Samsung Galaxy S7
The Samsung Galaxy S7 has a serious security flaw, according to researchers from Austria’s Graz Technical University. A microchip security issue leaves the S7 open to Meltdown attacks. Meltdown takes advantage of a CPU tool called speculative execution, which allows processors to predict where instructions will travel. Hackers could use certain techniques to manipulate speculative execution in order to access privileged memory, such as that of the kernel. Meltdown and a similar vulnerability called Spectre were discovered to impact devices from a wide range of manufacturers late last year and early this year. "There are potentially hundreds of million of phones out there that are affected by Meltdown and may not be patched because the vendors themselves do not know," said the researchers. They plan to look at devices from other phone makers to see if other models are impacted by the flaw. Samsung claims to have plugged the Meltdown security hole in patches issued in January and again in July. "Samsung takes security very seriously and our products and services are designed with security as a priority," said the company. There are no known cases of Meltdown being used to attack the Galaxy S7. The Galaxy S7 was first released in 2016 and is used by about 30 million people, according to Strategy Analytics.
Samsung said it plans to update unlocked devices as often as monthly, according to ZDNet. "Due to various circumstances, we have been releasing security updates for unlocked (open) Galaxy devices in the U.S. on a quarterly basis," said the company in an emailed statement. "However, we have now resolved the challenges; and we are committed to releasing security updates for those devices on a monthly basis." Unlocked models of the Samsung Galaxy S7 and S7 edge were last updated in December, but Samsung said it will push the March update to those devices soon. Samsung didn't say whether or not the update will include Android 7 Nougat. Carrier variants of the S7 and S7 edge have already begun to receive Nougat.
Facebook today announced Facebook 360 for Gear VR, a dedicated app to help Samsung device owners find and consume 360-degree Facebook content. The app is available to compatible Galaxy devices, such as the Note 5, S7, and S7 edge. The app features four main feeds for finding VR content. The Explore tab lets people find the most popular VR content from media companies and organizations, while the Following tab lets people find the content created and shared by their friends and family. The app also allows people to save 360-degree content from their News Feed into a dedicated folder, as well as relive memories via the Timeline function, which highlights the user's own 360-degree photos and videos. The Facebook 360 for Gear VR app also supports social interactions, such as likes. Facebook claims there are more than 25 million 360-degree photos and more than 1 million 360-degree videos available on Facebook. The Facebook 360 for Gear VR app can be found within the Oculus app on compatible Samsung Galaxy smartphones.
Adobe today updated its Lightroom Mobile application and added the ability for Android and iOS devices to shoot in RAW HDR mode. Adobe says the new HDR mode automatically scans each scene to measure the best-possible exposure range and then takes three photos that are merged to deliver the widest exposure and contrast range. The result is a 16-bit floating point DNG image that Adobe claims can rival the quality of images captured by today's dSLR cameras. The new HDR RAW capture mode is available to the Apple iPhone 6s, 6s Plus, 7, 7 Plus, iPhone SE, and iPad Pro 9.7. The iOS version of Lightroom also gains the ability to export original files and RAW images, as well as a gesture-to-rate tool, Force Touch actions, and sleep prevention. As for Android devices, the new tool works with the Samsung S7, S7 edge, Google Pixel, and Pixel XL. Adobe says this is because these are the only devices capable of capturing DNG images on their own. More devices will be given access to the HDR RAW capture feature over time. Adobe Lightroom Mobile is free to download from the iTunes App Store and Google Play Store.
Verizon Wireless today made Android 7 Nougat available to its variants of the Samsung Galaxy S7 and Galaxy S7 edge smartphones. Android 7 brings native split-screen multitasking, and myriad other features to the year-old Galaxy devices. Some of the new tools include: better battery management software; photo effects previews; more ways to customize the always-on display; Samsung Pass for additional fingerprint-based security; performance mode for adjusting processor output; a revised keyboard with more language options; and more control over mobile hotspot connections. Notably, the update also removes Verizon's go90 mobile video application. Verizon recommends users download the operating system update via WiFi. Android 7 Nougat is rolling out the Galaxy S7 and S7 edge over the next few days.
