Samsung Galaxy S7 Rumors: Everything We Think We Know

 Samsung's Galaxy S smartphones have been the most popular Android phones for years. They're fairly easy to use, have a bright Super AMOLED display, and always ship with a pretty decent camera. This year's Galaxy S7 won't stray far from that familiar strategy.

Samsung has already confirmed a special media event on February 21, 2016, where we assume the Galaxy S7 will be released. The event takes place just one day before Mobile World Congress begins in Barcelona. But why wait three more weeks when we can piece together a rather complete (albeit unofficial) idea of what the phone will look like right now. Here's a look at the latest Galaxy S7 rumors:

What will it be called?

This one is fairly certain. It will be called the Galaxy S7 and S7 Edge. Yes, there will also be another Edge device (sigh). Samsung hasn't used roman numerals since the Galaxy S III, and I see absolutely no reason why'd they revert now.
Besides, the iPhone 7 is also coming out this year, so why not have a numerically similar name to the most popular smartphone on the planet. Seems like a fairly obvious choice for Samsung at this point.
Samsung Galaxy S7 Rumors: Everything We Think We Know

Design

This rendering, originally published by Evan Blass of VentureBeat, is the purported look of the new Galaxy S7 (left) and the Galaxy S7 Edge (right). You can see on the right unit that there's a slight curve on both sides, just like last year's model. The image shows what is presumably the 5.5-inch version of the Galaxy S7 Edge. Unlike last year when a 5.1-inch version of both devices was revealed in addition to a larger versions, Samsung appears to be opting for the larger screen sizes and offering few options to consumers.
The Edge will be a perfect compromise between the 5.1-inch Galaxy S6 and the 5.7-inch Galaxy S6 Edge+ that were revealed last year. The result will be a phone that is larger than previous generations, but still doesn't stack up to big phones like the Galaxy Note 5.
You may have also noticed the devices look REMARKABLY like the old Galaxy S6. For a quick comparison, I put the two of them together.
Samsung Galaxy S7 Rumors: Everything We Think We Know
As you can see, the metal trim looks slightly more gunmetal on the Galaxy S7 (left) than the Galaxy S6 (right), and the round home button looks like it has slightly tighter curves. Other than that, it looks like an exact clone of the glass-and-metal Galaxy S6.

The Galaxy S7 render provided by Blass is most likely legitimate, based on its reliable source but also the home buttons look similar to this leaked picture of an S7 test device from GSM Arena.
Samsung Galaxy S7 Rumors: Everything We Think We Know
This additional image from VentureBeat shows renders of the two new devices from another angle. They look stunningly iPhone-like and it's still hard to see if the Galaxy S7 will come with USB Type-C (though that's the rumor!). This picture confirms Gold and Silver will be color options, though last year we also saw Blue, Green, and White along with the new Rose Gold Galaxy Note 5.

Also, for fun, here's an animated tour of the new S7 based completely off of leaked images from uSwitch Tech:
 I haven't been able to confirm the look of the Galaxy S7's backplate with any other images, so it's hard to fully endorse the video above. Nonetheless, it shows that the back slopes into the bezels much like last year's Galaxy Note 5, but not quite. Well-known leaker OnLeaks posted to Twitter the very subtle difference between the S7 and the Note 5 backplate.

I'm still hoping they were able to shave down that big camera bump from last year's model. Here's what the Galaxy S6's camera bump looked like:
Samsung Galaxy S7 Rumors: Everything We Think We Know
If we're to believe that the leaked images are real, it appears that Samsung will be following a smilar two-year refresh cycle to the one Apple currently uses for the iPhone. The S5 looked a lot like the S4, and this year's S7 is a near duplicate of last year's Galaxy S6 with a few standout differences if you know where to look. What's strange is that the S5 was a staggering disappointment with many reasoning that the Galaxy S5 mirrored the Galaxy S4 too closely. It was so bad that Samsung replaced the head of its mobile design division.
It seems like the Galaxy S7 is going to do the exact same thing, so Samsung must be confident in the new tech specs it's packing inside the new Galaxy. Speaking of which...

