Do we have a good one for you today – last year's Samsung Galaxy S6 Edge goes up against the newly released Samsung Galaxy S7 Edge. Just what changes were made, were they real improvements, did Samsung get it right this time around and how does the original Galaxy S6 Edge hold up to the new Galaxy S7 Edge? A major redesign was done last year when Samsung made the switch from plastic to a metal and glass design, so the Galaxy S7 Edge is more an evolutionary design rather than anything revolutionary. Did Samsung go far enough in making it a 'must upgrade' from the Galaxy S6 Edge or should you pass and wait for the S8 model? This section will look at what is common between the two devices and then we will look at each one and see where they differ.
The Galaxy S6 Edge and Galaxy S7 Edge do have some things in common, although since they are a year a part, obviously there are some technical improvements. It also looks like Samsung may be cleaning up their 'S' line a bit and are passing on the Galaxy S7 Edge Plus by making the S7 Edge larger this time around. This will allow them to showcase the Galaxy Note 6 by itself or possibly include a Galaxy Note 6 Edge as well. So while this section is to highlight their similarities, we have come across a difference – the Galaxy S7 Edge is larger overall with a larger display. Both displays do use Samsung's Super AMOLED display with a QHD resolution of 2560 x 1440 pixels.
The S6 Edge exclusively used Samsung's Exynos 7420 octa-core processor, but with the S7 Edge Samsung went back to using two processors – their new Exynos 8890 octa-core processor and the new Snapdragon 820 quad-core processor (actually built by Samsung for Qualcomm) and their adoption will be dependent on country – the US is expected to see the Snapdragon 820. Both models offer a 32GB or 64GB variant. In the camera area, they both use a 5MP front-facing camera (FFC) for selfies or video chatting, although a few improvements were made in the Galaxy S7 Edge. They both have a fingerprint sensor, Samsung Pay, a heart rate monitor and oxygen saturation sensor. They also have the usual suspects – WiFi, Bluetooth (v4.1 in the S6 Edge and v4.2 in the S7 Edge), GPS, NFC and a microUSB v2.0 port for charging and data transfer. Both devices have a non-removable battery and both offer rapid charging and wireless charging.
Please take a deliberate look at the detailed Specifications Comparison chart below and here you will see just how these two great devices stack up against one another – click on the "View Full Comparison" link at the end of the chart to expand the details. After that, we will look at each individual device in greater detail and point out some of its pros and cons.
Samsung Galaxy S6 Edge
The redesigned Galaxy S6 series – while retaining its basic physical look, Samsung went with a strong sculptured metal frame and all glass design, which makes it look more premium, but also makes it somewhat fragile if dropped. Samsung upset many loyal followers when they did away with their traditional removable battery and expandable memory slot. In addition, Samsung added the Galaxy S6 Edge model with a dual curved display that really upped its appeal factor and eventually added a Galaxy S6 Edge Plus model.
The Galaxy S6 Edge sports a 5.1-inch QHD Super AMOLED display with a resolution of 2560 x 1440 pixels and 577 PPI with the display curving on both the left and right. This goes up against the 5.5-inch QHD LCD display on the Galaxy S7 Edge with 534 PPI and an 'always-on' feature. The S6 Edge uses the 64-bit Exynos 7420 octa-core processor with four cores clocked at 1.5 GHz and four cores clocked at 2.1 GHz. This goes up against the newest Snapdragon 820 quad-core processor or newest Exynos 8890 octa-core used in the S7 Edge. The S6 Edge packs 3GB of DDR4 RAM with 32GB, 64GB or 128GB of faster USF 2.0 internal memory with no expansion available. The S7 Edge comes with 4GB of DDR4 RAM and 32GB or 64GB of UFS 2.0 internal memory with expansion via a microSD card.
The Galaxy S6 Edge uses a 16MP main camera with large 1.12µm pixels, f/1.9 aperture, autofocus and an LED flash and OIS. It has a 5MP FFC for selfies and video chats. This goes up against a new 12MP main sensor with an improved 5MP FFC on the S7 Edge. The S6 Edge has a smaller 2,600 mAh non-removable battery while the S7 Edge has a larger 3,600 mAh non-removable battery. Both devices should make it through a full day and both devices have rapid charge capabilities and built-in wireless charging.