Verizon Wireless today said customers who subscribe to its Total Mobile Protection plan can take advantage of same-day screen repairs at some 220 Verizon Stores across 34 states. Many of the company's most popular phones are eligible for same-day repairs, including the Apple iPhone SE, 5c, 5s, 6, 6 Plus, 6s, and 6s Plus; Samsung Galaxy S5, S6, S7, Note 4, and 5; and the Motorola Droid Turbo and Droid Maxx. Verizon says it will add more devices to this list over time. Customers who don't live near one of the 220 stores may be eligible for same-day repairs completed by an in-home mobile technician. The Total Mobile Protection plan costs $11 per month for smartphones and $9 per month for tablets/feature phones. Families can protect multiple lines: the first three lines are $11 each, but lines 4-10 can be added at no additional charge. Cracked screen repairs require a $79 deductible, but Verizon upped the number of yearly claims from two to three per line. All lines can take advantage of Verizon's Tech Coach for personal/technical assistance. The new Verizon Wireless Total Mobile Protection plan is available beginning today.
Sprint gave some of its high-end smartphones a speed boost this week. The company added 3-channel carrier aggregation to the Apple iPhone 7 and 7 Plus, Samsung Galaxy S7 and S7 edge, and the LG V20 and G5. The HTC Bolt already supports 3xCA, and Sprint plans to update a half dozen more phones soon. The update, which binds together three spectrum bands, boosts potential top download speeds from 100 Mbps to more than 200 Mbps. Sprint says 2xCA is already available in some 250 markets and that it has added 3xCA to about 100 markets. The 3xCA technology will serve as the base for Sprint's forthcoming HPUE network technology. Combining HPUE, 3xCA, 256 QAM, and MIMO can deliver 1 Gbps speeds, according to Sprint. Sprint will begin deploying HPUE in its 2.5 GHz spectrum (Band 41) later this year. The company said 55% of its post-paid phones will support HPUE by the end of this year, with the rest to follow in 2018.
Samsung has detailed which handsets will receive the Android 7 Nougat operating system update. Some of the core changes to the platform include a refreshed Quick Settings panel, OS-level support for split screen multitasking, four new performance modes, and Samsung Pass, which allows people to secure various aspects of their Samsung account with a fingerprint. The company this week began distributing the new operating system to the Galaxy S7 and S7 Edge. It also plans to update the Galaxy S6, S6 Edge, S6 Edge Plus, Note 5, Tab A with S Pen, Tab S2 (LTE), Galaxy A3, and Galaxy A8 to Android 7. As for timing, Samsung said this collection of devices should see Nougat at some point during the first half of the year.
Samsung today announced the pending launch of Samsung Rewards, a loyalty program for its Samsung Pay mobile payment service. Moving forward, people who sign up for Samsung Rewards will be able to earn points with Samsung when they use Samsung Pay to pay for goods and services. The Samsung Pay rewards points can be redeemed for Samsung products, vouchers for Samsung.com, Samsung Rewards Visa Prepaid Cards, and gifts cards to select retailers. Samsung says it will let Samsung Rewards enrollees "double dip" with their credit card issuer. Samsung Pay users will earn rewards points via Samsung Rewards and may also earn rewards points through their credit card issuer. People who sign up for Samsung Rewards during November or December will receive double points on purchases made during those months. Samsung says its rewards program will eventually expand to include other Samsung products and services, like Samsung.com and S Health. Samsung Pay is limited to a small selection of Samsung's high-end smartphones, including the Galaxy S7, S7 Edge, and Galaxy Note 5.
A system update for the T-Mobile variants of the Samsung Galaxy S7 and S7 Edge should improve wireless speeds. Specifically, the update gives the built-in Snapdragon X12 LTE modem support for 256QAM on the downlink and 64QAM on the uplink. These wireless improvements are better table to take advantage of the 4x4 MIMO support pushed to the S7 and S7 Edge last month for a 133% increase in wireless speeds. The update is free to download over the air.
