What We Know: Samsung Galaxy S7 rumors and leaks thus far (UPDATED)

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Rather than passing along every single rumor that comes across our plate, we’ve opted to cover only those devices that we find most relevant. To that end, the “What We Know” column aims to highlight the flagship smartphone models that are looming on the horizon.

What you’ll find below is a list of rumors, leaks, speculation, images, and other stuff that pertains to the Samsung Galaxy S7. We’ve done our best to gather up the juiciest stuff floating around, even if it conflicts with other reports. Unless otherwise noted, this is all to be considered unofficial and unconfirmed.

We’ve also made a post for the LG G5 which you can check out here.

Note: this post will be updated continually until such time that the device is announced by Samsung.

Design

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  • Much of the same look
  • Physical home button
  • Multiple variants
  • Possible curved backing

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Update 2/3/16:

Samsung has apparently accidentally confirmed the existence of the Samsung Galaxy S7 Edge. On a webpage that Samsung tools and SDK’s for developers, the details and features of the S7 Edge were laid out in detail. After the internet took notice, Samsung quickly pulled the references to the Edge variant.

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What we’ve seen so far from a Spigen leak seemingly confirms multiple variants of the Samsung Galaxy S7 will come out, just like with the Samsung Galaxy S6, S6 Edge and S6 Edge+.

Samsung Galaxy S7 Spigen case renders

Leaker @OnLeaks and uSwitch.com have also brought us these mock-ups.

Display

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  • Galaxy S7: 5.1″ 2560 x 1440 AMOLED display
  • Galaxy S7 Edge: 5.5″ 2560 x 1440 curved AMOLED display
  • Low power always on display

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While there are some dubious reports that the Samsung Galaxy S7 will feature a 4K screen, much like the Sony Xperia Z5 Premium, it appears that the S7 may come in multiple sizes of a 2K screen. The Samsung Galaxy S7 is said to house a 2560 x 1440 pixel, 5.1″ screen while the Samsung Galaxy S7 Edge offers a 5.5″ curved display at the same resolution. The Galaxy S6 and S6 Edge were also at 5.1″, so the S7 appears to remain the same while the Edge variant will have a .3″ bigger screen.

We’ve also seen leaks of an Always On Display feature much like that of the Nexus and Moto X phones that display notifications and the time when the phone is picked up. Since the Galaxy S7 and S7 Edge will both employ Super AMOLED displays, this feature would minimally impact battery life and would be welcomed.

galaxy s7 display

Camera

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  • 12 MP Main Camera
  • 5 MP Front camera
  • Sony IMX300 camera
  • f/1.7 lens
  • Flush with body

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In a move that competitors will surely pounce on, the Samsung Galaxy S7 will “only” have a 12 MP camera on the rear of the phone this year. While megapixels aren’t everything, Samsung has gone after Apple for YEARS about the lack of a higher megapixel count camera on its phones. The camera is tipped to have a f/1.7 aperture lens that will let in even more light in low-light situations than the Samsung Galaxy S6’s f/1.9 lens.

This year the camera is rumored to be flush with the body of the phone, a design we haven’t seen in a few years from Samsung. This doesn’t tell us if the body is thicker (unlikely) or if the camera module has shrunken down to the point where it no longer protrudes.

The front facing camera may not see a big upgrade, keeping its 5 MP wide-angle lens from the Galaxy S6 and Note 5. GSMArena has received a picture with what could be the new front facing camera module. The array of modules has the same model number as the Galaxy S7, with an “F” at the end indicating regional version.

In a teardown, it was noted that the Galaxy S6’s connector was offset, but this module has a centered connector. No other changes have been noted.

galaxy s7 front camera

Internals

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  • Exynos chipset or Snapdragon 820
  • Adreno 530 Graphics
  • 32GB or 64GB storage
  • 4GB LP-DDR4 RAM
  • Micro-SD card slot

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Update: According to a Korean report translated by Phandroid, the Samsung Galaxy S7 will indeed have a Micro-SD card slot. This will come in the form of a hybrid dual sim slot that will support either two sim cards, or one sim card and one Micro-SD card. Phandroid points out that the 2015 Galaxy A did have a hybrid card slot, and even though the 2016 version is lacking this option, it does prove that Samsung has the ability to pull this off.

