Review: 6 Reasons Why The Samsung Galaxy S7 Edge Is Currently The Best Smartphone In Kenya
Its been a good number of years since I last did a review of a Samsung smartphone. Indeed, for the longest time, I really had no idea how good or bad they were but what I did know is that the rise of affordable and high quality mobile brands like Tecno and Infinix in Kenya was most certainly giving them a run for their money. Therefore, I was really pleased when my friends over at Samsung Kenya gave me a Galaxy S7 Edge to use for almost a month. Let me just say that I was not disappointed and in fact I was pleasantly impressed!
Let me make a categorical statement here that in the last few years Samsung has clearly raised the bar where their premium smartphones are concerned. The build quality and thoughtful design considerations and overall care give to the Samsung Galaxy S7 Edge are nothing short of remarkable! After the disappointing Samsung Galaxy S5, Samsung completely changed everything about their current range of premium smartphones, starting with the Galaxy S6 and Galaxy S6 Edge that came out last year.
In the month or so that I used the Kes. 85,000.00 Samsung Galaxy S7 Edge, the following are the 6 reasons why I think that this is currently Kenya’s best smartphone, hands down:
There is a good reason why I am starting off with the camera where the Samsung Galaxy S7 Edge is concerned. This is undoubtedly its best feature. I used the camera in good and bad lighting and each time the results were shockingly good! Currently, my daily driver is an Apple iPhone 6S and the back facing camera is no match for the one on the Samsung Galaxy S7 Edge. I even had people asking me which DSLR camera I was using when taking pictures on the Galaxy S7 Edge and sharing them on social media. Its that good! I am not a ‘selfies person’ so the 5 megapixel front facing camera is one I hardly used.
The back facing camera on the Samsung Galaxy S7 is a 12 megapixel camera that also has a an aperture of f/1.7 meaning that its able to take in lots of light which is a key factor for good photos. Its also able to shoot 4K video at a resolution of 2160p at up to 30 fps (frames per second) but can also shoot at lower resolutions like 1080p and 720p with higher frame rates as well. One thing I liked about the back facing camera is that its almost flat and barely protrudes, unlike the Galaxy S6 Edge which got lots flak for ‘popping out’ excessively. The LED flash was remarkably good too in all sorts of lighting. To get a good sense of how good the back facing camera is, have a look at the gallery as below:
The battery on the Samsung Galaxy S7 Edge is an amazingly massive 3,600 mAh which means that once its fully charged it should be able to get you through an entire day without needing a recharge. I did this quite often and even when I pushed it to its limits the Samsung Galaxy S7 Edge was able to cope. On occasion, when doing lots of multitasking and being online concurrently, it did get really hot but basically you did NOT need a recharge it to get through a full day. For some, this alone would be good enough reason to consider buy it!
The Samsung Galaxy S7 is easily the best looking smartphone you can buy in Kenya today. Its better looking than everything out there including the Apple iPhone 6S. This is largely due to the curved ‘edges’ of the display that give it a unique and impressive design aesthetic which no other smartphone out there has. In addition, coupled with the super crisp AMOLED screen that is on the Samsung Galaxy S7 Edge and it just oozes premium quality and gorgeous design.
The Galaxy S7 Edge is also a full metal unibody design and has a glass back which I found to be quite durable. However, one cannot deny that the design does have design elements that are reminiscent of Apple’s iPhone 6S as was the case with the Samsung Galaxy S6 Edge. Thanks to the curves of the design, the rails on the Samsung Galaxy S7 Edge are really narrow and tapered giving it a really nice look and feel when you look at it – and hold it.
Another thing I really liked about the design of the Samsung Galaxy S7 Edge is the fingerprint sensor? This was really quick and worked really well each and every time I used it. One thing I did note though is that it seemed to scratch really easily as you may have noticed in some of the pictures in this review? Thankfully, this minor flaw did not affect how well it worked but it compromises the overall aesthetic quality.
One thing I loved about setting up the Samsung Galaxy S7 Edge when I got it is that it had a feature to make transferring your settings from another Android mobile device really easy. This feature alone probably saved me over an hour or more since it transferred all my settings including passwords for mobile apps and the Internet in a snap. I was really impressed as this is normally a real pain for someone like me who often switches mobile devices for reviews like this one.