Samsung today announced a pink gold version of the Galaxy S7 and S7 Edge. The new color will be available only at Best Buy stores in the U.S. For a limited time, customers who buy and activate the pink gold Galaxy S7 or S7 Edge from Best Buy will receive a $150 gift certificate to Best Buy. The pink gold handset goes on sale August 28. They be sold, carrier locked, to AT&T, Sprint, and Verizon Wireless customers.
Sprint today said it has achieved peak download speeds of 295Mbps using three-channel carrier aggregation on the HTC 10 smartphone. Carrier aggregation pairs together multiple segments of spectrum to improve speed and capacity. The company has already deployed two-channel carrier aggregation in 237 markets around the country. It markets this service as LTE Plus, offering 100Mbps downloads to nearly two dozen devices. The company plans to offer 200Mbps service once it deploys three-channel carrier aggregation, though it declined to specify when that might be. The HTC 10 is one of several handsets that supports three-channel carrier aggregation, which binds together three spectrum bands. Sprint will enable three-channel carrier aggregation on supported devices (HTC 10, HTC 9, Galaxy S7, S7 Edge, LG G5) through a software update one the technology has launched.
Republic Wireless today said it has added nine modern smartphones to its lineup of Android devices. The new phones include the Samsung Galaxy S7 Edge ($799), S7 ($699), J3 ($179), and S6 ($549); the Nexus 6P ($499) and 5X ($349); and the Motorola Moto X Pure Edition ($349), G4 ($199), and G4 Plus ($299). Republic customers can pay full price for the handsets, or elect to pay via monthly installments that range broadly from $11 to $48, based on the cost of the phone. Consumers who already own one of these unlocked handsets can pick up a Republic Wireless SIM card starting August 11. Republic's service plans start at $15 per month, which includes unlimited calling, texting, and WiFi data. Plans that include cellular data cost $20 per month for 1 GB, $30 for 2 GB, and $45 for 4 GB.
AT&T is sending out the July 1 Android security patch to its variants of the Samsung Galaxy S7 and Galaxy S7 Edge smartphones. Google made the security patch available earlier this month. It plugs a number of holes in the code, including some that could lead to remote code execution. In addition to the security update, the phones gain access to AT&T's WiFi Calling service. The update for the S7 and S7 Edge can be downloaded and installed over the air.
Verizon Wireless is sending out the July 1 Android security patch to its variants of the Samsung Galaxy S7 and Galaxy S7 edge smartphones. Google made the security patch available earlier this month. The patch plugs a number of holes in the code, including some that could lead to remote code execution. These security updates can be downloaded and installed over the air. Verizon patched its versions of the Galaxy Note 5 and S6 edge+ earlier this week.
Sprint has discontinued its Galaxy Forever lease program after just four months. Similar to its iPhone Forever program, the Galaxy Forever program allowed customers to lease a Galaxy S smartphone, make 12 payments, and then trade in the device for a new Galaxy S handset. The Galaxy Forever program applied to the Galaxy S7 and S7 edge and was pitched as a simpler way to upgrade to new equipment each year. Sprint customers can still lease the S7 and S7 edge, but won't be able to enjoy the annual no-cost upgrade. The Galaxy Forever program is no longer available from Sprint's web site, and Sprint stores confirmed to Fierce Wireless than the program has in fact been cancelled. Sprint did not provide a reason for the change. The iPhone Forever program is still available.
NBC today said that it will provide virtual reality coverage of the Rio 2016 Summer Olympic Games, but only to the Samsung Gear VR headset. NBC plans to capture about 85 hours of virtual reality programming, including the opening and closing ceremonies, and select competitions. Some of the sports include men's basketball, gymnastics, track and field, beach volleyball, diving, boxing, and fencing. NBC plans to create highlight packages of these sports, as well. NBC said the VR content will not be offered in real time, and will instead be delayed by about a day. The content will be made available through then NBC Sports app. Compatible smartphones include the Samsung Galaxy S6, S6 Edge, S6 Edge+, Note 5, S7, and S7 Edge. A Gear VR headset is required, and interested consumers will need to authenticate their pay TV cable account before accessing the Olympics VR coverage.
