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February 12, 2016

7 features I want to see in Samsung’s Galaxy S7

by John_A

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I’ve been a pretty big Samsung guy for a while now. First I had the Galaxy S III which I absolutely loved. To me that was the first phone that really took it to Apple’s iPhone. I then handed that phone to my dad when I fell in love with the gorgeous big screened Galaxy Note 3. The Galaxy S5, despite underwhelming critical reviews, had me intrigued with its addition of waterproofing. I did not buy one for myself, but I did end up purchasing one as a birthday present for my girlfriend at the time. Now I carry around a Galaxy Note 4 as my daily driver.

I’ve had the Galaxy Note 4 since this past July. My Galaxy Note 3 took an unfortunate spill into my kitchen sink, and I was left using an ancient HTC EVO 4G. I wasn’t sure which direction to go with for my new phone, but I absolutely loved the productivity-driven Galaxy Note series, and I knew the Galaxy Note 5 was right around the corner. I explored the recent Galaxy S6 to see how the upcoming Galaxy Note 5 would be, and many of the directions Samsung decided to go with scared me away. I just loved Samsung staples like a removable battery and microSD card slot too much to give it up. So I finally decided to compromise and stick with the Note series by purchasing last year’s model for cheap.

Samsung definitely upset me and a lot of longtime Samsung device owners with the Galaxy S6 and Galaxy Note 5. There is no question that the Galaxy S6 and Galaxy Note 5 are Samsung’s most beautiful phones to date, but I just wish they were able to design a beautiful product while giving us the features we have come to expect. So in anticipation of the Galaxy S7 and Galaxy S7 Edge being revealed February 21 at MWC 2016, here are seven features I would like to see in Samsung’s next flagship!

A bigger, removable battery

To put it bluntly, the battery of the Galaxy S6 is a joke. Samsung decided to not only to make the battery non-removable, but the battery size was downright puny. The battery clocks in at a measly 2550mAh with the Galaxy S6 Edge variant while sporting a slightly larger 2600mAh battery. This battery was, for most people, just not large enough to power the beautiful new Quad HD (2560×1440) display and stronger internals to provide an entire day of usage. Samsung claimed that the inclusion of fast charging and wireless charging made up for this, but when you are on the go, charging is just not an option for many. To me, nothing really compares to a large swappable battery like the one I have inside my Galaxy Note 4.

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Thankfully it looks like at least part of this wish may come true. Our own Peter Holden reported this month that the Galaxy S7 will come with a 3000mAh unit, with the Galaxy S7 Edge hosting a massive 3600mAh one. This would be a pretty awesome upgrade over last year’s phones. Now let’s hope Samsung surprises us all and makes the battery removable like the LG G5 is rumored to have.

Storage expansion via microSD card slot

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I’ve had the same microSD card since my days with the HTC Evo 4G. My 32GB microSD card holds a lot of my music library and pretty much every picture I have taken since being a sophomore in high school. This little thing is just too valuable for me to give up. I know there are countless cloud services to hold my music and pictures — I do have my music on Google Play music and my photos backed up to Google Photos — but when you are running low on data or in an area with spotty service having a hard copy of your info on your microSD card is a savior.

Another huge plus to being able to use a microSD card is how cheap they are. Right now on Amazon you can get a 32GB microSD card for $13. A 32GB upgrade when purchasing a phone is usually much more than that. Just as an example the price of the 64GB Nexus 6P is a whole $50 more than the 32GB model, triple the cost of purchasing an SD card.

I know inclusion of this feature has been on a downward trend, but come on Samsung! Make us all happy and let us expand the storage.

Withstand the occasional dip into water

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Being someone who has directly experienced the dread of dropping their phone into water, this is a must have for me. I loved waterproofing; it was a major reason that I purchased the phone for my girlfriend. It’s just appalling to me that Samsung would remove it from its phones. The Galaxy S5 had a removable battery and it was waterproof. The Galaxy S6, meanwhile, doesn’t have a way to access the inside or even a microSD card slot for water to get into, and Samsung couldn’t make it waterproof? In my eyes that’s ridiculous, and I really hope the company decides to go back to the ways of the Galaxy S5 here.

