(Pocket-lint) - After months of speculation, Samsung has introduced the two latest flagship phones in its long line of Galaxy handsets.
Much had been rumoured and leaked about the Samsung Galaxy S7 and Samsung Galaxy S7 edge devices in the build up to the Korean company's Mobile World Congress 2016 press conference, but they are now officially available to buy from multiple retailers and networks, so you can discover their talents for yourself. Beforehand though, we suggest you read on and familiarise yourself with the devices in our handy guide.
Contrary to early belief, there's no Samsung Galaxy S7 edge+ yet – with a possible launch for that device touted for much later in the year – but with the extra-sized 5.5-inch screen on the S7 edge, perhaps it's not even needed.
So let's turn our attention onto the two flagship handsets Samsung has now released. Here's everything you need to know about the SGS7 and SGS7 edge.
Samsung Galaxy S7 and SGS7 edge design
Although the two new handsets share a couple of design cues and are clearly in the same family, this year's models are differently sized. The Samsung Galaxy S7, like the SGS6, is a 5.1-inch phone, while the Galaxy S7 edge has had a jump to 5.5-inches.
The latter also seems to feature the biggest differences in overall design on a year-to-year basis. Samsung has got rid of the sharper edge and flat back of the Galaxy S6 edge, replacing it with a curved rear that wraps around to meet the edges of the curved screen.
The end result is a more rounded phone that feels smoother and more comfortable in the hand.
Like last year's version, the standard Galaxy S7 also has a rounded back – from the rear both the S7 and edge look similar, if different sizes – but the front face is naturally flat.
Both phones feel nice in the hand but the SGS7 edge is perhaps the more premium of the two in aesthetic terms.
The camera module also sticks out less on this year's phones, with a protrusion of just 0.46mm to make them more flush. They are both also water and dust proof this time, adhering to the IP68 standard that means they can each survive for up to 30 minutes submerged in water as deep as 1.5 metres.
In dimensions and weight terms, the Galaxy S7 is 142.4 x 69.6 x 7.9mm and weighs 152g. The Galaxy S7 edge is 150.9 x 72.6 x 7.7mm and weighs 157g.
Samsung Galaxy S7 and SGS7 edge display
As previously mentioned, the Samsung Galaxy S7 has a 5.1-inch display, while the Galaxy S7 edge has a 5.5-inch screen. They are both Super AMOLED – like just about every Samsung phone for many a year – and have the same resolution as previous models: 2560 x 1440 (Quad HD).
Like the previous Galaxy S6 edge, the latest edge phone has a wrap-around display that curves on either side.
Samsung Galaxy S7 and SGS7 edge hardware and specs
There are two different processors being used by Samsung for different regions.
In various regions, including UK and the rest of Europe, Samsung is using its own latest processor, the Exynos 8 Octa. This is an octa-core (2.3GHz quad, 1.6GHz quad) 64-bit, 14nm processor, with super fast LTE speeds.
Samsung claims that the CPU is 30 per cent faster than the processor in the Galaxy S6 and S6 edge, while the GPU is a whopping 64 per cent faster.
The other model, which we understand to be heading elsewhere, including the US, sports a quad-core 64-bit Qualcomm Snapdragon 820 processor. It also has a boosted GPU and a faster X12 modem for LTE speeds of up to 600Mbps, much like the Exynos SoC.
The latter model will feature Qualcomm's QuickCharge 2.0 technology (not QuickCharge 3.0, sadly) but both have new, faster wired and wireless charging capabilities.
One interesting addition to both phones is a tiny heatsink with water cooling that will keep the GPU temperature down during particularly graphics intensive operations - such as gaming.
Samsung Galaxy S7 and SGS7 storage
There are models with 32GB and 64GB storage options. Samsung has also reintroduced the ability to increase storage by using a microSD card of up to 200GB in size.
It has done so without changing the overall design too, as the SIM slot also doubles as a microSD card slot this time around. The SIM card tray now has two housings – one for a nano SIM, one for a microSD card.
One thing to note about microSD card storage on both the SGS7 and SGS7 edge is that Samsung has opted not to implement adoptable storage as found on Android Marshmallow. This tech enables an external card to act exactly like the internal storage, but it cannot then be used to transfer files or data between devices manually - you can't take it out of the phone, put it in a PC and back again without the files you are transferring being wiped.
