Samsung Galaxy S7 launch: Flagship smartphone finally goes on sale around the world

The S7 went on sale in shops on 11 March

The new Samsung Galaxy S7 and S7 Edge smartphones have finally gone on sale today, after being sent out to customers who pre-ordered earlier in the week.

The phone was unveiled in a flashy event at the Mobile World Congress trade show on 21 February, and early reviews suggest it could be Samsung's best phone yet.

Here's what you need to know about the latest smartphone to hit the market.

It's available on all the major networks

In the UK, Vodafone, 3, EE, Carphone Warehouse, GiffGaff, O2 and Virgin Mobile are offering contracts on the S7 and the larger, curved-screen model, the S7 Edge.

There's the usual array of contracts out there, each with different monthly fees depending on your up-front payment and data usage.

If you want to buy it outright, the S7 Edge will cost you around £640, while the regular S7 will cost £569.

As always, it pays to shop around between networks to find the best offer.

You can also get a gold-plated version

The phone may just have come out, but there's already companies offering even flashier versions.

If you've got more money than sense, you can get a 24-karat gold-plated version of the S7 for £1,850, a platinum-covered version for £1,950, and an 18-karat rose gold-plated version for £1,900 from luxury retailer Truly Exquisite. Not bad for something you're going to put in a plastic case after dropping for the first time.

It's waterproof

Well, for legal reasons, it's only water-resistant. The IP67 rating for both the S7 and S7 Edge means they're both completely protected from dust, and can survive being submerged in 1.5 metre-deep water if you need them to.

The phone's waterproof seal is more likely to be compromised if it comes into contact with hot water for extended periods, however - so maybe think twice about taking your £600 smartphone into the shower with you.

It's pretty fast

The S7s sold in the UK contain a Exynos 8890 chipset. According to performance tests, it's slightly less powerful than the Snapdragon 820 found in S7s in other markets, but with 4GB of RAM and internal water cooling (yes, really), everything should keep running smoothly. Reviews of the device praised its speed, but some had issue with the slightly sluggish Samsung skin which has been put over the top of the Android operating system.

The battery might actually last an entire day

The S7 has a 3000mAh battery, while the larger S7 Edge has 3,600mAh - that's much bigger than the iPhone 6S's 1,715mAh, and our review says it should comfortably stay alive during a day of heavy use.

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