The Samsung Galaxy S7 and Galaxy S7 edge are now on sale in the UK, and the S7 Active may well be coming soon. We present our complete guide to the Galaxy S7, covering everything from the Galaxy S7 UK release date, Galaxy S7 UK price, Galaxy S7 features and Galaxy S7 specifications to details on Samsung’s Galaxy upgrade programme. Plus: Google’s March security update now rolling out to S7 edge in the UK. Also see: Samsung Galaxy S7 review and Samsung Galaxy S7 vs Samsung Galaxy S7 Edge.
After producing the best phone of 2015, there’s a lot of pressure on Samsung to come up with the next Samsung Galaxy phone that everyone will want. Not only will it have to go up against the current iPhone 6S, but new devices such as the LG G5 which has caused a stir with its new design including an accessory slot. Also see: Samsung Galaxy S7 vs LG G5.
Samsung says the new Galaxy S7 phones are ‘created for today’s mobile lifestyle’. Find out how they will compete with the opposition in our piece: the best phones coming in 2016. You can also check out our individual Samsung Galaxy S7 Edge review and Samsung Galaxy S7 review.
Finally, our colleagues at Macworld UK have conceded that the S7 may even have the iPhone beaten on a few fronts. See their comparison review, iPhone 6s vs Samsung Galaxy S7: Three things Samsung does better.
Samsung Galaxy S7, Galaxy S7 edge release date and price UK, Samsung upgrade programme
Announced at Unpacked 2016, the Galaxy S7 and S7 edge became available to pre-order straight away (21 February) at 7pm UK time. The phones then went on sale in the UK and US on 11 March. The S7 and S7 edge will also be available outside these territories, and on 8 March was launched in India at a New Delhi event. See: Best Galaxy S7 S7 Edge deals
Those who pre-ordered before 5 March will have received the phone early on 8 March, and received a free Gear VR headset. Also see: Samsung Galaxy S6 vs Samsung Galaxy S7.
The S7 is priced at £569 and the S7 edge is £639, and are available to buy from Samsung here. Do note, though, that if you buy from Samsung today, you shouldn’t expect to receive the phone until 22 March.
Before you rush out and buy the Samsung Galaxy S7 or S7 edge, however, note that Samsung phones are notorious for rapidly dropping in price in the few months following their launch. Idealo suggests you could see a price drop of up to 21 percent within three months.
Not everyone is prepared to wait, though, and Carphone Warehouse is already reporting preorders are exceeding expectations. In the first 48 hours following launch, it saw preorders for the new phone up 200 percent on the Galaxy S6. You can pre-order from Carphone Warehouse here.
A problem for many people will be that they buy the Galaxy S7 and then a year down the line will want the new Galaxy S8 (expected Galaxy S8 release date: March 2017), but will be tied into a two-year contract. Samsung offers an upgrade programme for £24.58 per month whereby you will receive the latest Galaxy S-series flagship every 12 months. Click here to find out more details on Samsung’s Galaxy S7 upgrade programme.
The Samsung Galazy S7 and Galaxy S7 edge will also be available in 24K gold, platinum and 8k rose gold. These are sold in a wooden box with a wireless charger and Gear VR. The 24k gold Galaxy S7 costs £1700 plus VAT (£2040 inc VAT), while the 24k gold S7 edge costs £1800 plus VAT (£2160 inc VAT). For the platinum model you’ll pay £1800 plus VAT (£2160 inc VAT) for the S7 and £1900 plus VAT (£2280 inc VAT) for the edge. Finally, for rose gold the S7 is priced at £1750 plus VAT (£2100 inc VAT) and the S7 edge at £1850 plus VAT (£2220 inc VAT). If you have a spare couple of grand to spend, visit Truly Exquisite.
Will there be a Samsung Galaxy S7 Active?
The fact the Galaxy S7 and S7 edge are now waterproof may lead you to think there won’t be a Samsung Galaxy S7 Active. But that didn’t stop Samsung with the Samsung Galaxy S5 and the Galaxy S5 Active.
Notorious leakster Evan Blass (@evleaks) has tweeted an image that suggests ATT is testing a handset known as the G891A. That’s important because the Galaxy S6 Active was codenamed G890A. It’s likely that this new handset is its successor.
However, those in the UK are likely to be once again disappointed if they are hoping to get a Galaxy Active handset over here. This one could well be another ATT exclusive.
