Just like all their competitors, including Apple, Samsung released the next iteration in their Galaxy series, the S7 and S7 Edge. There’s so much hype surrounding this release I’ll let you use Google to read all about it, if you haven’t been overwhelmed at whatever news source you frequent already. Although I switched to an Apple iPhone 6S Plus back in November, the Galaxy is still interesting enough to pay attention to. Here’s what I’ve noticed so far.
- The S7/S7 Edge have micro SDHC card capability again. My Galaxy S4 had it and I used it as well as Android 4.4 and Android 5 would allow, which wasn’t much. Google really screwed over users when they restricted external SDHC card usage as much as they did. That negative change was the first big push away from Android and Samsung and towards Apple. Fortunately for those who’ve stuck it out, Android 6 is supposed to make external storage devices like micro SDHC cards look like part of the overall storage pool. I have no details how that works as the only Android 6 devices I still own and use are a pair of 2013 Nexus 7 tablets. Of course, with the 128GB of device storage on my iPhone 6S Plus, the need for a piddly external micro SDHC device is pretty much eliminated. I’ve yet to read of an S7 being offered with 128GB.
- The S7/S7 Edge are dust and water proof – again. The S5 (or at least the S5 Active) was dust and water proof, but the S6 wasn’t. No explanation about why that critical feature was dropped when the S6/S6 Edge were released, except perhaps Samsung spent so much time on making the S6 pretty they must have run out of time making it physically robust. The iPhone 6s Plus is reasonably water resistant (as reported here by Wired), so that was a big fat positive feature for me. Another reason to move to Apple.
- The S7/S7 Edge are coming out of the chute with the latest version of Android, 6.0.1. That’s nice, considering that past Galaxies have been first released with older Android releases, and it took Samsung a very long time to release more up-to-date versions of their cooked version of Android. I have no idea how quickly Samsung will now follow Google when Google releases newer versions of Android going forward. Ideally Samsung’s release would be the same day as an Android update is announced, much as what Apple does when it announces a new release of iOS. I got tired of waiting not for major feature releases of Android on my Galaxy S4, but critical bug fixes that Google would announce. Part of the problem of timely updates is Samsung itself, part of the problem is AT&T. When I finally bought my iPhone, I did so knowing full well that even though AT&T is my provider, they don’t get in the way of Apple pushing out iOS updates.
The S7/S7 Edge look very pretty to be sure. And with the latest processor and support for even faster graphics, the S7 appears poised to make some spectacular mobile gaming possible. They even have a tie-in with virtual reality via Oculus; that’s one reason why pre-orders will get free VR headgear.
All exciting to be sure. But there’s one feature that nobody is mentioning that has my attention at the moment, and that’s on-device encryption. Apple is in a brutal battle with the DoJ, where the D0J wants Apple to create a backdoor into iOS in order to get the contents of a specific iPhone 5C used by one of the San Bernardino shooters. I believe in what Apple has done so far with iOS encryption on all its mobile devices, especially fighting incredible government overreach, enough to put my hard-earned money into buying Apple hardware. And it will stay that way, regardless of how pretty the latest Samsung phones are (or any other Android phone for that matter). Hopefully I won’t have to eat these words later, but I trust Apple to do the right thing on this important issue. That same level of trust is totally lacking with all Android handset providers, especially where AT&T is directly involved.
I made my switch to Apple back in November. I have no intentions of switching away.