Last year, Samsung released an Edge variant to go along with the regular Samsung Galaxy S6. It was essentially the same phone as the regular Galaxy S6, only it had a fancy curved display. This year, Samsung has once again released an Edge variant to go with the regular model, but the Samsung Galaxy S7 Edge has some real benefits that make it a much more compelling device.
We already posted our full review of the Samsung Galaxy S7. In this review, we’ll be focusing on the things that differentiate the Edge model. We won’t be going in-depth on the redundant features, such as the camera. At the end of this review, we hope to find out if the Edge is truly worth $100 more than the regular Galaxy S7.
Hardware & Design
The S7 Edge looks nearly identical to the regular S7, but there are two big differences. The first difference is the size of the display. Samsung has equipped the Edge with a 5.5-inch display, which puts it between the 5.1-inch Galaxy S7 and the 5.7-inch Samsung Galaxy Note 5. The remarkable thing is it doesn’t feel like a big phone. Compared the Galaxy S7, it’s only 8mm taller and nearly the same width and thickness.
The second big difference is obviously the shape of the display. The left and right sides of the display curve halfway around the edge. Samsung has trimmed the bezel on the sides to be nearly nonexistent. It feels like you’re holding nothing but a display in your hand. The Edge screen definitely makes for an attractive device, but I’m not sure it’s the most practical design.
On most devices we crave for tiny bezels, but most devices don’t have curved displays. It can be difficult to hold the phone and not touch the display with your hand. There have been a few instances where I accidentally pressed something on the screen because I was holding the phone too tight. I’ve also found it to be difficult to swipe in from the left of the display, which is something a lot of apps utilize. Your finger ends up touching the display at the crown of the curve instead of the actual edge.
One thing that I didn’t like about the Samsung Galaxy S6 Edge was the sharp sides that the curved display created. Samsung has fixed that by slightly curving the back as well. It’s a lot more comfortable to hold without a case, but a case would still probably make it more comfortable.
The curved display is more than just a hardware feature. Samsung includes a bunch of special software to make the edge screen more useful. For the S7 Edge, they improved upon a lot of the Edge Screen features. They made the interface wider and added a new “Tasks Edge” panel. The wider interface means you can have two columns of apps or shortcuts.
All of the other Edge Screen stuff is still present. You can see who’s calling when the phone is flipped on its face with Edge Lighting. Besides apps and tasks, Samsung has added new panels for things like sports scores, stocks, news headlines, and more. Everything is just a swipe away whenever you need it.
My feelings about the Edge Screen features haven’t changed since the Galaxy S6 Edge+ review. I don’t find them to be very useful or necessary. If there’s one thing that’s useful about the Edge Screen it’s the app launcher. You shouldn’t buy this phone for the gimmicky Edge Screen software.
So why should you buy this phone? Battery life is a big reason. The Galaxy S6 was woefully under-juiced with a mere 2600mAh battery. It had terrible battery life as a result. The Galaxy S7 bumps it up to 3000mAh, which is already an improvement, but the S7 Edge takes it up another notch to 3600mAh.
We still weren’t overly impressed with battery on the Galaxy S7. Thankfully, the S7 Edge is a big improvement. I’ve been able to easily make it through a day with normal/heavy use. You could stretch it to a day and a half if you really try. The screen on time has been in the 6 to 9-hour range. The bigger battery and Android Marshmallow’s Doze feature are doing their job nicely.
This is what really makes the S7 Edge the more compelling device. Battery life is one of the most important features of a phone. If you can’t make it through a day without plugging in, what’s the point?
We started this review with one simple question: “is the S7 Edge worth the extra $100?” For my money, the answer to that question is a resounding “yes.” The Galaxy S7 is arguably the best Android phone on the market right now. The S7 Edge starts with that solid foundation and improves upon one of the flaws.
The Galaxy S7 Edge offers an exceptional display, great performance, stellar camera, beautiful design (even if it is a little uncomfortable to hold), and good battery life. Things like water resistance, wireless charging, microSD card slot, and Fast Charging are cherries on top. TouchWiz can still feel bloated at times, but this is undoubtedly the best Galaxy phone Samsung has ever made. Living on the edge never felt so good.
Once again, for a full in-depth look at the non-Edge aspects of this phone, read our Samsung Galaxy S7 Review.
Samsung Galaxy S7 Edge Rating: star_fullstar_fullstar_fullstar_fullstar_75 (4.8 / 5)
- Beautiful display
- Fast performance
- Good battery life
- Great camera
- Elegant design
- Can be uncomfortable to hold
- TouchWiz is TouchWiz
The Bottom Line
The Galaxy S7 Edge is $100 more than the already expensive Galaxy S7. It’s a slightly bigger and sexier version of the best Android phone on the market. If battery life is important to you, we think it’s worth every penny.