Samsung today said U.S. consumers can buy unlocked variants of the Galaxy S7 and S7 Edge. The devices are identical to those sold by carriers, but are unlocked and can be used on any GSM/CDMA network in the U.S. and abroad. The unlocked S7 and S7 Edge support LTE in Bands 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 7, 8, 12, 13, 18, 19, 20, 25, 26, 29, 30, and 41, making them highly compatible with AT&T, Sprint, T-Mobile, and Verizon Wireless. Moreover, the devices ship without carrier apps and instead come with a clean build of Android 6.0 Marshmallow and Samsung's TouchWiz. The unlocked Galaxy S7 and S7 Edge are available from Samsung.com, Amazon, Best Buy, Ebay, Sam's Club, and Target.com. The S7 costs $670 and the S7 Edge costs $770.
Verizon Wireless has begun distributing a security update for its versions of the Samsung Galaxy S7 and S7 Edge. Both phones will receive the June security patch from Google, which resolves a number of vulnerabilities. Google published details of the June security patch earlier this month. It plugs 21 holes, of which a handful could have led to remote code execution. Verizon says the update also optimizes device performance and takes care of a few other bugs. The update will appear automatically, but may also be initiated manually directly from the phone. The update can be downloaded via WiFi or LTE.
Samsung today updated its Samsung Pay service in the U.S. to include merchant membership and loyalty cards. Samsung says Pay users can easily add loyalty cards to the app and use them during checkout to redeem rewards or discounts. Stored cards can be called up and scanned at the point of payment. The app can now also store personal identification and insurance cards for safe keeping. Samsung Pay is free to download from Samsung, though it is limited to high-end phones such as the Galaxy S6, S7, and Edge.
Republic Wireless today said it has partnered with a new GSM-based carrier to help increase its service availability around the U.S. Republic launched as a WiFi-first service in 2011, and partnered with Sprint so customers could make calls, send messages, and surf the web when away from WiFi. Republic's new carrier partner is likely T-Mobile, though Republic Wireless did not say so directly. Republic will work with both Sprint and T-Mobile moving forward. With the new GSM partnership in place, Republic is set to expand its selection of devices to include some newer, top-tier Android phones. Beginning in July, Republic will offer the Samsung Galaxy S7/S7 Edge, S6, and J3, the Google Nexus 6P and 5X, and the Motorola Moto X Pure Edition — all of which run Android 6.0 Marshmallow. Republic said financing will be available for each handset. Customers will be able to bring their own GSM-based device if they so wish. Last, Republic said it is prepared to roll out new service plans. One such plan costs $20 per month and includes unlimited talk, text, and 1 GB of LTE. Republic will share more details about its new service plans in the weeks ahead.
T-Mobile today announced new pricing for family plans that sees the price drop to $30 per line. The plan includes unlimited talk, text, and 6 GB of LTE data per line, as well as standard T-Mobile features, such as Rollover Data, Music Unlimited, and Binge On. The same plan previously cost $35 per line, so the new promotion drops the price by a total of $20 for a family of four. Additional lines (5 and up) cost $20 each. T-Mobile is giving away a free Samsung smartphone, too. Customers who buy a Samsung Galaxy S7 or S7 Edge with at least one new line of service will receive a prepaid card for a free Samsung Galaxy Grand Prime handset. T-Mobile didn't say how long these promotions will be available.
Samsung today said it plans to make its mobile payment service, Samsung Pay, available in Australia, Brazil, Canada, Singapore, Spain, and the U.K. later this year. The service is already available in the U.S. and Korea. In Korea, Samsung Pay will soon allow Woori Bank cardholders to withdraw cash from ATMs. Samsung said select ATMs will be fitted with the proper technology to sense Samsung Pay on Galaxy phones. Customers won't need to have their debit card to grab some cash. Samsung didn't say if it plans to expand the ATM functionality to other banks or other markets. Samsung Pay uses both NFC and magnetic strip technology to enable payments at most terminals that accept credit cards. Samsung also updated its SoundCamp music creation app, debuted new SDKs and APIs for its ConnectAuto program, announced an IoT platform called Artik Cloud, and expanded what developers can do with its Gear VR. The news was shared during Samsung's developer conference in San Francisco.
