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Apple iPhone 6s smartphone. Announced Sep 2015. Features 4.7″ LED-backlit IPS LCD display, Apple A9 chipset
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  • This Mobile runs on iOS 9, upgradable to iOS 11.2 powered with Dual-core 1.84 GHz Twister.
  • This Mobile has 12 MP (f/2.2, 29mm, 1/3", 1.22 µm), phase detection autofocus, dual-LED dual-tone flash, check quality and has 5 MP (f/2.2, 31mm), 1080p@30fps, 720p@240fps, face detection, HDR, panorama Secondary camera
  • This Mobile has 4.7 inches, 60.9 cm2 (~65.6% screen-to-body ratio) inches display LED-backlit IPS LCD, capacitive touchscreen, 16M colors.
  • This Mobile has 16/32/64/128 GB, 2 GB RAM of internal memory.
  • This Mobile has Non-removable Li-Ion 1715 mAh battery (6.91 Wh)
  • This Mobile has Nano-SIM sim
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2019

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Review: Samsung Galaxy S7 Edge

Introduction, design and screen

The Samsung Galaxy S7 Edge is a phone I'd hate to make. The predecessor was a multi-award winning phone, simply because it packed all the power of the 'normal' Galaxy S6 and yet... that curved edge. I wasn't alone in loving it, whipping it out proudly whenever possible.

But that was last year, and the world is bored of the curved design. We've seen it. It's been done. So what can Samsung do to make the new phone a real step forward?

Well, unlike what it's done on the Galaxy S7, which looks (initially) like last year's model, the changes on the S7 Edge are brilliant, adding a zest to a design that could have quickly become tired.

The screen is larger, yet somehow the phone doesn't feel too much bigger in the hand. The rear of the phone is now curved too, making it sit nicely in the hand. It's waterproof. There's a microSD card slot. There's so much power in there I'm pretty sure I could strap it on the back of a speedboat and make my way across the Atlantic.

Samsung Galaxy S7 edge review

And that's even more possible because the battery - such a disappointment on last year's S6 phones - is boosted massively too, giving us a handset that's able to last over 24 hours between charges.

All that comes at a cost obviously - and a pretty hefty one. In the UK, that's £640, where in the US you're looking at a huge $299 SIM Free. In Australia, the Galaxy S7 Edge sees the highest price yet: AU$1,249 for the 32GB version.

That's a price increase over last year's AU$1,149 starting price, showing this is one of the most expensive phones around.

But, in my view, worth every penny.

Design

The Galaxy S7 Edge is a phone that lives and dies by the way it looks. If you're only interested in the power, then just go for the standard Galaxy S7. The smaller, 'normal', model has got all the same smarts but a slightly sharper screen thanks to packing the same amount of pixels in a smaller space.

YouTube : https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JTQ9IbTV0iM

What it misses is the clever elements that Samsung's used on the Edge. The display curves further away into the sides of the phone than ever before, which means that even though you've got a phablet-sized display, the phone is as compact as possible.

Place it side by side with the iPhone 6S Plus, and you'll see what I mean. To think how much bezel is used above and below the display on Apple's phone is almost laughable, especially when you compare it to how tightly packed everything is on Samsung's model - and with a much, much larger battery.

Samsung Galaxy S7 edge review

One of my favorite parts of the design upgrade on the S7 Edge comes on the rear - using a process that sounds like it's been named by a sentient marketing machine, 3D Thermo Forming allows the brand to curve the rear of the phone into a single metal rim that runs all around the edge.

It's a feature that was used last year on the Note 5 (and also used by brands like Xiaomi) to really help the phone slip into your palm and remove any sharp metallic edges.

Combine that with the same curve on the front of the device, and you can see why it feels so smooth in the hand, almost pebble-esque in the way you can roll it around and around in your palm.

Intriguingly, this has led to some people feeling like it's not quite got the same premium feel as previous Samsung phones. By having less metal to grasp on to, you're touching the Gorilla Glass 4 covering, which can feel a little like plastic due to its lightweight (but still very strong) construction.

Samsung Galaxy S7 edge review

Tap the back of the phone and it lacks the sheen of metal, but in fairness that lack of metal allows for the wireless charging that's a key feature of the S7 Edge.

That back does have one issue: it's a fingerprint fairground, a veritable carnival for any crime scene investigators looking to nab you on some dirty villainy.

So many phones have that criticism thrown at them, but it's particularly true for Samsung's new curved phone. It's easy enough to wipe the sticky offenders off, but it's annoying to have to do it time and again.

The camera protrusion on the rear has been dropped down to just 0.42mm, which means it's barely noticeable when you're placing the phone down, while still being strong enough to help protect the lens.

And then you remember something else: this phone with the elegant rim and clean lines, complete with exposed ports… is waterproof.

Samsung Galaxy S7 edge review

No, sorry, water-RESISTANT, as it's IP68 rated. That means it's able to still work after being dunked in fresh water for 30 minutes up to a depth of 1.5 metres, so you'll be able to use it happily in the bath and not worry about dropping it – or in the shallow end of the swimming pool.

It's less of a 'let's take our phone scuba diving to get some amazing pictures', and more of a safety feature – and the phone will even refuse to charge if the port is too wet, such is the ability to manage moisture.

Sadly, we're still left with a single speaker firing out the bottom of the Galaxy S7 Edge, which doesn't really have the most premium of sound - however, it's serviceable and notably louder than other mono speakers past.

Overall, the design of the S7 Edge is something that I can't speak of highly enough. It feels amazing in the hand, Samsung has managed to bring enough upgrades to make this look and feel like a completely different phone, and most people when trying it for the first time will - even if they're not a fan - be able to appreciate something alternative in a world filled with black, rectangular slabs.

Screen

The display, while technically part of the design on the Galaxy S7 Edge, is worthy of chatting about in its own right - simply because it looks so great. It's the defining point when you pull this phone out with friends, and while it didn't elicit the same response that the S6 Edge did last year (like I said, curved displays are nothing new) it still gets a lot of approving looks - especially as it's combined with the curved back.

The QHD resolution of 2560 x 1440 still looks as good as anything I've seen on a smartphone. Despite being stretched a little from last year, the 5.5-inch size still looks absolutely pin sharp, with it being very hard to see any artefacts lying around on the screen.

Samsung Galaxy S7 edge review

It's amazing to think that two years after LG brought out the first mainstream QHD phone, that we still don't have any dedicated content that can be viewed at this resolution. However, despite that I don't feel like the Galaxy S7 Edge really suffers, as it makes web pages and viewing photos a really great experience.

The S7 Edge uses Super AMOLED technology, which Samsung's been chucking out for close to a decade now, and it really works to make the phone look premium and the colors really pop on the page.

The contrast ratio - the difference between the whitest whites and the blackest blacks - is still pretty sensational, which is because when they're not in use, the pixels are turned off.

With something like the iPhone 6S or the LG G5 you've got a display that just blocks out the backlight when the pixel is showing a black image, so there can be a small amount of light bleed through.

The Galaxy S7 Edge screen also has the added benefit of the side display, which is accessed by swiping your thumb along from the right or left hand side of the phone's screen (you can specify which in the settings).

Samsung Galaxy S7 edge review

Where this was a nonsense, useless feature in years gone by, the Galaxy S7 Edge now has a much more defined role for the side of the phone. You can easily get access to news, regular contacts, tools (the ruler, for digi-measuring is back - GET IN) and other elements which are currently in development.

Check out the Specs and Performance section of the review to hear a little bit more - or skip it entirely if you're bored of hearing me witter on about a piece of the display you can swipe.

Always On Display and superfast charging

Always on display

One of the best-looking features of the Galaxy S7 Edge is the fact it'll never be turned off if there's still battery life left inside the thing. Where before you'd have to tap the power button to wake the phone and see what the time was, or if you had any missed notifications, now the screen permanently has a clock, calendar or pattern on to keep you entertained and abreast of the hour of the day.

It's something that I was much more impressed with than I was expecting. The amount of times I'd approach the phone on a desk and wonder why the display was on were too many to shamelessly admit, but each time I found myself admiring the feature.

Samsung Galaxy S7 edge review

I'm still torn over whether this is a battery saving element of the phone or not. It takes about 0.8% per hour of your phone's juice by my reckoning, and over 24 hours, that's around a fifth of the battery power gone just so you can avoid buying a watch.

But Samsung believes we unlock our phones over 150 times a day, and by stopping us do that as much the battery will be saved as the device is no longer waking up, starting the CPU and connecting to reams of data services.

In practice, that claim seemed to bear out, although turning it off at night is a must as I couldn't handle it lighting up the room, despite only a very small amount of pixels being left on to show the time.

It's irritating that you can't have it turn off at a certain time of the night; instead, you can only switch to the Night Display, which is a similar thing but with less information down the side of the phone. I know you can just turn the phone over, but it seems like a missed opportunity.

However, there's one big flaw with the Always On Display - it can only show the time, date, battery life (and calendar, if you use that mode) as well as missed messages and phone calls.

Samsung Galaxy S7 edge review

I need it to be able to let me know if WhatsApp has pinged me, or if that buzz was from Facebook or my email. Samsung tells me that this is something those apps can code for, as it's an open API they can use, but it can't enable them itself.

It seems an odd thing to say, when it seems like a simple task to bring the icons from the notification bar to the front screen, but without that Always On seems something of a redundant feature in my eyes.

Superfast charging

There's nothing like running out of smartphone juice when you need it the most, and Samsung's trying to solve that issue in a couple of ways.

The main thing at work here is Adaptive Fast Charging, where the phone can work out precisely the best way to get juice into your phone.

You'll need to use the charger that comes in the box, as alternatives that promise to do a similar thing won't work as well - if at all . In theory, Samsung believes that you can get 50% battery life out of this charger in just 30 minutes – but in testing that's not quite the case, with about 30-35% juice incoming during the same time – and the phone gets pretty hot.

Samsung Galaxy S7 edge review

You'll need to turn it off to make sure it's getting the maximum speed though, so don't expect exact numbers if you're not going to be able to live without your handset for that amount of time.