Harware

Evan Blass, the same leaker who brought you those wonderful renders up above, also has the details on what the S7 will (probably) be packing inside its metal and glass casing-and it comes with a few surprises.
Last year's Galaxy S6 made a giant leap from utility to fashion accessory, ditching water resistance, expandable storage, and a removable battery in the process. With the Galaxy S7, Samsung is going to fix things. First, the Galaxy S7 will reportedly have a hybrid SIM tray, allowing room for expandable memory. That's one. Also, the S7 will be bringing back water resistance (IP67, up to 1 meter).
As for a removable battery...

It's unlikely that Samsung will go back to using a removable battery. But that's no reason to scoff at the new design. The Galaxy S7 will come with an upgraded 3,000 mAh battery, a step up from the 2550 one stuck in the S6. The S7 edge will supposedly get the biggest upgrade with a 3600mAh battery, which is an absolute monster.
On top of all that, the Galaxy S7 is supposed to have super fast USB Type-C charging as well as as both types of wireless charging standards, a feature I strangely fell in love with on the Galaxy S6. So, basically, if you ever find your future S7 without juice-it's probably your own fault.

Moving on from the battery, the Galaxy S7 will supposedly come with Qualcomm's newest and most powerful Snapdragon 820 processor in North America. This is a big deal considering Samsung and Qualcomm had a very public break up over the Galaxy S6 because of the old Snapdragon 810's overheating issues. Qualcomm appears to have fixed the problem. This will be the first smartphone to launch with new processor (though LG's G5 may also have the chip as well and is supposedly launching on the same day). 
 One of Samsung's latest "Me too" features may be a replication of Apple's 3D Touch on the iPhone 6s and 6s Plus. A rumor from October, reports that Samsung is working with Synaptics (video above) to integrated the company's ClearForce technology into the S7 display, which will allow for deep-press context menus and probably other in-app functions.
To round out the specs, the screen will stay at quad HD resolution with a Super AMOLED display, have 32GB or 64GB of storage, and come with 4GB of RAM. The camera, interestingly, may actually "devolve" from 16 megapixels to 12 megapixels but with an f/1.7 lens aperture, which could make the S7 an absolute beast in low-light. If the megapixel downgrade seems like a strange move, just remember that megapixels is more of a selling gimmick than a real indicator of photo quality.

Software

Although no specific features have been leaked (yet) leading up to the S7 event later this month, we know a few things are for certain. Features like Samsung Pay and YouTube live broadcasting will be baked in right from the get go, whereas last year they were retroactively added with software updates. If Samsung does add a 3D Touch-like feature to the S7, TouchWiz will surely be loaded up with pressure-sensitive shortcuts.
One feature that's probably going to make an appearance is a copy of Apple's Live Photos feature called Vivid Photo, according to Android Geeks. If you need a refresher, it looks something like this:
Samsung Galaxy S7 Rumors: Everything We Think We Know
Cool gimmick, bro.
But the biggest rumor regarding TouchWiz and the S7 is that Samsung's reportedly reached out to Google in an effort to help improve the "fluency" of TouchWiz. Translation: TouchWiz is going to run faster. Remembering that the S7 is supposed to come with 4GB of RAM and the latest Snapdragon processor, and you've suddenly got a device that very well could be the fastest we've ever seen.

Other than that, we can only hope that Samsung will continue hacking away at needless TouchWiz options and integrating some of Marshmallow's best features, especially flex storage which lets external GBs work like internal storage.

 Cost and availability

This is the part where things get kind of depressing. Samsung charted new smartphone waters last year by releasing a phone costing upwards of $1,050. Seeing as Samsung is doing away with the 128GB version (though it may be available in some markets), the Galaxy S7 will most likely stay below that four-digit price point. S6 launched for $700 last year, and I could see the Galaxy S7 going for about the same though, fingers crossed, earlier reports suggest Samsung cutting the price around 10 percent. $630 would be a much more attractive idea. The Galaxy S7 edge will most likely be around a $100-150 markup compared to the regular S7. Whatever that price may be.
Like every Galaxy, the Galaxy S7 is almost certainly coming to every major carrier and rumors say it will start shipping sometime in March (European availability is pegged for March 11).

So there you have it. This is (most likely) Samsung's new flagship. But we won't know for sure if Samsung has a winner on its hands until we play with the Galaxy S7 later this month.

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