New Delhi: While the smartphone war in India has been shifted to the mid-price segment of Rs.10,000-Rs.20,000 with only a handful of premium-segment flagship devices being launched, Galaxy S7 edge has truly created an 'edge' over its rivals -- be it Apple 6S, HTC 10 or soon to be launched LG G5.
The reason is pretty simple: Hold Galaxy S7 edge in your hands and you will instantly realise it is the smartphone to beat in 2016.
Facts speak volume: In the first quarter of 2016, Samsung beat Apple to emerge as the clear market leader in India's premium smartphone segment. Buoyed by the success of S7 and S7 edge, Samsung's volume share rose to 62 percent from 35 percent, Apple's share fell to 37 percent from 55 percent, said Counterpoint Research.
So here was the Rs 56,000 (approximately) Galaxy S7 edge. The phone has become a leader in the high-end segment in the country.
What works for the device?
Samsung has used the best hardware and provided the best features available to date in this device - latest Octacore (2.3GHz Quad + 1.6GHz Quad), 64 bit Qualcomm Snapdragon 820 processor with 4GB RAM, a 5.5-inch super AMOLED Quad HD display, a 12MP rear camera sensor with a f1.7 aperture and optical image stabalisation (OIS), fingerprint scanner, IP68 water-resistance and a 3,600 mAh battery -- the list is quite impressive.
As part of "meaningful innovations," the design may win you over. The device is slim and perfects the 3D thermoforming process: It is built of metal, has dual-edge glass in front and 3D glass at the back for some real toughness.
The device has power button on the right and volume buttons on the left. The speaker, charging point and 3.5mm jack are situated below while hybrid SIM/micro SD card tray is situated on the top.
Water and dust resistance comes along with the toughness and the phone works even if it is dampened in the rain.
When it comes to display, the surface is soft and unlike other smartphones, dust (and oil in some cases) does not stick to it, ensuring smooth touch every time I used it. At times, you could open an application by almost just hovering over it.
Full-HD videos ran smoothly on the device. I could clearly notice difference between colours (especially between two pinks which generally look almost similar when viewed).
If you think that a high-end display technology sucks in too much battery, Galaxy S7 edge broke this notion and ran for over 23 hours with extensive usage - including data on for eight-nine hours, Wi-Fi-on for nearly six hours, constant surfing and music and video play for over two hours.
The device gave three-hour backup when I played video-on-loop and it got charged in an hour and 37 minutes.
Here are two things to mention - the coolsense technology that cools the device quickly in case of heating and no-lag and high-performance that comes from the "Vulkan Graphics API" feature.
The company has introduced "Dual Pixel" technology in its "professional-grade" 12 MP rear camera. The claim of delivering brighter and sharper images in low-light conditions stands true and when there is light, the image quality is outstanding.
The "Motion Panorama" feature is to look for. It helps you cover live events by capturing every piece of movement in great detail.
Another notable feature I saw is regular updates. The phone got updated once in the fortnight.
Sound effects are so cool. A music aficionado will surely notice the difference between the output while tweaking the levellers.
The "smart manager" feature helps a user keep the device clean and secure. In the "lock" condition, swipe the "edge screen" twice and you will get news updates. Awesome right?
What doesn't work?
No major drawback but a few things to mention.
The hybrid tray: What if I want to use two SIM cards and one memory card? I cannot use it with Galaxy edge 7. It either supports two SIM cards or one sim and one micro SD (up to 200GB).
Fingerprint scanner: Due to the elliptical shape of the scanner, it sometimes asks user to "wipe the home key" - meaning a little longer time to unlock the smartphone. The rival devices are working hard to keep this feature smooth.
The 5MP selfie shooter works average in low-light conditions and editing that selfie means adding more grains to it.
Yes, the phone does heat up and quickly when playing a high-resolution game (like Asphalt Nitro).
Conclusion: Samsung Galaxy S7 edge is a phone to beat in 2016. The device is worth every penny it demands. With the launch of HTC 10 and soon to be launched LG G5, Samsung, apart from a curved screen, needs to think of more innovative ideas to keep the momentum going.