While all eyes are on the Samsung Galaxy S7 arriving at MWC 2016, we’re bound to see the Samsung Galaxy S7 Edge – a phone which adds a curved screen into the mix, just like the Galaxy S6 Edge did last year.
But curves aren’t likely to be the only differences between Samsung’s two flagships. We’re hearing all sorts of other leaks and rumors which paint a very intriguing picture of this other phone.
With the Galaxy S7 Edge due to be announced right before the big phone show in Barcelona gets underway we’ll know all about it soon, but in the meantime the rumors just keep on creeping in.
Cut to the chase
- What is it? The curvy counterpart to the Galaxy S7
- When is it out? February 21 at Mobile World Congress
- What will it cost? A lot, even more than the ‘standard’ Galaxy S7
Samsung Galaxy S7 Edge release date
Samsung has confirmed that it’s holding its next Unpacked event on February 21 in Barcelona, right before MWC 2016 kicks off.
While it obviously hasn’t revealed that we’ll see the Samsung Galaxy S7 Edge then, it seems pretty certain. The Galaxy S7 is certain to make an appearance and the S7 Edge is heavily tipped to arrive alongside it, especially as Samsung itself accidentally confirmed the phone’s existence on one of its sites.
Of course that doesn’t mean you’ll actually be able to buy the S7 Edge on that date, but it has been rumored that pre-orders may go live on launch date, so it’s very possible that it will be in eager hands by early March.
Samsung Galaxy S7 Edge design
Don’t expect a new look from the Samsung Galaxy S7 Edge, as it’s largely thought to be modelled after the Galaxy S6 Edge. That would make sense, since Samsung completely refreshed the design of its flagships last year.
So expect a metal frame, a glass back and a slim design. It might not be identical though, as a leaked image of the standard Galaxy S7 shows a curved back, a lot like we saw on the Samsung Galaxy Note 5. Assuming this makes its way to the S7 Edge too it will help it sit more comfortably in the palm.
The image also seems to show a smaller camera bump, so it seems like the design could be similar but refined on the Edge too.
Images of the S7 Edge are slightly thinner on the ground, but a render shared by @evleaks shows that the front of the phone looks a lot like last year’s model. We’ve also seen what it may look like in the hand, courtesy of a Weibo user.
There’s also now ‘confirmation’ of the colors too, with supposed press images leaking onto the web before the launch.
Interestingly, the Samsung Galaxy S7 Edge could be a lot larger than the S7 this time around, appearing more like an S7 Edge+. You can see that from a couple of renders showing the two phones side by side.
There’s also talk that Samsung’s upcoming flagships could have reinforced frames, possibly made from a magnesium-based alloy.
They may also be IP68 certified dust and water resistant, a feature which was sorely missed from the Samsung Galaxy S6. The potential for water resistance is backed up by mentions of waterproof components on an import listing.
Samsung Galaxy S7 Edge screen
You can’t talk about the S7 Edge’s screen without talking about its curves. Expect a small curve on both edges of the screen, just like we saw on the Samsung Galaxy S6 Edge.
One rumor goes even further and claims it will have a 5.7-inch display, but that’s likely the expected S7 Edge+, so the S7 Edge is expected to be the ‘smaller’ 5.5-variant.
The display is tipped to be 1440 x 2560, just like last year, so if it is that large it actually won’t be quite as pin sharp (due to the pixels being spread more thinly), but then again, the S6 Edge was already so clear such a move might not make too much of a difference.
Early rumblings pointed to a flexible screen, rather than just a curved one, but that seems unlikely. What we might see though is 3D Touch-like technology on the screen, in order for Samsung to keep up with the iPhone 6S.
It could also be super strong, as Samsung is said to be working on its own ‘Turtle Glass’.
Samsung Galaxy S7 Edge camera and battery
That would be a drop from the 16MP snapper on the Galaxy S6 Edge, but supposedly Samsung has worked to improve image quality and let more light in with the new sensor.
Then again, the megapixel count might not be dropping at all, as an AnTuTu benchmark points to a 16MP sensor.
However many megapixels it has there’s a good chance that it will use Samsung’s BRITECELL technology, which is designed with optimal low-light performance in mind.
It could also have a feature much like the Live Photos mode on the iPhone 6S, except without adding sound to the images.
As for the battery, FCC documents peg that possibly at a massive 3,600mAh, making it 1,000mAh larger than the juice pack in the Galaxy S6 Edge.
Size doesn’t always translate to performance and the phone is thought to have a bigger screen this year, but we’re cautiously optimistic that it will have good battery life. However, it’s highly likely the larger power pack is again for the more mysterious S7 Edge+, which we expect to turn up alongside the two ‘main’ models, but have a much more limited release.
However, whatever size battery it has, while it could be long-lasting it apparently won’t be removable.
Samsung Galaxy S7 Edge OS and power
The Samsung Galaxy S7 Edge has been consistently rumored to come in Snapdragon 820 and Exynos 8890 variants, both of which are likely to include 4GB of RAM.
That’s probably going to be a fairly standard spec for the next crop of flagships, so it doesn’t come as much surprise, but should make for a reasonable upgrade on the Galaxy S6 Edge.
As for the OS, the Samsung Galaxy S7 Edge is bound to run Android Marshmallow, but it’s just as sure to be overlaid with TouchWiz.
Samsung Galaxy S7 Edge other features
There aren’t really any rumors of features specific to the Galaxy S7 Edge, but anything seen on the Samsung Galaxy S7 is likely to be seen here too.
As such it could have impressive sound quality, as there are rumors of a powerful chip from ESS Technology being included.
It also may well have a microSD card slot, which is likely to make a lot of people very happy after the S6 Edge ditched it. That slot will supposedly support cards of up to 128GB, on top of the choice of 32GB or 64GB of built in storage that’s been rumored.
Plus, there’s talk of USB Type-C support, while a fingerprint scanner is pretty much a given.
Samsung Galaxy S7 Edge cost
We’ve heard early word on how much the S7 Edge will be… and it’s not going to be cheap. Word is the Galaxy S7 Edge will retail at €800, which translates to about £622 or US$800 – but that could increase with taxes.
The curved screen plus the fact that it looks like it’s going to be larger than the Samsung Galaxy S7 means that it makes sense for it to be even pricier than Samsung’s main flagship. We’d be surprised if it was less than around £600/$650/AU$1,100 for a few months after launch.
Samsung Galaxy S7 Edge rivals
With its curved screen the Samsung Galaxy S7 Edge won’t have many direct rivals, though the still-quite-new Samsung Galaxy S6 Edge+ could be one. The S7 Edge is likely to be a little smaller and a fair bit more powerful though.
The standard Samsung Galaxy S7 could also be a strong alternative option for anyone who wants all the best bits except the curves.
Outside of Samsung’s stable the LG G5 is set to land on the same day and is expected to pack flagship power of its own, including a similarly-sized 5.5 or 5.6-inch QHD screen, a fingerprint scanner, a Snapdragon 820 processor, a metal build and a dual-lens camera.
The HTC One M10 should follow not long after too, albeit a month or so down the line, with a stylish metal build and plenty of high-end components. While it’s a little older, the iPhone 6S Plus could also steal some of the Galaxy S7 Edge’s thunder, thanks to its 5.5-inch screen.