Samsung Galaxy S7 release date, specs & price rumours – same design, but Qualcomm's Snapdragon 820 could cause problems
Samsung Galaxy S7 News Leak !!
We round up the latest rumours surrounding the Galaxy S7, which will be released in early 2016
4th December, 2015
The Samsung Galaxy S6 was a huge departure from the Galaxy S5. Not only did Samsung completely change the materials it was made from, but it also revamped the design, giving it a more modern look and feel than its somewhat cheap-looking predecessor.
However, it looks like the upcoming Galaxy S7 won't be making quite such a splash as the S6, as the latest rumours suggest that Samsung will be keeping a very similar design to its existing crop of flagships rather than try something a bit more radical. According to the Korea Times, the S7's design will only have a "little overhaul", as Samsung plans to make more substantial changes under the hood, so to speak. "As the S6 and S6 Edge represented progress," the report's source said, "the S7 will have improvements both in picture quality, performance and other new features."
While it's currently unknown how these improvements will play out, the Galaxy S7 could receive a boost in performance thanks to Qualcomm's new Snapdragon 820 Cheap, as it seems Samsung is currently seeking internal heat pipe suppliers for its new handset to combat the 820's apparent overheating problems.
Overheating was a big problem for Qualcomm's previous chip, the Snapdragon 810, and it now seems as though the 820 is suffering similar problems. According to UDN(via SamMobile), Samsung's currently trying out several different types of heat pipes to try and alleviate any potential problems with heat dissipation. It might decide to not include a heat pipe after all if its experiments prove successful, but either way, it doesn't bode well for Qualcomm's new chipset if it ends up falling into the same problems as the Snapdragon 810.
All you need to know, quickly
What is it?
Samsung's latest smartphone, and the update to the existing Galaxy S6 and Galaxy S6 Edge
When is it out?
It should be announced at MWC (22-25 February 2016), with the phone hitting the shops in early April, although we may get a surprise launch in January
Don't expect a lot of differences from the outside, but we may see 4K displays (not that likely), a return to Qualcomm processors (more likely) and Android Marshmallow (very likely)
Launch dates are usually one of the easiest things to guess about upcoming smartphones thanks to manufacturers' yearly release schedules. However, it looks as though Samsung's planning to launch the Galaxy S7 and S7 Edge, the successors to this year's Galaxy S6 and Galaxy S6 Edge, a little earlier than its usual April launch window. According to a rumour reported by ETNews is that Samsung will move the new phone's launch date to January 2016, just after the CES show in Las Vegas.
More recently Samsung has shifted the launch date of the Galaxy S6 Edge Plus and Note 5 (the latter not available in the UK) forwards, rather than sticking to the traditional launch date at the IFA show in September. That means that the company has recent form in changing launch dates, so a January release for the S7 at least has some credence to it. The big question, of course, is why?
There are a few potential reasons. First, launching the handset in January, just behind the iPhone 6S would mean that Samsung's next-gen smartphone wouldn't be far behind Apple's. This could give Samsung some additional attention and would put the two handsets closer together in terms of performance. Secondly, it would extend the gap between the S7's launch and the iPhone 7's launch, time that would give Samsung a little more focus. Of course, this is just conjecture at this point and Samsung may have other valid reasons for changing its launch schedule. I'll keep an eye on the situation and bring you more information as I have it.
The Galaxy S7 could have a newer, stronger glass panel. Korean site KBench has allegedly spotted a trademark request from Samsung filling for a new type of glass cover called Turtle Glass, which is meant to be even more sturdy than Corning's Gorilla Glass, which is currently used on the S6 and many other top-end smartphones. inews24.com has also reported that the S7 might be in line to use a new magnesium-based alloy chassis to strengthen it further, potentially leading to better heat dissipation and a lighter phone overall.
Either way, it sounds like durability will be one of Samsung's key focus areas for the S7 next year, no doubt in an effort to one-up Apple's iPhone 6S which uses the same type of aluminium that you'll find in planes. On the whole, though, the S6's build quality was already excellent, although various review samples I've had in have nearly all come with cracked rear panels, so there's definitely room for improvement. A stronger type of glass would certainly be welcome, but we probably won't know for sure until early next year.
Samsung uses a 5.1in 2,560x1,440 Super AMOLED screen in the S6 and S6 Edge, and it’s likely that the screen size will continue for the next-generation galaxy. The real question is, will Samsung go for a full 4K (3,840x2,160) resolution for its next phone. It certainly has the technology to do so, but it’s hard to imagine what the benefits are. At this screen size, the extra resolution won’t be that noticeable, but the screen will draw more power and affect battery life.
Sony has just launched the Xperia 5Z Premium, but based on an early hands on it's very difficult to spot any real difference between 4K and 1440p in a handheld device. The Z5 Premium doesn't even render at 4K resolution most of the time anyway, so you only really get the benefit in photos and video. I think we’re going to have to wait a bit longer to answer this question, but Samsung is almost certainly keeping a close eye on the popularity of the Sony handset.
Another handset Samsung will no doubt be watching is the iPhone 6S, as it's recently been reported on Chinese social media site Weibo that it may be developing press-sensitive displays similar to Apple's 3D Touch panels. The report says it might use Synaptics' new ClearForce technology to let users bring up extra options on the screen.
ClearForce uses a similar kind of force-sensitive touch interface to 3D Touch, and Synaptics has said that it will provide manufacturers with "new dimensions in user interfaces such as speed scrolling, zoom, gaming, and text or photo editing by applying variable force with a finger or stylus." The company's also confirmed that it's already working closely with leading manufacturers to deliver ClearForce-enabled smartphones by early 2016, making the Galaxy S7 a definite possibility if the Weibo report turns out to be true.
Although it’s early days yet, it looks like Samsung will be making it doubly difficult to pin down a processor for the S7, as the latest rumours seem to suggest there will be threedifferent variations of the phone when it launches next year and all of them will be using a different type of chipset.
According to SamMobile, the S7 heading to India will have the same Exynos 7422 chipset as the Galaxy Note 5, while China, Korea and Europe will get one with an Exynos 8890 chip. Meanwhile, those in China or the US will be getting an S7 with a Qualcomm Snapdragon 820.