Samsung today announces the new Samsung Galaxy S7 and S7 edge, together with the Gear 360, a sphere that can take high resolution 360 video. In my opinion, the one hour Galaxy Unpacked 2016 event focused on Virtual Reality (e.g. hardware like Gear 360), the new Galaxy S7 hardware based on what customers need (water proofing, memory card slot and etc), announcement of partnership with big players (Facebook, Vulkan and etc) and Samsung Pay.
I would like to thank Samsung Singapore for loaning the Galaxy S6 edge+ and the Gear VR so that I can truly immerse myself (like being there) during the event (plus the goodies pack). As mentioned, Samsung is focused on VR and they are definitely showing it.
This event, in my opinion, is a first where viewers, attendees from all walks of life at different parts of the world in different time zones, are “transported” to the same event hall via VR with Samsung VR Gear.
What is interesting is that we can be at the front row (via VR) and we can actually choose our “seats” (switching cameras). The most memorable part is that during the unveiling, we are transported into the 3D world where the Samsung Galaxy S7 and S7 edge float pass us.
I guess the best way to introduce the Samsung Galaxy S7 and S7 edge is this introduction video. Enjoy. More about the features later.
Water and Dust Resistant
The Samsung Galaxy S7 and S7 edge come in 5.1-inch and 5.5-inch respectively. One of the main features about the new Galaxy S7 and S7 edge is that they are IP68 certified. Samsung managed to seal up the smartphone without needing special caps for the ports. They are not the first to do it though.
Samsung mentioned that instead of sealing the water from the outside, they sealed the phone from the inside.
MicroSD Card Slot and Dual SIM
Finally, Samsung is bringing back the MicroSD card slot on the Galaxy S7. This time, the slot is a two-in-one where is housed the nano SIM card and the MicroSD card. Not sure what is the maximum capacity for the MicroSD card though.
And depending on countries, the MicroSD card slot can be the second SIM card as shown below.
Samsung has improved both the front and rear camera with better lower light capability (f/1.7 (front and back camera) and 1.4um pixels on image sensor (back)). For the rear camera, Samsung added dual pixel technology which, in layman term, means faster and more accurate focusing. The new rear camera now protrudes at just 0.46mm.
Processor Speed, Memory, Battery
In terms of Processor speed and phone memory, Samsung has greatly improved them on the new Galaxy S7 and S7 edge. Here is a screen capture of the CPU speed as compared to previous versions.
Here is a picture showing the differences as compared to the previous model.
In terms of battery, Samsung managed to increased it to 3000mAh and 3,600mAh for the S7 and S7 edge respectively.
And if you ever use a Samsung phone before, one of the “issue” is heat. Because of the multi-core processors, it tends to heat up very fast when it is using the processors extensively. Samsung has finally done something on it. It added a new cooling system to quickly cool down the phone. It is a tube with liquid in it. When the phone heats up, it vaporizes the liquid which cools down the phone.
Finally, Singapore is getting Samsung Pay. Not sure the exact date that it will be available but it is definitely good news though. Saw OCBC logo as one of the partners during the presentation. Here is a screen grab. It shows 7 more countries that will get Samsung Pay this year.
Samsung briefly explained about its connected car device. Not much details but seems that Samsung will be focusing on the connected car business (which I believe will be a big thing with IOT).
Finally, Gear 360. This is a new “toy” from Samsung. At first glance, it looks like an old-school webcam. However, it is actually a high resolution 360 camera that can complement the VR Gear headset.
Check out some actual footage from the Samsung Gear 360.
One of the surprise during the event is guest speaker Mark Zuckerberg, co-Founder of Facebook. What is even more surprising is that there was no new announcement. I believe Mark was there to show the close relationship with Samsung and Oculus and also to promote VR (virtual reality) on Facebook. He briefly mentioned about affordable VR for everyone but stopped short of making any announcement.
Mark mentioned that in the coming weeks, there will be some interesting things (e.g. Facebook Social VR apps) for Facebook (if I hear him correctly). Here is a slide of his presentation before he leaves.
The Samsung Wireless Charging Dock has improved (in my opinion). Previously, it is flat and you will not be able to see what’s on the handphone screen without tilting it. Now, it comes in tilt position. However, I may think that it will be more difficult to bring along with this odd shape.
And not mentioned on their official website (yet) is the Lens Cover that was briefly mentioned during the event.
The event video is officially available on YouTube. Check it out HERE.
And that is a wrap for the Samsung Galaxy Unpacked 2016. Hope you enjoy it as much as I do.