Samsung's also improved the charging speed through the wireless charging on the back of the handset. The 'trigger point' is pretty small though, so you'll need to wiggle it around on a pad to make sure it's got the correct contact - not really the point of wireless charging, but it's good to be able to just lay the phone down on your known portion of the desk and have it work.

The speed here again depends on which charger you use - the Samsung charger is apparently pretty rapid, but as we didn't have this in the box to test I'm not able to confirm whether it's easier and quicker to use.

Game Launcher and microSD slot

I'm a little conflicted about this one, so let me explain what it's about first and then outline some of my reservations. The Launcher is simply a folder where you can add games, and when that's done you'll get a little icon in the corner while playing.

Tap that icon and you can disable alerts, lock the back and home keys, record a screen shot or video of yourself playing or minimise the game so I can quickly check something else while it's paused.

All well and good, and when you add in the ability to drop the framerate and pressure on the phone's GPU for less graphically-intensive games, is a really great tool to have. And when you're playing Candy Crush, the latter tool is a clever thing to have.

Samsung Galaxy S7 edge review

But the main issue I had is that the Game Launcher will scan your phone when you first turn it on and pull games into the folder - including things like Fantasy Football, which aren't actually games. Cool, no worries, I'll just click the 'edit' icon and remove them. Done.

Except... wait, the little Game Launcher icon is still there when I fire up the app, and I keep hitting it when I'm trying to use the app. I can't turn it off. What, Samsung?

And while it's great that I can lock the keys so I don't have to accidentally shut down the game mid-play, I KEEP hitting that fricking icon when I'm doing something like play Real Racing 3 or Piano Tiles, even though I think I've moved it out of the way.

I'm hoping things like this can be solved by Samsung with a firmware update soon, as they're too annoying to keep using the Game Launcher at all the way it's going now.

The recorded video is cool, and would be useful for people who like to do tutorials on a title. However, it would have been good to have a live streaming option here to help S7 users get the upper hand in the burgeoning world of mobile eSports - given there's that option in the camera, it would have been good to have it here.

You can select the quality level of the videos recorded too, and I'd advise upping the frame rate and resolution as the default option is a little choppy.

Fingerprint scanner

Samsung's fingerprint reader from last year was a massive step up over the intensely poor swipe method in the Galaxy S5 - and it appears that not much has changed this time around.

What's odd is that the reader will often get my digit scan wrong the first time, but it's nigh-on infallible for the second hit. It's never annoying, but there were times when the iPhone 6S or Huawei Mate 8 were just unstoppable no matter how close my finger was.

Samsung Galaxy S7 edge review

You can lock more elements of the phone with the scanner, such as signing into stuff on the web, but annoyingly there's very little in the way of apps that can secure themselves using your digit.

It seems like a massive win to be able to use your fingerprint to pay for things using PayPal etc on the internet - this was supposed to have happened with the Galaxy S5 so I'm irritated that it's not here for the S7.

MicroSD slot

I get that a lot of people missed this feature – and it's good that it's back, make no mistake about that. Samsung was wrong to get rid of it last year, but it wasn't wrong to stop using expandable storage in the way it did.

The truth is that phone performance suffers when you insert a microSD card, and Samsung recognised that its phones were among the worst for this. So it dropped the misfiring element and went for larger capacities of the higher-performing UFS 2.0 internal structure, which is a fancy way of saying 'faster internal storage'.

Samsung Galaxy S7 edge review

The upshot? You can take photos quicker, flick through galleries faster and install apps to it faster. Internal storage is always preferable to a microSD card, but having more space to throw your photos and movies helps save the 32GB of space you've got (and you've only got a shade over 24GB of usable memory to play with anyway).

I have noticed that the performance does suffer unless you put in a higher-performance card, and if you've already filled it with content then good luck pulling the photos off in any speedy way – they're massive already and take an age to copy across.

So while I think it's a good move for Samsung to add in the memory card – it's certainly the popular choice – I'd advocate anyone looking to add in the expansion to think about paying a little more to get a speedier microSD to avoid any issues later on.

Specs and performance

For all those that say 'oh, I hate Touchwiz' and use it as a reason not to buy a Samsung phone, well, you're running out of reasons to be so pigheaded.

I'm not saying that it's the same, better or worse than stock Android, but then again many brands are still skinning their phones and don't get the same level of vitriol that the South Korean giant picks up for its overlay.

The menu is now one long scrolling list of options, the icons are even flatter and easier to use and see, your level of customisation is high - in short, I can't really fault it as a skin.

Samsung Galaxy S7 edge review

I do think there's more that can be offered in terms of tweaks and tricks to make things work a little better, but if you want that then look at the Huawei range and its Emotion UI, as that's going to offer you the chance to alter nearly every element.

The new addition for the S7 Edge is the Upday portal to the left of your main home screens, which replaces Flipboard as the chance to fire news into Samsung users' eyes.

It's better than Flipboard in some ways: firstly, the curated news is decent and if you spend a little time customising the topics you'll generally find something relevant (although if you do spend time with Flipboard, you'll arguably get a better mix over time).

However, Upday presents itself as 'Apple News with brains' and that's a little over the top - it feels equally as informed as the iPhone service, but perhaps with a sheen of editorial interaction on top.

Samsung Galaxy S7 edge review

But it's really limited: it takes from sources that you can't decide, and while I spent time trying to tell it what I did and didn't like, it wasn't as good as other services, or dedicated apps that do the same thing.

HTC's Blinkfeed, for example, is a much more fully-featured portal, giving you the chance to choose your sources as well as mixing in Twitter and Facebook to give you some truly good elements to flick through during idle times queuing or trying to avoid life.

It's easier to just turn off the service, as it'll save a little battery too. You do get SOME good news, but unless Upday improves soon I can't say it's a big improvement to the mix.

Edge Display

The Edge display on the Galaxy S7 Edge is, thankfully, finally useful. When the Galaxy S7 launched you could essentially just flick the side of the screen and see a list of your favorite people. Woo.

Now, not only can you set your favorite apps, choose more people to talk to (and do more things with them), open tools and see the weather.

There are more coming too, with the downloads section of Samsung's Galaxy App portal starting to see more come through each day – so whether you want to clean up the RAM, get different news feeds or just keep an eye on what's trending on Twitter, you've got those options.

Samsung Galaxy S7 edge review

It's great to see that with the launch of the S7 you can now have double width widgets, so you can pack more info into that little swipe. Yes, this feature came to the S6 Edge range this year, but the S7 feels like the poster child for the extra width.

The other change is the 'stroke it for ages when the phone is turned off and the edge will sometimes show the time' feature is gone, as it was just awful. It took ages and you might as well have turned the phone on.

The night display feature is still there from the S6 upgrades though, and that little sliver of information is a better choice than the Always On Display, although it still pumps out a little bit of light in a pitch black room.

In short: I now use the Edge screen day to day as an easy way to get to the apps I want, as well as easily access the torch. That's not something I ever contemplated with the S6 Edge, as a combination of initial lack of functionality and less comfortable swiping meant I just ignored it – and for some reason, I find it more tactile on the newer phone.

Battery

Samsung had a real issue on its hands with the Galaxy S6 and S6 Edge: both had batteries that were smaller than the previous year, and struggled to last the day on a single charge.

It was a worse performance than the Galaxy S5, which was the first Samsung phone to not die in a heartbeat, and was a real shame as the brand pursued a design win over functionality.

So with the news that the Samsung Galaxy S7 Edge packed in a 3600mAh battery, I had massively high hopes that it would be able to hold on better than anything before it – and largely, that's true.

Samsung Galaxy S7 edge review

Usually a phone takes a few days to 'warm up' to optimal battery life, but the S7 Edge was pretty bullet-proof to start with. I noted that in the first three days' use I had around 25-15% battery life by bedtime, and that was with some pretty intensive use compared to how I'd normally use the phone.

It meant configuring a few settings, trying out all the different screen and color modes, using the camera, plugging the phone into the Gear VR and showing it off to all the family (who kept watching the same blooming dinosaur video… I must know everything there is to know about that massive-tailed megalizard).

It lost 10% overnight, which is a little high – it did have the Always On Display enabled though, which would explain why it was dropping a little overnight. A repeat test with it turned off (and do not disturb mode enabled) saw the battery drop just 2% though, showing that the S7 is pretty good at going to sleep and not drawing too much power.

This is partly to do with upgrades to the Exynos chip, but also thanks to the upgrades that Google has brought to the table with Android Marshmallow – the new Doze mode is more efficient at making sure the phones aren't constantly waking up and checking the network to see if there's any more information to feed you.

I appreciate that the balance is hard to achieve, giving you the information you want when you need it, but knowing when battery could be saved at less critical times. However, it's good to see that the S7 Edge provides a real step forward here.

The battery basically felt a little less 'slippy' compared to previous years, where I've noted that just having it in my pocket would cause the battery to drain for no reason. This was all the more maddening considering the Galaxy S6 pair could destroy our benchmark tests, seemingly able to view movies, play games and stream YouTube better than anything around.

Samsung Galaxy S7 edge review

However, in later days the phone started to show the telltale signs of poor battery management once again, dropping a few percent quickly here and there when using multiple apps – faster than something like the Huawei Mate 8, which is an absolute tank when it comes to battery retention, thanks to a militant attitude to app use when the phone has gone to sleep.

Let's talk numbers here: we ran our standard battery drain test, putting the phone up to 100% charge, starting a 90 minute full HD video at maximum brightness and seeing how much the battery dropped.


Intriguingly, the Galaxy S7 Edge managed just as much as its predecessor, offering a very impressed 14% drop over that period. Samsung's claim of 13 hours of HD movie watching seems a bit over the top, but we ran the test with the phone connected to Wi-Fi and cellular (as most people would do) so enabling Flight Mode would have helped improve things even further.

There's also the added benefit of having power saver mode enabled at the key points – you can choose to have this kick in at any point from 25% downwards, and again helps stretch things out a little longer. Ultra Power Saving Mode is there in emergencies, but I've found this is best used when you know you're going to need the phone running for long periods of time well before things get critical – it never seems to manage to extend things too much when you're getting into single digit battery life.

