Tuesday, July 12, 2016

One Week Later: Samsung Galaxy S7 edge

So I've had my Samsung Galaxy S7 edge for a week now, and I really like it. There are a couple of features that I've come to like.

The Screen
First off, the screen is beautiful:

It's really hard to describe, and pictures don't do it justice. It's an AMOLED screen, and that means that the blacks are very deep and the colors are very bright. There's no backlight, so when a notification lights up just a part of the screen (like an "edge" notification), only that part of the screen lights up. It's kind of hard to describe, but it's really nice.

In addition, the screen works well in daylight. It's still readable in the sun. With my old phone, I had to put it in the shade to see it.

The Home Button
The home button is a physical button (as opposed to soft button on my old phone). But the cool feature is that it's also a fingerprint reader.

So, I end up clicking the home button with my thumb, and the finger print reader unlocks the phone at the same time. It works fast enough that it's not awkward to use at all (I think it works a bit better than the finger print reader on my iPad, but it may just be because the devices are used differently).

This is much better than constantly entering my unlock pattern. On my old phone, there was a constant streak across the screen that would let you know what the unlock pattern is. No worries about that here.

Health Sensor
The thing that I thought was a bit gimmicky was the health sensor. But I've been using it regularly, and I like it. I'm not sure what it will tell me about my health (really), but tracking things is the first step to finding patterns.

This is a sensor that's right next to the camera:

It will take your pulse and measure your blood oxygen saturation -- similar to how those finger-clip things in hospitals work. (And I just realized by looking at this picture that there's a plastic protector over the camera. When I peeled it off, there was a hole cut out for the lens, so it wasn't actually covering the camera.)

You just put your finger on the sensor:

It shines a light through and picks up your pulse. I can't speak to the accuracy of the blood oxygen measurement (since I don't have another way of measuring that), but the pulse measurement is accurate.

This gets fed into the Samsung health app:

It will also measure exercise and other things. I've got it set up to measure walking since I go for a walk every morning (which is apparently 1.65 miles long). We'll see how long I keep this up.

Battery Life
Battery life has been great. It's really hard to tell what real battery life will be like when you get a new device because you're probably playing with it more than usual. Even so, I haven't gotten below 50% on the battery yet.

I'm sure that normal battery life will be a bit different. And I'll also have to try out the power saving settings. So far, I'm pretty impressed with it.

This is a little bit bigger than my last phone. I didn't think it would make too much of a difference, but I'm finding that I have to stretch my fingers just a little bit too far in some cases. (And I have pretty gigantic hands to start with.) This hasn't been much of an issue. And there are a some features on the phone to make it easier to use one-handed (for people with more normal-sized hands). I haven't had a need for those, but I'll be trying them out from time to time.

Other Stuff
I haven't had a chance to really use the camera yet. I've taken a few picture, but not enough to really judge it. I'm pretty impressed with it so far. I'll take some pictures over the next few weeks so I can give a better review.

I haven't used the "edge" stuff much. I'm still not sure if it's a gimmick or not. It hasn't gotten in the way, either (which is good). So it's not doing any harm right now. It might be useful in the future.

Finally, I'm not sure whether I'll be using a case with it or not. My last phone simply had a plastic cover on the back -- and this was more decorative than anything. I have a rubber shell on it right now. And it's nice to be able to put it face down on a table without the screen touching the table, but it also adds a bit of size to the phone. The phone itself is sleek and nice to look at.

I'm pretty easy on my devices, so I don't really need drop protection or anything like that. (Although the last time I said that, I immediately dropped my phone face down on concrete and cracked the screen.)

All in all, I'm happy with the purchase, and I'm looking forward to lots of use from a device that I carry with me all the time.

Happy Coding!


  1. I wasn't sure if the Health Monitor feature was a gimmick or not, but now I can see that at least the pulse rate is recorded accurately I think it would be really helpful with my training program. I’m also happy to hear that the battery life is good - it was the one problem I had with my old Samsung.

    Nathan @ Cheeky Save

    1. I've had it for over 2 months now, and I'm still very happy with it. Battery life has been more than adequate for me. On a normal day, it rarely goes below 60%. The exception is if I play Pokemon GO (but no phone can really survive that well). The fast charger fills it back up in less than an hour.

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