Samsung Galaxy S7 And s7 Edge In The Test: Fast, Long Breath, Light-Sensitive Camera UPDATE

Samsung sets the standards for Android smartphones with its high end smartphones of the Galaxy S series again. The company also in the Galaxy S7 and S7 edge succeeded, especially in terms of performance and camera – in the c’t-test came to light but also some weaknesses.

Samsung brings this year both its high end Galaxy S series at the same time on the market: from 8 March there in addition to the Samsung Galaxy S7 a version with curved display, the Samsung Galaxy S7 edge, to buy. It succeeded the Galaxy S7 edge not the S6 edge, but actually the much larger S6 edge +: the S7 edge with 5.5 inch display diagonal greater than the S7 (5.1 inches) and how the iPhone 6s already as to classify “Phablet”, so is an in-between Smartphone and mini tablet. In the c’t editorial team we could test both models has been less than a week in detail in the laboratory, but also in everyday life.

Real nice quick

Anyone who had the Samsung Galaxy S7 for a few minutes in the hand in the Newsroom, said immediately: this is really fast. Wiping menus, start apps, change between menus, which unlock the fingerprint sensor in the home-button – all this works extremely fast and looks liquid. The new Exynos-8890 chipset makes it possible with eight processor cores (4 x 2.3 GHz, 4 x 1.6 GHz) and ARM Mali-T880 MP12, the Samsung in the European version of the S7 and S7 edge incorporates the graphics unit. The SoC (System-on-a-chip) showed no weaknesses in the test and reached in various c’t benchmarks new peaks.

In our self compiled version of the CPU benchmarks core market for example, the Exynos in single-thread mode from the State managed around 10,800 points, in multithreaded mode with all eight cores in fitting he was depending on nearly 45,000. In comparison, the previous Exynos of the S7 in the multithreaded 37.308 points and the Snapdragon 810 in the OnePlus reached 2 31.249 points. We suspect that he will be the multithreaded performance via the new Snapdragon of 820 and the single threads including. The Snapdragon 820 is, for example, in the LG G5 and Xiaomi Mi5, but also in the US version of the Samsung Galaxy S7. Even if Samsung specifies a maximum 2.3 GHz clock, we noticed in tests with one or two threads a maximum clock speed of 2.6 GHz. apparently overclocks of Exynos so easily, if not all cores are at the same time in fitting.

Also in the graphics tests, the S7 and the S7 edge showed a strong performance. In the GFXBench, for example, creates the S7 in some tests 50% more frames per second than the S6 and is even slightly above the level of the iPhone 6s – when running the benchmark in comparable offscreen mode. In the 3DMark ice storm unlimited are, however, iPhone 6 and S7 edge with something more than 27,000 points tie. Here, the S7 Physics tests is better and the iPhone performs better the graphics tests. As the first smartphone at all, the Galaxy S7 supports the graphic interface volcano, which promises potentially more performance than its predecessor of OpenGL. But no Android games are yet known us, that already support volcano.

Benchmarks are the everyday experiences critically or not,: even graphically sophisticated games like asphalt see 8 or N.O.V.A 3 on the S7 and S7 edge liquid and graphically handsome out – they did of course but also to the Galaxy S6. The two new smartphones show also good values in continuous operation: while some end chip sets in the past had major problems, to maintain peak performance, also for a longer period of time that the S7 remained largely constant. After minute endurance the Smartphones are hot but very warm, but not unpleasant, and decreases the performance in multi-threaded benchmarks only by 10 percent – a good value. For comparison: the Snapdragon 810 in the OnePlus had 2’s in the c’t-tests, sometimes up to 40 percent. Probably among other things a passive cooling system that uses Samsung for the first time in the S7 and S7 edge makes this possible.

Handy and beautiful, dotted with fingerprints

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The Samsung Galaxy S7 and the edge are undoubtedly the handiest and most high end smartphones on the market. Even the design of the Galaxy S6 with his glass back and the metal frame liked us very well last year. For S7-update, Samsung has improved it only in small, but interesting details. A the devices have become even slimmer a touch predecessors and also the ugly camera bead on the back protrudes only half a millimeter. On the other hand, the noble-looking glass back to the pages is slightly bent – like at the Galaxy note 5. It looks chic, but especially one comprehends the Smartphone this enjoyable. The metal frame closes almost seamlessly on the front and back made of unbreakable glass, all in all looks very high quality the quality of housing. When all praise, but remains a critique of the S6: also the S7 and the S7 edge are littered with their glass back after a short time with visible fingerprints.