What does that mean overall? Well, the Samsung Galaxy S7 Edge has a decent battery life, no doubt about that. It beats many other phablets out there in terms of power management, with the iPhone 6S Plus in particular losing out in the battery test – although Apple's device does seem a touch stronger in general power management, but it's very close.

Battery life is an improvement on the new Edge. Are you going to feel like you've got one of the longest-lasting phones on the market? No, because Android still isn't set up to work that way.

Amazing battery life comes at the cost of notifications – if you want a phone that can completely shut them down, something like the Huawei range is amazing at it. But you'll get angry when you miss yet another chat notification because the phone has gone to sleep again.

Camera

The camera on the Samsung Galaxy S7 Edge is, without question, one of the best I've ever seen on a smartphone. Yes, the resolution has dropped to 12MP, but don't let that bother you. That lowering has meant faster auto-focusing, a wider field of view (so you can get more information into the picture) and a much more impressive low light performance.

Samsung Galaxy S7 edge review

Beyond that though, this is a sensor with real power. You can shoot in RAW for 'proper' photos you can manipulate later, the 'Pro' mode has a decent amount of choices so you can choose what the picture will look like in terms of focal length and tone.

Samsung Galaxy S7 edge review

Even the simple capability of double tapping the home button to activate the camera (which is a really nice element, if not as fast as some others on the market) helps the snapper feel more usable and intuitive - Samsung's really thought about the way it's put this package together. Pro tip: use the volume down button to take a picture, as it'll feel a lot steadier in the hand given this phone's slightly less wieldy size.

Take a look at the snaps on the next page to see what I mean - whether it's balanced photos, wide angles or just being able to capture the moment you're after, the Galaxy S7 Edge

Interface

One of the things that struck me during testing was just how many of the settings on the Galaxy S7 Edge were similar to the iPhone's interface.

Samsung Galaxy S7 edge review

I'm not getting drawn into the argument of which came first, as both can lay claim to doing things a certain way, but I kept finding that there are a lot of similarities between the two and that Samsung's certainly leaning towards a simpler camera interface, where Apple is packing in more settings - and the two are meeting somewhere in the middle.

One thing Samsung has weirdly added in is 'Motion pictures', taking a small video before the photo. It's just a rubbish feature - low res, silent videos that start way too early and have random lengths - not something I'll ever be sharing. Oh, and that's a little like Live Photos, isn't it, Samsung? Why aren't you making a bigger deal of 'Sound and Shot' instead?

Samsung Galaxy S7 edge review

Testing out the low light abilities of the S7 Edge yielded some interesting results - this is supposed to be one of the best around, combining some of the largest pixels with a big sensor and great aperture rating - so it should be sensational in low light.

The good news: it is. I compared it to the iPhone 6S Plus (Apple's best at low light photography, with optical image stablisation) and last year's Samsung Galaxy S6 Edge, to see where the improvements have come and how well-matched the two leading smartphone manufacturers' flagships are in low-light.

You can see the comparison shots on the next pages, but the main things that I noticed from the test were: the S7 is both speedy at focusing in low light and excellent at capturing detail (without blowing out the picture in a desperate attempt to let in more light).

The S6 Edge arguably had brighter pictures if you forced it to do so, but they were horrendously muddy and noisy as the camera left the shutter open a touch too long to get in more light.

The iPhone 6S Plus was more of a match, but didn't capture as much of the scene, nor with as much sharpness generally. Forcing the cameras on each to expose as hard as possible (by tapping on a pitch black element of the screen) showed that, again, the S7 Edge had the… er… beating of the other two, with a brilliant balance of sharpness and detail.

Selfies

I loathe selfies still (you don't need to be in every picture, nor is it hard to ask someone else to take one of you), but love or hate them, they're here to stay, and as such brands are working as hard as possible to pack in as many great features into our front-facing cameras as possible.

Samsung Galaxy S7 edge review

The Galaxy S7 Edge now has a very similar 'screen flash' method of illuminating faces in the front-facing camera to the iPhone - it's hard not to draw a comparison when this feature wasn't present in the S6 duo last year, but has popped up since Apple introduced it last year.

It's very similar in function as well, although it actually appears to give a brighter glow than Apple can manage. One thing that is clear though is that Samsung's selfies are a lot smoother, with the phone trying to clean up the image as much as possible.

That's even before sticking on beauty mode, which will smooth out skin, enlarge eyes and adjust lighting to make you look your 'very best' / 'like a weird monster if you push the settings too hard'.

I know it's perhaps a cultural thing, but I really wish beauty mode would disappear. I don't mind having a simple option to smooth out images a little, but this is just crazy and irritating if you forget to turn it off and wonder why you look a little like a confused alien in the resulting snap.

Camera samples

Samsung Galaxy S7 edge review

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Samsung Galaxy S7 Edge review

S7 Edge vs iPhone 6S vs S6 Edge

  • For each image set, the order is as follows: Galaxy S7 Edge, iPhone 6S Plus, Galaxy S6 Edge (except for the last one where the S6 Edge doesn't have a front-facing flash)

Samsung Galaxy S7 Edge review

Samsung Galaxy S7 Edge review

Samsung Galaxy S7 Edge review

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Samsung Galaxy S7 Edge review

Samsung Galaxy S7 Edge review

Movies, music and gaming

The Samsung Galaxy S7 Edge is supposed to be one of the best phones around for media consumption for a number of reasons: firstly, that screen.

Samsung's often had the best-looking phones on the market when it comes to display technology, and again it's managed that with the sumptuous curves of the latest Edge. Add that into the movie watching experience and it's one of the best around.

There's also the effort put in by its audio engineers over the years to bring the best possible sound quality to the mix on its flagship phones. I remember the smile I had on my face listening to music on the Galaxy S2, and that was a phone that could only just play higher-power MP3s - but compared to the rest, it was brilliant, with only Apple offering something similar to the mass market.

That heritage has continued with the S7 Edge, but it's not as necessary any more, which I'll come onto in a moment.

And when it comes to gaming you'd hope a phone of this caliber, with the amount of power being offered by Samsung's Exynos chip (or the Qualcomm Snapdragon 820 choice in the US), using the gruntiest GPUs alongside - so there's a lot to be excited about with the Galaxy S7 Edge.

Music

The audio capabilities of the S7 Edge are, as mentioned, among the best out there. Samsung's always had a very balanced, stable sound coming out of its headphone jack, with all kinds of audio being supported.

Samsung Galaxy S7 edge review

It's also a member of the Hi-Res Audio revolution, but it doesn't make a big deal about it, for some reason. You can play back high-end FLAC files on the Galaxy S7 Edge, and yes, they sound pretty good.

But here's the issue: it doesn't matter any more if a phone is capable of pumping out better quality sound. All that matters is whether or not it can play Spotify, or stream internet radio, or how much capacity it has for your millions of MP3s.

Don't get me wrong, it's BRILLIANT that this phone caters for the audiophiles out there, allowing them to download and put on the really high end stuff. Even streaming services (with a decent enough bit-rate) combined with a good pair of headphones will give you a great experience straight into your ears.

But delving into the audio settings on the Galaxy S7 Edge and you're offered a few nice tweaks: UHQ audio upscaling, different equaliser settings, amp-style alternatives to your current sound. They're all present, correct and great to see - but offer very little in terms of out-and-out improvements to the mix.

The upscaler can only work so much magic to your Spotify streams, and while there is a perceptible difference you have to work to hear it.

The only thing that's really going to change things for you is Samsung's Adapt Sound feature, something that's too often overlooked. By running a series of bleeps through your headphones the phone can work out where your perceptible hearing range is, meaning it can tailor the sound to be perfect for you.

It really does work, with the difference between the original and upgraded sounds being marked. Check it out if you buy the phone.

In terms of a music player, it's clear where the market is going. There's no bundled Samsung player here, so you're forced to use Google Music, which will instantly cajole you into signing up for its subscription service. It's fine - once you skip the screens it'll let you play stored music instantly, but it's a very basic player.

It's telling that hitting 'audio settings' in the app will take you to Samsung's inbuilt controls - a deal was clearly struck to use Google's music player to save bloatware. You can always download one of the reams of free players out there though, so you're never stuck if you're not a fan.

Movies

I'll always love watching movies on the Galaxy range of phones - no, let's qualify that. I'll always love watching them on OLED screens, because there's a richness to the color range and the contrast ratio is so strong that you feel like you're peering at a high-end TV.

Samsung Galaxy S7 edge review

There's not a lot to add to the Galaxy S7 Edge mix here, other than everything looks really great and clear on the 5.5-inch screen. Even lower-res streams will still come out clearer thanks to the screen technology, and while the edge display doesn't really add anything technologically, there's something cool about having it feel like you're looking at a bezel-less phone in your hand.

Your fingers don't hit the screen when you're watching either, so you can continue to watch unencumbered by the controls popping up and down.

I still think it's a shame the trick from the Galaxy Note Edge wasn't used again here: being able to have the video controls hidden out of the way on the curved screen at the bottom, but that was a little more of a novelty than anything else to be fair.

Gaming

The gaming experience on the S7 Edge is one of the best around - but it's not flawless. I've already been through the Game Launcher, and it does help in a lot of ways. Getting rid of the alerts during gameplay is something a lot of us will appreciate, but the little Game Tools icon that sits in the corner of the display still seems to get in the way a lot.

Tap-based games see me hitting it on occasion and ruining my attempts, which isn't something that seems very intuitive. Yes, you can move it out of the way, but I shouldn't have to. You can disable it altogether before you start gaming, but sometimes you want the functionality it offers (minimizing games is a big plus, for instance).

I appreciate this is getting a little nit-picky, but I wanted to explore this new option Samsung gave and it's a bit off. It's good that you can drop the framerate on some of the games to improve performance (and it doesn't even have that much of an effect on higher-power games, to be honest) but it can slow down some titles oddly.

