Of all the phones we saw in 2016, it was the Samsung Galaxy S7 edge that had the greatest impact. Arriving alongside a flat Galaxy S7 that was pretty close to the Galaxy S6, the S7 edge made more sense, pulling into a space that made the S6 edge+ more manageable and hit that 5.5-inch sweet spot. It won Best Smartphone at the Pocket-lint Gadget Awards 2016, against fierce rivals, among many other accolades.

The S7 edge made design tweak that lead to a more premium look and a better feel in the hand. Even now, post-Pixel launch, post-iPhone 7 launch, post-LG G6 launch, we still think that Samsung has the edge on design and it's a year old.

Despite LG's postulating about one-handed use in the G6, switching the display to a 18:9 aspect, in many ways the S7 edge is already there. Some of the S7 edge's display flows into those curves, so although it's 5.5-inch, it doesn't have the bulk of Google's Pixel XL or other big devices.

Let's not take anything away from the Pixel XL - that's a great phone and at launch there was massive appeal in the exclusive Android features it offered - but there's an enduring greatness to the Samsung Galaxy S7 edge that still remains and recent software updates have refreshed the experience. Using this phone a year after launch, it doesn't feel dated.

It's not perfect, of course. Any phone you pick up will have flaws, maybe through design decisions, maybe amplified through personal preferences, and on the Samsung Galaxy S7 edge it's true that form overtook function in some areas.

Let's take those display edges for example. They are the defining feature of the phone, not only giving this Samsung handset distinctive looks, but aiding the feel of the phone in the hand. Although Samsung has a range of software features that are designed to take advantage of that design, we've never actually used any of them.

Sure, when the phone was new, we used "edge screen" a lot. You can swipe in, thumb through various panels for shortcuts to contacts, apps or other information. But in reality, hitting the home button so often gets you where you want to be anyway. Why swipe when you can click and tap a shortcut?

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In many ways that's the fun of modern phones: you have so many ways of doing things that you can easily change the setup to your preference - on Android at least.

But on a more serious note, the real flaw we've noticed with the edges is responsiveness. Many applications flow the UI elements over the bend. Things like play control or settings controls are often located in corners, out of the way of the real content and it's these things that expose the slight weakness of this display setup: sometimes you need multiple taps to get a response.

Is that a critical failing? Not at all, but it's something to target to refine the experience of living with this phone when it's updated with the Samsung Galaxy S8.



It's a question we get asked a lot. With the prices falling, it's easy to say yes and we suspect that as soon as the Samsung Galaxy S8 launches, many will be faced with this decision.

The Samsung Galaxy S7 edge doesn't feel dated, the battery life is good - it could be better, but it's not the worst - the camera experience is one of the best and the updated software has not only brought the latest of Android (we're still waiting for Google Assistant mind you), but also a refresh to TouchWiz. 

In many ways, the Galaxy S7 edge takes some of the Note 7's interface goodness and puts it to use, maturing the visuals over this phone's original 2016 software.

With the Samsung Galaxy S8 due to be announced on 29 March 2017, it's worth holding on though. This will bring a small design change and certainly a more powerful phone, but you'd be best advised to wait and see what killer feature Samsung introduces and what happens to S7 edge prices.

We feel pretty confident, however, that the Samsung Galaxy S7 edge still has plenty of life left in it.