Samsung and The Weather Channel have created an exclusive weather app only for owners of Galaxy-branded smartphones. The Weather Channel App for Samsung offers features the regular Weather Channel app does not include. For example, a tool called Smart Weather Wakeup will trigger users' alarm clocks a bit earlier than normal when bad weather may impact their routine. Another tool called Floating Shortcuts provides direct access to information such as current conditions or daily forecasts. The app includes new, dynamic weather backgrounds for Samsung phones, and targets Galaxy Edge models with customized alerts for the edge panel. The Weather Channel App for Samsung is available from the Galaxy Apps Store for the S6, S6 Edge, S6 Edge+, Note 5, S7, and S7 Edge. Samsung said it plans to eventually expand the app's availability to other platforms, including the Gear S2 smartwatch and select Samsung Smart TVs.
Samsung has released an app for its Galaxy handsets, called Milk VR, that allows people to experience its library of 360-degree content without a virtual reality headset. The app lets Galaxy owners search for, download, and play 360-degree video content directly on their handset. Users play the downloaded videos and can then pan around the landscape. The videos are compatible with the Gear VR and can be played with or without the headset. The Milk VR app is available to the Galaxy S7, S7 Edge, S6, S6 Edge, S6 Edge+, and Note 5. It is free to download from the Google Play Store.
AT&T and DirecTV customers who buy a Samsung Galaxy S7 may become eligible for a free Samsung 48-inch TV. Consumers who buy a Galaxy S7 or S7 Edge, and sign up for AT&T and DirecTV are eligible for the free TV, as are existing AT&T customers who join DirectTV, and existing DirecTV customers who join AT&T. Consumers who already subscribe to AT&T and DirecTV are not eligible. The S7 or S7 Edge must be purchased on an AT&T Next plan, and people must have both AT&T and DirecTV to qualify — at least one of which must be new. The free TV offer will be available through April 30.
Sprint today followed AT&T, T-Mobile, and Verizon Wireless by rolling out a buy-one, get-one offer for the Samsung Galaxy S7. Customers can lease or purchase the Galaxy S7 at full retail price and receive a second for free. Sprint's Galaxy Forever lease program costs $25.99 per month for 24 months and allows users to upgrade to a new phone after 12 payments. Sprint will credit the cost of the handset payment each month for the second/free S7. Customers who choose installment pricing for the S7 will pay $27.09 per month for 24 months to own the handset, with the second S7 available at $0 per month after a service credit. In either case, one of the handsets must be activated on a new line of service. Sprint says customers can mix and match between leasing and installment plans if so desired. Sprint is still offering new customers 50% off competitor rate plans, and will cover up to $650 in switching fees. Both new and existing customers who've already purchased the S7 are eligible for the BOGO offer. Sprint also rolled out a half-price lease deal for the 16 GB iPhone 6s, which costs $13.17 per month with a trade-in.
Verizon Wireless has made a Galaxy S7 and S7 Edge buy-one, get-one deal of its own available to smartphone shoppers. Beginning today, customers who buy one Galaxy S7 or S7 Edge can receive a second one for free as long as the second one is activated on a new line. Both phones must be purchased through an installment plan. Verizon will give buyers a prepaid card for the value of the phone. Verizon customers who've already bought a Galaxy S7 or S7 Edge are also eligible for a free phone if they choose to activate a new line. AT&T and T-Mobile have similar promotions running right now.
Sprint today said it was able to achieve peak LTE speeds reaching 300Mbps on the downlink with the Samsung Galaxy S7. The phone, says Sprint, is among the first to support three-channel carrier aggregation, a feature in LTE-Advanced. In its lab, Sprint put together three 20 MHz channels in the 2.5 GHz band to push peak speeds in the S7 to 300Mbps. Sprint says the same setup can deliver 200Mbps in real-world situations. The carrier has already deployed two-channel carrier aggregation in its 2.5 GHz spectrum, delivering peak speeds of 100Mbps in more than 150 markets around the U.S. Sprint says it holds 160 MHz of 2.5 GHz spectrum in a large number of top U.S. markets, which should allow it to offer three-channel carrier aggregation as part of its LTE Plus Network upgrade. Sprint is working to trim costs across the board. It recently cut its headcount and is hoping to reduce the costs associated with leasing tower space. Sprint didn't say how it will deploy its LTE Plus upgrade while also saving costs.
