We focus so much on the releases of new smartphones, the leaks that reveal details – however small they may be – of the future products of the major brands and, ultimately, of the evolution of the telephone industry, which we sometimes forget that a large part of mobile users around the world continue to use relatively old phonesAnd many don’t even have plans to part with them anytime soon.
Precisely that is the reason that today leads us to get out of the usual tonic, from the rain of information about new smartphones or if 5G has really come to change our lives. Instead, we decided to take a look four years ago and try for ourselves what it is like to live together in the middle of 2020 With a mobile phone that, although at the time was able to mark a before and after, today it is nothing more than an old and forgotten model among the immense catalog of mobiles of the largest global telephone company, but that still This is still present for many users of mobile devices around the planet: the Samsung Galaxy S7.
Why the Galaxy S7
Choosing the Samsung Galaxy S7 to perform this “experiment” was an easy decision. The first reason is the fact of latest Android mobile phone in history to exceed 50 million units sold worldwide, reaching a total of 55 million units shipped, and thus placing it in third place in the top of best-selling Android phones, second only to the Galaxy S4 and SIII, in that order.
Beyond that, it is undeniable that the Galaxy S7 was one of the last devices capable of mark a before and after in the evolution of Samsung as a manufacturer of smartphones. At the time, many considered it a decaf evolution of the Galaxy S6, but the reality is that that was all it took to conquer a segment in which very few models were able to offer everything that the Galaxy S7 contributed, from one of the best cameras in its category, up to features that from that moment would become essential for future models of the brand, such as IP68 protection, microSD storage expansion or the fact of introducing a brighter photo sensor with larger pixels.
Finally, it is necessary to mention that, despite being four years behind him and having stopped receiving system updates After landing on Android 8 Oreo, to this day Samsung continues to update the Galaxy S7 with security patches, something that may add some point in the face of a possible purchase.
Living with the Galaxy S7
One of the first surprises found when starting to use the Galaxy S7 comes from seeing how well the design of the phone has aged for almost five years. Its compact body of glass and aluminum remains extremely pleasant to the hand, especially after using gigantic phones of the level of the Galaxy S20 Ultra. Even the Galaxy S20 looks huge next to it.
Like is logic, it shows that we are facing a mobile from four years ago, and just take a look at the huge frames surrounding your screen to realize it. However, this brings with it some advantages such as the fact of having the traditional button home physical, with an integrated fingerprint reader which, by the way, does not differ much in terms of speed and precision from that of the latest Samsung models with an on-screen fingerprint reader.
Also striking is the fact that some features of the design of this mobile have been inherited by new generations from the Galaxy S series like slightly oval body, the curvature of the glass at the rear or the position of the rear camera, which was maintained until the arrival of the Galaxy S10.
Nor has it varied excessively the screen, at least in relation to your technical data. Even today, the Galaxy S7 has a screen far superior to that of the latest mid-range mobiles, thanks to the use of a fantastic Super AMOLED panel signed by Samsung with Quad HD + resolution, which yields a pixel density of 577 ppi thanks to its size of 5.1 inches diagonally. Today, only phones like the iPhone SE 2020 offer dimensions similar to those of the S7, but not even the Apple model comes close to the S7 in terms of pixel density with a similar screen diagonal.
The camera that took Samsung to the top
No portrait mode, “IA”, or night mode, the Galaxy S7 camera experience It was very different from what it is with today’s mobiles. And yet, the flagship model of the South Korean firm released in 2016 was one of the last capable of offering a photographic reference system, capable of surpassing that of any other mobile available on the market – the original Google Pixel would not arrive until several months after the launch of the S7-.
One of the reasons that led the Galaxy S7 camera to be so good –For its time– was Samsung’s decision to stop megapixel escalation It had started with the Galaxy S4 and its 13-megapixel camera, up to the 16-megapixel Galaxy S6. Instead, the Korean decided equip the S7 with a lower resolution sensor, but brighter and with a larger pixel size, added to the Dual Pixel system which made its autofocus system one of the fastest in its class.
It is true that the S7 camera sinned – and sinned – of the already famous defects of the company’s mobile processing, such as a white balance that tends to the warmer side too often, or a certain tendency to overexposure. However, this phone was in charge of level up of photography in the Samsung catalog, and lay the foundation that future models would take as a basis.
Even today, when Samsung long ago ceased to be the benchmark for mobile photography by losing the game to Apple, Google and Huawei, the Galaxy S7 camera is capable of delivering very good quality results, comparable to those of current mid-range models. At least as far as daytime photography is concerned.
More than capable hardware, with outdated software
Even though two years have passed since the Galaxy S7 received the latest version of the operating system that would go through it, the reality is that Android hasn’t changed much in all that time. Samsung Experience 9.0 was a layer full of functions and features that, in one way or another, have been reaching the version stock Android, so I have not found myself in the situation of missing too many specific tools from the latest editions of the platform.
In addition to that, fortunately the fact of having a relatively recent version of Android makes is compatible with most games and apps Recently released, and incompatibility shouldn’t be an issue, at least until developers are forced to drop support for older versions of the system in their applications. Today, titles like Fortnite or Call of Duty Mobile work flawlessly on the Galaxy S7.
It also helps that the Exynos 8890 processor, added to 4 GB of RAM, continue to be able to offer very good overall performance, although 32 GB of storage They may fall a bit short considering the increased weight of apps and games that has happened over the past few years.
Things change when talking about his autonomy. The 3,000 mAh of its battery was one of its weak points at the time of its release, and it still is four years later. Also, we do not have fast charging or USB Type C, although Qi wireless charging is present.
In short, despite be able to defend yourself well and have no compatibility problems with the latest games and applications, the fact of having been abandoned with Android 8.0without even receiving the update to One UI it seems that the hardware of the Galaxy S7 is totally wasted considering its potential. At least it is possible to resort to third-party ROMs to enjoy the latest news from the operating system.
Samsung Galaxy S7 in 2020, is it worth it?
Probably not, unless you do not care in the least about living with an outdated version of Android, and know that sooner or later your phone will stop receiving security updates forever.
And, the truth is that it is a real shame that the situation of Android as a mobile platform and Samsung’s support policies have not given this phone the possibility of live beyond Android 8 Oreo, it is quite clear that your hardware remains competent to this day, and aspects such as its camera would make it an interesting mobile for those looking for a powerful and compact phone, one of those that are almost gone.
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