Samsung Galaxy S7 release date: Specs, rumours and pictures of Samsung's new phone

The hotly-anticipated successor to the Galaxy S6 will launch on 21 February

Doug Bolton
Tuesday 16 February 2016 13:27
A Samsung official speaks at CES 2014
A Samsung official speaks at CES 2014

As the New Year begins, tech fans are gearing up for the next round of major smartphone releases, beginning with the launch of the highly-anticipated Samsung Galaxy S7.

The Galaxy S6 was warmly received after its release in April 2015, for its top-of-the-range performance and impressive camera, with the Edge model getting a lot of attention for its innovative curved screen.

So it's no wonder that Samsung fanboys have been eagerly waiting for the new Galaxy since the S6's launch.

As always, there's a number of rumours swirling about the new phone, many of which have surfaced at the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas. Here's what we know (or think we know) so far.

Water resistance, wireless charging and more

An advert for the Galaxy S7 was 'accidentally' leaked on Samsung Indonesia's YouTube page, and it confirmed a lot of rumours.

The new phone will have wireless charging and water resistance, according to the advert. An S7 teaser site, also linked to Samsung's Indonesian operation, suggested that the phone could have enhanced security features and a camera suited to low-light conditions.

A choice of colours

Industry insider Evan Blass tweeted some of the clearest images yet of the S7 and S7 Edge, showing the handset could come in a range of colours.

It looks like consumers will have a choice of silver, black or gold, but more colours could be announced as time goes on.

Leaked pictures surface in Vietnam

One of the leaked images was published by Vietnamese tech site ReviewDao

These two images were released online recently, and apparently show the S7 and S7 Edge in all their glory. They don't really give too much away, although it looks like the camera bump will be slightly smaller, and the AnTuTu benchmark test on the S7 Edge's screen shows a result of 134704.

The second leaked image purports to show the front of the device, with the results of a benchmark test on the screen (Pic: JKwan/Weibo)

Like usual, it'll be unveiled just before Mobile World Congress

This one isn't so much a rumour, because Samsung have actually announced a big unveiling event on 21 February, the day before the Mobile World Congress (MWC) trade show begins.

Samsung is calling the event 'Unpacked', and it's set to take place the night before MWC kicks off at the Barcelona Convention Centre.

We'll likely get our first look at the S7 at this event, but its teaser trailer also featured a man wearing a Gear VR headset - suggesting there could be some VR-related announcement too.

It's probably coming out in early March

Release date rumours are always flying in the tech world, and the various guesses out there can sometimes be wildly different.

However, everyone seems to agree that the S7 will come out in late February or early March - slightly earlier than the usual release date of new flagship Samsung phones.

Three models - the S7, S7 Edge and S7 Edge+ - might be launched at the same time

According a leaked piece of what appears to be marketing material, which was tweeted by journalist and tech industry insider Evan Blass, we might see a simultaneous launch of three S7 models - as opposed to last year's staggered launch, when the S7 and Edge were announced in April, and the larger Edge+ came out in August.

The marketing snippet showed the names of the three models next to each other, in what could be a screenshot from Samsung's S7 website. This suggests that we won't be seeing a delay between models, although there's nothing else to confirm this yet.

It could be good news for Samsung fans, who will be spoiled for choice at the next release.

The S7 Edge definitely exists, by the way

Samsung hasn't officially announced any products yet, but the S7 Edge is one of the worst-kept secrets in tech - the previous model, the S6 Edge, was very well-received, and a number of rumours have claimed that the new version will come out alongside the regular S7.

What's more, Samsung accidentally announced its existence in a hastily-deleted post on its developer website.

It's going to be waterproof and dustproof

No, this isn't another hoax - signs suggest that the Galaxy S7 could be waterproof and dustproof, making it much more resilient that its predecessors.

According to Evan Blass, journalist and tech industry insider, the S7 will be built according to the IP67 standard - an industry ranking system for the 'ingress protection' levels of electronic equipment.

the IP67 rating would mean the phone will be 'totally protected against dust' and 'protected against the effect of immersion between 15cm and 1m' - meaning there won't be any need to go reaching for the bag of rice if you accidentally drop your S7 into water.

The S7 will have a MicroSD slot

Good news for those who like to fill their phones to the brim - the S7 will have expandable storage via a MicroSD card slot, a feature sadly missing from the S6 and many other smartphones.

MicroSD cards going up to 64GB can be bought fairly cheaply, and there's even 200GB cards available if you feel like spending more. However, storage sizes will increase dramatically over the phone's lifetime, so the MicroSD slot should ensure that you never run out of space.

Both models will have bigger batteries

As phone tech has progressed, poor battery life is a constant pain for users.

Fortunately, according to Blass, the S7 and S7 Edge will boast 3,000mAh and 3,600mAh batteries respectively - that's a big increase on the 2,550mAh and 2,600mAh batteries on the S6 and S6 Edge respectively.

It'll probably use Samsung's own processor

Some more concrete rumours began circulating after a version of the S7 appeared to show up on AnTuTu, the 'benchmarking' software that allows users to find out the processing speed of their devices.

Accoring to the benchmark, the model tested was using an Exynos 8890 processor, which has been developed by Samsung itself. However, an earlier benchmark that came out in late December showed another S7 model that was using a Snapdragon 820 processor, SamMobile reports.

It's possible that these conflicting reports are because different prototypes have been tested, or because Samsung is releasing different versions with different processors - we'll know more at launch.

The camera won't have as many megapixels as before, but it should still be better

According to leaked images of the phone's specs, the S7's main camera apparently has a 12.2MP sensor, much lower than the 16MP camera on the Galaxy S6.

This would be worrying for Samsung fans, were it not for the knowledge of Samsung's Britecell technology, which cuts down on resolution but makes the sensor bigger, apparently resulting in much better low-light shooting.

The end result of this major redesign will only be seen when the phone is released.

It probably won't look too different

Samsung majorly altered the design of their phones for the S6 and S6 Edge, turning the device from a slightly cheap-feeling plastic phone into a much higher-end metal and glass device.

The design of the phone was highly praised at the time of release, and the rumours are pointing to a regular and Edge verison of the S7 - so don't expect a major departure from the S6 design in the new model.

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