This is a superior smartphone with market-leading performance, stunning display, knock-out design, and a world-class camera that will make iPhone owners envious. The returning microSD card slot and waterproofing add to its utility, and its top-of-the-line spec sheet guarantee a bit of futureproofing in a fast-moving market. The edge features, though still largely superfluous on this version, show potential, and do nothing to distract from the overall experience.
The same can be said of the other new features: Game Launcher and the always-on display. Samsung has some good ideas here, but they lack the refinement that typically comes with successive generations.
The problem for Samsung is that this smartphone costs about $750 to $800 as of this writing, depending on the carrier (our Verizon unit costs $792). The nearly-the-same S7 is about $100 cheaper, and Android phones that cost less than half as much from Huawei, Motorola, ZTE, and OnePlus are redefining mid-range, narrowing the gap with the high-end.
Standard smartphone buying advice applies here. Previous-generation Galaxy owners should hold out another year. The S6, S6 edge, and S6 edge+ are all great smartphones, and chances are that Samsung will update the edge models to include some of the new edge features, and maybe the Game Launcher and always-on display. Other potential buyers should first ask this: Can I live with a slower camera and lesser design if it means saving a few hundred dollars?
We can’t answer that, but we can state the Samsung Galaxy S7 edge is worth every bit of its premium price.
- The most attractive smartphone design, hands down
- Best smartphone camera on the market
- Stunning display
- Market-leading performance
- Glass and metal build slippery
- Fingerprint sensor finicky
- New edge and display features still need work