The Galaxy S7 with its slightly more compact dimensions of 14.2 cm x 7 cm x 0.8 cm, is particularly handy but also with 15.1 cm x 7.3 cm x 0.8 cm not clunky effect slightly larger edge of S7 and one has the feeling of having a “normal big” Smartphone in hand, rather than on the iPhone 6 plus. With 150 and 156 grams, respectively, the Smartphones have become heavier, and you can tell also.

While the front glass to the edge and minimal arches at the S7, the distinctive angled display, which on both sides both glass and display are clearly bent has the S7 edge as its namesake. This is definitely an eye-catcher and handy, a practical benefit in addition but it didn’t and can disrupt even: because of the angled part inside one of the normal display area, movie content, photos or Web page texts bend on the sides easily and also the colours therefore distort something in these parts through the angle of view.

Both Smartphones have IP68 waterproof housing: you should do while no longer dives with them, and we do not recommend also the regular showers with the Smartphone. You need to worry but in everyday life, if the Smartphone times falls into the water, or while jogging in the rain to get. In the c’t editorial staff the two smartphones survived a trip in a sink for 5 minutes anyway, without prejudice. For the connections, the S7 required unsightly plastic caps not to be water-protected.

The MicroSD card slot in the Samsung S series returns with the Galaxy S7. Incorporated is the card via a combination plug-in unit for nano-SIM and MicroSD on the upper side, which you can press out with a paper clip. This has a drawback: when you want to switch SIM card or MicroSD, bottoming for a connection to the other card.

[Update] While Android enables version 6, to integrate the memory of SD card for use, for example, for apps and system data in the internal memory Samsung for the S7 does not allow this. The external memory is according to Samsung only to back up media because, for example, inserted card as standard storage for camera photos and videos are used. You can outsource however still also many apps on the SD card, as was possible with older versions of Android. You must type “Settings – applications – application manager” on the detail page of an app to “Memory” and then change the location of “Device memory” to “SD card”. [/ Update]

Strong color display, long durations

As already the displays of the previous show the AMOLED panels of the two smartphones 2560 × 1440 pixels, what corresponds to the S7 with 5.1 diagonal of resolution 581 DPI and at the edge of S7 with 5.5 diagonal around 533 dpi. The displays are therefore extremely sharp and very well suited to virtual-reality glasses like the gear VR offered by Samsung or the Google cardboard. Thanks to the built-in AMOLED technology, the displays are as usual very farbkäftig at Samsung (Adobe RGB) and contrast (> 10,000: 1). When looking from the side, the colors minimally distort what really is striking but only in white areas and not bother. With some 450 light cd / m ² the displays for an AMOLED bright. [Update] A bright light source on the Smartphone, seems an extra bright mode, in which the two smartphones even brighter shine cd / m ² with 550 and reasonably well see this even when sunshine is activated also. The Galaxy S6 (636 cd / m ²) was in the c’t-test, but lighter. [/ Update]

Thanks to the properties of AMOLED display consumes less power, ever more parts of the display remain black and thus switched off. This fact takes advantage of Samsung S7 and S7 edge and giving them an optional “always on”-mode. The display is switched off, it displays yet always a clock, a calendar, as well as discreet pictures and information about incoming calls or messages. At our first daily experiences, this feature was actually comparatively low power – a reading, which confirmed that, pending. At any time im looking to have the time, we not felt as helpful, if placing the phone on the bedside table or in the Office next to it has – is a killer feature it but.

