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While a new small iPhone now looks a near certainty, it is clear that for the vast majority of smartphone users bigger has proven to be better. But now Samsung appears set to test our commitment to this trend with a version of the Galaxy S7 that is larger than any previous mainstream smartphone – andafter leaked measurements, we’ve finally got a bigger, better look at it…
Working with famed leak specialist OnLeaks, AKA Steve Hemmerstoffer from nowhereelse.fr, UK price comparison site uSwitch hasmanaged to obtain detailed blueprints of Samsung’s monster handset and used them to create renders.
Perhaps surprisingly, the main design isn’t the most interesting part of the phone as it looks much like the Galaxy S6. Given the S6 splits opinion with its premium glass and metal build being seen as both stylish yet impractical, the lack of obvious visual changes is a risk. That said, the real talking point are the dimensions.
Galaxy S7 Plus image render. Image credit: uSwitch
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The blueprints reveal the handset, reportedly to be called the ‘Galaxy S7 Plus’, will be 163.4mm high, 82 mm long and 7.82mm thick (9.05mm at the camera protrusion). This is huge. By comparison the 5.7-inch Galaxy S6 Edge+ measures 154.4 x 75.8 x 6.9 mm while massive 6-inch Nexus 6 is thicker but still has a smaller footprint at 159.3 x 83 x 10.1 mm.
As such the Galaxy S7 Plus is also expected to join the 6-inch ranks and will give fans of the cult but midrange 6.3-inch Galaxy Mega a premium alternative for the first time.
Still it isn’t all good news. Despite its massive frame, it appears Samsung hasn’t made the bezels proportionately thinner and there’s no dedicated microSD slot. uSwitch admits this is a major disappointment, though it remains possible that it could be part of the sim tray – something a growing number of handset makers including Motorola and OnePlus have done.
Where little faith remains, however, is the widely assumed adoption of USB Type-C. Thereversible and highly flexible format has already appeared in the OnePlus 2, Nexus 6P and Nexus 5X as well as the Chromebook Pixel 2and Apple’s MacBook. The pain around a new form factor was expected to be alleviated by widespread adoption in 2016, but here the renders clearly show MicroUSB and we can only hope it doesn’t set a bad example for other phone makers to follow. Type-C is the future and anything that delays it should be frowned upon.
Elsewhere you’ll also spot some subtle tweaks. The home button is more angular, the aforementioned sim card slot has been moved to the side and the front facing camera now sits much closer to the side of the phone.
So how much faith should we put in this extremely comprehensive leak? Personally I think a lot and here’s why…
Brace For Big
Over the last 18 months Hemmerstoffer – who helms theequally influential nowhereelse.fr – has an unparalleled record with on the money leaks about almost every major handset. These include the Galaxy S6, Note 5,Edge+, HTC One M9, Nexus 6P and many more. In fact Hemmerstoffer repeated this process of rendering blueprints he attained with the Nexus 6P and, as you can see below, they proved to be extremely accurate:
An example of Onleak’s rock solid track record of design leaks. Image credit: Twitter
So if the Galaxy S7 Plus is indeed coming, and talk is it could launch as soon as February, then talk should move onto exactly where it will fit into the Samsung line. Presumably it means the Galaxy S7 is getting a ‘Plus’ counterpart like the Galaxy S6 Edge, but a lineup comprising the Galaxy S7, Galaxy S7 Plus, Galaxy S7 Edge, Galaxy S7 Edge Plus and Note 6 is bloated to say the least.
With Note 5’s release restricted this year, I wonder if it may be culled to make space for the S7 Plus in 2016. From a branding point of view it would also allow Samsung to unify its range around the ‘7’ moniker, given the Note has always been a year behind. This would be a huge gamble, but it could pay off.
Galaxy S7 Plus is familiar, but massive. Image credit: uSwitch
So what gaps still need to be filled in? Camera details remain sparse, but given the major step forward the range took this year I wouldn’t expect a lot to change here. Meanwhile some expect a 3D Touch rivalling screen pressure technology to match up to the iPhone 6S and iPhone 6S Plus. That seems unlikely to me given the obvious legal problems and whether the more fragmented nature of Android hardware would mean developer support ever catches on.
But the biggest risk may well prove Samsung’s seemingly confirmed decision to split its chipsets between internal Exynos and external Qualcomm Snapdragon inspired designs. If one is seen to perform better than the other (and they are unlikely to be identical) it could create customer unease. Then again it looks like Samsung is again prepared to gamble and that’s the Samsung people know and love !!!