The camera app has seen a few welcome changes too. The fact that filters are now easier to reach isn't strictly one of these. Some of us here still think that filters are best left to the social sharing apps, and it's always better to have a more true-to-life image that you can later edit to make an 'artsy' one. Then again, if you want to preview a particular effect as you're capturing the image, you can have that.
The filters are accessed with a swipe to the left from the viewfinder, revealing a 3x3 array of possible effects. Pick one and it's superimposed on your reality with sliders to control the intensity of the effect, real-time.
Swipe to the right and you're taken to the mode selector. There's the usual stuff here, the same as before the Nougat update, really - Panorama, Selective focus, Hyperlapse, and of course Food, among others.
Pro mode is one of the more feature-rich implementations that go by that name. Again, this has been that way for as long as the S7 edge has been around - it's just good to know that it hasn't changed with Nougat. Manual ISO and shutter speed are par for the course, but the white balance with a color temperature selector on top of the presets is pretty rare. Manual focus is also very nicely implemented - the app zooms in on the center portion of the frame allowing you to lock focus more accurately.
Another swipe-operated function will bring you to one of those 'about time' moments - you can switch between the rear and the front camera with a flick on the screen, instead of tapping the button. Both up and down work just as well. Truth is, Samsung may not have had that option up until now, but the front/rear toggle was always in immediate reach next to the shutter release, so it was accessible with one hand.
We observed a significant drop in Wi-Fi browsing longevity, to the tune of 3 full hours, compared to the numbers we got on the original Marshmallow firmware. The new result on Nougat (as tested on the Exynos 8890 version of the handset) is close to what the Snapdragon 820 version could achieve on Marshmallow. Still, what was a truly excellent web browsing endurance before, is now just a ‘good score’ after the update.
It's not a spectacular showing in video playback either, where the drop in endurance is a whopping 5 hours. The thing is, the S7 edge's original 20+ hours of looping videos were so amazing, that even 5 hours less makes for a pretty great number. But we don’t quite understand what has caused the change.
On a more positive note, the 3G voice call endurance has been improved by an extra 1:45h.
All this makes for a slightly lower overall endurance rating of 92 hours (6h down from the Marshmallow firmware).
We also tested if selecting a lower display resolution (the new feature we mentioned on the previous page) would have a positive impact on the battery life. We compared the battery performance using the native 1440p setting as well as the lowest available setting of 720p.
The short answer is - the change in resolution didn’t affect any aspect of the battery life - not in our testing routine. The minor differences we recorded were in the minutes, and are well within the margin of error of the tests. Perhaps an alternative usage pattern might lead to some meaningful advantages of going low-res, but our experience doesn't point in that direction. One such potential scenario is gaming, but then again you already had the option to limit resolution within Game launcher.
The Nougat update to the Galaxy S7 edge (and the flat-screened S7, by extension) is certainly anything but incremental. The thing is, it's not the bump in the OS version that you'll notice most of the time, but Samsung's entirely new user interface.
That being said, it's precisely a core Android 7.0 feature that is among the most notable changes - the improved handling of notifications brings actual usability benefits in terms of presentation and speed of interaction.
On non-Samsung phones Nougat's addition of native multi-window support would be big news. However, Samsung pioneered the feature all the way back in Galaxy Note 3 days, and it's been present on flagships since - Galaxy S7 edge included, Nougat or no Nougat.
On top of that, Samsung's Grace UX brings more functional quick settings, a bit disorganized actual settings, a swipe-optimized camera app, as well as some extra refinements in the visual presentation. We'd say it was worth the wait. Time to check out what the Galaxy S8 will bring along.