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Samsung Galaxy S7 Rumor Roundup: 10 Leaked Features Reveal Spectacular Changes

Forbes logo Forbes 05-01-2016 Amit Chowdhry, Contributor

When Samsung revealed the Galaxy S6 and Galaxy S6 edge flagship smartphones in April 2015, the designs and features were drastically different from the Galaxy S5. Samsung did away with expandable storage, the removable battery and water resistance from the Galaxy S5 to the Galaxy S6 in favor of aluminum edges and a glass back. Even though Samsung got rid of favorable features that distinguished its Galaxy devices from the iPhone, the Galaxy S6 received very positive reviews. And the curved screens built into the Galaxy S6 edge clearly proved that Samsung knows how to innovate. Now rumors about what Samsung will be doing for its next line of flagship smartphones have been pouring in. Here are 10 leaked features that are expected for the Galaxy S7:

1.) Two Sizes

Samsung is expected to be trying something bold with the Galaxy S7 — two sizes. South Korean news agency ET News reported Samsung will be releasing 5.2-inch and 5.5-inch options. The standard Galaxy S7 will have a 5.2-inch display, which is a departure from the 5.1-inch displays on the S6 and S5. And there is supposedly going to be a 5.5-inch option called the Galaxy S7+.

ET News also said that the edge variation of the Galaxy S7 devices will have the same screen dimensions as the standard S7. This means that the S7 models will have less than a half inch difference between all of them, according to Forbes contributor Gordon Kelly. As a comparison, the difference between the Galaxy S6 edge (5.1 inches) and S6 Edge+ (5.7 inches) was 0.6 inches. But another rumor suggests that the new Galaxy S7+ will be a 6-inch device.

Galaxy S7 Concept / Image Credit:© Provided by Forbes Galaxy S7 Concept / Image Credit:

2.) Four Flagship Models

Samsung will be offering plenty of options for its new smartphones. There will be a Galaxy S7, a Galaxy S7+, a Galaxy S7 edge and a Galaxy S7 edge+. EVleaks, a reliable source of Samsung leaks, recently tweeted a screenshot with the names of the new devices:

Tweet by EVLeaks about new Samsung devices / Image Credit: EVLeaks© Provided by Forbes Tweet by EVLeaks about new Samsung devices / Image Credit: EVLeaks

Making a choice about which Samsung device to buy even more complicated is a potential Galaxy Note successor being released several  months later. However, t here is a chance that Samsung may phase out the Galaxy Note line because the flagship devices are getting closer in size and the Korean electronics giant limited the global availability of its previous Note device. Aside from the four flagship models of the Galaxy S7, there is also a rumor that a “Premium Edition” of the device will be offered. More details about the “Premium Edition” are in the design changes below.

3.) Subtle Design Changes

Rumor has it that the Galaxy S7 will feature a similar design as the Galaxy S6, but it will use a new kind of magnesium alloy. The new magnesium alloy is expected to make the Galaxy S7 much stronger than the Galaxy S6. The Galaxy S7 line of devices will also have a glass back, but this time Samsung may be switching to Turtle Glass instead of Gorilla Glass. Turtle Glass is a glass cover developed by Samsung that is supposedly stronger than the Gorilla Glass used in its current devices.

The rear glass casings in the Galaxy S6 line were designed using a nano-thin multi-coating process. Nano layers of multiple coatings gives the devices a dynamic color that reflects light at different angles. The Galaxy S6 and S6 edge shells were created using 6013 aluminum, which is typically used in products like automobiles, mountain bikes, yachts, aircrafts, etc. But the Galaxy S6 edge+ was upgraded to 7000 series aluminum, known for being 1.7 times stronger and 1.3 times more scratch-resistant than standard aluminum.  The curved design of the Galaxy S6 edge uses a 3D Thermoforming process where glass is inserted between two molds and heated to a temperature of 800 degrees Celsius before it is pressed into a symmetrical shape.  These design changes are radically different from the Galaxy S5, which has a plastic case surrounding it.

