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Samsung Galaxy S7 Edge vs. Galaxy S6 Edge: Is It Worth The Upgrade?

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With Samsung Galaxy S7 and S7 Edge unveiled, we can now thoroughly assess the improvements the OEM implemented over last year's flagships.

Find out how the Galaxy S7 Edge fares when pitted against its predecessor, the S6 Edge, in the coverage below.

Design

The dual-sided screen of the Galaxy S6 Edge was innovative, and it served both an aesthetical purpose while also offering specific functions.

In this respect, the Galaxy S7 Edge does not stray far away from the lines of the S6 Edge.

A notable improvement comes from the screen size of the S7 Edge, a 5.5-inch AMOLED display that is 0.4-inch larger than the one of the Galaxy S6 Edge. The general dimensions are not that different, as the S7 Edge is 150.9 x 72.6 x 7.7 mm (5.9 x 2.8 x 0.3 inches), slightly larger than the S6 Edge that measures 142.1 x 70.1 x 7.00 mm (5.5 x 2.75 x 0.27 inches).

Due to its size, the S7 Edge is very suited for video content display, at the expense of being a pain to fit into all pockets.

Notable Additions

The OEM raised the bar in the dustproof and waterproof sections. The new S7 Edge is IP68 certified, meaning that it can last for up to 30 minutes submerged in water that is five feet deep. The S6 Edge lacked the "survival" mechanism, and it is good to see it make a comeback.

The rumor regarding the microSD slot on the S7 Edge also proved to be true, as users will be able to stack up to 200 GB of storage to expand the internal locker space. The Galaxy S6 Edge did not support expandable storage.

Another significant improvement comes in the connectivity department, as the Galaxy S7 Edge rocks LTE Cat. 9, which should be notably faster than the LTE Cat. 6 of the Galaxy S6 Edge.

Screen

A much awaited 4K screen is absent from the S7 Edge. The phone sports an identical QHD resolution as its predecessor.

On the other hand, the screen edge software gives away a significant difference between the two Edge smartphones.

Software

The S7 Edge took specific features that S6 Edge introduced to make use of the curved screen and improved on them. The OEM also added new ones to the latest Edge smartphone.

The Galaxy S7 Edge's screen can now show two side columns, one more over the S6 Edge. This gives its owners extra information on the edge of the screen. Thanks to Samsung's decision to open up the API to third-party coders, Samsung's edge panels can now get unique functions as well.

The TouchWiz interface remains mostly the same, resembling the one on the Note 5 and S6 Edge+, offering a similar user experience with previous Samsung flagship models.

While the S6 Edge should receive the Android 6.0 update in the first quarter of 2016, the S7 Edge comes with Android Marshmallow pre-installed.

Performance

The Galaxy S7 Edge (European variant) comes with an Exynos 8890 CPU, sporting four cores running at 2.4 GHz and four running at 1.6 GHz. The other version of the smartphone, bound for North America, China and Japan, packs a Snapdragon 820 processor.

Samsung affirms that the CPU/GPU combo on the S7 Edge gives an extra 30 percent of performance over the one in the S6 Edge, which packed an octa-core Exynos 7420 processor.

The Galaxy S7 Edge also trumps its predecessor in the RAM department, boasting 4 GB of RAM instead of the 3 GB of the Galaxy S6 Edge.

Camera

Although the camera on the S7 Edge packs lower resolution, it fully makes up for it in low light capabilities, color representation and dynamic range. What is more, the S7 Edge is able to focus in low-light conditions much faster than the S6 Edge. Dual-pixel technology helps the images be more balanced, even if the resolution is a tad smaller.

A notable improvement is that the design of the S7 Edge's camera no longer protrudes from the back of the device.

Battery

The S6 Edge's battery life was respectable, with its 2,600 mAh put to good use. The power source of the Galaxy S7 Edge holsters 3,600 mAh and fully uses the battery saving features coded into Android Marshmallow.

Price

No official information exists on the price of the S7 Edge, but rumors say that it will be more expensive than S6 Edge was. The price of $799 was tossed around by unofficial sources, but this info is best taken with a grain of salt.

Verdict

A few hardware features place the S7 Edge above its predecessor. The microSD card slot, the water resistance and the improved overall performance are solid reasons to consider making the upgrade. If you're not convinced, Samsung came up with a neat infographic to better highlight the upgrades.

It remains to be seen whether or not the software buffs will widen the gap between the S7 Edge and S6 Edge.

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