The release of Samsung’s Galaxy S7 isn’t too far away now, in fact it’s just a month or so away, and because of this ‘fact’, it’s the talk of the town. This will be Samsung’s response to the iPhone 6S.
Samsung and Apple have exchanged blows over the years, in some cases ending in lawsuits, so it’s no surprise that it’s expected that the Samsung Galaxy S7 will be applying pressure again.
Actually pressure is the right word. Samsung are including a 3D touch style display, a better camera, a faster processor and something that grabbed me was Samsung’s answer to apple’s biometrics – an iris scanner.
It’s no secret that Samsung has sunk a lot of man hours into its iris scanner, and ever since we’ve seen government agents in films get their eyes scanned – we’ve wanted it. Now this won’t be a replacement for the current fingerprint biometric, but will be a secondary level of security, which on paper, will made this the ‘Fort Knox’ of phones.
The new tech uses the front facing camera to read the users iris patterns and should cover all aspects of security, so not only will you be able to unlock your phone with a look, but confirm PayPal payments literally, in the blink of an eye.
Now not all the updates are going to have a huge wow factor attached, in fact one of the more important new features is something that’s going to filter down through the Samsung line (and Apple if rumours are to be believed) for quite some time.
You may have heard of it, if you haven’t, take note now, it’s set to become the new industry standard, and Samsung are replacing their old micro USB ports it currently uses for its charging port. Speaking of charging, expect to see a wireless charging as well as a return of the microSD expansion capabilities. Yay!
The question on many people’s lips at the moment is what processor is going to power this new smart phone? Samsung parted ways with Qualcomm for the Galaxy S6 – a move that certainly didn’t cause them any harm, but word on the street is that they may be returning to the house of Snapdragon.
Qualcomm themselves have released details of its new Snapdragon 820 processor. 64 bit (of course) it has the horsepower to turn heads and Qualcomm have gone out of their way to talk about its “impressive battery management abilities”.
Now, with all this being said, in the same breath, and on different sets of lips, ‘people’ are saying that Samsung’s own Exynos processor, the one used in the S6, will be updated to run the S7. So what’s to be believed? Truth be told, no one will know until the day, but… Samsung had success with the move to the Exynos, so to ignore that would be… foolish, maybe – we will see.
One thing that we can more confidently predict is the new OS. Almost across the board everyone is saying that the Samsung Galaxy S7 will ship with Android M.
I’ve not been following the Android M rumours/updates, but it’s expected to be more of an ‘update’ then a huge overhaul (think IOS9) and as usual they are promising battery boosts (which OS doesn’t) along with better Google Now support with ‘advanced app permissions’, whatever that might mean.
If it’s one thing that Samsung does better than its strongest competitor (Apple of course), is displays. And having a bit of a play with the Samsung Galaxy S6 Edge+ (honestly, what a mouthful) and its curved display, I was quite impressed. It was the little things that got me, like being able to see a text on the ‘edge’ part of the phone – neat.
Well apparently Samsung agree (and why shouldn’t they, I’m nearly always right) and rumours are flying around suggesting that maybe the Galaxy S7 will be curved as standard. I don’t know if they are ready for a leap like that, I know these companies like to give people options, but Samsung do like to follow Apples lead, and perhaps they are trying to squeeze everything together, giving them a smaller but better range.
Samsung has been developing a 4K display for its smartphones (honestly it’s a pointless task, the screens are too small, but that’s an argument for another time), in fact I think most of the current smart phone companies are dabbling in those waters, Apple of course being one of them. At the moment Samsung use its Super AMOLED display tech, and it IS super, it really runs rings around every phone on the market, and I expect nothing less from the S7.
And of course, as I mentioned earlier, if you dip under that fantastic display you’ll find the largest change… how do we put this? ‘Inspired’ by the iPhone 6S and it’s under-used (and when I say under-used, I mean never – as an owner of a 6S+, I’d forgotten about that aspect until the other day) 3D Touch display. I hope with more phones adopting this tech, as time goes on, more apps will find constructive uses for this fantastic tech.
In a strange change of circumstance the camera was the only element of this phone that could be confirmed, I emphasise, was.
July’s press release spoke of the “industry’s first 1.0μm pixel-based 16-megapixel CMOS image sensor for use in advanced mobile devices”, it’s a long and technical press release, most of which I didn’t understand, but it was news about ‘industry firsts’ and that’s always impressive.
Also a draw card for this new sensor is that it’s dramatically thinner, this might enable Samsung to shave that bump off the back of the phone where the camera sticks out (like the current iPhone).
Then other rumours started to surface, rumours stating that Samsung wants Sony’s 23 megapixel sensor from the Xperia Z5. I find it hard to find any truth in the Sony rumour simply because of the fact they have the press release still on the Samsung website – but in this wild cut-throat world of phones, who knows what will happen day to day.
But with an iris scanner, you can count on the front facing camera getting a decent boost, possible incorporating a forward facing light source for low light scanning.
Judge a book by its cover?
So we know (kind of) what’s going into making this new smart phone from Samsung. What’s it going to look like?
As they do, ‘early renders’ have popped up on the web, are they real or are they fake, again, who knows – but going on past experience, and only a small hop, skip and a jump away from the release date, my fake-dar is pointing to real.
So what might we be getting? Something pretty close to what we got with the Samsung Galaxy S6 – which I might add, is no reason to frown, why reinvent the wheel? Apple has moved through its last few updates with little or no change and as ugly people say all the time, it’s what’s inside that counts.
It’s expected that as a response to the two sizes of iPhone and the current S6 line, we will see a 5.2 inch and a 5.7 inch version. The positioning of the front facing camera seems to have been pushed further to the right, while the fingerprint scanner/home button has taken on a slimmer shape.
And something I’ve just started hearing about is a new type of glass Samsung is working on – moving past the popular ‘Gorilla Glass’, Samsung are developing something called Tortoise Glass – will we ever get the promise of an unbreakable screen – we here at Screen Fix certainly hope not.
And that’s about it for now. Better camera, 3D touch, a tough screen a possible return to snapdragon, a nice new OS all wrapped up in that curvy goodness, oh and I almost forgot the most important (for me, anyway) part, iris scanning biometrics!
It seems that Samsung is going to return Apples serve with gusto, and with the iPhone 7 a mere 8 months away, I’m waiting to see what sort of topspin Apple can apply.
The best thing about this game is that no matter who wins, we as a consumer will win, faster, slimmer and more powerful phones, roll on 2016.