charges through USB.

        • Yep, sticking to my Galaxy S5 until it doesn't run anymore. And now that Verizon decided to do away with phone subsidies without dropping the prices any, I'll switch to prepay.
        • Undoing moderation due to laggy browser.

          Sticking with my S5 replaceable battery, removable storage, water resistant, IR.

      • Choose 2:

        - waterproof

        Not important.

        - replaceable battery

        That's what matters.

        - not crazy thick

        I don't give a fuck.

    • Buy a damn portable usb backup battery for $10 on Amazon (made by Amazon) and lay down that torch you are carrying. Hell Motorola makes a backup battery specifically for my phone (moto G). Removable battery is a nice thing to have, dont get me wrong, but its not that big of a problem either. I say this as someone who carried a XV6700 Winphone for 4 years with a backup battery the entire time. Its just not that important anymore when so many options are available now.
    • I am exactly of the same opinion. I don't replace my phones every two years (in fact, I am about to enter the 4th year with my SIII), because I don't need to and because, frankly, it's a bit inconvenient. So user-replaceable battery is mandatory for me.

      Luckily, we live in a world where LG G5 exists!

  • are nice additions from the S6. I also think it's a good idea to offer 2 screen size options.
    I still think Edge is a gimmick however. And they should have used USB-C with video out.

    • by sremick ( 91371 )

      The S5 was waterproof too, and had a removable battery AND the MicroSD slot.

    • The Edge as it's marketed is a gimmick, but it was developed to solve a real problem. The larger phones are very popular in Asia among women, who put a nice cover on them and carry them around in their purses (as opposed to men who want a smaller phone which fits in their pocket). The problem is, what happens when you get a text? You have to open your purse, take the phone out, flip open the cover, then read the text only to discover it was something that you could read/deal with later, close the cover,
      • They don't need a cover. But even if they do, then the whole point of a cover is to protect the screen. A good cover for the Edge would cover the whole screen, even the curved part.

  • Anyone know if this camera has the 'motion' picture like the Apple 6S or the Microsoft 950? A second of video goes with the picture. ( btw, I own a 950. Do NOT buy one). I really like that feature.
  • by ProzacPatient ( 915544 ) on Monday February 22, 2016 @04:14PM (#51561329)
    Still doesn't have removable batteries for some reason. The new S7 has a 3,000 mAh non-removable battery but the old S5 has a 2,800 mAh removable battery you can swap out for a new one.
    • Some reason = decision on Samsung's part that the downsides of offering a removable battery (less efficient space usage, tougher to make waterproof) outweighed the upside (ability to swap batteries for whatever % of customers actually want to do that).

    • I gave the S6 then the Note5 a miss because of the missing SD slot, nonreplaceable battery, and missing antenna jack.

      I don't work on the road any more, so the aux antenna jack isn't an issue now.
      Battery life is an issue but I have a PowerAdd USB charger so it's an acceptable workaround.

      Storage was the key deal breaker for me. Since Samsung corrected their massive error (copying the iPhone's worst defect - no storage expansion) I'm going to be upgrading from my stone-age S4. :)

    • Still doesn't have removable batteries for some reason. The new S7 has a 3,000 mAh non-removable battery but the old S5 has a 2,800 mAh removable battery you can swap out for a new one.

      My Galaxy S still lasts a day.
      My Galaxy S3 still lasts for close to 2.
      My Galaxy S5 is brand new so it doesn't really count.

      What I'm trying to say is that this is sooo not an issue even if you don't buy every single generation of phone. Lithium batteries just don't seem to fail as badly as they used to. And I say that as someone who originally bought an S3 BECAUSE it had a removable battery. Well there's a feature that remains unused for 4 years now.

    • by AmiMoJo ( 196126 )

      It's worth differentiating between "removable" and "replaceable". Many phones allow you to replace the battery at end of life without special tools or finding it glued in, but you wouldn't want to be doing it regularly.

      For me that's acceptable because a 3000mAh battery will go all day with heavy use, but I appreciate some people want to swap batteries. I have an external battery for those few times I need it.