The Galaxy S6 and S6 edge displays are Quad HD Super AMOLED, which have more than 3.6 million pixels (577 ppi). And the Adapt Display feature adapts the color range and saturation to the app being used. The Galaxy S7 will likely have improvements over those specs and there are rumors that Samsung will offer a “Premium Edition” of the upcoming flagship with a 4K display.  If Samsung introduces a UHD 4K display to its flagship smartphones, it would not be the first Android-based devices to do so. Sony’s Xperia Z5 Premium has a 3840 x 2160 resolution with 806 pixels per inch, which was introduced at the IFA event in September.

4.) Upgraded Processors

Now let’s talk about what will be under the hood powering the Galaxy S7. There are rumors that the Galaxy S7 devices will feature chips made by Qualcomm and Samsung. Qualcomm allegedly had overheating issues with the Snapdragon 810 so Samsung decided to turn to its Exynos 7 Octa for the Galaxy S6. However, the Qualcomm Snapdragon 820 chip should be ready in time to power the Galaxy S7. The Snapdragon 820 chip features the first custom-designed 64-bit quad-core CPU.

Depending on the country where you will be buying the Samsung Galaxy S7, it will probably feature either the Samsung Exynos 8890 chip or the Qualcomm Snapdragon 820 chip. Samsung Galaxy S7 devices made for the United States and China will have the new Snapdragon chips and Galaxy S7 devices shipped in other countries will have Exynos chips packed in, according to Reuters .

Qualcomm Snapdragon / Image Credit: Qualcomm© Provided by Forbes Qualcomm Snapdragon / Image Credit: Qualcomm

How much RAM will the devices have? The Samsung Galaxy Note 5 and Galaxy S6 edge+ have 4GB of RAM so the Galaxy S7 line should have at least that much.

5.) Speculation About The Battery

Earlier this month, a rumor popped up about the Galaxy S7 potentially packing a 3,500 mAh battery . But this rumor seems farfetched because Samsung seems to favor making its devices thinner, which is not conducive to fitting larger batteries. And it’s worth pointing out that t he Galaxy S6 line of devices have smaller batteries than its predecessors.

The Galaxy S6 has a non-removable 2,550 mAh battery, which is less than the removable 2,800 mAh battery in the Galaxy S5. But the Galaxy S6 has a fast charging feature, meaning the device hits nearly 4 hours of usage with only 10 minutes of wireless charging using WPC- or PMA-compatible wireless charging pads.

The battery in the Galaxy S7 is also most likely be non-removable, but sources with The Wall Street Journal are reporting that it will support a full day charge in only 30 minutes. The Galaxy S7 Plus and Galaxy S7 edge+ should have larger batteries than its smaller flagship counterparts. 

6.) Type-C USB

USB-C Cable / Image Credit: Apple© Provided by Forbes USB-C Cable / Image Credit: Apple

When Type-C USB became widely available in 2015, Apple’s 12-inch MacBook became the first notebook to use the new port for its battery power. And the Nexus 5X and Nexus 6P became two of the first mainstream smartphones to ship with USB Type-C.  According to SamMobile , the Samsung Galaxy S7 series of devices are expected to have USB Type-C instead of microUSB too.  The USB Type-C port is known for faster data transfers and reversible cable support. 

A nother advantage of USB Type-C is its ability to multitask. For example, it could be used for charging a smartphone, USB 3 data transfer and video output supporting HDMI, VGA and DisplayPort connections all at the same time.

7.) Pressure Sensitive Feature Similar To Apple 3D Touch

Earlier this month, Gordon Kelly also reported that Samsung is expected to be integrating a pressure sensitive display similar to Apple’s 3D Touch feature into the Galaxy S7. 3D Touch senses how much pressure is applied to the display of the iPhone 6S devices that offers a new way to interact with the devices such as “Peek and Pop.” Peek and Pop lets you preview kind and act on content without having to open it. For example, a light press on an email previews it and a deeper press actually opens it. 

