The Samsung Galaxy S7 Edge
from the perspective of a long time iPhone User
I have used an iPhone since the iPhone 4 was introduced in 2010, and I would upgrade about every two years, thus getting the iPhone 5 and then finally the iPhone 6 Plus. They all worked nicely and I was happy with the performance. My wife on the other hand never jumped on the iPhone team, she always used Android phones and I would mock the phone when I got the chance. Isn’t that what you are suppose to do? If you like iPhones you mock Androids, if you like Androids you mock iPhones and each side will say the other side copies them. In reality everyone is copying something from someone it seems these days.
This brings us to the present, and the fact I have been eyes the Edge series of the Galaxy phones since they arrived on the scene. When I heard about the new Galaxy Edge S7 being released and looked at the specs I decided I was going to switch to Android and give them a fair chance. I would need to keep the phone for at least a year to really understand how it works in my day to day life and how it REALLY compares when it comes to all my iPhones over the years. In the end if I enjoyed the Android more I would keep it. If, however, I didn’t like it then I would get an iPhone 7 or 7s, whichever happened to be available during the time frame I decided it was enough.
I started my transition by using applications that were non Apple on my iPhone, ones that I planned on using on the new Samsung phone later on. I went with Amazon apps, such as the Amazon photo, drive, and music apps. It took some time but all my photos and videos were uploaded into the Amazon cloud over time. This made it easier to swap phones when it came time as all I needed to do was install the apps on the new phone and I had all my files and photos ready to go. For mail I used Microsoft Outlook as my email provider is an exchange service, so it made sense to go that way. Then as soon as pre-orders were available for the Samsung Galaxy S7 I called up AT&T and placed my order.
When the phone arrived I was of course excited and spent the rest of the day setting up my new phone and getting things configured the way I liked. Here are my first impressions of the phone.
- I love the look of the phone and the curve of the edge screen. It’s new and refreshing and one of the
reasons I wanted to give it a try. Sometimes hardware and design do matter. What I didn’t like about it, when you pick up the phone by the edges it seems I was always triggering an action on the screen. It seemed hyper sensitive to me. Maybe I’m just not use to such a thing as this was not an issue on any phone I have had before. I resolve the issue once I bought a case for the phone the very next day. I went with a streamlined Otterbox case from Best Buy. It allows the edge screen to still be seen in full, and gives me a buffer for my fingers now so I can pick up the phone and not brush the screen.
- There is a fingerprint sensor on the phone. I liked having this on my iPhone as it makes getting into my phone quick and easy with just my finger. I have the finger print protected by a lengthy password, which is required after a reboot.
- The night clock on the edge screen. It’s a fun little extra, however even though I like it being there it has limited use to me as without my glasses I can barely see 10″ away, thus the phone is a big blur.
- The screen resolution, color, and vibrancy. I’m not sure why, but the Galaxy S7 just looks better than the iPhone does. I could really see it when I put the two side by side. The color just wasn’t as vibrant on the iPhone and it wasn’t as bright. Both phones were set for auto brightness as well.
- The camera – The camera has much more options than the iPhone gave me, such as Pro (which is a
stretch there as this is not a pro camera), video collage, Live broadcast, slow motion, virtual shot, and food, plus the selfie mode (which I don’t use much anyway) is more useful and provides a much wider angle. Panorama, slow motion, and hyper-lapse are all available on the iPhone. The phone also does a great job of taking images at night and evening.
- Stability – I’ve had issues with this one. Several times apps have crashed, and I’m not sure if it’s the Android OS that is to blame, or the applications itself. I had the same ones on the iPhone and they ran without issues all the time. Gmail really likes to crash on the Android. I finally disabled the app as I got tired of seeing it do it and I was already getting my Gmail emails via Outlook. I have had a number of other apps cause me issues, such as 1Password, which loves to crash it seems.
- Apps – The android platform has apps and features that were not available on the iPhone, all of which
I like. I have the Sophos Mobile Security app on the phone which scans for any viruses and checks out all the apps I install to make sure nothing is fishy about them. Another app that I had on the iPhone as Net Analyzer, and on the Android it seems to have an extra ability, that of viewing the Wi-Fi spectrum.
- Car Audio – Here is where I found a problem with the Android platform. From what I can gather by searching through Google the Android platform uses MTP (Media Transfer Protocol) instead of the USB Mass Storage that it use to. While car stereo heads could read the USB Mass Storage, none of them seem to be able to read the MTP format. This means while you can charge your phone via the USB port, you can not play music through it. Your options at this point are to either use Bluetooth, which has its own set of problems (and this assumes your radio comes with it) or the Aux port. The aux port is just one-way communication though, so you won’t be able to control the audio from your car’s steering wheel. If your car comes with Android Auto then you can control all functions of your device. I however do not have this option, and the units that offer this function are quite expensive at this time. I am stuck myself with using the Aux port, however I still have other options I can use for my music instead of my phone. I still have an iPod Nano which will work via USB, I have an iPad which will also do the job, and my work phone is an iPhone. All of these devices can have my music put on them and play through my stereo.
- Battery – My last point is on the battery. While all devices seem to do badly when you first get them, more than likely due to you playing with the phone much more than normal. At this point after 1 week of use my phone can never make it through a day without running very low on power. Based on the battery chart it shows it will run out of power around 4 to 5 pm each day. If this holds up, then the iPhone will be better as the phone always made it through the day, as well as my iPad. At the time I just give it an extra charge during the day while at work, and with the fast charge of the device it usually just takes 30 minutes to an hour to give it more than enough to get through the day. Another option would be to get a case from Mophie that would give such extra power when I need it. That case runs 100.00 and can be purchased via Amazon once they are available. UPDATE: I have received a number of good tips regarding the battery life and have made some adjustments. Initial results look promising and I’ll know for sure in a day or so. I will post another update soon based on the battery performance.
Specification Comparison between the Apple iPhone 6 Plus and the Samsung Galaxy S7 Edge
The phone is very nice, the hardware is great. I have had a few issues with the Operating System, but overall it is working as it should. While there are some drawbacks to the phone, and other things that need to be done in a slightly different way, my overall impression of the phone is a favorable one. It is still early on, as I have owned the phone for just one week so far. With more time I am sure I’ll get a better feel on what I like or do not like about the phone. After my year with the phone I’ll decide if I’m going to move back to Apple, or stay with Samsung.
Feel free to comment on any points I have made, and let me know what you think is better or worse on your phone.