It’s been 3 weeks since I switched from iPhone 6S to S7 Edge. So far it’s been so great I decided to review it.
Actually, I was hesitant to get a Samsung because of its patent wars with Apple. Despite stellar reviews by tech sites, I only half-believed what they said since Samsung does a solid on marketing efforts. But when I finally used it from a concept store, I doubted my own beliefs and started getting swayed into the Samsung craze.
iPhone to S7 Edge? WHY?
Frustration. That’s why. I find that a milder thing to say than disappointment.
I owned an iPhone 6S from February to May this year out of need. I owned a Macbook Pro but it didn’t sync well with my then LG G4. Despite gifting me with DSLR-like photos, transferring to my Macbook Pro became a pain especially through LG PC Suite. I had to stop using Android File Transfer because it no longer recognized my LG G4. I guess it was a patch or update problem. With the LG PC Suite, Wi-Fi transfer was super slow and I couldn’t transfer via USB cable. It was a mess.
Out of curiosity, and buying into the Apple ecosystem shiz, I decided to sell my LG G4 and use the money for an iPhone 6S replacement. I chose the 6S because it’s more ergonomic for me and easier to pocket. Also, 3D Touch.
But two months in and I realized why I sold my iPad in the first place—iOS. I’ll talk about in a separate post (if I care to haha), but let me just tell you that I have more complaints than praises. The iPhone user experience is archaic and the 3D touch that made me buy an “S” was just all gimmick. Maybe I shouldn’t have expected so much since I sold my iPad for mostly iOS reasons too. Still, I thought it would be the perfect complement to my Macbook Pro but I was wrong.
Why S7 Edge?
I initially wanted the LG G5 because of my LG G4 camera experience. But I realized that I would gamble with the photo syncing issue again. In the concept store, the LG G5 clearly defeated the S7 with a wide-angle lens so promising as it churns out AMAZING photos. But when you pit them against each other in terms of physical build and OS, the S7 Edge outperforms the LG G5.
The S7 Edge is beyond stunning. It looks like a piece of jewellery housing a computer. It looks like a mobile investment that would last you a couple of years. I used to mock Samsung for its plasticky flagship phones but this time, they learned. They learned from years of iteration and customer feedback. Actually, that’s one of the reasons why I appreciate Android flagships more than Apple.
Android work with Original Equipment Manufacturers (OEMs) like Samsung, Sony, HTC, etc. It’s much like how Windows are baked into some of the laptop brands out there. Mobile market competition is so fierce because apps are easier to build than desktop software. That said, OEMs are always on their toes making sure they hugely bite off and keep their market share. In effect, so much innovation happens in the Android sphere, so striking to see in the annual Google I/O for Android developers. So much innovation rolled out in just 12 months, ensuring a steady stream of delectable Android desserts.
Meanwhile, Apple basks in the glory of taking their sweet time because they’re the only ones using iOS. Secure as the iOS may be, you sacrifice your freedom to use it as you please. So in effect, not only do you pay them more but you also pay them with your mobile freedom. And that security? It’s just the same as with Android. It’s up for debate but, let’s be real folks. Unless you’re swimming in a plethora of malicious websites or doing highly questionable, Interpol-flaggable work then there’s no real competition in the security department between Android and iOS.
Why write a post for S7 Edge?
I think it’s the best phone I’ve had so far. It allows me to set my own user experience, has protection from the unpredictability of being outdoors, topped with excellent camera autofocus. I think these insights are worth sharing, especially for fellow expats and travellers who see mobile phones as an investment.
Diving deeper, here are 7 important things I’ve grown to love about this phone:
1. Android – It’s so good to be freaking back. I swear I won’t go iOS again until that OS learns the value of a File Manager app and an editable Quick settings panel. I also love the newly-added Always On feature in Marshmallow. It’s helpful if you simply want to glance at the time or date, without turning your phone on.
And, most of all, THE S7 EDGE SYNCS WITH MY MACBOOK PRO LIKE THEY’RE BFF’s. Samsung’s Smart Switch lets me do my favorite tech thing ever—drag and drop. Imagine the happiness of being able to just select all the photos you want and then dragging them into your Macbook Pro. I can also do this for any kind of file or folder from my S7 Edge. I mean, hello! Mobile phones are USB devices too! Unless you own an iPhone, which would force you to be under the mercy of The Cloud—not so nice when the Internet is bad.