Samsung claims its customers would rather have the option to use the card to copy files between devices.
Samsung Galaxy S7 and SGS7 edge battery
The batteries in each of the phones are slightly different, mainly as they each have to power differently-sized displays.
The Samsung Galaxy S7 has a 3,000mAh battery, while the Galaxy S7 edge has a 3,600mAh battery.
Samsung told us that the latter is capable of playing HD video for 13 hours straight.
One of the new features that Samsung has introduced this year, an always-on display where notifications, time, date or personalised screen are permanently shown on screen even when the phone is off, does not impact the battery much. It uses just 1 per cent of the battery power per hour.
Both batteries have fast charging with wired and wireless options. It depends on which processor is used as to which fast charging technology is implemented, but both feature similar functions.
Samsung Galaxy S7 and SGS7 edge camera
The camera is one area that has been improved on significantly for this year’s models.
Although the amount of megapixels to be found on the sensor has actually dipped – to 12-megapixels – each pixel is larger this year (1.4um) so is capable to reading more light in any given situation. An aperture of f1.7 has also been achieved.
This is especially important for low light photography, with Samsung claiming that performance in darker locations is far better than ever before. The adoption of dual pixel technology, which is usually found on DSLRs and other dedicated camera sensors, also means that the autofocus on each of the Samsung Galaxy S7 and Galaxy S7 edge is much quicker than on previous phones – even in almost no light.
The new low light abilities work for both stills and video.
There's optical image stabilisation on the rear camera too.
The front-facing camera on both devices uses a conventional 5-megapixel sensor, but also with an f1.7 aperture.
Samsung Galaxy S7 and SGS7 edge software
The latest user experience, which is layered on top of Android 6.0 Marshmallow, is about as bare bones as Samsung has presented in quite some time.
There are some of Samsung’s own apps and services still available though, with the most prominent being the new Game Launcher.
Gamers get their own hub that not only gives them a place from which to launch Android titles, but they can change options such as whether they would like to be disturbed by a phone call during a gaming session.
There are also new overlaid options available from within games too, including the ability to record gameplay footage while using the front-facing camera to in-lay picture-in-picture commentary of the player.
Samsung Galaxy S7 edge users also get several new sidebar options that can be scrolled through to access apps, contacts, tasks or news feeds more quickly and easily.
Samsung Pay - the company' contactless payment system that has proved successful in the states - will be coming to both handsets in the UK later this year. They each also use Samsung Knox, the company's high level of security.
Samsung Galaxy S7 and SGS7 edge hot deals and where to get them
After an initial pre-order period that ran from 21 February to 11 March, both phones are now widely available from a large number of retailers and networks.
Those that pre-ordered from Carphone Warehouse, Vodafone or EE by 7 March actually got their handsets a little earlier than others, as those retailers/networks started shipping from 8 March - three days earlier than some others - but all retailers now have stock.
Direct prices from Samsung start at £569 for the Samsung Galaxy S7, while the S7 edge will set you back from £639.
Carphone Warehouse (UK)
CPW is offering the Samsung Galaxy S7 and Samsung Galaxy S7 edge for an upfront cost of £79.99 and £129.99 respectively. Contracts are available across the major networks from just £36 per month for new and upgrading customers.
Vodafone customers can order the Samsung Galaxy S7 edge and Samsung Galaxy S7 on a Vodafone Red 10GB Bundle for £50 per month or £44 per month respectively. Both have an upfront cost of £29 and include unlimited texts, unlimited minutes and 10GB of data.
Alternatively, customers can order either device on a Vodafone Red Value 15GB Bundle at £55 per month for the Samsung Galaxy S7 edge or £49 per month for the Samsung Galaxy S7. Again, both have a £29 upfront cost and include unlimited texts, unlimited minutes and 15GB of data, as well as a choice of free access to Netflix for 12 months or Sky Sports Mobile TV, Spotify Premium or a NOW TV Entertainment Pass for 24 months.
