First 24: Hands-on with Samsung's Galaxy S7 edge

At Mobile World Congress, Samsung unveiled the Galaxy S7 and S7 edge. While some had hoped for a radical redesign, it was clear that Samsung was done trying to redefine its device, but was instead on the path to refinement. Last year's S6 devices were good, but they did have room in some areas to be improved, as voiced by consumers and reviewers alike. Learning from its past mistakes and perhaps not wanting to repeat history, Samsung has heeded those calls and made several changes to this year's device, making it more comfortable and functional.

S7 edge (left) v S6 edge+ (right)

As you can see from the image above, the S7 edge looks very similar, if not identical to last year's S6 edge+. And while the S7 edge maintains its handsome looks, Samsung has done much in the way of elevating how the device actually feels by improving on the ergonomics.

Although not a radical change, Samsung has introduced a slight curve to the rear, that allows the handset to rest more comfortably in hand, but also mitigates the sharp edge of the metal frame that was a prominent pain point in last year's handsets. Samsung has also made a concession by making the handset slightly thicker, but in turn is able to offer an impressive 3,600mAh battery.

It should come as no surprise that Samsung's latest offers a beautiful AMOLED panel. The curved 5.5-inch quad HD display offers vibrant colors, looks crisp and maintains its vibrancy even under sunlight. Although I'd like to report that the display is flawless, there is a slightly yellowish tint that tends to manifest itself when the display is dimmed. While I'm not certain if this is exclusive to my handset, I will have to check out a couple more samples before I make a final verdict.

As for the camera, Samsung has decreased the megapixel count from 16MP to 12MP and has also minimized the camera hump from last year's model, making the device even more sleek and svelte. Although the megapixel count has been reduced, Samsung is utilizing dual-pixel technology to drive better results. Limited testing of the S7 edge shows that day time shots were excellent and night time shots looked just as good. While more testing will need to be conducted over the next week, so far, the S7 edge offers a very impressive camera. You can check out the still image samples in the gallery below.

As if these improvements weren't enough, Samsung drops the ultimate cherry on top of its S7 sundae by resurrecting the much missed microSD slot. Last year, there were outcries, as Samsung nixed the much beloved microSD slot from its S6 and Note devices. Fortunately, both the S7 and S7 edge will offer the expansion slot.

While this is just a brief hands on with the S7 edge, in its initial outing, the handset is truly pushing the envelope when it comes to design and functionality. While it's too early to tell whether this will be the top handset of 2016, Samsung is clearly on a path to transcend its competitors.

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