Samsung Galaxy S7 edge review

Overall, gaming performance is so slick and smooth on the S7 Edge. That's not to say there weren't some times where it got a bit stuttery, as when playing Real Racing 3 with 20 cars crashing together on screen at once the performance coughed a little bit.

It was hardly worth crying over, but did ruin the infallible experience a little. On the whole though, you'll find all games should look clean and crisp on the screen, taking full advantage of the combination of higher pixel count and grunt-filled engine pumping underneath.

What else should I consider?

OK, you've read this far. You're feeling PRETTY good about the phone, but you're not sure whether it's the right phone for you.

I get that. You're a discerning human being. You want the best of the best and you want to make sure you're getting it. With that in mind, these are the phones that should be catching your eye, shimmying into vision and giving you confusing, lustful thoughts just before you make your final purchase.

Apple iPhone 6S Plus

iPhone 6S plus

I always wonder about this – do I really need to compare Apple and Samsung phones? Aren't people already in one camp or another, locked in an Android versus iOS battle royale?

I hope not. Flicking between phones is as simple as can be nowadays, and while you might lose a message or two, there's no worrying about whether or not you can get your apps and content across.

Both phones offer easy switching methods now, sucking key information from one handset to the next.

So that's that covered. Now, onto the phone: the iPhone 6S Plus has the same size 5.5-inch screen, a similar level of battery performance (albeit slightly less in some cases) and a wider range of apps, thanks to the entrenched iOS platform.

It's got a lower capacity base model (16GB) but costs a touch less as a result – although we expect the S7 Edge to drop too.

Both have a 12MP sensor, but the S7 Edge definitely offers better snaps with a better autofocus.

And then you have the issue of size – the 5.5-inch screen on the Edge is wrapped into the phone, making it SO much more compact than Apple's effort. However, the iPhone 6S Plus does feel slightly more premium thanks to the amount of metal used, which many will see as a plus.

LG G5

LG G5

The LG G5 isn't out yet, so strictly speaking it should be here. But with the metal unibody, innovative modular design and dual cameras, it's a world away from the boring old G4 from last year.

It's got a slightly smaller 5.3-inch display, and the cameras are 16MP and 8MP, offering dual focus (one for 'normal' photos, one for wide angle) which is an innovative, if slightly unimpressive, feature.

The phone fits well in the hand, has a powerful Snapdragon 820 CPU and has all the top-end features you'd expect from a flagship phone – plus LG handsets always cost a little less.

I'm not impressed with the modular elements yet, as being able to remove the battery is less of a necessary element these days, and the hi-fi / camera grip add ons don't see to really add that much to the mix.

But it's a solid and fun phone that will cost a little less.

Sony Xperia Z5 Premium

Z5 Premium

Sony's phablet is probably the closest in spec (and price) to the Samsung model, but has another headline feature on top: it's got a 4K screen on a phone with a display that measures only 5.5 inches – that's a lot of pixels shoved in to a small space.

It's also got a 23MP camera that's blisteringly quick on the autofocus, a waterproof design and oodles of power – although a step below the S7 Edge, as it's got the best bits of 2015, rather than this year.

However, it's not as ergonomic as the Edge, and the camera doesn't excel in as many areas (although the technical brilliance of Sony's sensor is worth checking out). It's a little cheaper to buy, and the speed of the phone is impressive too – with audio smarts that easily rival Samsung's too, it's a worthy look, if not quite in the same league.

Samsung Galaxy S7

Galaxy S7

The war that will divide a Galaxy: which S7 model is best for you? Both of these phones are alike in nearly every way: camera, power, screen performance and more.

The S7 is better if you want a cheaper phone without compromising on power, or want something a little more compact.

But the S7 Edge has a larger (and better) battery life, a more premium look and a larger screen to coo over – in my opinion, if you're spending this much money and can handle the extra heft, it's the one you should be looking at.

However, both are great phones and stand head and shoulders above most of what was offered last year, so it just depends on your ergonomic and financial preference.

Samsung Galaxy S6 Edge

S6 Edge

You can't help but look backwards when you're looking at the latest phones, as most brands now shove their older models down the price plans to make them into a more mid-range player.

And the S6 Edge is an award winning phone, one that still packs a lot of power into an attractive frame.

Sure, the camera isn't AS good as on the new S7 Edge, but it was one of the best of 2015 and will still offer brilliant snaps.

It's a lot cheaper too – and given it's only got a 5.1-inch screen, with the same QHD resolution, you'll still get a good viewing experience (if a teeny bit darker at times).

While the Galaxy S6 and S7 are very alike in terms of design, the two Edge variants are quite distinct here – so you've got a decent choice to make between the two.

Verdict

It's nice to have a phone like the Galaxy S7 Edge to review. A handset from a brand that seems to have worked out what was missing from last year's model and worked to address those concerns while also improving and tweaking the phone in other ways to make it a distinct upgrade.

Is it the perfect phone? Surely no such thing exists...

Samsung Galaxy S7 edge review

We liked

The second you pick up the Samsung Galaxy S7 Edge, you know you're holding a premium phone. Actually, that moment happens before that, as when you approach, the Always On Display will intrigue you, and the blended curve design will entice a little further.


Perhaps that's a little on the hyperbolic front, but it's the same feeling I got with the earlier HTC One line, a set of phones that get you in with the look from the very first grip.

Then you can mention that this phone is waterproof, which gets people's eyes raised. To some, the microSD slot is a big win (although I still want to see that used over time to make sure it doesn't munch up performance) – and then you show them the camera.

Samsung Galaxy S7 edge review

Some of the pictures I snapped were much better than I expected, and people were constantly commenting on the quality of even a standard quick snap. Blown up and analysed, they're not DSLR level, but for sharing on social media and viewing on phone screens (and even sent to a TV) they look sensational – this will really be a selling point for Samsung.

The battery life improvements are a relief and push Samsung back into the realm of 'decent enough power management' – you'll get a good day's use out of the S7 Edge easily. This could be better, but it's something that sorely needed fixing and has been upgraded.

However, the main thing that I liked about the Samsung Galaxy S7 was the sum of its parts. Everything about it was a little bit above what I expected, whether that's the refinements to the home screen and interface, the improved power management, the speed and performance of the camera, the fact it can be thrown in a pond… it's these little things that add up to making a truly good phone.

We disliked

I'm still not sold on how well the microSD support will go in the Galaxy S7 Edge – if you're putting in an average quality card I've got a sneaking suspicion that over time it's going to slow the phone down a little if you've got too much information that needs to be scanned – so definitely think about choosing something with a good read / write speed on it.

Samsung Galaxy S7 edge review

Battery life is another thing that will need to be watched: while Samsung has definitely improved things massively here, it's not in the same league as some of the more hardcore smartphones that can run for days without charge.

I get there's a balance here, but with a phone that's got a mega 3600mAh battery underneath I was thinking it was easily going to last for possibly 4-5 years on a charge. Perhaps I'm overly ambitious, something of a dreamer.

However, while battery life is good enough for a phone of this size and power, it would have been nice if Samsung had managed to team up the best camera with the longest-lasting battery.

Game Launcher is something that leaves a lot to be desired too – it's got a lot of potential, and being able to customise your gaming experience is a nice touch.

It still can get in the way at times though and could do with a bit of tweaking by Samsung.

And let's not forget: this thing is EXPENSIVE. It's rivalling the iPhone 6S for cost (but with more storage at the base level) so you'll need to be ready to pay a higher sum for this phone.

That said, the excellent array of design, spec, power and performance on offer makes the S7 Edge leading in many areas, so if a phone was going to cost a helluva lot, this is the kind of phone you'd expect.

Verdict

As you can see above, the positives far outweigh the negatives with this handset. Once you're past the cost element (and that is something to take into consideration) you've got a phone that many will find it hard to put down.

Whether it's just rolling the refined chassis around in the hand, taking pictures that look great nine times out of ten or just enjoying the clarity and sharpness of the screen, the S7 Edge manages to delight in a world where smartphones are being offered with razor thin differences between them.

We could always want more from our handsets – that seems to be the way the human race is geared nowadays – but if you're looking for a well-designed, powerful phone that actually packs some useful features day to day, the S7 Edge is the one to go for.










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GENERAL
2G Network GSM 850 / 900 / 1800 / 1900
3G Network HSDPA 850 / 900 / 1700 / 1900 / 2100
4G Network LTE band 1(2100), 2(1900), 3(1800), 4(1700/2100), 5(850), 7(2600), 8(900), 12(700), 13(700), 17(700), 18(800), 19(800), 20(800), 25(1900), 26(850), 28(700), 29(700) - A1688
Sim Nano-SIM
Announced 9/9/2015
Status Available. Released 2015, September
BODY
Dimensions 138.3 x 67.1 x 7.1 mm (5.44 x 2.64 x 0.28 in)
Weight 143 g (5.04 oz)
DISPLAY
Display Size 4.7 inches, 60.9 cm2 (~65.6% screen-to-body ratio)
MultiTouch Yes
Protection Ion-strengthened glass, oleophobic coating
SOUND
AlertTypes Vibration, proprietary ringtones
LoudSpeaker Yes
3.5mm jack Yes
MEMORY
CardSlot No
Internal 16/32/64/128 GB, 2 GB RAM
DATA
GPRS Yes
EDGE Yes
Speed HSPA 42.2/5.76 Mbps, LTE-A (2CA) Cat6 300/50 Mbps, EV-DO Rev.A 3.1 Mbps
WLAN Wi-Fi 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac, dual-band, hotspot
Blue Tooth 4.2, A2DP, LE
NFC Yes (Apple Pay only)
USB 2.0, proprietary reversible connector
CAMERA
Camera Primary 12 MP (f/2.2, 29mm, 1/3", 1.22 µm), phase detection autofocus, dual-LED dual-tone flash, check quality
Camera Features Geo-tagging, simultaneous 4K video and 8MP image recording, touch focus, face/smile detection, HDR (photo/panorama)
CameraVideo 2160p@30fps, 1080p@60fps,1080p@120fps, 720p@240fps, check quality
CameraSecondary 5 MP (f/2.2, 31mm), 1080p@30fps, 720p@240fps, face detection, HDR, panorama
FEATURES
OS iOS 9, upgradable to iOS 11.2
CPU Dual-core 1.84 GHz Twister
Sensors Fingerprint (front-mounted), accelerometer, gyro, proximity, compass, barometer
Messaging iMessage, SMS (threaded view), MMS, Email, Push Email
Browser HTML5 (Safari)
Radio No
GPS Yes, with A-GPS, GLONASS, GALILEO, QZSS
Java No
Colors Space Gray, Silver, Gold, Rose Gold
BATTERY
Battery Non-removable Li-Ion 1715 mAh battery (6.91 Wh)
StandBy Up to 240 h (3G)
TalkTime Up to 14 h (3G)
MISC
Updated: iPhone 7 release date, news and rumors

iPhone 6S / 7: Release date, news and rumors

Latest update: The iPhone 6S could launch as soon as August and it might include a 12MP camera and a new colour scheme.

The iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus have been with us long enough now that we're getting a little tired of them. Fickle, we know. But the mooted specs and features of the new iPhone (probably called the iPhone 6S, with the iPhone 7 coming in 2016) are starting to trickle out.

Current highlights include Force Touch, the Apple SIM, a DSLR-quality camera and double the RAM of the iPhone 6, so you're free to start getting excited.

We've also rounded up 10 things we think should appear in the next iteration for Apple to finally have the all-conquering handset it's been trying to create for so many years.

What would you like to see in the iPhone 6S and iPhone 7? Do let us know in the comments. But before we get to what we want to see, here are the best (and most believable) of the rumors on offer so far:

Cut to the chase

  • What is it? Apple's next flagship
  • When is it out? Very likely September 2015
  • What will it cost? A lot, at least £539 / $649 / AU$999

Apple iPhone 6S / iPhone 7 release date

One report pegs the iPhone 6S / iPhone 7 as launching in August, which is ahead of the September launch we'd expected. Apparently the change is due to an excessive component yield.

Indeed according to GSM Dome Apple has started ordering camera sensors from Sony for the iPhone 6C, which follows news that Samsung is reportedly already producing the A9 processor that is expected to be included in the iPhone 6S, so all of the iPhone 6S/7 models could be ahead of schedule.

But while an August launch would be nice September 2015 is still our best guess for the iPhone 6S, as previous models have launched in that same month.

Apple iPhone 6S / iPhone 7 design

The iPhone 6S could be getting a new colour scheme as a rose gold version is said to be on the cards as well as a pink model.

The last thing Apple wants is a bendy phone, so it's not entirely surprising that we're also hearing rumors the iPhone 6S / iPhone 7 might feature the lightweight and strong Series 7000 aluminium alloy it uses on the Apple Watch Sport.

There are numerous Apple patents in the wild which point to weird and wonderful designs, but haven't yet come to anything, such as more than one for a phone with a curved display, a little like the Galaxy Note Edge. It's possible that we could see that in the iPhone 6S, but we'd be very surprised.

Not only would it be a risky move to bring something so untested to market but Apple has just redesigned its handsets with the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus, so in all likelihood this year's models will stick to roughly the same design, albeit with beefed up innards, such as a faster A9 processor.

Apple iPhone 6S / iPhone 7 screen

The iPhone 6S will probably remain at 4.7 inches, with a 5.5-inch iPhone 6S Plus option too and possibly even a 4.0-inch iPhone 6C model. As well as being available in a smaller size the screen might get tougher, as rumors suggest that Apple has teamed with Foxconn to produce sapphire displays for the iPhone 6S.

Such screens were rumored for the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus, but production difficulties seemingly got in the way. Hopefully this time we actually will get them as it would bring better scratch protection and higher visibility to the screen.

Apple iPhone 6S / iPhone 7 rivals

As the only flagship iOS device the iPhone 6S will be in the fortunate position of not having any direct rivals. But look towards Android and it could have quite a lot of competition. The HTC One M9 and Samsung Galaxy S6 are high end alternatives and are likely to have dropped in price considerably by the time the iPhone 6S launches.

HTC One M9

Both also sport a premium design, making them every bit as aesthetically pleasing as the iPhone 6. Speaking of the iPhone 6, that too could be a rival, since the iPhone 6S will probably have the same look and may not have many new features.

Then there's the LG G4, which could tempt all but the staunchest of Apple fans and Samsung is bound to have another Note up its sleeve, with the Samsung Galaxy Note 5 likely to be a serious iPhone 6S Plus rival.

Apple iPhone 6S / iPhone 7 camera and battery

Apple could be giving the iPhone 6S a megapixel boost, upping its camera to 12MP if rumors prove accurate. Apple has acquired a company which creates smartphone cameras designed to match DSLR quality, so we could also see a big jump in image quality on the iPhone 6S.

That lines up with earlier reports from Daring Fireball's John Gruber, who said the iPhone 6S will have "the biggest camera jump ever", featuring a two-lens system which apparently brings it up to DSLR quality. There's even an outside chance that the camera might include a lens swap feature, making it even more like a DSLR, as back in early 2014 an Apple patent for swappable lenses was uncovered.

But don't hold your breath for these features, as the original two-lens rumor has had doubt cast on it by a separate source, claiming that it won't happen as it would apparently require a radical redesign of the chassis- something we're not likely to see until the following year.

The battery may be in for a boost though, as Apple is seemingly going on a hiring spree for battery-related positions.

Apple iPhone 6S / iPhone 7 OS and power

The iPhone 6S will of course come with a new processor, probably dubbed the A9 and we're hearing again that Samsung is in the frame to build the chip, which will apparently be 15% smaller, 20% more powerful and 35% more power efficient than the Apple A8 processor found in the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus.

It will also be better to flick around, thanks to the mooted upgrade in the specs - 2GB of RAM would certainly soup up an already zippy phone and it's an upgrade which has now been rumored a second time, so it might well happen. That said, the obvious worry is whether developers hoovering up that extra power will cause Apple to return to its usual battery woes.

Reports suggest Apple will publicly try out its next operating system through a beta system later this summer. According to reports from 9to5mac Apple will let users sign up to a beta programme for iOS 9 with access coming to those public testers at some point during the summer.

If the rumors are to be believed it will then launch on the iPhone 6S/7, but will likely only supply bug fixes and won't introduce any major new features.

Apple iPhone 6S / iPhone 7 other features

The iPhone 6S could get two innovative features if rumors are to be believed. First up there's the Apple SIM, which first appeared in the iPad Air 2 and allows users to switch network without changing their SIM card. Network freedom would be great, but we're not convinced that carriers will support it.

The other rumored feature takes the form of 'Force Touch'. This is something we're first seeing on the Apple Watch and it allows the display to differentiate between different strength presses, responding in different ways.

According to sources speaking to Apple Insider and echoed by The Wall Street Journal, the feature will make it across to the iPhone 6S (or possibly just the iPhone 6S Plus).

Aside from those things it's expected that support for Apple's new streaming music service will be included in the iOS 8.4 update, but that isn't confirmed just yet so Apple may wait until iOS 9 on the iPhone 6S and bring it in as a major new feature. The music streaming service comes after Apple purchased Beats last year and is expected to take on the tough competition of Spotify.

Apple iPhone 6C

Along with the iPhone 6S and the iPhone 6S Plus there's talk that we might see an iPhone 6C. This is expected to be a comparatively budget plastic handset, much like the iPhone 5C was.

However the iPhone 6C could prove more popular as it's expected to have a 4.0-inch screen, making it not just cheaper but also smaller than this year's other iPhones.

iPhone 6C leak

We may already have caught a glimpse of the iPhone 6C in red and while its existence still isn't confirmed a number of rumors have pointed to one, so it's looking likely, though analyst Ming-Chi Kuo is unconvinced.

If the iPhone 6C does exist it's rumored to have curved screen edges, a little like the iPhone 6, but with a design that has more in common with the iPhone 5S (or the 5C, since it looks to be plastic).

It's unlikely that the iPhone 6C will share many specs with the iPhone 6S and indeed a report from DigiTimes suggests it will ship with an A8 processor (as found in the iPhone 6) and will also include Touch ID and NFC (for Apple Pay).

Apple iPhone 6S / iPhone 7 cost

There aren't yet any rumors associated with the cost of the iPhone 6S, but we can take an educated guess that it won't start at less than £539 / $649 / AU$999, since that's what you're looking at for an iPhone 6.

The only possible exception to that is the iPhone 6C, which likely will be a little cheaper if it exists. If anything though the iPhone 6S might be even more expensive, since it's likely to be jam-packed with high-end tech.

iPhone 6S / 7: What we want to see

1. A smaller screen

Ten things we'd like to see in the iPhone 6S and iPhone 7

We know, we know. Everybody's been going "Apple should totally make bigger phones", and now we're effectively saying "O noes! Apple your phones are too big!" But bear with us on this one.

For many people the iPhone 5S is the perfect size, big enough for apps but not so big you need a friend to help you carry it. If you tend to use your phone as a phone, bigger screens can be counter-productive, especially if you have small hands or just don't like holding something enormous to the side of your head.

We think an iPhone 6S or iPhone 7 with the same screen size as the 5S would be a winner, not instead of the larger models, but alongside them. The good news is rumors suggest this is exactly what we're going to get.

2. Wireless charging

Ten things we'd like to see in the iPhone 6S and iPhone 7

Wireless charging remains one of the most frustrating technologies around, because while it's here, it works and it feels like living in the future, it isn't as widely supported as we'd like.

It's rather like Google Wallet's NFC payments in that respect: the idea's sound but maybe it needs a fruit-themed firm from Cupertino to get on board before it'll really take off. An iPhone 6S or iPhone 7 with wireless charging would be great, especially if the same charger worked for the Apple Watch too.

3. Lightning cables that don't die

Ten things we'd like to see in the iPhone 6S and iPhone 7

Some members of the Ephemeroptera family, such as mayflies, have a lifespan of just one day. That means they last approximately eleventy billion times longer than Lightning cables.