Looking at the Samsung Galaxy S7 Edge from within, its able to function as a Dual (Nano) SIM smartphone or as a single SIM smartphone with the extra slot functioning as an Micro SD slot. This means that using a Micro SD you can add a massive amount of memory if required within a unibody design unlike say an Apple iPhone 6S which can be really handy. The model I used was 32GB which was sufficient for my needs but basically unlike many premium smartphones out there the Dual SIM option is highly welcome – for those who need it. Since it uses Nano SIM slots you may need to get your SIM cut if your still using the older and larger SIM sizes.
In addition, the fact that the the Samsung Galaxy S7 Edge comes with a massive 4GB of RAM (Yes, you read that right, 4GB!) as well as a super fast Qualcomm Snapdragon 820 processor means that it can run many apps concurrently whilst also being really snappy! My experience from this perspective confirmed that there is almost no lag time when launching or switching mobile apps on the Samsung Galaxy S7 Edge. The camera for instance comes on almost immediately when you double tap the home button which can be priceless when you want to take that amazing picture.
The Samsung Galaxy S7 Edge also comes with the latest version of Google’s Android which is version 6.0, also known as Android Marshmallow. As with all Samsung smartphones, Android is re-skinned from the stock version to the bespoke Samsung TouchWiz skin. Thankfully, compared to what I recall from previous Galaxy models the TouchWiz iteration on the Samsung Galaxy S7 Edge retains many of the best stock Android features and avoids too many changes as has been the case in the past. Samsung finally got it more or less right!
In terms of using the Internet on the Samsung Galaxy S7 Edge, it has 4G so it was really nippy on Safaricom’s mobile network which supports the technology. However, even on slower 3G speeds it worked really fast and WIFI also worked really well? However, one thing is that it did get hot after using it for extended periods of time online to the extent you would feel uncomfortable.
Getting to use the Samsung Galaxy S7 Edge for music was something of a chore? I tried to set it up to connect to my Apple MacBook to transfer music and I had go online to figure this out? I am something of a techie so the fact that this took some decent effort to pull off can only mean that the average mobile consumer could get super frustrated. That being said, once I got it up and running it was all good. The Samsung Galaxy S7 Edge also comes with a nifty looking pair of earphones out of the box that I did not use but can only imagine that they are as good as the smartphone itself.
The other really practical feature of the Samsung Galaxy S7 Edge is that its waterproof up to a depth of 1.5 metres for a maximum of 30 minutes. I actually did dip it into a bowl of water hesitantly(?) and thankfully it worked just fine! I was especially impressed that the engineering design that achieved this capability did not require any obtrusive rubber flaps or appendages as its done in a seamless manner without compromising on aesthetics. From this perspective alone, one can see that Samsung’s engineering chops are impressive and you have to imagine that Apple will need to do the same for the next iteration of the iPhone to keep pace with this very practical design feature of the Samsung Galaxy S7 Edge.
The Samsung Galaxy Edge S7 comes with a 5.5 inch AMOLED display with an amazingly detailed 1440 x 2560 resolution which is vivid and looks simply stunning with 16 million colours. I looked at the display on the Samsung Galaxy S7 Edge next to that of the Apple iPhone 6S and quite simply it looks better. The colours seem to really ‘pop’ and coupled with the curved edges everything just looks better!
Watching video on the Samsung Galaxy S7 Edge was nothing short of delightful! I mean the colours and the sound were really good except that the curves on the screen edges do affect the viewing experience if your a video aficionado? That being said, its a gorgeous display for watching HD movies and even 4K video when this was available.
However, one thing I did NOT like is that tapping on buttons or screen elements that go to the edge can require several taps before responding? This was especially irritating when I first got the Samsung Galaxy S7 Edge but I got the hang of it over a week or so. The display is well protected by Corning’s super resilient Gorilla Glass 4 as is the back of the Galaxy S7 Edge meaning its less prone to breakage or scratches.
In concluding, having spent as much time as I did with the Samsung Galaxy S7 Edge, what I can say is that this is without a doubt the best Android-based smartphone I have ever used. Apart from the gorgeous design and all round superior performance, I can say confidently that this is the best smartphone in Kenya as of this writing, making it better than the Apple iPhone 6S. Yes, I said it.
However, at Kes. 85,000.00 its also one of the most expensive smartphones in Kenya meaning that its out of the reach for many would be consumers. Ultimately, the Samsung Galaxy S7 Edge proves that Samsung still makes amazing smartphones even as lots of competitors nip at their feet from all angles. On this basis, I give the Samsung Galaxy S7 Edge a solid 9/10 which is probably my highest score ever for a smartphone on this blog – its that good!