Here's what's different about the Samsung Galaxy S7

Curious about whether there's enough to justify upgrading to the Galaxy S7? We can help.

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Florence Ion

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You might be wondering: What’s so different between the Samsung Galaxy S6 and the newly announced Galaxy S7 or Galaxy S7 Edge? Frankly, not that much, but what Samsung did change might put a smile on your face.

Better camera with a wider aperture

Who needs more megapixels when you can have bigger ones? The Galaxy S7 and Galaxy S7 Edge both feature 12MP rear-facing cameras with Dual Pixel technology, which is similar to the dual-photodiode sensors that some DSLR’s use. The Galaxy S7 also boasts a wider aperture of f/1.7, which helps immensely in low-light environments. That’s the widest aperture we’ve seen on a smartphone yet.

The display is always on

The always-on display feature that comes standard with both the Galaxy S7 and Galaxy S7 Edge will eventually make it to the Galaxy S6 in a software update, but for now it’s a neat trick. The Galaxy S7’s AMOLED display can show ambient information on the screen when it’s off, such as the current time and any upcoming calendar notifications. The feature is an extension of the night clock on the Galaxy S6 Edge. You can also choose from a variety of background images to add a little more customization to your new phone.

You can dunk it in water

Samsung did not make the Galaxy S6 water-resistant like its predecessor, which bummed us out a bit. Surely, if you’re spending so much on a device, you should be able to use it out in the world without worrying about its impending doom. Thankfully, the Galaxy S7 is IP68 rated, which mean it’s both dust- and water-resistant for up to half an hour. This will bode especially well if you live in a wet or snowy climate, or if you’re just keen on having your slick, svelte smartphone accompany you on adventures out in the wild.

The expansion slot is back!

Samsung heard your cries—the expansion slot is back! We missed this feature dearly on the Galaxy S6. Samsung even future-proofed the Galaxy S7 and Galaxy S7 Edge, allowing them to take MicroSD cards up to 2TB in size. For now, you’ll have to settle for up to 200GB, in addition to the 32GB or 64GB of storage space that comes with the device.

Mo’ battery, mo’ fun

The S6 was supposed to offer stellar battery life, but it barely delivered. The Galaxy S7 sports a larger 3,000mAh battery pack, up from 2,550mAh, while the Galaxy S7 Edge takes the biggest leap to 3,600mAh, up from 2,600mAh. Samsung claims you can watch an entire season of Game of Thrones (about 10 hours) before the device screams for a charge. We’ll see about that come review time.

This story, "Here's what's different about the Samsung Galaxy S7 " was originally published by Greenbot.

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