Samsung Galaxy S7 review

Two words: iterative perfection

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Our Verdict

Samsung has tweaked the winning design from the S6, righted the wrongs of its previous flagships, and made a phone you don't want to put down. The Samsung Galaxy S7 is iterative perfection.

For

  • Improved, waterproof design
  • Fantastic screen and power
  • Superb camera

Against

  • High price
  • Only 32GB internal space
  • Fingerprint magnet

Update: The Samsung Galaxy S7 is now available in the US unlocked. We've added the new price to this revised review.

The Samsung Galaxy S7 finds itself in a slightly tricky situation. Samsung needed a big win from the Galaxy S6 in 2015, which it got after reinventing the design of its flagship smartphone, but you're not going to get the same degree of evolution again just a year later.

This means the Galaxy S7 falls firmly into the iterative camp, building on the solid foundations laid by its predecessor without fiddling with the winning formula too much.

Some will argue this phone should be called the Galaxy S6S, but are they right? I've put the Samsung Galaxy S7 through its paces to see if it's a worthy seventh-generation flagship, or a just cheeky six-point-five instalment.

There's initial good news in the fact that the S7 isn't competing as closely with the Galaxy S7 Edge as the S6 was with the S6 Edge last year, with the curved display variant getting a bump in screen size this time round, taking it more into phablet territory.

Check out our Samsung Galaxy S7 video review:

That leaves the way clear for the 5.1-inch Galaxy S7 to make its mark as the core flagship handset, and it commands a price tag which places it at the top of the mobile tree. Yet, unlike its predecessor it only comes in one variant (32GB of storage), making pricing more straightforward.

In the UK you're looking at a hugely impressive £450 SIM-free, while those in the US will have to part with $199 upfront as part of a two-year contract, or fork over $669 for the new unlocked Samsung Galaxy S7 price. In Australia the SIM-free price is set at AU$800.

Those prices pretty much match up with the 32GB Galaxy S6, when both were a few months old, so at least Samsung isn't trying to short-change us, but it's still a considerable amount to part with for a device which isn't exactly reinventing the smartphone wheel.

Samsung Galaxy S7 review

That said, it's hard not to like the Samsung Galaxy S7. It takes the much-improved, premium design from the Galaxy S6 and reinstates a few features from the Galaxy S5 which were shockingly missing from its successor.

The package is an enticing one, but 2016 is a tough year for flagship phones. The LG G5 has launched with a unique modular pull, the HTC 10 is looking to rekindle some of the Taiwanese firm's former glories and the Huawei P9 offers up a slightly more affordable, yet still premium experience straight out of China.

We did expect the Sony Xperia Z6 to launch this year which isn't coming any more (the Xperia X turned up instead) and, of course, the iPhone 7 expected to arrive later this year too.

Samsung may have been first out of the flagship blocks, but it needs to make the most of its strong start to stay ahead of the pack.