Samsung Galaxy S7 review (sort of...)

That time of year rolls around when a Ken's thoughts turn to upgrading his phone. As a customer of EE here in the UK I was able to upgrade early as I am on an EE Extra tariff. So what to get?

Like many people the quality of the camera on my smartphone is pretty important to me. What options were available? Fortunately the Mobile World Congress takes place in February so just as my search began, manufacturers were rolling out their shiny new offerings. How convenient. The LG G5 looked interesting: an optional camera grip/battery unit was being launched alongside the handset. The thing is cameras on smartphones are so good these days having an extra bit that you would have to carry about, and that wouldn’t fit in your usual phone cover seemed a bit pointless. Scrub the G5. Samsung showed their new flagship Galaxy S7. This looked very interesting: clever camera gubbins, expandable storage and waterproof. That gets it on to my shortlist. I have been using HTC phones for years, but they had no new phone at MWC, and it looks like their flagship (the M10?) is still a few months away. I do like the the look of the Nexus 6xp but no expandable storage ruled that out. The rumoured Sony Xperia Z6 was nowhere to be seen; a shame as the previous model has a good camera, expandable storage and is waterproof, so it would definitely have been on my list. As an Android user, the iPhone doesn’t make the shortlist either, sorry Apple fans. And it doesn’t have expandable storage and the price for a decent number of gigabytes is punitive! (The iPhone 6s with 16gb of storage - a paltry, almost unusable amount- is £540, the 128gb version is £700! If I can buy a 128gb micro SD card for £40 I’m sure Apple can use its clout to buy an extra 112 gb for less than £160! To be fair, Apple are not the only company guilty of this, most smartphone manufacturers seem more than happy to charge excessively for increased storage.)

Anyway, after all that I went with the Samsung Galaxy S7. On pre-order with EE I got it yesterday, apparently three days before the official launch. Initial verdict? It’s very nice! Very well finished, beautiful screen, fast and a comfortable fit in the hand. Oh, and I’m a convert to fingerprint recognition. As for the camera, well the weather has been pretty abysmal today, so my plans to go and try it out have been thwarted, but here’s a shot of one of our cats. Taken in lowish light, I’m super impressed with the quality.

There are a number of modes to experiment with, including a “Pro” mode which allows exposure, shutter speed, white balance, metering and focus areas to be adjusted. More on that after further field testing. There’s even a “food” mode for all you food Instagrammers out there (it boosts vividness apparently…)

I like it, and I’ll update this post once I’ve been able to put it through its paces more thoroughly.

by Ken Long

Category: Equipment Review