Samsung Galaxy S7: Rumoured Pricing, Specs, and More


WhistleOut
15 December 2015

It is a universally acknowledged truth that a Samsung phone developed at the expense of no small fortune must be leaked to the press. At the very least, rumoured about. The upcoming Galaxy S7 is no different, but picking the likelihoods from the dross can be tricky.

When?

Probably right before Mobile World Congress (MWC) kicks off in Barcelona. This year that's from Feb 22 to Feb 25. As such, keep Feb 21 free if you like betting smart.

Otherwise, there is talk of a possible January announcement, with Jan 19 picked out as the prime candidate. This is probably less-likely, but certainly within the realm of possibility.

Pricing

The most unlikely rumour we're going to cover is that the Galaxy S7 will be 10% cheaper than the GS6 was in early 2015. That would make it cheaper than the iPhone, and much of its other direct competition.

Not going to happen. Samsung hasn't traditionally shown any interest in selling cheaper devices. This is a premium manufacturer that makes popular devices and knows how much it can get away with.

The only reason Samsung would drop prices is to sacrifice profits to gain market share. At this point, a gain in market share is unlikely, thanks to increasing competition from within Android, and the proliferation of smartphones already-owned by customers.

3D Touch

This is the most-recent rumour to surface: the Galaxy S7 will feature a 3D Touch-like screen, like that found on the iPhone 6s and 6s Plus.

Plausible. While Apple doesn’t seem to have seen an overwhelming out-pour of enthusiasm over its new interface method, it’s still an additional layer of functionality with no extra effort required from the user, for zero additional screen real-estate.

In the future, it’s possible we’ll see 3D Touch, or something like it, become a new industry standard. You can bet the farm that Samsung is already working on its own implementation, or making deals with Huawei (the original creators of Force Touch displays), in order to ensure it keeps up with any possible industry shifts.

Right now this leak is unsubstantiated; it’s one of those “sources familiar with the matter” kind of things, but there’s no reason Samsung wouldn’t do this, unless it wasn’t yet ready, or thought it could save a buck or two by dragging its feet.

Flat, curved, or both?

Some talk suggests that we won’t see a flat-screened version of the GS7 at all; instead Samsung is supposed to unveil two curved Galaxy S Edge-style devices of varying size – specifically 5.2 and 5.7 or 5.8 inches.

This seems unlikely to say the least. Samsung already has a popular big-screened product range in the Galaxy Note series. These ‘phablets’ are released on a yearly cycle, separated from the Galaxy S launches by six months.

Moreover, Samsung’s bigger phones, while popular, consistently undersell when compared to the main, smaller Galaxy S line. Why mess with a good thing by imposing something you know works less-effectively, especially when you only released on a few months ago?

It’s more likely that Samsung will stick to its standard 5.1 inch display, or perhaps 5.2 inches, with both flat and curved-screen models.

A 4K Display?

No. No credible sources have claimed this. What we’re seeing is innocent speculation being warped in to rumour.

The talk about a 4K GS7 is fuelled by Sony’s release of the Sony Xperia Z5 Premium in late 2015, which does feature a 4K screen.

With any luck Samsung won’t follow the same route. It takes the keenest of eyes to pick the difference between a 4K and a quad-HD (what Samsung currently employs) on a phone display. On the flip side, 4K is a huge battery drain, expensive, and is still early-gen tech in screens this small.

Samsung is better off sticking with quad-HD for now.

Camera

Speculation and apparent leaks abound. Anything from an in-house 12MP sensor to a Sony 25MP sensor have been claimed.

All we can be relatively sure of at this juncture is that whatever we end up seeing should be better than the Galaxy S6 and Galaxy Note 5. That in itself is enough to get excited about.

CPU

No fewer than three processing chipsets have been pegged for the GS7. What’s interesting is that they all might be true.

In previous years, Samsung has released two versions of the Galaxy S6, with a different CPU depending on where you bought it. This time around we might see a Snapdragon 820 in the US and China; Exynos M1 (AKA 8890) for Korea, Japan and Europe; and less-powerful Exynos 7422 for India.

There’s also talk of heating issues, to the point where Samsung is thinking of adding a heat pipe to distribute heat more-evenly throughout the device.

That’s not so much a bad thing. Heat pipes are just another way to control the temperature of a gadget, removing load from the internals and allowing them to keep functioning at maximum efficiency. It will be interesting to see if this one is true and, if it is, what the cause of all that heat is.


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