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Smartphones

Review: Samsung Galaxy S7 - great camera, outstanding battery life

It can run for days on a single charge if you’re just using the camera and internet, is fully waterproof and its camera at last has a hyperlapse option

PUBLISHED : Sunday, 20 March, 2016, 10:01am
UPDATED : Tuesday, 11 October, 2016, 1:04pm

When the white Galaxy S7 test unit landed on my desk, I thought it was the iPhone 6. To the naked eye, the build and shape look so similar that, were it not for Samsung’s more rectangular home button, I’d have said the two are identical. Samsung has even adopted the same design of SIM card slot that requires a removal tool (paper clip) to open.

That, though, is where their similarities end. The S7, released this month, is slightly larger (142.4mm x 69.6mm x 7.9mm) and, with a sturdy housing of glass and metal and weight of 152 grams, it feels fantastic in the hand.

READ MORE - Full review: Samsung Galaxy S7 Edge – a great phone just got even better

Its specifications are similar to those of the bigger Galaxy S7 Edge. Still, I did put its camera, waterproofing and battery to the test.

I never used to like Samsung phone cameras, as they produced, in my opinion, oversaturated images with exaggerated vibrancy. The S7 camera seems to have corrected that, with colours looking more natural, but most impressive is its ability to take excellent photos in low-light conditions. You can do so much with the camera (finally a hyperlapse option) that it alone will keep you entertained for hours.

The only drawback – and I am not sure whether it was just my test unit – is that on one occasion, after I took a few snaps, the camera started to make strange crackling noises and I had to quit the application. But that happened only once during the week I had the phone.

Talk about battery power! One charge lasts several days with moderate usage: camera, internet surfing with no gaming.

Finally, I put the phone under a running tap before submerging it in a container and Ziploc bag full of water; it passed these tests with flying colours.

Samsung Galaxy S7 (32GB dual SIM), HK$5,198