Samsung had an opportunity to be an innovator by including future-looking technologies in its new Galaxy S7 and and S7 Edge smartphones. But the company played it safe with incremental upgrades like a microSD slot and better camera.
Here are some existing and future-looking technologies Samsung did not include in the handsets. Some technologies are still evolving and could come in successor handsets.
Samsung’s new smartphones don’t have the new USB Type-C port, which is the charging and connector port of the future for mobile devices. Instead, it has the older micro-USB port, which locks out the ability to hook the smartphone up to a range of peripherals. With Type-C, the Galaxy S7 and S7 Edge could have been hooked up to a wider range of high-resolution displays, but that won’t be possible with the existing technology. Samsung’s pocket-sized SSD T3 has a USB Type-C port that could directly plug in and provide expandable high-speed storage to the new Android smartphones. The SSD will still plug into the older micro-USB port via cable converters, but data transfer rates will be much slower than via USB Type-C.
Samsung wanted to ensure the smartphones were compatible with existing Gear peripherals like the VR headset, which was a big reason they did not include the USB Type-C port, a company spokesman said. The micro-USB port also provides the same charging time as USB Type-C, the spokesman said.
Samsung wasn’t adventurous when it came to upgrading the display, sticking to the existing 2560 x 1440 pixel resolution, which is also in the Galaxy S6. Samsung has increased the screen resolution with every Galaxy S model, but companies seem to be slowing the race to 4K on handsets. LG’s G5 and HP’s Elite X3 smartphones, both introduced at MWC, also have screen resolutions of 2560 x 1440 pixels. 4K makes sense on larger TV screen, but there are questions on whether it is needed on smartphones.
Smartphones in the future will have WiGig — a superfast wireless data transfer technology — but it’s not in the S7 or S7 Edge. WiGig technology can transfer data about three times faster than the latest 802.11ac Wi-Fi technology, and could replace wires that hook up smartphones to peripherals. Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 820, which will be used in the U.S. models of that S7 and S7 Edge, is the first mobile chip to support WiGig, but Samsung has decided not to activate the technology. Samsung’s decision is understandable, though: WiGig is still maturing, and chipsets can be expensive. WiGig could also drain battery life, and just a few compatible peripherals — mostly docks — are available today.