We know that spontaneously self-harming cables should be covered by the warranty, but if the iPhone 6S and iPhone 7 Lightning cables could be toughened up to save us those trips to the Genius Bar we'd be delighted. If Apple won't give us wireless charging, it could at least eliminate the weakness in its chargers.

4. No more 16GB models

iOS 8 adoption has stalled, and we reckon it's largely because people with 16GB iPhones don't have enough free space for the 5.7GB over-the-air update and don't want to use iTunes because, well, iTunes.

When your software updates are too big for your entry level products, your entry level products clearly don't come with enough storage. How about starting at 32GB for the iPhone 6S and 64GB for the iPhone 7? We can't store everything in iCloud, even when it's working properly.

5. The same camera as the iPhone 6 Plus

Ten things we'd like to see in the iPhone 6S and iPhone 7

The iPhone 6 Plus camera takes better photos than the iPhone 6 camera because it's stabilised.

The necessary bits and pieces add a whopping 0.2mm to the thickness of the device, and we can promise Apple that the number of people who wouldn't buy an iPhone 6S or iPhone 7 because it was 7.1mm instead of 6.9mm is as insignificant as that 0.2mm difference.

6. More RAM

The current iPhones are perfectly nippy, but Safari's need to reload web pages when you've only got a few tabs open is a big clue that iOS would really like some more RAM to play with. The more stuff your phone does, such as tracking your health or communicating with your Apple watch, the more RAM it can use.

64-bit apps need more RAM than 32-bit apps anyway. Thankfully the iPad Air 2 has 2GB of RAM and there's speculation that the next iPhone will as well.

7. An alternative to super SuperSlipOMinium

Ten things we'd like to see in the iPhone 6S and iPhone 7

The iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus are made from a metal that appears to be SuperSlipOMinium, a substance so slippery that human hands simply can't grip it. That's great news for the screen replacement and third party protective case industries, but it'd be nice if holding our phones was easier than gripping a wet eel.

8. A higher resolution screen

Ten things we'd like to see in the iPhone 6S and iPhone 7

The screens of the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus deliver 326ppi and 401ppi respectively. That's pretty good, but the higher density of rival devices such as the HTC One M9's 441ppi and the Samsung Galaxy S6's 577ppi is better still. If you like big phones and tend to hold them close, you'd want that kind of pixel density in your iPhone 6S or iPhone 7.

9. Better battery life

You could make this point in the wish list for any smartphone, of course, but while the iPhone 6 Plus is comfortably ahead of its rivals in the stamina stakes the iPhone 6 isn't. That's because the Plus has more room for a significantly bigger battery, but once again we'd be willing to trade slimness for power: a 4.7-inch iPhone 6S or iPhone 7 that was slightly thicker but lasted longer would be an easy sell.

The big problem with battery life, of course, is that all the other stuff on your wish list tends to affect it. Higher pixel densities can negatively affect battery life, as can using more RAM. Such changes don't necessarily have a huge impact individually, but smartphones are very tricky balancing acts: you can have extraordinary performance, incredible displays and astonishing battery life, but you can't have all three at the same time just yet.

10. Flexible displays

Ten things we'd like to see in the iPhone 6S and iPhone 7

Never mind fighting against accusations of bendy phones. Apple should embrace them and make the iPhone 6S or iPhone 7 the bendiest smartphone the world has ever seen. We're talking flexible screens printed on plastic instead of glass, iPhones that you can bend and twist and sit on to your heart's content without any unpleasant consequences. If nothing else Apple should do it purely to annoy Samsung, who have been promising bendable smartphones for years.

iPhone 6S / 7: Concepts

We're a long way from the launch of the new iPhone, people. If you can't wait to find out what it's going to look like, well, the internet never disappoints.

OK - it does if you're looking for actual accurate visuals on the next iPhone, but the concept artists have already been grinding their digital looms into action to start showing us how they think the next version should look:

Bring back the Nano!

iPhone 7

A slightly older look to things, this concept by Jackson Chung uses new technology to bring the size of the iPhone back down.

With the touch sensitive panels on the side, the phone will enable a low power display to show message or app notifications without needing to waste energy firing up the battery-guzzling screen.

Plus the side controls allow for all new gaming abilities for your digits - that's an idea we can get on board with.

Sharpen up

iPhone 6S

Apparently Apple's subtle curves got it all wrong. What we need is to drop the home button (but keep the space as an homage to the logo) and then make it grippably industrial again.

The always-popular edge to edge display is out in force once more, and Jan-Willem Reusink's idea is still all about the metal. But what about the radio signal eh? That's one for Apple to work out, apparently.








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UPDATED: All 38 Apple Watch designs: Every band, case and face so far

Apple Watch: watch cases and bands

Apple Watch features

This week was the Apple Watch launch day, but you can't try on the iPhone-compatible wearable yet since we're a month away from pre-orders and two weeks further from its official release date.

That's a problem for anxious early adopters who want it now. The April 24-bound smartwatch comes in a variety of colors and styles, way more than the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus.

In fact, there are 38 different Apple Watch choices (up from the original 34) and nine default watch faces with millions of customizations, according to Apple.

Here's every Apple Watch face, band and case announced so far, giving you extra time to decide which "iWatch" should be your watch before waiting in line.

Cases: Apple Watch vs Sport vs Watch Edition

YouTube : https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Zr72v7Z7m4Y

All Apple Watches boast the same rectangular design with rounded off corners, but they're divided up into three different case "collections" based on build materials.

Starting at $349 (£299) and costing as much as $17,000 (£13,500, AU$24,000), the names Watch, Watch Sport and Watch Edition, don't tell us a whole lot about those differences, so let's explain each watch case.

The regular Apple Watch

Apple Watch design and colors

Donning the "regular" Watch puts a highly polished stainless steel case on your wrist, one that comes in glossy metal colors of either space black or stainless steel.

Protecting the precious Retina display is sapphire crystal, which is the same glass that covers the Touch ID home button of newer iPhones.

Sapphire crystal is touted as the hardest transparent material on earth next to diamond. It'll stand up to dings every time your formerly-bare wrist forgets what it's like to wear a watch.

Watch Sport

Apple Watch design and colors

Sport is the the lightest of the three Apple Watch choices thanks to its anodized aluminum case that still manages to be 60% stronger than standard alloys.

It skips out of the expensive sapphire glass in favor of what Apple calls strengthened Ion-X or aluminosilicate glass. This further reduces the weight, making it fit for active lifestyles.

Sure, the iPhone-matching matte space gray and silver aluminum case appears less shiny vs the regular Watch, but Apple's 7000 Series aluminum and Ion-X glass makes it 30% lighter.

It's also the least expensive Apple Watch version at $349 (£299) for the 38mm size and 42mm for the $399 (£339) size.

Watch Edition

Apple Watch design and colors

Watch Edition will be the most expensive Apple Watch at $10,000 (£8,000) because of its 18-karat gold case. It may even be locked inside a safe within your local Apple Store.

It's been crafted by Apple's metallurgists to be twice as hard as standard gold, says the Cupertino company, and will come in two colors: yellow gold and rose gold.

Complementing those cases are color-matching bands made of leather or fluoroelastomer plastic.

Bands are the next step in deciding on the right Apple Watch.

Six different band styles, 18 colors

Apple Watch bands

Apple Watch is all about personalization with six band types and 18 colors, all of which are easily interchangeable thanks a unique slide-out locking mechanism.

Yes, it's a proprietary watch strap - did you expect anything less? - but it looks to be a whole lot easier to switch out compared to the irksome hidden pins of the Moto 360.

I'm okay with that. I want the sport band at the gym and the Milanese loop for a night on the town without the hassle of digging into the watch case with a pair of tweezers.

Link bracelet

Apple Watch bands

Apple Watch choices

Available with the regular Watch, the link bracelet is one of two stainless steel Apple Watch bands. This one matches the 316L stainless steel alloy of the case.

It has more than 100 components and the brushed metal links increase in width closer to the case. A custom butterfly closure folds neatly within the bracelet.

Best of all, you can add and remove links with a simple release button. No jeweler visits or special tools required for this stainless steel or space black-colored strap.

Milanese loop

Apple Watch bands

Apple Watch bands

One of the classiest-looking Apple Watch bands is the Milanese loop, a stainless steel mesh strap that loops from case to clasp.

Emphasizing that woven metal design, there's hardly a clasp. Its tiny magnetic end makes the strap infinitely adjustable and tucks behind the band for a seamless look on one's wrist.

An out-of-the box option with the regular Watch, the Milanese loop is truly one of a kind in that it only comes in a stainless steel color.

Modern buckle (leather strap)

Apple Watch bands

Apple Watch leather

A modern buckle adorns the bottom the first of three leather options among Apple Watches, complete with top-grain leather sourced from France.

The French tannery is said to have been established in 1803, but Apple puts a tech-savvy twist on the buckle. It's a two-piece magnetic clasp that only looks ordinary when together.

This leather option comes in black, soft pink, brown or midnight blue for the regular Watch and bright black, red or rose gray for the premium Watch Edition, all meant for the smaller 38mm watch size.

Classic buckle (leather strap)

Apple Watch design and colors

Apple Watch models

If the Apple Watch modern buckle is a normal-looking watch band with a magnetic twist, then the classic buckle is an ordinary-looking variant without one.

No tricks here. It's just a traditional and secure band that feeds through a stainless steel or an 18-karat gold loop and matches the watch case.

The classic buckle's leather is from the Netherlands and the color choices are as simple as can be: it comes in black for the regular Watch or either black or midnight blue for Watch Edition.

Leather loop

Apple Watch bands

Apple Watch design

This is the leather-equivalent of the all-metal Milanese loop because it tucks magnets into the soft, quilted leather Apple Watch band.

The more pronounced pebbled texture also stands out from the subtle finishes of the modern and classic buckle. Apple says its Venezia leather sources from Italy.

Apple Watch buyers who go with the leather loop band have four colors choices: black, stone, light brown and bright blue.

