I’ve been using an iPhone 5 for exactly 3 years now and recently started looking for an alternative. Among the current flagship mobile phones I was basically tempted to either get a 64GB iPhone 6s or a Samsung S7 Edge, still having never owned an Android mobile before, I didn’t want to get the S7 Edge and end up regretting it, so I thought of asking Samsung for a test unit and they were kind enough to send me one along with a Gear VR.
Long story short I’ve been using the S7 Edge for a couple of weeks now and totally loving it! In this review I won’t go all techy on you with specs and stuff, but rather describe how I found the S7 Edge fitting my needs as a blogger and someone who uses the phone camera very frequently.
Plastic covers on older models of the Samsung S phones were the main reason that made me avoid them, they just made the handsets look cheap. This however has changed with the S6 and its rear glass which made it look more elegant, while the S7 Edge is a further enhancement with beautiful curves. The unit I got looked premium with the gold color on it.
The S7 Edge is also considered a compact phone. It is almost the same size of an iPhone 6s but has a larger display (5.5″ vs 4.7″), and this was made possible by minimizing the amount of bezel above and below the screen which increased the screen-to-body ratio by a great deal.
The QHD display on the S7 Edge is absolutely gorgeous! A friend of mine always bugs me with how good AMOLED screens are, but I honestly didn’t know they were THAT good. Colors looked much more vibrant and made it hard for me to go back to watching media on an LCD screen.
Still, and even though it isn’t a deal breaker, the screen was a bit reflective for me when I was using it outdoors.
Having a 3 year old kid I always find myself using my phone camera whenever he’s fooling around. And for that, I really appreciated how quick is the autofocus in the S7 Edge camera. It also performs pretty well in low light.
Here are a sample of unedited photos I recently took. (Click on each photo for the original size)
It’s not a secret Android wasn’t the friendliest mobile operating system. And being a longtime iPhone user, I really hate to say it but Android has come a long way in being much more user friendly. In fact, I found it easier for me to write a blog post on the S7 Edge than on my wife’s iPhone 6s.
Moreover, since Android is a more open platform, I found it much easier for me to deal with some files I usually need to upload to my server from time to time. All in all, Android is indeed more flexible if you’re a tech person.
I’ve never used a virtual reality headset other than Samsung’s, so I really cannot compare the Gear VR to other products.
I personally found the Gear VR very easy to setup, and the available 360 videos and images were quite entertaining. I was mostly interested in travel videos showing places from exotic parts of the world and I really enjoyed them, it was cool sitting on my couch and feeling like I was somewhere totally different.
The headset however felt bulky on me after 20 or 30 minutes of usage, so watching full length movies on it wasn’t my thing.
With a cool design, a stunning camera, and a sharp display, I really can’t ask for more. In fact, I’m honestly having a hard time returning the test unit! 😛
If you’re interested in buying the S7 Edge along with the Gear VR, the guy I usually get my handsets from is offering them both for $690. (Note that his prices differ from day to day)