The Galaxy S6 Edge comes with a fingerprint sensor, as does the S7 Edge, but also includes a built-in IR Blaster, which Samsung excluded on the S7 Edge. Android 6.0, the newest Android OS Marshmallow, should be arriving in March. With Marshmallow, you will be able to use the fingerprint sensor to authorize mobile payments using Android Pay, along with Samsung Pay. It comes in White Pearl, Black Sapphire, Gold Platinum and an exclusive Green Emerald depending where you purchase the Galaxy S6 Edge. It will cost you about $675 for the 32GB model and $775 for the 64GB model, measures 142.1 x 70.1 x 7mm and weighs in at 132 grams.
Samsung Galaxy S7 Edge
The new Samsung Galaxy S7 Edge is more evolutionary in nature after last year's newly redesign Galaxy S6 series – from the outside there are only subtle differences, although inside is a different story. The Galaxy S7 Edge is still a beautiful device with a solid build quality and premium look, but did Samsung do enough to upgrade the Galaxy S6 Edge to make people want to go out and buy the S7 Edge? Let's take a look at the new Galaxy S7 Edge and see what conclusions we arrive at.
The Galaxy S7 Edge has a beautiful 5.5-inch Super AMOLED display with a QHD resolution and 534 PPI as compared to the 5.1-inch Super AMOLED QHD display on the S6 Edge with 577 PPI. The S7 Edge also sports the dual-curved display that can function on its own to quickly access your ten favorite contacts and more. The Galaxy S7 Edge uses either an Exynos 8890 octa-core processor or the Snapdragon 820 quad-core processor depending where you live. The S6 Edge uses the Exynos 7420 octa-core processor in all models. The S7 Galaxy packs 4GB of DDR4 RAM and the S7 Edge offers either 32GB or 64GB of UFS 2.0 memory – the S6 Edge offers 3GB of DDR4 RAM and 32GB, 64GB or 128GB of memory – but the S7 Edge offers room for expansion up to 200 GB via a microSD card.
The camera area of the Galaxy S7 Edge was changed quite a bit this year – gone is the conventional 16MP award winning shooter from the S6 models and instead is a new Dual Pixel 12MP with a larger sensor, allowing it to take in more light and information than the smaller 16MP sensor. They also added a very large aperture of f/1.7, made autofocus much faster and retained OIS. The S7 Edge uses a 5MP wide-angle lens, f/1.7 aperture and Live HDR for its FCC. This goes up against the highly rated 16MP camera and a 5MP FFC setup in the S6 Edge. The S7 Edge includes a large 3,600 mAh non-removable battery with quick charge and quick charge wireless charging as well. This goes up against the S6 Edge's smaller 2,600 mAh removable battery, also with quick charge and regular wireless charging.
The S7 Edge adds IP68 water and dust protection – great for those beach goers or users that work in dusty environments. The S7 Edge offers expandable internal memory and built-in quick wireless charging, something that Samsung started in the S6 Edge Plus and Note 5. The S7 Edge measure 150.9 x 72.6 x 7.7 mm, weighs in at 157 grams and available in Black, White, Gold and Silver at approximately $770.
…And The Winner Is…
This was a specification comparison of these two great devices, but there was never any doubt that the Galaxy S7 Edge would be the winner. But we had to look and see what improvements Samsung made to this flagship device, after all, they had to build on the Galaxy S6 Edge knowing that LG and Apple will be gunning for them. Did Samsung go far enough, probably not, but they did do a few things to make the new and improved Galaxy S7 Edge the winner.
It looks like Samsung may had decided to cut back on the number of models – always a good thing – and this year's S7 Edge comes with a larger display, but not Galaxy Note size. The 'always-on' display is nice, as are the newer processors and excellent GPUs. The RAM was increased to 4GB and Samsung gave us back expandable memory and threw in IP68 water and dust proofing. The battery is still non-removable, but it was increased to 3,600 mAh and Samsung added quick wireless charging as well. The jury is still out on the new camera in the Galaxy S7 Edge, but knowing how important the camera features are to Samsung, we cannot imagine them allowing LG or the iPhone to have the last word.
The Galaxy S6 Edge does have the built-in IR Blaster, but other than that feature, the Galaxy 7 Edge is the way to go. There is about $100 price difference between the two – S6 Edge goes for about $675 and the S7 Edge goes for about $770, or about the same price as the S6 Edge Plus. You are paying more, but you are getting a larger display, always-on display, better processor, more memory, expandable storage, bigger battery, quick wireless charging and IP68 certification – not bad for $100.