(Pocket-lint) - Samsung has two new flagship handsets, replacing it's popular S6 models. Announced at Mobile World Congress 2016, and now available to buy globally, the Samsung Galaxy S7 is set to be one of the hottest phones of 2016.
But the phone it replaces, the Samsung Galaxy S6 is also fantastic. These devices look similar in design and offer many of the same features. So is it worth you upgrading? Should you choose the Samsung Galaxy S7 to replace your Galaxy S6?
Read on to find out what the differences and similarities are between the Galaxy S7 and the Galaxy S6.
Samsung Galaxy S7 vs Galaxy S6: Design
The Samsung Galaxy S6 measures 143.4 x 70.5 x 6.8mm and weighs a mere 136g. It has a metal-built premium design and it did away with the removeable back and therefore removable battery found in its predecessors.
The Galaxy S7 offers a similar design to the Galaxy S6 but it's a little smaller in terms of footprint, a little thicker and a little heavier. The S7 measures 142.4 x 69.6 x 7.9mm and hits the scales at 152g. That increased weigh brings an added sense of quality to the SGS7.
There's also a curve on the rear edges now. That means the slightly thicker build doesn't make this phone feel worse in the hand; on the contrary, it's nicer to hold as it feels less like a flat slab. The SGS7, however, is much more prone to fingerprint smears, especially noticeable on the darker finishes.
The rear camera lens now sits more flush than it did on the SGS6 and microSD support has been reintroduced in the same tray as the SIM card.
One more thing differentiates the old and new Galaxy models and that's water and dust resistance. The Galaxy S7 has an IP68 rating, which means it will be significantly more resistant than its predecessor. That alone might give you a reason to upgrade.
Samsung Galaxy S7 vs Galaxy S6: Display
The Samsung Galaxy S6 offers a 5.1-inch Super AMOLED display with a Quad HD (2560 x 1440 pixel) resolution. It's a flat display, not to be mistaken for the curved display offered on the SGS6 edge.
The Galaxy S7 also comes with a flat display, with another, larger, variant offering the curved screen as per last year. The S7 sticks to its guns with it too offering a 5.1-inch Super AMOLED display with a Quad HD resolution for a 577ppi.
The display is essentially the same experience across both devices, it's saturated, offers great viewing angles and it really sharp, even when magnified by a VR headset. However the Galaxy S7 offers the always on display feature. This will give you basic at-a-glance information when the display is in standby.
Samsung Galaxy S7 vs Galaxy S6: Camera
The Samsung Galaxy S6 has been highly praised for its camera abilities. It arrived on the smartphone scene with a 16-megapixel rear snapper, coupled with a 5-megapixel front snapper and both perform brilliantly.
The Galaxy S7 launches with a 12-megapixel rear camera, although the pixels have been increased from 1.2µm to 1.4µm, which should help capture light in darker conditions. The aperture on the new device has also widened to f/1.7 and the new camera also comes with what the company is calling Dual Pixel, a feature which will speed up auto focusing.
The SGS7 camera is very good. It gives you great consistent results in a wide range of conditions with the auto mode taking care of just about everything. There's a great pro mode for those who want more control, as well as raw capture for those who want to post-process images on a computer.
However, for all the changes, the message is this: both are excellent. The SGS7 might be a little better in low light, but with the SGS6 performance being so good already, the camera isn't hugely different. The front-facing camera on the Galaxy S7 remains at 5-megapixels like the Galaxy S6 and offers very much the same experience.
Samsung Galaxy S7 vs Galaxy S6: Power and hardware
The Samsung Galaxy S6 moved away from Qualcomm and went in-house for its processing power. The Exynos octa-core chipset is supported by 3GB of RAM and internal memory options of 32G, 64GB and 128GB. MicroSD card support was taken away, upsetting a few, while the 2550mAh battery gave pretty poor performance.
The Galaxy S7 comes in a couple of different hardware variants depending on the region. One will offer the Exynos 8 Octa chipset, while the other will have the Qualcomm Snapdragon 820 quad-core chip. In the UK we have the Exynos version, which is said to be slightly less powerful than the Qualcomm.
The Galaxy S7 comes with 4GB of RAM and either 32GB or 64GB of internal memory, boosted with microSD expansion. The SGS7 also sees a bump in battery capacity to 3000mAh. The SGS7 is faster and offers better stamina from that bigger battery.
There's no question about it: the Galaxy S7 is the slicker and faster handset, with better battery life and more flexible storage.
Samsung Galaxy S7 vs Galaxy S6: Software
The Samsung Galaxy S6 arrived with Android Lollipop, along with a more streamlined version of its TouchWiz overlay. It is slowing being updated to Marshmallow. The message in the SGS6 was that less software is more, and it was a lot cleaner than previous devices.
The Galaxy S7 arrives with Android Marshmallow from the box. TouchWiz is still present, offering a familiar experience to users of the SGS6. The new device will come protected by Samsung Knox, as well as offering Samsung Pay and a new Games Launcher.
There are a number of changes to support new Android features, but the experience is very much the same. The important thing is that the SGS7 is very well optimised, so it's all very slick and smooth.
Samsung Galaxy S7 vs Galaxy S6: Conclusion
So what is different between the Galaxy S6 and the Galaxy S7? The new phone, as you'd expect, is more powerful, but the real reward is better battery life. The addition of microSD makes storage much more flexible.
The display is very much the same as it was. It's still rich, shape and looks great. The same is true of the camera - there have been changes, but the experience on both devices is very good.
The design is pretty much the same, but the addition of the waterproofing is a definite plus as is the finish with those curves to the rear of the handset. It's a small thing, but the new phone just feels better in the hand. That added weight comes from the bigger battery and that's something you'll definitely want.
The Samsung Galaxy S6 was one of the best smartphones of 2015. The Samsung Galaxy S7 could well be the best smartphone of 2016. The difference isn't huge, but the best is definitely better.