Samsung Galaxy S7, Galaxy S7 edge specs and new features
Update 22 March: The Galaxy S7 edge is now reportedly receiving Google’s March security update in the UK. The 74.38MB update is achieved OTA, and offers several important fixes to various vulnerabilities within Android. Also see: How to update Android.
Let’s kick off with what aren’t technically new features but things which Samsung has decided to bring back on the Galaxy S7 models. Fans disappointed with the Galaxy S6‘s lack of waterproofing and expandable storage will be pleased with the news, indeed. The S7 features an IP68 rating which Samsung is pitching at water-resistant and a Micro-SD card slot which can take up to 200GB cards. Even better, you can move apps to SD!
Colours include Black Onyx, Gold Platinum and the edge will also come in Silver Titanium – although we saw a regular model in this colour at the launch event.
The third big thing being requested by users is a removable battery but the news isn’t so great on this front. Although the battery is bigger – 3000mAh for the S7 and 3600mAh on the edge model – it’s stuck inside the phone. Samsung got two out of three, at least.
You’re probably wondering whether Samsung has opted for a USB Type-C port which we’ve seen on a number of devices in recent months. The answer is no which we think is a little odd, instead the Galaxy S7 phones have the same Micro-USB port. The phones also only support Quick Chrge 2.0 not the new 3.0 as Samsung told us it didn’t see the value.
The Galaxy S7 and S7 edge share many specs as you would expect but the screens are the main difference. The regular handset still has a 5.1in SuperAMOLED screen with a Quad HD (1440×2560) resolution so Samsung clearly doesn’t think we need 4K on a phone like Sony does. Meanwhile, the Galaxy S7 edge display has got bigger at 5.5in (still Quad HD) which suggests we won’t see a larger Galaxy S7 edge+ model unless it is really huge.
A new feature on the display side is that it will be always on, like the LG G5, so you can check the time, date and notifications easily. To avoid battery drain, the screen will switch off at night and when the S7 is in your pocket.
As with previous Samsung phones there will be two processors powering the Galaxy S7 – not at the same time, for different markets. One will have an Exynos 8890 chip and one with the Qualcomm Snapdragon 820. Either way you’ll get 4GB of RAM and 32GB of storage.
According to uSwitch, in the UK we will see the faster Exynos 8890 inside the Galaxy S7.
To keep everything cool Samsung has implemented a sort of water cooling system, although it’s not exactly comparible to a PC’s. It has a heat-conducting copper tube to get rid of as much heat as possible. “There’s a tube containing a liquid that vaporizes at high temperatures and then condenses at low temperatures,” said Senior Vice President of product strategy, Justin Denison.
As you would expect, the Galaxy S7 features some of the latest connectivity including 11ac Wi-Fi, Bluetooth 4.2, NFC and GPS. It still has a fingerprint scanner in the home button and a heart rate monitor. However, the infrared port previously used to control other devices like TVs is gone.
The UK version of the Galaxy S7 and S7 edge are single-SIM, but there is a dual-SIM variant sold elsewhere that lets you add either a second SIM or a microSD card. If you do get your hands on that version, a NoReplied tutorial explains how you can get two SIMs and microSD in the S7 edge. The process basically involves removing the chip from a nano-SIM, slicing off a small amount from the edges and sticking it to a microSD card. It looks dodgy if you ask us, but apparently it works.
Rumours of a lower resolution camera are true as the Galaxy S7 models have a 12Mp shooter, not 16Mp as previously. “That’s a downgrade” we hear you shout, but Samsung says an aperture of f/1.7 combined with larger pixels means the camera will allow 95 percent more light into the system for better results. The front camera for all you selfie fans is still 5Mp but also has that f/1.7 aperture. Samsung says its the first phone with a Dual Pixel sensor.
Android 6.0 Marshmallow and TouchWiz are pre-loaded with new features including that aforementioned always on display. The Galaxy S7 edge will get improved and new functionality via that curved screen. Users can access double the amount of apps at 10 plus there’s a new thing called ‘task edge’ which is like a computer macro for quickly doing something – like taking a selfie or sending a set message.
Gamers can now save battery life by lowering the frame rate thanks to Vulkan API support and Knox v2.6 for enterprises improves security on the phone.
“Samsung+ is a free, mobile app empowering customers to get more out of owning a Samsung product. With Samsung+, users are always just a tap away from live tech support, device diagnostics, tips and tricks, exclusive content, giveaways and special offers,” said the firm.