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7 things to love about the Galaxy S7 and GS7 edge (and 3 to hate)

7 things to love about the Galaxy S7 and GS7 edge (and 3 to hate)

CIO.com's Al Sacco goes hands-on with Samsung's new Galaxy S7 smartphones and spotlights the most notable new features, along with a few of the GS7 phones' potential shortcomings.

Why you might NOT love Samsung's Galaxy S7, GS7 edge

1) Bigger battery means heavier GS7

The GS7s both received battery upgrades, and that's certainly a good thing, but those larger power packs mean the devices are heavier than their GS6 and GS6 edge+ counterparts. The weight difference between the GS6 edge+ (153 grams) and the slightly smaller, yet still heavier GS7 edge (157 grams) is a just 4 grams. However, the GS7 (152 grams), which has the same size display and is actually a bit thinner than the GS6 (138 grams), is more than 10 percent heavier. And it's 15 percent heavier than the GS6 edge (132 grams).

The weight difference between the GS6 edge+ and GS7 edge isn't particularly noticeable, but people who upgrade from the GS6 or GS6 edge to the GS7 will definitely feel some extra heft.

2) Galaxy S7, GS7 edge look very familiar

The two new GS7s phones look nearly identical to the GS6 and GS6 edge+. That's not necessarily a bad thing (the GS6 is a genuine looker), but there's something disappointing about a new smartphone that looks just like your old phone. (How will all the strangers in line at Starbucks know you have the latest and great device?)

[Related: Galaxy S6 edge an impressive enterprise phone — with one big exception]

The most notable design difference between the GS7s and the last generation Galaxy S devices is their curved back panels. Both edges of the GS7's rear side are curved, not unlike the GS7's edge display. The Galaxy Note5 had similar rear curves, and Samsung says it received a lot of positive feedback on the feature so it brought the curved panel over to the Galaxy S line. Of course, the majority of Galaxy S7 owners will immediately pop a case onto their phones, and they'll never think about the curved back panel again.

samsung galaxy s6 galaxy s7 gs6 gs7 camera Al Sacco

The GS7 (left) and GS7 edge camera lenses don't stick out as much as the GS6 camera lens (right)

The GS7 fingerprint reader and rear camera fixture are slightly different, though you have to look closely to tell. The finger scanner is boxy and less of an oval shape, and it doesn't stick out from the device's body as much, which is a good thing. The camera lens fixture is similarly slimmed down and doesn't protrude quite as far as the lens on the GS6. Though both of these features help decrease the devices' overall thickness, they don't feel different in hand — except for the extra weight, as mentioned above.

The displays on the two new GS7 phones are also the same as the GS6 displays; the GS7 has a Gorilla Glass 4 quad HD, 5.1-inch Super AMOLED display (2560 x 1440 pixels, at 577 ppi), and the GS7 edge has a Gorilla Glass 4 quad HD, 5.5-inch Super AMOLED display (2560 x 1440 pixels, at 534 ppi). The displays on the last generation GS6 phones are great, and they're among the best on the market today, so this isn't necessarily a shortcoming. However, a screen upgrade is never a bad thing and would have been welcomed.

3) Galaxy S7, GS7 edge only available with 32GB storage

The new GS7 phones support memory cards, but they're available only with one internal storage option: 32GB. If you don't want to purchase a memory card — or have to remember to carry one around in your wallet or purse — and 32GB of on-board storage isn't enough, the GS7s might not be right for you.

Both new phones will be available in the United States via AT&T, Sprint, T-Mobile, U.S. Cellular and Verizon Wireless starting on March 11. The GS7 comes in black and gold, while the GS7 edge will be available in black, gold and silver. Preorders for the new smartphones begin at 8:00 EST on February 23. And you can learn more about Samsung's new GS7s on the company's website.


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