Sport band

Apple Watch bands

Apple Watch sport band

Despite its name, the sport band is an out-of-the-box option among all three "collections," not just the Apple Watch Sport.

The band is made of smooth fluoroelastomer, so it's resilient for all activities and fastens with a simple pin-and-tuck closure. Hopefully it's easier to buckle than the Fitbit Charge.

The sport band is available in the most colors on the Sport Watch: white, black, blue, green or pink. Regular Watch and Watch Edition buyers can choose between black or white.

Apple Watch sizes

Apple Watch sizes

Less exciting, but equally important is the choice of among Apple Watch sizes. There are two case heights: 38mm and 42mm.

This opens it up to smaller and larger wrists. The 38mm size is more compact, but having that little bit extra screen space by way of the 42mm option may go a long way.

It should be noted that a few bands appear to be exclusive to certain sizes: the modern buckle is limited to the 38mm option and leather loop the 42mm size, for example.

No right-handed and left-handed Apple Watch decisions need to be made at the Apple Store, thankfully. This smartwatch is ambidextrous because the screen can be flipped.

Apple Watch faces

Apple Watch analog watches

There are nine different default faces from Apple, according to its official website, and likely a lot more to come from third-party developers currently testing out WatchKit.

The great thing about smartwatch faces is that none of them are permanent, something we were fond of when testing out Android Wear smartwatches.

Mickey Mouse is my favorite because I never got a Mickey Mouse watch as a kid. But maybe that'll be reserved for Disneyland visits now that I'm an adult.

Analog watches like Chronograph, Color, Simple and Utility can be swapped in for a more professional look that rivals today's best smartwatch alternatives.

Customizable watch faces

Apple Watch designs

Digital watch faces all have something unique to offer. Motion adds a bit of animal-inspired movement in the background, solar lets you follow the sun's path based on your location and the time of day and astronomy lets you explore space and a rotatable 3D Earth.

Modular, the grid-like ninth watch face, really defines what Apple means when it talks about complications. Most faces can be alerted to include pressing information like stock quotes, weather reports or your next calendar event, according to the company.

Apple Watch wrap-up

Apple Watch

With two sizes for most band designs, six band types, 18 band colors and three cases with two colors each, there's a lot of choice going into this smartwatch purchase.

Apple Watch is launching with a lot of personalization, echoing a time when the Cupertino firm introduced variety among its iMac G3 computers and iPod successors.

Which case and band combination I get has ultimately been determined by the price and availability. For such a new product that's bound to be outdated in a few months to years, I'm leaning toward the cheaper Sport Edition when the Apple Watch release date rolls around.








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UPDATED: All 38 Apple Watch designs: Every band, case and face so far

Apple Watch: watch cases and bands

Apple Watch features

This week was the Apple Watch launch day, but you can't try on the iPhone-compatible wearable yet since we're a month away from pre-orders and two weeks further from its official release date.

That's a problem for anxious early adopters who want it now. The April 24-bound smartwatch comes in a variety of colors and styles, way more than the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus.

In fact, there are 38 different Apple Watch choices (up from the original 34) and nine default watch faces with millions of customizations, according to Apple.

Here's every Apple Watch face, band and case announced so far, giving you extra time to decide which "iWatch" should be your watch before waiting in line.

Cases: Apple Watch vs Sport vs Watch Edition

YouTube : https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Zr72v7Z7m4Y

All Apple Watches boast the same rectangular design with rounded off corners, but they're divided up into three different case "collections" based on build materials.

Starting at $349 (£299) and costing as much as $17,000 (£13,500, AU$24,000), the names Watch, Watch Sport and Watch Edition, don't tell us a whole lot about those differences, so let's explain each watch case.

The regular Apple Watch

Apple Watch design and colors

Donning the "regular" Watch puts a highly polished stainless steel case on your wrist, one that comes in glossy metal colors of either space black or stainless steel.

Protecting the precious Retina display is sapphire crystal, which is the same glass that covers the Touch ID home button of newer iPhones.

Sapphire crystal is touted as the hardest transparent material on earth next to diamond. It'll stand up to dings every time your formerly-bare wrist forgets what it's like to wear a watch.

Watch Sport

Apple Watch design and colors

Sport is the the lightest of the three Apple Watch choices thanks to its anodized aluminum case that still manages to be 60% stronger than standard alloys.

It skips out of the expensive sapphire glass in favor of what Apple calls strengthened Ion-X or aluminosilicate glass. This further reduces the weight, making it fit for active lifestyles.

Sure, the iPhone-matching matte space gray and silver aluminum case appears less shiny vs the regular Watch, but Apple's 7000 Series aluminum and Ion-X glass makes it 30% lighter.

It's also the least expensive Apple Watch version at $349 (£299) for the 38mm size and 42mm for the $399 (£339) size.

Watch Edition

Apple Watch design and colors

Watch Edition will be the most expensive Apple Watch at $10,000 (£8,000) because of its 18-karat gold case. It may even be locked inside a safe within your local Apple Store.

It's been crafted by Apple's metallurgists to be twice as hard as standard gold, says the Cupertino company, and will come in two colors: yellow gold and rose gold.

Complementing those cases are color-matching bands made of leather or fluoroelastomer plastic.

Bands are the next step in deciding on the right Apple Watch.

Six different band styles, 18 colors

Apple Watch bands

Apple Watch is all about personalization with six band types and 18 colors, all of which are easily interchangeable thanks a unique slide-out locking mechanism.

Yes, it's a proprietary watch strap - did you expect anything less? - but it looks to be a whole lot easier to switch out compared to the irksome hidden pins of the Moto 360.

I'm okay with that. I want the sport band at the gym and the Milanese loop for a night on the town without the hassle of digging into the watch case with a pair of tweezers.

Link bracelet

Apple Watch bands

Apple Watch choices

Available with the regular Watch, the link bracelet is one of two stainless steel Apple Watch bands. This one matches the 316L stainless steel alloy of the case.

It has more than 100 components and the brushed metal links increase in width closer to the case. A custom butterfly closure folds neatly within the bracelet.

Best of all, you can add and remove links with a simple release button. No jeweler visits or special tools required for this stainless steel or space black-colored strap.

Milanese loop

Apple Watch bands

Apple Watch bands

One of the classiest-looking Apple Watch bands is the Milanese loop, a stainless steel mesh strap that loops from case to clasp.

Emphasizing that woven metal design, there's hardly a clasp. Its tiny magnetic end makes the strap infinitely adjustable and tucks behind the band for a seamless look on one's wrist.

An out-of-the box option with the regular Watch, the Milanese loop is truly one of a kind in that it only comes in a stainless steel color.

Modern buckle (leather strap)

Apple Watch bands

Apple Watch leather

A modern buckle adorns the bottom the first of three leather options among Apple Watches, complete with top-grain leather sourced from France.

The French tannery is said to have been established in 1803, but Apple puts a tech-savvy twist on the buckle. It's a two-piece magnetic clasp that only looks ordinary when together.

This leather option comes in black, soft pink, brown or midnight blue for the regular Watch and bright black, red or rose gray for the premium Watch Edition, all meant for the smaller 38mm watch size.

Classic buckle (leather strap)

Apple Watch design and colors

Apple Watch models

If the Apple Watch modern buckle is a normal-looking watch band with a magnetic twist, then the classic buckle is an ordinary-looking variant without one.

No tricks here. It's just a traditional and secure band that feeds through a stainless steel or an 18-karat gold loop and matches the watch case.

The classic buckle's leather is from the Netherlands and the color choices are as simple as can be: it comes in black for the regular Watch or either black or midnight blue for Watch Edition.

Leather loop

Apple Watch bands

Apple Watch design

This is the leather-equivalent of the all-metal Milanese loop because it tucks magnets into the soft, quilted leather Apple Watch band.

The more pronounced pebbled texture also stands out from the subtle finishes of the modern and classic buckle. Apple says its Venezia leather sources from Italy.

Apple Watch buyers who go with the leather loop band have four colors choices: black, stone, light brown and bright blue.

Sport band

Apple Watch bands

Apple Watch sport band

Despite its name, the sport band is an out-of-the-box option among all three "collections," not just the Apple Watch Sport.

The band is made of smooth fluoroelastomer, so it's resilient for all activities and fastens with a simple pin-and-tuck closure. Hopefully it's easier to buckle than the Fitbit Charge.

The sport band is available in the most colors on the Sport Watch: white, black, blue, green or pink. Regular Watch and Watch Edition buyers can choose between black or white.

Apple Watch sizes

Apple Watch sizes

Less exciting, but equally important is the choice of among Apple Watch sizes. There are two case heights: 38mm and 42mm.

This opens it up to smaller and larger wrists. The 38mm size is more compact, but having that little bit extra screen space by way of the 42mm option may go a long way.

It should be noted that a few bands appear to be exclusive to certain sizes: the modern buckle is limited to the 38mm option and leather loop the 42mm size, for example.

No right-handed and left-handed Apple Watch decisions need to be made at the Apple Store, thankfully. This smartwatch is ambidextrous because the screen can be flipped.

Apple Watch faces

Apple Watch analog watches

There are nine different default faces from Apple, according to its official website, and likely a lot more to come from third-party developers currently testing out WatchKit.

The great thing about smartwatch faces is that none of them are permanent, something we were fond of when testing out Android Wear smartwatches.

Mickey Mouse is my favorite because I never got a Mickey Mouse watch as a kid. But maybe that'll be reserved for Disneyland visits now that I'm an adult.

Analog watches like Chronograph, Color, Simple and Utility can be swapped in for a more professional look that rivals today's best smartwatch alternatives.

Customizable watch faces

Apple Watch designs

Digital watch faces all have something unique to offer. Motion adds a bit of animal-inspired movement in the background, solar lets you follow the sun's path based on your location and the time of day and astronomy lets you explore space and a rotatable 3D Earth.

Modular, the grid-like ninth watch face, really defines what Apple means when it talks about complications. Most faces can be alerted to include pressing information like stock quotes, weather reports or your next calendar event, according to the company.