  • by maharvey ( 785540 ) on Monday February 22, 2016 @04:20PM (#51561397)

    Wake me when they add a removable battery AND a microSD slot...

  • Be still my heart. What kind of pathetic offering is that on a flagship phone? Yeah, Android 6 adds the ability to use external storage as internal but it's very kludgy. It's better than it used to be but I'd rather have 128 gigs (or, at the very least, 64 gigs) of internal storage and not mess with that.

    Why are Android devices so far behind on storage?

    • Why offer more built-in storage if the vast number of users aren't asking for it? That only serves to add unnecessary cost to the manufacturing platform. The SD slot is a perfectly viable solution for those users needing more room.
    • It's better than it used to be but I'd rather have 128 gigs (or, at the very least, 64 gigs) of internal storage and not mess with that.

      Why are Android devices so far behind on storage?

      You answered your own question. *You* being one person, the remaining Samsung market share (like me) don't care and would rather not pay for it. If you want more storage, buy an SD card.

    • Put your music, video and pictures on the SD card. Everything else goes on the internal storage.

  • by skam240 ( 789197 ) on Monday February 22, 2016 @05:09PM (#51561859)

    The wireless charging sounds nice...

    Honestly, I feel like smart phone companies have run out of reasons for me to upgrade. I'm on an S5 right now and if it broke I'd be more than happy to buy another one rather then pay top dollar for anything newer.

    Now if only some one would bring back smart phones with fold out physical keyboards that are built in rather then this touch screen garbage. I miss my old Motorola that had this feature and I'd be willing to pay quite a lot for a phone with it, even if I had to sacrafice or accept lesser features elsewhere in the phone's design.

    • by vux984 ( 928602 )

      bluetooth keyboard cases seems to be where most people who want a physical keyboard go. some people like them some don't.

      It seems to be a decent compromise, some of the ultraportable laptops are doing this now too. My daughters Asus T100Chi for example. Or the surface pro.

  • by toonces33 ( 841696 ) on Monday February 22, 2016 @07:02PM (#51562799)

    Of those that are disappointed in not having a removable/replaceable battery. I guess the main thing for me is that I keep phones a bit longer than most people, and it isn't uncommon for the battery life to slowly degrade. Ordering a replacement always fixes it (as long as you get a good quality battery, and not some after-market piece of crap).

    Not being able to replace the battery just seems like planned obsolescence. They want to force you down a path where your only good option is to just buy another phone.

    • Not being able to replace the battery just seems like planned obsolescence. They want to force you down a path where your only good option is to just buy another phone.

      Well the way Mobile OS's are going that is the only good option.
      Older OS's stop being supported by App developers, and are too costly to maintain patches for, so become a liability. The best option from a performance/security/supportability point of view is to buy a device outright near the start of an OS release, keep it for 2+ years, then replace.

      Or if you prefer longevity, get a dumbphone.

  • One of the most essential parts of the 'immersive' experience of VR is 3D. Many VR cameras, like the Nokia OZO [nokia.com], do good 3D -- the cameras are spaced reasonably close to the distance between eyes, and the cameras are wide enough angle that you can calculate good 3D info from the multiple views. It's odd that Samsung is putting out just a 360-degree camera, not one that captures depth, when their display will clearly show 3D.

    • Single point 360 cameras are still pretty expensive. Even basic models are in the $300-$400 range. Adding a second set of lenses would make it even larger and more expensive. And single point 360 is still really cool, I'm not sure how much going stereoscopic would add to the effect. I certainly wouldn't call it "essential."

  • I purchased almost every phone Samsung made up to the Note 3, which I still use today. I'm on my fourth replacement battery, which happens to be a Zero Lemon 10,000mAh.

    I'm simply too poor and unwilling to contribute to the e-waste problem to purchase a complex computing device without a user-replaceable battery. I simply cannot justify buying a new device every 18 months as the battery loses significant capacity.

    So, it appears my next phone will be the LG G5.

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