Verizon Wireless today announced the Verizon Annual Upgrade Program beginning with the Samsung Galaxy S7 and S7 Edge. The upgrade program allows customers who finance the S7 or S7 Edge to trade in their phone and upgrade to a new phone every year. Verizon says customers can upgrade to new hardware after just 30 days, as long as 50% of the phone's price has been paid. Customers who preordered the S7 or S7 Edge will be enrolled in the annual upgrade program automatically as long as they choose a device payment plan to finance the phone. Customers don't have to upgrade if they don't want to: Verizon says customers can continue to pay off their phones over 24 months, which they'll own at the end of two years just as before. Verizon says customers who switch (port in) from another carrier and activate an S7 or S7 Edge can receive a $100 bill credit, in addition to reimbursement for ETFs and other fees. Existing Verizon customers can receive up to $300 (varies by device) if they trade in an existing handset for an S7 or S7 Edge. The S7 costs $670 and the S7 Edge costs $780.
Verizon Wireless today detailed several new promotions that are available to customers looking to save some green. To start, Verizon customers who by a Galaxy S7 or S7 Edge on a device payment plan will be able to buy a Samsung Galaxy Core Prime for an additional $1 per month. The Core Prime is an entry-level Android phone ideal for younger users. Customers who trade in an old Fitbit and buy a new Fitbit priced $99 or higher can receive a $20 Visa gift card. Last, Verizon will waive its $20 activation fee for customers who bring their own phone and activate in on Verizon. These promotions will be available for a limited time.
Cricket Wireless said it will begin selling the Samsung Galaxy S7 starting March 18. It is charging $649.99 for the phone and will provide a free Gear VR headset to those who buy before April 1. Cricket's service plans start at $35 per month.
T-Mobile today countered AT&T's buy one, get one promotion for the Samsung Galaxy S7 and S7 Edge with one of its own. T-Mobile's deal requires customers to buy one S7 or S7 Edge at full price on an equipment installment plan. When adding a second line, T-Mobile will provide a debit card for the full value of the second phone through an online rebate for the second phone. (AT&T's program offers a monthly credit for the price of the second phone.) Families can get up to two GS7s from T-Mobile for free when buying two at full price. T-Mobile is offering several other benefits. Customers who buy the GS7 or GS7 Edge before March 18 will receive a Gear VR headset for free with a 6-game bundle, as well as a full year of Netflix. T-Mobile says the BOGO deal can be combined with several existing offers, such as covering the costs of switching from other carriers, and unlimited data for four lines for $150 per month. The Galaxy S7 costs $670 and the Galaxy S7 Edge costs $780. The GS7 is available for $0 down and $28 per month for 24 months, while the GS7 Edge requires a $60 down payment followed by $30 per month for 24 months.
AT&T today said the Samsung Galaxy S7 and S7 Edge, which reach stores March 11, will be eligible for a buy one, get one promotion the carrier has been running since last month. Both phones must be purchased via an AT&T Next installment plan. The first phone can be a new line or an upgrade, but the second phone must be a new line purchased with an AT&T Next 24 plan (req's 30 payments). Both phones must be added to a qualified plan, such as Mobile Share Value, which starts at $70 for two lines. Customers will need to pay sales tax on the two phones at the time of purchase and may need to make several monthly payments on both before AT&T credits up to $650 for the second phone spread out over the 30 month AT&T Next 24 plan. Subscribers who leave AT&T before they've made the 30 payments will need to pay for the remaining balance of the phone. AT&T didn't say how long the BOGO offer will be available.