Apple Watch wrap-up

Apple Watch

With two sizes for most band designs, six band types, 18 band colors and three cases with two colors each, there's a lot of choice going into this smartwatch purchase.

Apple Watch is launching with a lot of personalization, echoing a time when the Cupertino firm introduced variety among its iMac G3 computers and iPod successors.

Which case and band combination I get has ultimately been determined by the price and availability. For such a new product that's bound to be outdated in a few months to years, I'm leaning toward the cheaper Sport Edition when the Apple Watch release date rolls around.








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Updated: LG G4 release date, news and rumors

LG G4 release date, news and rumors

Latest update: The LG G4 could be even bigger than the LG G3, with a monstrous 5.6-inch screen.

The LG G4 missed MWC 2015 but it looks like we may see it as soon as April, so the wait is hopefully almost over.

It should be worth the wait too, with talk of a premium new design, a super-sharp display and a whole lot of power. Plus this is the company which brought us the LG G Flex 2, so a curved screen is never entirely off the table.

With the Samsung Galaxy S6 and HTC One M9 out the way LG G4 rumors are heating up and flooding in and we're hopeful that it can stand up to such tough competition.

Cut to the chase

  • What is it? LG's next flagship smartphone
  • When is it out? Possibly April 2015
  • What will it cost? It will command a high, flagship price - but cheaper than the competition

LG G4 release date

It looks like the LG G4 could be landing in April if rumors are to be believed. That would make sense, as the LG G3 was launched in May, so given that LG has so far taken to releasing one flagship a year we'd expect the LG G4 will arrive in or around April or May 2015.

Having said that the LG G2 launched in September 2013, so LG has been a little inconsistent with its dates so far.

April or May still seems a likely bet though, with another rumor pointing to a May launch at the earliest and an earnings call pointing to a quarter 2 release.

LG G4 design

The LG G4 could be almost with us, as case makers are already selling protective covers. If they're an accurate fit then you can expect a return of the laser autofocus and dual-LED flash found on the LG G3 judging by the cut-outs.

LG G4 case

We've also seen several press renders now, supposedly showing a non-final version of the handset, with a curved back, a large camera lens and dimensions of 148.9 x 76.5 x 9.9mm, which oddly would make it bigger than the LG G3. It also seems to have the same metal-effect casing.

LG G4 render

That last bit clashes with a previous rumor though, as LG's mobile chief Juno Cho has stated that the G4 will be "radically different" to anything that's come before, with those changes including a metal casing rather than a polycarbonate one.

LG G4 screen

The LG G4 might have an even bigger display than the LG G3, as @OnLeaks claims it will come in at 5.6 inches. It also looks like the LG G4 will have an ever so slightly curved screen, as @OnLeaks attempted to prove with the drawing of a very straight line over a leaked press image.

LG G4 leak

Additionally it seems the LG G4 may have a QHD 1440 x 2560 display, as both a user agent profile page and an html5test result suggest as much. Though one wilder rumor based on a leaked specifications screenshot tied to the G4 suggests that it will have a 3K 1620 x 2880 display.

It could also be goodbye bezel on the LG G4, as the South Korean firm has launched a display with a super slender 0.7mm of fat around its perimeter. The screen in question measures 5.3 inches, which is a jot smaller than the 5.5-inch G3, though given other rumors point to a 5.6-inch screen we wouldn't count on it.

The LG G3 has 1.15mm of bezel either side of the screen, so this new display if used could make the G4 look visually stunning.

LG Edge display

LG is apparently also preparing a fleet of bendable phones for 2015, following in the footsteps of the LG G Flex and the LG G Flex 2, and links are being made between this and the rumored G4. In fact LG quietly took the covers off a three sided smartphone at CES 2015 in Las Vegas - could this be our first glimpse at the LG G4?

LG G4 rivals

As a flagship Android phone the LG G4 will have the Samsung Galaxy S6 as a major rival and if it ends up being curved then it could also have some direct competition from the Samsung Galaxy S6 Edge.

Of course the HTC One M9 will give it a run for its money too with its stylish build and similar specs to those the G4 is rumored to pack. The Sony Xperia Z4, which may well arrive at a similar time to the LG G4, could give it pause for thought as well.

Then there's always the iPhone 6 and the looming threat of the iPhone 6s for anyone not married to Android. In short the LG G4 is going to have some serious competition.

LG G4 camera and battery

Best intelligence, from a batch of leaks, suggests the LG G4's camera will be boosted from the 13MP resolution of the LG G3 to 16MP.

Though G4Games reports that LG has unveiled a new 20.7MP sensor, which could be headed for the LG G4. The key question then is how the brand will use this new technology after the snapper on the G3, which should have been awesome, was woeful compared to the competition.

Another rumor, this time stemming from inews24, is that the LG G4 will have dual rear cameras a bit like the HTC One M8, though we'd take that claim with a huge pinch of salt.

LG G4 OS and power

LG's mobile chief Juno Cho has stated that the G4 will use the LG UX 4.0, which is a new UX system, set to be announced before the handset.

Early rumors suggest that the LG G4 could be a powerful phone too, with talk that the handset will sport a Snapdragon 810 processor and 3GB of RAM.

That all seems likely, given that the HTC One M9 has arrived with exactly those specs and even the LG G Flex 2 uses the Snapdragon 810.

The LG G4 is also bound to run Android 5.0 Lollipop straight out of the box, which is good news if you want a handset that comes with Google's latest mobile operating system.

LG G4 other features

One particularly spurious LG G4 rumor suggests we may see a fingerprint scanner on the back of the handset. This would seemingly be a last minute decision and LG officials have denied the rumor, but with Samsung and Apple both including them in their flagships there's a possibility that LG could follow suit.

There is also a suggestion that the LG G4 may pack a stylus in its body, but we'd be surprised if LG put this on its core flagship device. It's probably something that will arrive with a variant, like the LG G3 Stylus.

LG G4 what we want to see

While we're fleshing out the details of what will be coming with the LG G4, here's what we want to see when we do:

A metal chassis

The LG G3 sure does a good job of looking metallic, but that's all it is, an effect, and as soon as you pick up the phone the illusion is broken, so much so in fact that it actually winds up feeling cheaper than the LG G2.

G3

So we really hope the LG G4 will go the whole hog and have a shell crafted from actual metal. Even Samsung's sticking metal in its phones now so LG really can't afford not to.

We'd also appreciate it if they gave the G4 a unibody rather than having a removable back, as it's likely to feel more solid and premium as a result.

Improved battery life

The LG G3 had good battery life, but it was actually slightly worse than the G2's battery and that's not a trend we like to see. There's steeper competition here now too, with Sony in particular doing well with the Xperia Z3 and the Xperia Z3 Compact, both of which have a whole lot of juice.

A battery saving mode

Battery saving modes are all the rage these days, whether it's Sony's Stamina mode, HTC's Extreme power saving mode or Samsung's Ultra power saving mode, but the LG G3 doesn't have one.

Now it already does a good job of conserving battery on the fly, by adapting the display and slowing down the processor when the extra horsepower isn't needed, but it would be great if the LG G4 went even further and had additional options that could be toggled as needed, just to squeeze even more juice out.

More power

More power is an obvious wish and an increasingly redundant one as most high end phones are levelling out and delivering near faultless performance. But the LG G3 actually did noticeably lag at times.

Maybe that's down to the QHD display, maybe it's just down to poor optimisation, but whatever the reason we really hope LG sorts it out and gives us a faster phone in the LG G4.

A slicker interface

LG could also afford to do some more work on its interface. The G2's was a cluttered nightmare and the G3's was a big step in the right direction, but still not as slick as it could be.

G3 screen

In particular we'd like to see improvements made to Smart Notice. This sits below the weather widget on the home screen and gives you tailored advice and suggestions, for example it might give you more details on the weather or suggest you add someone to your contacts if you call them a lot.

The problem is it just doesn't work that well, often providing irrelevant advice, so LG should make it smarter or ditch it, we already have Google Now after all.

A better camera

On the whole the LG G3 has a pretty great camera, complete with optical image stabilisation and a laser autofocus. But while it performs well in bright light it's not so good in low light, relying on software to unconvincingly smooth over noisy shots, rather than taking good photos to begin with. So hopefully the LG G4 will improve in that area.

Recent rumours have suggested that we'll be getting what we wished for, with the LG G4 coming with a 16 megapixel snapper.

LG G3

We'd also like to be given more manual control. The LG G3 is great if you just want to point and shoot, but there aren't many options for those who want to adjust the exposure or ISO for example.

A superior screen

This one might seem strange, after all the LG G3 is already QHD, but we're not talking about more pixels. Rather we'd like to see improved performance from the pixels that are already there. In particular the LG G3 suffers from a noticeable loss in brightness when not viewed square on, so if LG can sort that for the G4 we'd be pretty happy.

LG G3

Water and dust resistance

While not exactly a headline feature, water and dust resistance are undeniably nice things to have. We have to wonder how many people ever actively make use of the fact that they can submerge their smartphone, but knowing that it can survive a little water gives us some peace of mind.

Here in England it rains all the time and sometimes we'd actually like to be able to use our phone while outside, without first crafting a makeshift shield from whatever else we happen to be carrying / wearing at the time.

Knock Code Improvements

We love Knock On – the ability to wake up your phone with a tap, but Knock Code, which takes things further by letting you also unlock your phone with a series of taps, just doesn't work all that well.

The main problem is that if you touch the screen when picking the G3 up it registers that touch as the first tap and causes the pattern to be interpreted incorrectly. We're not quite sure how LG can get around that so it's a good thing we're not designing the G4, but hopefully LG has a solution because a feature which doesn't work is just an annoyance.

Front-facing speakers

With support for high quality audio the LG G3 already does a great job when listening to music through a good pair of headphones, but its speaker isn't so hot either in terms of positioning or quality.

For the LG G4 we'd like to see dual front-facing speakers, like those on the HTC One M8 and Sony Xperia Z3. It's a much more logical place for them, especially when you're watching something or playing a game. If LG can make the sound crisper and richer too then all the better.








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