Less Bloatware

I don’t know about you, but I despise the pre-installed apps that every manufacturer insists on cramming into our devices. I am even unlike most people in that I don’t really mind the goofy features Samsung has been putting into its phones since the Galaxy S III. Most people never end up using things like direct call or air view, but I sort of like having the option to interact with my device differently. Being as liberal as I am here with Samsung adding in flashy features, I just absolutely cannot stand non-removable apps.

Last year when I read that Samsung and Microsoft decided to partner and include apps as bloatware on the Galaxy S6 I almost threw my phone at the wall…. Okay, maybe I wasn’t that angry. When will manufacturers learn that consumers hate this. I understand I can disable this junk, but still I paid good money for my phone I want to do with it as I please. Why the heck is Evernote a pre-installed app on my Galaxy Note 4? If I wanted Evernote. I would have went to the Play Store and downloaded Evernote myself.

Ugh, I digress, but please stop with the bundled apps. Please.

Give a better edge to the Edge

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The Galaxy S6 Edge is an absolutely beautiful device. That curved glass is a marvel of modern mobile device design, but I really wish it just had more functionality.  I know that the edge does serve a functionality purpose, and if recent reports are any indication, the Galaxy S7 Edge will have greater functionality, but I really want to see Samsung open it up and try to court developers.

To me, the iPhone’s 3D Touch (which actually isn’t that hard to copy) seemed like nothing more than a gimmick. Now I feel that I was proven wrong all because developers were able to make it a useful feature. As soon as the feature was out, massive apps like Instagram were adding 3D Touch features. When developers jump on board, it can make a gimmicky feature into something people cannot live without. I’m not saying the edge is a gimmick, I think it is absolutely awesome, I would just love to see Samsung court developers and make the edge of the device something more than just a fashion statement.

Better Speakers

There is always going to be a limit to how good phone speakers can be. No phone speakers are going to ever compare to the quality of good headphones or a quality speaker system, but still I wish more manufacturers would go the way of HTC and its fabulous Boomsound.

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I cannot take a shower in the morning without some music playing, and in my tired state I constantly forget to bring my Jambox into the bathroom. This means I have to rely on the single back-facing speaker of my Galaxy Note 4. While this gets the job done, it certainly is not great. I would love to see Samsung make a design change with the S6 and give us two front-facing speakers. At the absolute least can we maybe get two bottom facing speakers, one on the left one on the right?

If you love music and want to get the absolute best sound, you are going to need more than just your phones speakers, but when we are spending hundred of dollars on these devices there is no excuse for less than quality speakers.

Better RAM Management

One of the best parts of Android devices is the multitasking experience. This is one area that, in my eyes, Android clearly clobbers iOS. The multitasking is so great, but Samsung has gotten a reputation for a bad multitasking experience. The reason for this? Its aggressive RAM management. Within seconds of switching from one app to another on the Galaxy S6, the phone will close out your prior app. This then forces you to have to wait for the past app to reload when you want to go back. These phones have 3GB of RAM, so they shouldn’t have to close out apps within seconds of switching.

There is plenty of speculation as to why this is. A common theory is that, despite vast improvements over the years, TouchWiz still isn’t appropriately optimized. This lack of optimization forces Samsung to include aggressive RAM management so that its phones run smooth and snappy. Whatever the reason may be for this Samsung needs to fix it with the upcoming Galaxy S7. Multitasking is a huge plus on Android phones, and no company’s flagship should be less than stellar in this department.

Closing

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So there we have it. These are the features I want to see in Samsung’s upcoming flagship when it gets revealed in less than ten days. Was there anything I left out? Are some of these things just not necessary to you guys? Jump down into the comments below with your opinions.

Come comment on this article: 7 features I want to see in Samsung’s Galaxy S7

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