Half of all smartphones purchased in Africa (52.1%) are made by Samsung; over the years, the Korean maker has also made significant inroads into Zimbabwe, among other countries in the region.
With such an outsize market share in a field that also includes Apple, one might wonder how the Asians continue to dominate. How is Samsung killing it?
For one good explanation, look no further than the Galaxy S7, the newest release in Samsung’s flagship line. Reading this review will walk you through some of the amazing features of the phone [a good starting point is the table below.] Buying and using it will just about convince you it is the greatest smartphone anyone has ever made.
|FEATURE||Samsung Galaxy S7||Samsung Galaxy S7 Edge|
|Dimensions||142.4 x 69.6 x 7.9 mm||150.9 x 72.6 x 7.7 mm|
|Weight||152 g||157 g|
|Screen Size||5.1 inches||5.5 inches|
|RAM||4 GB||4 GB|
|Processing Power||Exynos 8890 octa-core/Snapdragon 820 quad-core CPU||Exynos 8890 octa-core/Snapdragon 820 quad-core CPU|
|Memory||32 GB/ 64 GB internal||32 GB/ 64 GB internal|
|micro SD||Yes, memory expandable to 200 GB||Yes, memory expandable to 200 GB|
|Operating System||Android OS, v6.0 (Marshmallow)||Android OS, v6.0 (Marshmallow)|
|Rear Camera||12 MP, f/1.7, 26mm, phase detection autofocus, OIS, LED flash||12 MP, f/1.7, 26mm, phase detection autofocus, OIS, LED flash|
|Front Camera||5 MP||5 MP|
|Battery||3600 mAh non removable||3000 mAh non- removable|
|Water and Dust Resistance||Yes||Yes|
|Colours||Black, Gray, White, Gold||Black, Gray, White, Gold|
First impression: the S7 rules design
I have to give it to them: Samsung get it when it comes to design. The S7’s pleasing aesthetics come down to two things:
1. the body, whose sleek design and layout at first seem only a marginal different from the S6, but actually include great new changes
2. the phone’s all-round spectacular dual-display.
Like the S6, the phone’s frame is fashioned using premium glass and metal. Holding it in my hand where it fits perfectly, the feeling of holding something sleek and valuable was immediate.
Significant work was definitely put in retaining the famous curves and rounded corners that give the Galaxy its ‘sexy’ look.) The result of such work is a phone that is at once thin and beautiful, with just the proportions that make it fit perfectly in the hands.
While the updates on the design features from s6 to S7 are not numerous, they are are there. The metallic rim around the iconic Home button has been done away with, and this seamlessly blends more with the overall look of the phone.
In addition, the camera hump that protruded on the rear of the S6 has also been scrapped – lending the phone the ability to lie perfectly flat on its back.
If the famous metal and glass body is excellent, then display is just perfect. Samsung once again used HD Super AMOLED design on the multi-touch display, just like on the S6, whose display was immediately recognized as the best in the business.
It’s 5.1 inch screen is thus an offering of excellent color, brightness and detail across the board. The AOD – always on display – function implies that even at night or in conditions with scant light, such as nighttime, the user always access to time, date, weather, and the amount of remaining battery power.
Apart from the sleek design, what other features will a Zimbabwean consumer love?
A truly wow camera
The pictures you will take with the S7’s camera are amazing. It is as simple as that. This was probably the first thing I checked out on the phone. With 12 megapixels on its sensor and therefore excellent resolution, the S7 camera easily pips most of the competition out there in the market.
The resolution on the dual-display aids this. But the trick with the megapixels: Samsung decided to scale back from 16 MP to 12, akin to what some major makers have made to their marquee devices (HTC One, for example.)
Since lesser pixels imply bigger pixels, this means more light is permitted and makes the camera capable of snapping images of the highest quality in low-light conditions. In Zimbabwe, where most of our photographic moments happen in dimly-lit conditions, the S7’s low-light performance is one of its greatest assets
Great battery life
A phone can come with great specs, killer design, and just about any other thing you love about a smart device, but still get one feature that sucks, and brings everything down with it. A poor battery with a short life would be one such thing, especially with Samsung premising the greatness of its Galaxy-line phones on their ability to offer a great experience with multimedia consumption.
But fear not, all you dwellers of ZESA-land.
The newest Samsung flagship comes with vastly improved power management and battery life; not quite the perfect elixir that many had been praying for (Samsung always gets the flak, especially from Apple consumers and fans, but the improvement is good enough: total battery life time is now more than 20 hours, and once you’re in the red, the lights stay on for longer than before (15 additional minutes.)
Outstanding processing power and adequate storage
One of the features that Samsung has improved from the S6 to the S7 is the processor; remember that oft-repeated slogan, that in a few years smartphones will be the only computers most people own?
With how much the S7 is a fast and capable multi-tasker, it’s easy to see why such futuristic conclusion-making is probably justified. Opening multiple apps simultaneously in a carousel is not only possible and convenient for multi-taskers like me, but it does not compromise on the speed with which you can do one task.
Take it from some one who played games, browsed the web, and used two other apps at one go. Also, at 32 G, the storage is sufficient for doing just apps: here’s a device on which you can carry a ton of music, games, and even a movie or two – priming you for the ultimate multimedia consumption experience on mobile.
Quite crucially, the S7 also comes with a microSD card slot for expandable storage, demonstrating how the interests of fans still matter to Samsung (the feature had always been present on their flagship phones, until the S6.)
Taking innovation to the limits yet more, the S7 also comes with one coolest features you could ever fathom on a phone: waterproof. You don’t have to be nagged by the fear or worry that everything you have on your phone, important data, images, apps, files – and the phone itself – could disappear in one regretful splash.
This phone is waterproof, easily one of the standout features of the S7. The aqua-friendliness, which was missing in the S6, will appeal to anyone who has ever had a child, pet, or themselves, dip a phone in a jug or pool or even down the toilet. The ‘perfect’ phone will survive that and still work fine.
What did I not like?
Only one thing: high cost
I cannot think, after playing around with the Galaxy S7, of a better phone I would love to own and use. Samsung are truly pushing the boundaries of what we know about packing both amazing design (aesthetics) and cutting-edge functionality. It’s a phone that you can pull out and everyone around you notices the shiny sleek gadget in the hand.
What could separate me and my new-found appreciation of the S7, right? Well, turns out the figure I am asked to part with for the device, of $1,000+ prohibitively high. I know a Zimbabwean who paid all of his lobola with the that kind of money and personally, I do not find myself prepared to fork out the small fortune only for a phone.
With great and amazing design all round that picks up where Samsung left off with thee S6, strong processing performance, an amazing camera, and the sleek feel of a truly world-class gadget, the S7 is simply the best Android phone on the market. The Korean consumer electronics giant has done it again, edging closer and closer than we have ever seen – when it comes to making phones – into the realm of perfection.