Samsung unveiled the latest addition to its premium Galaxy handsets line at the Mobile World Congress 2016, the Galaxy S7 and the S7 Edge. From the previews it seems that Samsung has finally produced a flagship android that boasts both the performance and design to give even Apple Inc.’s (NASDAQ:AAPL) loyalists a pause.

The Samsung S7 seems to share the same overall design of the S6 phones. In terms of differentiating itself from the S6 line, the design changes seem to be minimalistic and it would seem that users would want to save their money and go for the S6. However, the design changes give a noticeably different experience to users and that is what really matters. For starters, Samsung has removed the weird bulge around the camera that made holding the phone slightly uncomfortable. In fact, the S7’s back is slightly curvier than the S6 and the metal body gives the phone a premium feel which counts when you’re asking users to shell out $800 for a mobile device. Samsung’s design philosophy for the device seems not only to pack into it the latest technology but to make it fun and intuitive to use, reminiscent to an iPhone almost. The phone’s edges are smooth with almost no bezel around the S7 Edge’s quad-HD AMOLED 5.5 inch screen. The screen itself touts Samsung’s always on display where notifications are displayed even when the screen is sleeping. Samsung has rearranged the fingerprint sensor on its phone closer to the home screen button to make it more accessible and natural to reach while the phone’s volume rockers give a more mechanical experience that makes clicking easier.

One of the most marketable features of the phone’s body is its IP68 water resistance rating which translates to immersion in up to 4.9 feet of water for a maximum of 30 minutes. While these changes to the phone’s body do a lot to differentiate it from the last iteration in the Galaxy line half the story is within the chassis of the phone. The S7 sports now support MicroSD cards with an upper limit of 200 GB. The S7 retains the wireless charging capabilities of its predecessors and both the S7 and S7 Edge have upgraded battery sizes of 3000mAh and 3600mAh but the cost has been that they are still non-removable.

One of the things that Samsung has boasted of and drawn comparisons to Apple’s iPhone devices with are the cameras on both S7 devices. The cameras have a smaller aperture of f/1.7 allowing shooting in lower light, nearly double the f/1.9 on the S6. The other feature is the dual pixel autofocus through which pixels are recorded while they are computed for increased focus resulting in faster focusing useful for speed photography and smooth videos. Users should not be distracted by the slight reduction in resolution form 16 megapixels to 12 megapixels and judge from the results of the new technology that Samsung has added instead.

The S7 sports the quad-core Snapdragon 820 SoC that users hope will put an end to overheating and battery issues. Gamers will benefit from the thermal spreaders the company has added to its new devices which help cool the phone during intensive use especially in graphics heavy processes like games. TouchWiz remains a touchy subject and has been far from the most popular android touch interface but Samsung has reduced its personal changes to a minimal or at least made them less intrusive.

The Galaxy S7 and S7 Edge seem like fantastic devices and will be opening for preordering from February 23, and shipping out as soon as March 11 in the US and a few other key Samsung markets initially. The $700 S7 and $800 S7 Edge do a good job of providing a flagship experience but with the Chinese mobile manufacturers upping the ante with better phones for lower dollar amounts it’s questionable what kind of market the phones have. For people who want the very best however, Apple seems like the obvious choice but maybe now they might consider a Galaxy S7.

Sounds like a cool phone

Think u guys missed out on the VR capabilities .. or is there a separate headset?