Why Galaxy S7 edge users don’t need to upgrade to the Galaxy S8 or S8+
The Galaxy S8 and Galaxy S8+ will be released in just a couple of days, which means that those of you who have been planning to buy this handset will probably be heading to your local retailers and carriers to pick one up. You have all the reasons in the world to upgrade to the Galaxy S8 from the Galaxy S6, but what if you own the Galaxy S7 edge? An argument can be made that you don’t really need to upgrade right now.
We were really impressed by the Galaxy S7 edge, so much so that the title of our detailed Galaxy S7 edge review was “Something great becomes even better!.” Here’s an excerpt from the review which will help you understand our feelings about this particular handset: “Perfection is the word that is applicable here, as the Galaxy S7 and Galaxy S7 edge come with a spec sheet that has every major feature on it.”
If you’ve already read our Galaxy S8 review you will be aware that our take on the new flagship is that Samsung has brought us the future, but it’s not quite perfect yet. This doesn’t take away from the fact that the Galaxy S8 is a great smartphone, but we do have gripes with the weird placement of the fingerprint sensor and Bixby button as well as the fact that a smartphone which costs 800 Euro doesn’t even offer a screen time of at least four hours (well, the S8+ does, but not very easily, especially on mobile data).
I think it comes down to what you’re looking to get out of your smartphone. Yes, there are significant differences between the Galaxy S7 edge and the Galaxy S8 when it comes to design. The latter has a gorgeous Infinity Display with minimal bezels and looks more stylish. It’s a natural evolution of the design that Samsung perfected with the Galaxy S7 edge. The question is, though, is that enough to warrant an upgrade?
It’s not that the Galaxy S8 has an advantage in terms of software. It may ship with Android 7.0 Nougat out of the box but the latest Android OS update has long been available for the Galaxy S7 and the Galaxy S7 edge. You might say that the Galaxy S8 has Bixby but you and I both know that Bixby is essentially useless right now, not to mention the fact that it won’t even be ready at launch.
One of the big reasons why people upgrade their smartphones these days is because they want better cameras. The Galaxy S8 has a 12-megapixel rear camera with F1.7 aperture and Dual Pixel autofocus like its predecessor. The quality is slightly improved as the Galaxy S8 uses a new sensor and a multi-frame processor, but unless you’re looking to win any mobile photography competitions, the Galaxy S7 edge’s camera can hold its own against the best of them.
Granted that selfie lovers are going to appreciate the Galaxy S8’s 8-megapixel front-facing camera, which also has autofocus which is a first from Samsung. It’s a 1/3.6-inch camera sensor with F1.7 aperture and the ability to record QHD resolution video.
The Galaxy S8 may have an octa-core 10nm 64-bit Exynos 8895 processor which Samsung claims provides a 27 percent improvement in performance compared to the Galaxy S7 edge’s Exynos 8890 processor, but that doesn’t mean its predecessor is a slouch in the performance department.
The Galaxy S7 edge itself provided a 50 percent improvement in performance compared to the Galaxy S6, so while there is going to be a noticeable difference, it’s not like the Galaxy S7 edge will be completely smoked by its successor. It offers decent performance which will be enough for whatever the daily usage requirements of most users are (including all the latest games). We’re never using all of the performance all of the time so yes, better numbers do stand out on specs sheets, but we need to ask ourselves if we’re ever going to utilize the full potential.
We were very happy with the Galaxy S7 edge’s 3,600mAh battery, but not with those found in the Galaxy S8 and the Galaxy S8+. The new flagships feature a 3,000mAh and 3,500mAh battery respectively. Both handsets are larger and have bigger displays yet have smaller batteries. The result is unimpressive. We got hardly 3 hours of screen on time from the S8 during testing and that’s not something you’d expect from a flagship smartphone. Again, the S8+ fares better, but the S7 edge does good at battery endurance as well.
With prices starting at 800 Euro for the Galaxy S8, it goes without saying that the new flagship is expensive. So if you already own the Galaxy S7 edge and have been thinking about upgrading, you need to ask yourself if it’s going to be worth it when your existing device already offers exceptional performance, good battery life, amazing camera quality, and a design that’s still ahead of its competition.
Sure, if you like always having the latest device on you, then, by all means, buy the Galaxy S8. If you have a real need for features like iris scanning and facial recognition, it becomes even easier to recommend.
However, if you’re going to use it like most people use their smartphones, for calling, texting, social media, taking pictures and playing games then you already own the best device for all of it.