Samsung, more than any other OEM, is known for pushing new technologies into the Galaxy line flagship devices each year. Though many of these features turn out to be gimmicks that users rarely bother with and Samsung ends up removing from future iterations, some of them are genuinely awesome enhancements and reflect ingenuity and innovation by the company.
1. microSD Slot
Through the history of Android, expandable storage has been a controversial topic. Many early Android devices supported microSD slots up to 32GB or so, since mobile data was still slow and expensive.
As data speeds have increased with the advent of 4G LTE connections, and service providers are frequently offering more data for lower prices, cloud computing has taken off as the dominant means of data storage and transfer.
With these improvements, and Google cracking down on Android to favor internal storage rather than external cards, the past few generations of new devices has experimented with removing expandable storage entirely.
Internal storage can frequently peak at 64GB or even up to 128GB, which is more than enough for most casual users.
Samsung held out microSD support for longer than many OEMs, but finally removed the card slot in the Galaxy S6.
Consumers across the board were livid that Samsung would remove possibly the biggest selling point of the Galaxy S4 and S5.
Even if Google wants to push internal storage and cloud computing as the de facto data medium in Android, users hate paying an additional $50 for improved internal storage, when such an upgrade is trivially cheap for the manufacturer.
Obviously, Samsung was listening, and the Galaxy S7 has a microSD card slot once again. This time, the expandable storage slot can support cards up to 200GB in capacity, which is absurdly large for handset storage.
Even if users don’t take advantage of the full 200GB, they can purchase a 32GB or 64GB card for much cheaper than similar upgrades to internal storage. Having a microSD slot is easily the biggest improvement for the Galaxy S7.
2. Water Proofing
While Samsung has previously released “Active” versions with waterproofing and dustproofing, the main Galaxy line did not have these body enhancements.
For the Galaxy S7, these improvements are included in the standard models without any case or special additions.
The waterproofing may not be protective enough to survive a scuba diving trip, most users should have no issues with if the device takes a quick dip in a swimming pool or tumbles into the sink or toilet.
3. 4GB RAM
An extra gig of memory (totalling 4GB) will certainly make the Galaxy S7 a bit more responsive, especially for users who multitask frequently.
More background tasks can be running without hogging all the available memory, which should be useful for power users.
While it may not be an entirely new feature, more RAM will undoubtedly make the Galaxy S7 a more powerful device.
Overall, Samsung doesn’t seem to have crammed in any useless gimmicks just for the sake of flashy commercials and bragging rights about what the phone can do in extremely specific circumstances.
It’s a solid incremental improvement over the Galaxy S6, with the microSD slot that so many consumers wanted.