Samsung Galaxy S7 review round-up: Samsung's best phone yet?

The S7 seems to have lived up to most of its expectations

Doug Bolton
Tuesday 08 March 2016 20:22 GMT
The Samsung Galaxy S7 at Mobile World Congress in Barcelona
The Samsung Galaxy S7 at Mobile World Congress in Barcelona (David Ramos/Getty Images)

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The Samsung Galaxy S7 was sent out to those who pre-ordered it on Tuesday, and the early reviews are starting to roll in.

As Samsung's new flagship phone, the S7 had a lot to live up to. Fortunately, it looks like it might have delivered.

Our own S7 review will be published shortly, but in the meantime, here's a round-up of what the tech press thinks about it.

The Verge praised the designs of the S7 and S7 Edge, which have changed very slightly since the S6. With slightly curved backs and more forgiving edges, they found the phones felt much more comfortable to hold, carry and use.

They also praised the S7's speedy performance and the camera, which launches and focuses very quickly and takes pretty good pictures in a variety of settings.

Their criticisms were reserved for Samsung's "ugly" interface, the Edge's curved side-screen which is still "gimmicky," and the always-on display, which oddly doesn't show notifications. On the upside, these bad features can be disabled.

Wired loved the S7's camera, which they said was better than many dedicated point-and-shoot cameras.

They also liked the Edge's screen, which is the same size as the iPhone 6S Plus's, but feels far more compact due to its curved edges.

The S7's TouchWiz interface was also criticised by Wired, blamed for slowing down the phone and making it feel a bit 'sloppy', compared to stock Android phones.

They also pointed out the S7 is the cornerstone of a great virtual reality (VR) system - if you want a great and (relatively) inexpensive VR experience, the S7 might be a good next phone.

Gizmodo actually liked the TouchWiz interface, at least more than most other publications. They said it was vast improvement on previous versions, but still had some issues of its own.

The Edge screen didn't impress them either - it's been improved since the S6, but still seems a little superfluous.

Like everyone else, they loved the camera, water resistance and huge battery life of both phones.

Finishing the review, they said the S7 is the closest Samsung or any other phone maker "has ever come to making the perfect smartphone" - high praise indeed.

TechRadar gave the S7 five stars, so clearly they thought it was good.

They particularly liked how comfortable the S7 was to hold, its huge bright screen and the impressive camera.

Their criticisms were reserved for its high price (like all flagship phones, it's not cheap), its low internal storage (which is expandable via SD card), and the rate at which the metal-and-glass design picks up smudges and fingerprints.

Engadget gave the S7 an impressive 90 out of 100, again praising Samsung's gradual refinement of everything that was good about the S6.

As usual, the phone's screen, ergonomics and performance were mentioned as positives, but they kept some of their criticisms for the camera, saying that while it performed well in a range of conditions, a bit of extra resolution would have improved the images greatly.

They also weren't fans of the "flimsy" combined SIM/MicroSD card try, and the "slightly underwhelming" battery.

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