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Samsung at MWC – The S7, S7 Edge and GearVR ?

Samsung is arguably the biggest name in the Android constructors market and many regular consumers would interchange the Galaxy name with Android. For a while they looked to be starting to be left behind the times with their plastic designs but last year with the S6 proved that they could make a beautiful and well reviewed phone. The S6 did however have a number of detractors and issues – the lack of a removable battery, losing water resistance from the S5 and losing the microSD card slot which stopped it being the perfect phone. Today they took another bite at the apple and announced the new Galaxy – the S7 and the S7 Edge.

Samsung had a typically over the top event opening with their Head of Mobile coming out of a huge box and talking about Samsung’s and his personal evolution.

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The rumors were correct – there’s a new Galaxy S7 and a S7 Edge. They look very similar to last years S6’s with a less protruding camera and being somewhat more curved to the hand. The S7 has the same size screen and the S7 Edge has grown by .2 inches to 5.5 inches.

So what’s in the the S7? It’s addressed two of the big criticisms and has space for a microSD card of up to 200Gb and is waterproof to a metre and a half – IP68 and without port covers. Wireless charging is back and it’s now fast charge making it a viable way to keep your battery topped up. The display is always on to provide time and schedule information. Samsung Pay is being rolled out to seven more countries including the UK and should allow Galaxy users to participate in tap to pay.

The Edge has improved software adds many controls and quick commands to the curve – although it’s still optimised for right handed users.

The camera in last years S6 was arguably the best in the market and Samsung say they’ve done better this year with the S7 with a particular emphasis on taking pictures in the nighttime or low light. It has an aperture of F1.7 and the example photos and comparisons to the iPhone 6S Plus came off very well. They also have a technology called Dual Pixel which can be though of as binocular view for a single lens which is claimed will allow much faster focusing. There are also a number of physical lenses which can be added for different situations.

Samsung gave a number of the internal specs with a 30% faster CPU and 60% faster GPU.

Both devices will be available to pre-order on March the 11th but as of yet there is no ship date or pricing available but if you pre-order Samsung will be throwing in a GearVR.

Samsung showed off several accessories including a 360 degree camera the Gear 360, a car connecting monitoring system and the GearVR.

Gear 360 Camera

Finally Samsung pulled off a surprise with Mark Zuckerberg on the stage talking about his history and his hopes for VR for his daughter. He called GearVR the best mobile VR experience and announced a Facebook team to work on “Connecting and Sharing”

The S7 and S7 Edge are impressive looking phones and will probably do very well. The return of the MicroSD card and waterproofing will be very gratefully accepted but they’re not game changers. The focus on VR both in terms of creation and being consumed was predictable but interesting nevertheless. 2016 might actually turn out to be the year VR went mass market.

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