Phone Comparisons: Samsung Galaxy S7 Edge vs Samsung Galaxy A7 (2017)

Introduction

Do we have a good one for you today – the Samsung Galaxy S7 Edge goes up against the new Samsung Galaxy A7 (2017). The Galaxy S7 Edge is still Samsung’s flagship device even though it came out almost a year ago. It is a beautiful all-glass design and still looks great with its dual curved display. The Galaxy A7 (2017) is a typical Samsung looking device, but does away with the glass backing and is an all-metal device. Both devices use a similar sized display, and because the Galaxy A7 (2017) is more a mid-range device, it is priced around $250 less than the flagship Galaxy S7 Edge. We are looking to find out which device offers the best specifications, performance, and pricing. Let’s compare what they have in common first and then we will look at each device in more detail to pick the winner in this comparison.

The Samsung Galaxy S7 Edge and the Samsung Galaxy A7 (2017) have a few things in common besides the Samsung name. The displays are 0.2-inches different in size, which makes their physical dimensions very close. The displays use the same Super AMOLED technology but are different resolutions. Both enjoy the ‘always-on’ technology and can notify the user of notifications without turning on the main display. Both use different processors and GPUs, and different amounts of RAM. They both have a 32GB variant, and both can expand their memory via a microSD card. The primary camera areas are extremely different, but both take great pictures, although the nod would go to the Galaxy S7 Edge. Both have a front-mounted fingerprint sensor for unlocking the device, and both incorporate an NFC chip so they can make mobile purchases, including Android Pay and Samsung Pay. Both have a large 3,600 mAh non-removable battery with rapid charge capabilities. Both come with Android 6.0 (Marshmallow), although the S7 Edge is upgraded to Android Nougat. Both have the usual suspects – WiFi, Bluetooth v4.2, GPS, and NFC. The S7 Edge uses the older microUSB v2.0 plug, and the Galaxy A7 uses the newer reversible Type-C port for charging and data transfer. Both are IP68 certified against dust and water.

Please take a thoughtful 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 device in greater depth and point out some of its pros and cons. From all of this information, we will try to determine the winner based on specs and execution of design and functions.

Specifications

Samsung Galaxy S7 Edge

The Samsung Galaxy S7 Edge should be a distant memory by now, but when Samsung discontinued production of the Galaxy Note 7, it had to fall back on the Galaxy S7/S7 Edge and increased advertising to maintain good sales. The Galaxy S7 Edge uses a metal, and glass design carried over from the Galaxy S6 series. The by-now familiar dual-curved screen still looks awesome, although it lost a little of its ‘wow’ factor. How does this aging, premium smartphone hold up to the new mid-range Samsung Galaxy A7 (2017)? Let’s look and see just how they compare to one another.

The Galaxy S7 Edge sports a 5.5-inch QHD Super AMOLED ‘always-on’ display with dual curved edges with a resolution of 2560 x 1440 pixels and 534 pixels-per-inch (PPI). If you live in the US, the Galaxy S7 Edge comes with the Snapdragon 820 quad-core processor with dual cores clocked at 1.6 GHz and dual cores clocked at 2.15 GHz. Globally, you are looking at Samsung’s Exynos 8890 octa-core processor with four cores clocked at 1.6 GHz and four cores clocked at 2.3 GHz. Samsung employs the Adreno 530 GPU with the 820 processor and the Exynos 8890 uses the Mali-T880 MP4 GPU. The Galaxy S7 Edge packs 4GB of DDR4 RAM and offers 32GB of UFS 2.0 memory, that is expandable via a microSD card.

Samsung puts a great camera in their flagships, but nothing too fancy – you will not find any dual lens here. Samsung did make a brave move when they went for fewer than the 16-megapixels they used in the S6 series but moved to larger pixels in a new Dual Pixel 12MP sensor. Samsung increased the aperture to a large f/1.7 for low-light shots, included a faster phase detection autofocus (PDAF), auto HDR, LED flash, and OIS. The Galaxy S7 Edge uses a 5MP wide-angle lens with the same large f/1.7 aperture and Live HDR for its front-facing camera (FFC) for excellent low-light selfies and video chatting. The battery size is a non-removable 3,600 mAh battery with Quick Charge 2.0 and quick wireless charging as well.

