Update (03 Feb 2017): The Android 7.0 Nougat update for the Galaxy S7 edge is here and we've covered the differences in-depth in a dedicated article. Be sure to read it for a more current perspective on the Samsung flagship's software. We've also updated some sections of this review that the jump to Nougat has affected - battery life in particular. For the complete picture it's best to read both articles together.
Pushed way out of its comfort zone and into a high-stakes flagship redesign last season, Samsung's back to what it does best -- making itself comfortable at the top of the heap. OK, it sounds like a bold claim but by no means incredible if you've seen the Samsung Galaxy S7 edge.
Yet, this isn't exactly a galaxy far, far away. The Samsung Galaxy S7 edge looks a lot like its predecessor, and we've heard a lot of people calling it the same device. Can't blame them really - Samsung indeed focused on refinement this time around and if you caught our regular Galaxy S7 review, you'd know we liked what they come up with.
Anyway, the real deal is on the inside. If only you look at the features it brings back, such as water protection and a microSD slot, you may conclude that the Galaxy S7 edge is what the S6 edge should've been.
But that's not where the hardware novelties end. We paid due attention to the camera in our MWC coverage and the review of the vanilla Galaxy S7 to conclude that the dual pixel autofocus, wider aperture and bigger pixel size more than make up for the lower sensor resolution.
The new flagship wouldn't have done without an engine upgrade - we guess Qualcomm's return as a chipset supplier is another sign of things getting back to normal after the Project Zero coup. The Galaxy S7 pair is powered by either Snapdragon 820, or the latest Exynos 8890, each with 4GB of RAM.
There is a bigger display with an always-on option, and a more robust battery too. The Samsung Galaxy S7 edge runs the latest Android of course, skinned with the latest TouchWiz.
Samsung did well to bring back two of the most valued features - the microSD slot and water protection but the new design precludes any way of accessing the battery outside an authorized service center. The FM radio and IR blaster are gone for some reason at least in our Exynos version of the handset.
Update: A software update has enabled the FM radio at least on T-Mobile S7/S7 edge in the US. It turns out the FM receiver hardware has always been there and was just not enabled at launch. The T-Mobile units are powered by the Snapdragon 820 chipset, so technically the option is there for all variants running on Qualcomm's chip. Our international unit, however, runs on the Exynos 8890 and so far we haven't heard of FM radio enabling update (if there ever will be one).
Now, whatever deals there may have been in the debut week - including a free Gear VR headset - the Galaxy S7 edge remains among the most expensive mass-produced phones right now. But if Apple can charge as much, no harm in Samsung trying as well.
So, what is the Samsung Galaxy S7 edge really made of and is it worth the asking price? Read on as we try to find out!