Another 3D Touch feature is having a pop-up menu appear on an application icon when pressured it applied to it on the home screen. The pressure-sensitive functionality in the Galaxy S7 will likely be similar the iPhone 6s and the iPhone 6s Plus. 

8.) High Quality Camera

One of the least appealing features in the Galaxy S6 and Galaxy S6 edge is that the camera is large and sticks out of the back. Regardless, the photos and videos it takes are very sharp. A couple of months ago, Samsung filed a trademark application for a mobile phone image sensor known as “Britecell.”

Britecell utilizes a new RGBW pattern and light sensitivity technology. The new sensor is also expected to be upgraded from 16-megapixels in the Galaxy S6 to 20-megapixels in the Galaxy S7.

It is unclear whether Samsung will be using Sony sensors for its smartphone cameras. Last year, some Samsung Galaxy S6 devices shipped with Samsung’s ISOCELL sensors and others shipped with Sony sensors.

9.) microSD Card Slot Reportedly Returning

For some reason, Samsung removed the microSD card slot in the Galaxy S6 and Galaxy Note 5. But the microSD card slot is expected to return in the Galaxy S7 for expandable storage, according to . Expandable storage will definitely be welcomed back to the new Samsung flagships because photos and videos are becoming higher quality and they take up a lot more storage space.

10.) Iris Scanner

For months, Samsung has been hinting at the addition of an iris scanner for its future devices. Digital Trends pointed out the Samsung Exynos Twitter account posted a tweet in July 2014 saying:  “Security can be improved using features unique to us. That’s what we envision. What would you use?  #ExynosTomorrow.” And the tweet used to have this photo embedded in it before it seems to have been removed:

Iris scanner hint included in a tweet by Samsung Exynos account / Image Credit: Samsung via Digital Trends© Provided by Forbes Iris scanner hint included in a tweet by Samsung Exynos account / Image Credit: Samsung via Digital Trends

Notice how the image shows a thin smartphone with an eye in the middle of the screen with a target? Hypothetically, the iris scanner could be for unlocking the phone, authorizing payments and downloading apps similar to how a fingerprint scanner works.

Another hint about iris scanners heading to Samsung devices comes from Samsung Mobile executive Lee Young Hee. “Many people are fanatical about iris recognition technology,” said Lee at the Consumer Electronics Show in January 2014 via Bloomberg . “We are studying the possibility but can’t really say whether we will have it or not on the [Samsung Galaxy] S5.” Samsung likely needed more time to improve the development of iris scanners before the Galaxy S5 and Galaxy S6 released, but the Galaxy S7 will probably be ready for it.

However, the integration of an iris scanner could lead to a price hike. Since everyone has unique eye patterns, the iris scanner can be considered “the most precise type of biometrics available,” said PhoneArena in a blog post. Other smartphones that have iris scanners includes the Microsoft Lumia 950 and Microsoft Lumia 950 XL.

Release Date / Price

China Mobile inadvertently leaked the release timeframe of the Galaxy S7. One of the slides presented by a China Mobile executive lists the Galaxy S7 as being slated for release in February 2016 rather than April 2016. This means that the Galaxy S6 and S6 edge would have just a 10 month lifecycle. But the early release would give Samsung a major head start on the iPhone 7.

Earlier this year, Samsung introduced the Galaxy Note 5 ten months after the Galaxy Note 4. This gave the Galaxy Note 5 a one month head start on the iPhone 6S Plus. By launching the Galaxy S7 in February, it would give Samsung Galaxy S7 a seven month head start on the iPhone 7.

The base price of the Galaxy S7 is expected to start at $649.99 (32GB). And the 64GB model is expected to cost $749.99. The S7 edge will probably cost about $100-$150 more, giving it a base price of $749.99 for the curved screen variants.

Based on all of these rumors, would you consider buying a Samsung Galaxy S7 device? Please leave a comment with your thoughts about the Samsung Galaxy S7 rumors? 


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