EE told Pocket-lint that both the Samsung Galaxy S7 and S7 edge feature WiFi Calling with 4G Calling when purchased directly from the provider. This will be enabled soon now that they have been launched. If you don't get either from EE itself though, the phones won't be able to support it. Customers who buy the new phones from EE also receive three-months free unlimited Google Play Music access.
As for price plans, the 32GB Galaxy S7 on EE is £49.99 up-front on a £44.49 a month, 24 month 4GEE Extra plan. That comes with unlimited minutes, unlimited texts and 4GB of mobile data a month.
The 32GB Galaxy S7 edge is available for £29.99 up-front on a £49.99 a month, 24 month plan, with unlimited minutes, unlimited texts and 4GB of mobile data a month.
Existing EE customers looking to upgrade to the same plans will receive 10GB of mobile data per month for the same price.
O2 is stocking the two new handsets as part of its O2 Now tariff. That means customers can upgrade after 12 months for no extra cost. It's also offering a free pair of Jabra Sport Pulse headphones worth £150 for every order received before 27 April.
There are a number of price plans to choose from, with the Galaxy S7 edge available for as little as £9.99 up-front. That's when taking out a plan for £51 a month, which includes unlimited minutes, texts and 3GB of 4G data.
A Samsung Galaxy S7 can also be bought for £29.99 up-front with a £46 a month plan, with unlimited minutes, texts and 3GB of data.
If you want to go to Three, the UK carrier is offering the Samsung Galaxy S7 and S7 edge for up-front costs from £29 and £49 respectively. Those are on prices plans from £41 and £47 a month.
All-you-can-eat 4G data packages are available for both phones, with the Galaxy S7 getting unlimited data, minutes and texts for £56 a month with the phone at £29.
The Galaxy S7 edge's all-you-can-eat package will cost £62 a month with an up-front cost of £49 for the phone.
The Three deals include the company's Feel at Home service where you can use your minutes, texts and data in 18 countries around the world at no extra charge, including the US, France, Italy, Spain and Australia.
Virgin Media (UK)
Virgin Media is carrying both phones and what's more, they are both available on plans with no up-front costs.
Virgin Media plans are 3G only at present, but if you are looking for a cheaper option than many others, you can get either the gold or black Samsung Galaxy S7 from £34 a month, which includes 250 minutes, 250MB of data and unlimited texts.
The same plan but with a black Samsung Galaxy S7 edge costs £38 a month.
Other plans, with more data or talktime are also available.
Tesco Mobile (UK)
Like Virgin Media, Tesco Mobile has deals where you can get either phone on a 24-month contract with no up-front cost.
The Samsung Galaxy S7 is available from £37.50 a month, with 2,000 minutes, 5,000 texts and 2GB of data. The Galaxy S7 edge is available from £41 a month on the same plan.
Tesco's plans go all the way up to £57 or £60.50 respectively, for 5,000 minutes, 5,000 texts and 20GB of data.
The 32GB Galaxy S7 costs $23.17 per month for 30 months via the Next 24 plan, while the 32GB Galaxy S7 edge starts at $26.50 per month for 39 months on the same plan.
The Galaxy S7 costs $27.09 per month for 24 months, while the Samsung Galaxy S7 edge costs $31.25 per month over the same period. You can also get a second unit of the same Galaxy you bought for half price (will be discounted as a service credit). The carrier's Boost Mobile and Virgin Mobile USA budget brands also offer both phones.
The Galaxy S7 costs $27.92 per month for 23 months and $27.83 on the 24th month, while the Galaxy S7 edge costs $32.50 for 23 months and $32.39 on the 24th month. You can also go for Jump On Demand and get them for $32.50 per month (S7) or $28 per month (S7 edge). T-Mobile said the Galaxy S7's full retail price is $669.99, and that the Galaxy S7 edge will set you back $779.99.
Verizon is offering the Galaxy S7 for $28 per month for 24 months ($672 retail price), while the Galaxy S7 edge costs $33 per month for 24 months ($792 retail price).
US Cellular (US)
US Cellular is doing the 24-month payment plan thing. It sells the Galaxy S7 for $28, while the Galaxy S7 edge goes for $32.50. Alternatively, you could lock yourself into a two-year agreement for $199 (S7) or $299 (S7 edge) upfront.