The Galaxy S7 Edge has many features – some are very useful – like an ‘always-on’ display helping to conserve battery life, its IP68 dust and water certification, and the ability to use both Android Pay and Samsung Pay, which expands where you can make mobile purchases. While the dual curved edges don’t have that punch they used to, they still make the phone sharp looking as well as providing some limited functionality with quick access to several features. Some features are no so useful for most people – such as a heart rate monitor, oxygen saturation sensor, and wireless charging. The Galaxy S7 Edge measures 150.9 x 72.6 x 7.7 mm, weighs in at 157 grams and is available in Black, White, Gold, Silver, and Blue costing about $790 – however, promotions are available fairly often.

Samsung Galaxy A7 (2017)

Samsung’s new Galaxy A7 (2017) is all Samsung with its typical rounded corners, speaker grill at the top and an oval home button at the bottom – it looks very much like a Galaxy S7 with a larger display. The significant difference is that the Galaxy A7 (2017) steps away from its recent glass heritage and uses an aluminum back designed to fit comfortably in your hand. It includes some decent specifications for a mid-range phone, but with a price tag of $530, we should expect no less. The Galaxy A7 (2017) includes the IP68 certification for water and dust and an unusual new side-positioned loudspeaker. Let’s see just how this new Galaxy A7 (2017) mid-range holds up against their flagship, the Galaxy S7 Edge.

The Galaxy A7 (2017) sports a larger 5.7-inch Super AMOLED display but only with an FHD resolution of 1920 x 1080 pixels with a respectable 386 PPI. Samsung carried over the ‘always-on’ display from its flagship phones to the Galaxy A7 (2017), which helps save battery life and is a great feature to check the time, date, or notifications without turning on the main display. Samsung uses its Exynos 7880 octa-core processor clocked at 1.9 GHz and a Mali-T830MP2 for graphics in the Galaxy A7. The Galaxy A7 packs 3GB of RAM and has 32GB of expandable internal memory up to 256GB via a microSD card.

The Galaxy A7 (2017) uses a 16MP lens for its primary camera and includes a large aperture of f/1.9, autofocus, and a LED flash. Samsung added a huge 16MP camera for the Galaxy A7’s FFC that also comes with the same f/1.9 aperture. This large FFC will give you excellent low-light selfies and a great video chatting experience. The Galaxy A7 (2017) comes packing the same 3,600 mAh non-removable battery and features rapid charging.

The Galaxy A7 (2017) is only available in some Asian and European markets now, and most likely will not see an official US release and must be purchased online. Being a GSM device, it will work on AT&T or the T-Mobile network. It runs Android 6.0.1 (Marshmallow) with no word about an upgrade to Android Nougat. The device will allow mobile purchases and can use Android Pay as well as Samsung Pay. Samsung Pay is an excellent feature that expands the user’s buying capability by allowing them to make mobile purchases just about anywhere they can swipe a credit or debit card. Samsung included an IP68 certification against dust and water and an unusual side-mounted speaker. The Galaxy A7 (2017) measures 156.8 x 77.6 x 7.9 mm, weighs in at a hefty 186 grams, is available in Black Sky, Gold Sand, Blue Mist, and Peach Cloud and costs about $530.

...And The Winner Is...

The Final Word

While these two devices have many features in common, the Samsung Galaxy S7 Edge still rules the roost over at Samsung and with the specials that carriers are offering, you can probably get an S7 Edge as cheap or cheaper than the Galaxy A7 (2017). It is for the simple reason that the Galaxy S7 Edge is the far superior device in specifications and with discounted pricing is therefore the winner of this comparison.

The Samsung Galaxy S7 Edge has a QHD curved display, a better processor, GPU, more RAM, a better camera, Hi-Res audio, a heart rate monitor, an oxygen saturation sensor, and has been updated to Android 7.0 (Nougat). It can also be used on all major US networks.

The Samsung Galaxy A7 (2017) is a great device, but with only mid-range specifications, $530 is a lot to ask of someone to pay for a device that can only be used on AT&T or T-Mobile carriers in the US and may never get updated to Android Nougat.

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