Generally, the operating times of the S7 and S7 edge positively surprised us. Both have batteries with higher capacity than with the predecessors (S7: 3000 mAh, S7 edge: 3600 mAh). The S7 maturities ranged from 7.8 hours (games) to 15.2 hours, at the edge of S7 even of 9.4 (games) to 16.8 hours (watch the video). While that 6s across iPhone and Galaxy S6 matches one of the tests by about 50 percent, the difference in everyday life was not so serious: the battery in our day-to-day work was enough for one or two days. Thanks to the fast quick-charge mode, the Smartphones are also quickly charged: with the supplied power supply the S7 edge after 1.6 and the S7 was full again after 1.4 hours. This is about the loading time of the S6 (1.3 hours), and that despite larger batteries and a longer term.

Light-sensitive camera

The Samsung Galaxy S6 counted in the c’t-tests so far the best smartphone cameras. Compared to its predecessor, Samsung has slightly reduced the number of mega pixels: the new resolve “finally” with 12 instead of 16 megapixels and also in the 4:3 instead of 16:9-format recorded (max. 4032 x 3024), should it but come up with significantly more light let through larger sensor pixels (1.4 micron) and an aperture of f/1.7. You lose when photographing through the 12 mega pixels especially the image area of the wider 16:9-format left and right, because in the height of the photos of the S7 remain the same in about.

In the photo lab of the c’t made a very good figure the two cameras and started shooting beautiful, high-contrast images with natural colour. The camera of the S7 consistently pointing towards the edges a slight blur, especially in the lower screen area. [Update] A second device in the Newsroom (and multiple readers) taken after completion of the test this problem did not occur however, which is why we now emanating from an error of our test device. [/ Update] This problem did not occur at the edge of S7. Also videos succeed very well with up to 4 k resolution and blurred thanks to the good optical image stabilizer hardly.

The Smartphones when shooting in poor light make the biggest move: photos in environments below 20 lux (poorly lighted Office floor) noise photos comparatively little and washed out details not as fast as Galaxy S6 or iPhone 6s. In ambient light only 5 Lux (roughly late dusk) the S7 and the S7 edge took more from the images out as any smartphone so far tested by us. Miracles they can not also work of course, but with a S7 increases the chance that a picture even under poor conditions still more or less looks. The shutter release button reacts rapidly, what is the case with most high end smartphones but now.

Android 6 Samsung-look

The new Galaxy models are delivered with Android 6.0: as a user to benefit especially from the new permission system, with which you may withdraw access to certain data, such as address book or location data too curious apps. As with the previous Galaxy models, Samsung Android his own Touchwiz interface inverts over that on the one hand not so modern looks like Android, but offers some neat extra features such as a one-hand mode, a theme system and a “simple mode” with reduced surface. The Smartphone is encrypted by default, optionally you can encrypt a SD card on the settings.

A special gaming menu is new: during playing, you can make screenshots with a tip and record let it play videos that contains also the inclusion of front side camera in postage stamp size except for the running game.

The Galaxy S7 edge also offers an additional quick launch menu that opens through a swipe from the edge of the screen and displays bars with frequently used apps, contact Favorites, and tools such as a ruler or compass. The smartphone into standby, is a narrow strip of info with info like messages or popular Twitter Hashtags opens through fast back and forth wipe at the edge also. Both quick launch area as also the InfoBar in standby you can extend through the Samsung store – Samsung has opened the API for this.


Samsung has presented again this year. S7 of the Galaxy and the Galaxy S7 edge to make it back to the top of the Android smartphones. Samsung has screwed over the predecessor S6 in the right places: the Smartphones run longer, faster, and have a lichtempfindlichere camera. As a bonus there is the MicroSD slot and the water protection IP68. A few weaknesses such as the limited use of the MicroSD card and the susceptibility to fingerprints are to cope with, not just a high-end Smartphone, however, is the basic storage facilities: in Germany there will be only the 32-GByte version for 700 or 800 euros according to Samsung for the S7 as well as S7 edge – at least optionally 64 or even 128 GB would have stood well the S7.

[Update by the 8.3., 19:32: in the original version it was a special sunlight mode, again increasing the brightness of the display by 100 cd / m ² as maximum display brightness 450 specified, actually are cd / m ² but.]

[Update from the 10.3., 10:19: in the original version, it was said you could outsource any apps on the SD card.] Actually isn’t restricted but only about the way provided by Android (see above).]