The internals of the Galaxy S7 have been one of the most widely leaked and hotly debated topics in the past month or so. We’ve heard multiple leaks with different information. Some have said that Samsung will release three different variants of the S7, all with different processors. Some have speculated that Samsung will stick with its own Exynos processors and use the next generation Exynos 8890 chip. What seems most likely is that Samsung will return to using Snapdragon processors. Reports have hinted that Samsung is helping Qualcomm manufacture the Snapdragon 820, which may mean that it’s in the plan.

Still, it does remain possible that Samsung will use the Exynos processor in other regions. It has done so in the past, and it’s unlikely that the manufacturer would give up on its own home-brewed solution. The rumored Exynos 8890 processor is said to feature four 2.3GHz high powered cores and four 1.6GHz lower powered cores to save battery on less processor heavy tasks.

Rumors suggest that the S7 will have 4GB of RAM and either 32GB or 64GB of internal storage, with the likeliness of a 128GB model. Batteries will be bumped up to 3,000mAH and 3,600mAH for the S7 and S7 Edge, respectively, with quick wireless charging that we saw in the Note 5 and S6 Edge+. They will also have the latest USB connector, Type-C, in tow.

According to other rumors, the S7 and S7 Edge will bring back a much loved feature, the Micro SD card reader. It was rumored that the S6 dropped the slot due to slow read and write speeds. Whether that’s true or not, there was a bunch of backlash from fans who dearly missed having expandable storage.

OS

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  • Android 6.0.1
  • TouchWiz UI

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No specific leaks about the operating system have been released, but we expect to see the Samsung Galaxy S7 with Android Marshmallow 6.0.1 and TouchWiz on top. With the Galaxy S6, we saw a refined and redesigned version of TouchWiz launch, and we expect further refinements and improvements with the S7 and S7 Edge.

Other Details

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  • ClearForce technology
  • IP67 Rating

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Update:

Leaker Evan Blass has provided us with the below images. These look to be from a Samsung presentation and confirm the February 21, 2016 release date for the Samsung Galaxy S7 and Samsung Galaxy S7 Edge

S7 Slides

From leaked pictures, we expect to see roughly the same physical design from the Galaxy S6 carry over to S7. This should include glass on the front and back, sandwiched around an aluminum frame. Samsung has never deviated from a physical home button, so we expect the same front button/fingerprint scanner combo on the S7. With the addition of built-in fingerprint software natively in Android, it could be possible to see further improvements in read accuracy and consistency.

The leaked pictures by @OnLeaks show that the Galaxy S7 may have a rounded back just like the Note 5 last year. This design feature helped with holding the phone. Even though a smaller 5.1″ device is already easier to handle than the 5.7″ Note 5, this would still be a nice feature

The S7 is also tipped to have its own version of Apple’s 3DTouch. Samsung has apparently teamed up with Synaptic to use its ClearForce technology. This will give the S7 the ability to determine how hard a user is pressing on the screen, opening the phone up to more gestures and shortcuts.

Lastly, we may be seeing water resistance make a return. The Galaxy S5 had it, but the feature was shuttered because of the push for a premium build in the S6. Leaks suggest that the S7 will be IP67 dust and water resistant.

Launch

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  • March 11, 2016

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According to leaker Evan Blass, aka @evleaks, we may be seeing the Galaxy S7 a bit earlier than we expected. The famous leaker tweeted that the S7 will be released on March 11, 2016. Normally, we see the newest Galaxy S phone unveiled around the Mobile World Congress event in Barcelona, Spain every year, but it doesn’t appear that will be the case this time.

Sources: VentureBeat, SlashGear 12, uswitch, @evleaks

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