I mean, why would you disregard drag and drop? Windows does it. Linux does it. Mac OS does it. So why would you want to drop that feature in a gadget that requires so much flexibility and daily usage? :/
2. Battery – The S7 Edge is powered by a 3600mAh battery. I can charge it just ONCE a day and expect a full day’s worth of usage. Battery life’s so good, I could play games on it and the percentage wouldn’t even change. It’ll take some internet browsing plus video-watching plus gaming for it to shave off a few battery percentages. We can rock and roll with 40% and use the camera no problemo.
3. Design – Memory card slot convertible to another SIM slot, curved glass, 5.5 inches of viewing pleasure, top and bottom bezels only for holding it on landscape view… I mean, yeah. For someone who’d take more photos than install apps, and couldn’t be bothered with deleting photos to make way for more storage, the memory card slot is a godsend. EVERY. TIME.
Although it’s a fingerprint magnet with all that glass, every time I look at it I still see where my money went. And sometimes, I find myself using it because I’m simply amazed with how it looks. I enjoy looking at stuff from its curved display, sometimes giving the illusion that my screen is floating.
And of course, the screen size for me is just right. It’s big enough to use as a dual screen for two different apps or operations—again, something that the iOS is yet to learn.
4. Display – I never cared for all the AMOLED shenanigans until I started noticing how crisp and deep colors were in my S7 Edge.
When using it on Always On mode, the black bezels versus the pitch black parts of the screen blend perfectly, making it seem like the time and date are either floating or just a sticker on my screen—until it moves.
Try to view a pitch black image on your IPS LCD smartphone and it would come out with the faintest hint of light emitting at the sides. Your pitch black image would actually look like a dark gray screen. That’s because, when you view a pitch black image, your IPS LCD only lowers the brightness of the LED lights that are still turned on. Meanwhile, when you view a pitch black image on an AMOLED screen, pixels will be turned off to show you the black image. Geek out on the details here.
With this kind of color richness from using Super AMOLED, I can freely use my mobile under direct light and view everything on it clearly. I don’t have to bother giving it shade using my hand because I can use it as easily under bright environments.
When I also watch 720p videos, or higher versions, the colors pop out so much that it seems like I’m watching 3D videos. Even viewing high-res images are super fun because there’s a certain illusion of depth, you’d almost expect to feel textures other than a smooth touchscreen glass.
5. Camera autofocus – Admittedly, I’m on the fence when it comes to the S7 Edge’s photo quality. I still think that my test shots on the LG G5 were better than the S7 Edge’s especially when cropped. S7 Edge’s camera also tend to get a bit more yellow during low-light situations. But I find all these forgivable because of its crazy-fast autofocus. Sometimes, I don’t bother tapping an area to focus on because I know that as soon as I turn on my camera, it’ll automatically find a focus point on my subject.
It’s very important, especially for street photography or taking random photos of quirky things. I remember back when I traveled with my iPhone, there are so many photo opportunities I missed because I lost the moment, thanks to its blazingly slow autofocus.
6. Water and dust proofing– Having an IP68 rating means the S7 Edge can be dipped into 1.5 meters of water for 30 minutes. It doesn’t like dust too, but I can’t say the same for fingerprints.
For me, the waterproof part is helpful so that I can also take photos even when it lightly drizzles. I remembered enjoying Sakura season under unpredictable rainy weather, feeling scared that the experience might cost me my phone. Also, my hands can get grimy from sweat and random stuff while traveling so it helps to know that I could just focus on taking photos and wipe off all the gross stuff later.
7. Wireless quick-charging – The S7 Edge sells its wireless charger separately, but knowing that I could easily purchase it in the future is a comfort. In the meantime, I enjoy its quick-charging capabilities using a direct AC adapter. I could get it from 0 to 50% in as little as 20-30 minutes.
This also means I get more squeeze from my power bank when I take it with me. Also, in the event that I forget to charge it the night before a trip, I can just connect it to a power source as I take a bath and prep up.
These are just some of the things that I personally love about my S7 Edge. But I guess, the mother-of-all Queen Bee reason for loving it is that I feel it’s worth every penny. When I bought the iPhone 6S 64 GB at 28,500 NTD, I didn’t get anything than the iPhone plus its power adapter and earphones. When I bought my S7 Edge 32 GB for 26,500 NTD, I also got its power adapter and earphones PLUS a free Samsung 8400 mAh power bank and LINE casing.
If you are in the process of getting a mobile phone now and are looking to buy an iPhone, please don’t. Wait for September, or better yet, wait for their 2017 updates. Right now, iPhones are not a good investment unless you plan to sell them for cash. I’m actually excited for their 2017 release because, based from their iOS 10 release, they attempted to finally catch up with some important Android features. If you’re buying a phone under a tight budget, go with other Android flagship phones or any Android-powered mobile phones.
It is Android that truly gives you this must-have mobile advantage: cross-platform.