Boost Mobile and Virgin Mobile today both confirmed plans to offer the Samsung Galaxy S7 to their prepaid customers. Boost will kick off sales of the flagship handset on March 11, with Virgin to follow March 18. Both companies are asking for the full retail price, which is $649.99 for the 32 GB model. They are selling only the black variant. Boost has a promotion for families right now that offers 10 GB per line, while Virgin offers free music streaming via LTE. Boost and Virgin, which operate on Sprint's network, do not require contracts and offer low-cost service plans.
When Samsung's Galaxy S7 and S7 edge were announced this week, many people wondered why the phones have a micro-USB port instead of the newer USB Type-C connector. The competing LG G5 and a growing number of phones at all price points this year include Type-C. When asked, Samsung Director of Product Marketing Shoneel Kolhatkar indicated that compatibility with the existing ecosystem of Samsung accessories was the reason, but particularly Gear VR, the current version of which is built in a such a way that it can only work with micro-USB. USB Type-C connectors are reversible, (like Apple's Lightning connector,) and support much faster data and more power for charging.
Samsung today announced the Samsung Enterprise Device Program in order to help companies buy, secure, and manage mobile devices. The program is kicking off with the new Galaxy S7 and S7 Edge handsets. The company plans to work with businesses' purchasing departments and will allow its customers to buy the same model over and over again up to two years after the phone's initial release. Samsung believes this will help companies maintain consistent fleets of devices. Samsung is also promising its business customers monthly security updates via KNOX, and mobile device management tools via Android for Work. The Enterprise Device Program is meant to help Samsung better compete with Apple for business customers.
Samsung's 2016 flagship smartphones are updates to last year's models. Each features modern specs and brings water resistance to the table, as well as support for memory cards. Samsung argues the Galaxy S7 and S7 Edge are a lot more than minor upgrades. Are those claims accurate? Here are Phone Scoop's first impressions of these new phones.
Samsung today said consumers in select countries, including the U.S., who preorder the Galaxy S7 or S7 Edge will receive a free Gear VR headset. Samsung didn't say how long the promotion will be available. Many U.S. carriers have also announced pricing for the pair of phones. The Galaxy S7 costs approximately $670 to $700, depending on carrier, while the larger S7 Edge has a much higher price point between $780 and $800, depending on carrier. Monthly payments for the phones range from about $30 to more than $40, depending on the terms. So far, AT&T, Cricket Wireless, Sprint, T-Mobile, U.S. Cellular, and Verizon Wireless have all said they'll sell the new handsets from Samsung. The device goes on sale March 11, but preorders start February 23.
Samsung today announced the Galaxy S7 and S7 Edge, upgrades to last year's designs that make under-the-hood refinements and add several new features. The GS7 and GS7 Edge maintain the glass-and-metal design of the GS6, but update the chassis to provide protection from water and other liquids. The GS7 has a 5.1-inch quad HD screen, while the GS7 Edge has a somewhat bigger 5.5-inch screen at the same resolution. Samsung added an "always on" function to the screen, similar to that of LG's G5 and Motorola's Moto X for displaying notifications. Samsung admitted it made a mistake with last year's handset by bringing back support for expandable storage in the GS7. The phones ship with 32 GB included, but support memory cards up to 200 GB. Samsung reduced the camera's pixel count to 12-megapixels, but increased the pixel size by 95% for better low-light performance. The main camera has a lens at f/1.7, and Samsung changed the sensor from the 16:9 aspect ratio to the 4:3 aspect ratio. The front-facing camera captures 5 megapixels. The GS7 has a 3,000mAh battery, while the GS7 Edge packs a 3,600mAh power cell with rapid and wireless charging. The phones rely on Samsung's octa-core Exynos processor with 4 GB of RAM. Samsung decided to stick with a micro USB port, rather than update to the newer USB Type-C port. The phones run Android 6.0 Marshmallow and include refreshed apps and services from Samsung. For example, the S7 Edge has the new Edge Panel content for expanded content. The Samsung Galaxy S7 and S7 Edge will be sold by all four major U.S. carriers. Preorders start February 23 and others will ship March 11. Pricing was not revealed.