Bigger batteries, more durable designs and a slew of new productivity-boosting features could make the Galaxy S7 and Galaxy S7 Edge Samsung's best business phones yet. Here's a look at how both phones — which will be available to purchase starting March 11 — can help you do your job.
On the outside, the Galaxy S7 looks nearly identical to last year's Galaxy S6. But under the hood, Samsung has made a bunch of big upgrades. The phone still has a supersharp quad-HD, 5.1-inch display, but it runs on Qualcomm's Snapdragon 820 processor, and comes with an impressive 4GB of RAM, which means faster performance and snappier multitasking.
The S7 Edge, on the other hand, sports a big 5.5-inch display, which is significantly larger than the 5.1-inch screen on the S6 Edge. That's good news for workers, as the larger display makes screen-intensive tasks like editing spreadsheets and viewing large documents much more comfortable. Plus, the S7 Edge is noticeably easier to use with one hand than the huge, 5.7-inch Galaxy Note 5.
SD card slots were dropped from Samsung's last round of phones, but the feature is making a comeback this year. Both the S7 and S7 Edge can be equipped with an SD card to increase your internal storage by up to 200GB. That's a big perk for workers who want to store a lot of large documents on their work phone, or just install a lot of large applications.
Forget about flipping on your smartphone's display to check the time or glance at an incoming alert. Both the Galaxy S7 and the S7 Edge feature a new always-on display that can display a calendar, clock or notifications, even when your phone's screen is turned off. It's a small time-saving feature that I think business users will really appreciate.
If you're worried about the feature sapping your battery, don't be. For starters, Samsung says that each hour that the feature is turned on drains about 1 percent of your phone's battery. And those batteries are already quite a bit beefier than what Samsung offered last year. In addition, the always-on display feature could actually help extend your smartphone's average battery life, since you won't have to power on the whole display just to check the time or date.
Unfortunately, Samsung's always-on display functionality isn't quite as good as what you'll find on Motorola phones like the Moto X, which lets you quickly open incoming alerts with one swipe. In comparison, Samsung's version is noninteractive, so you can't click on the calendar to see your next appointment or click on a text message to hop straight to your messaging app.
Even the best business phone won't do you much good if it's always running out of juice. Thankfully, Samsung found a way to cram bigger batteries into both the Galaxy S7 and the Galaxy S7 Edge. The S7 has a 3,000-mAh battery, up from 2,550 mAh in last year's S6. The S7 Edge has an even bigger 3,600-mAh pack, up from 2,600 mAh in the S6 Edge.
Both phones will also come equipped with Samsung's excellent fast charging capabilities, which is great for topping off your device's battery during a short business-flight layover.
A new waterproof design will help prevent serious accidents that can leave you without a functioning smartphone. Samsung says that both the S7 and the S7 Edge can be submerged in 5 feet of water for up to 30 minutes without being damaged.
Knox by default
Samsung's excellent Knox security suite lets users separate work from play by toggling between the standard mode and a separate secure container within the phone just for running work apps, ensuring that private company info is protected. The software already worked very well with last year's Galaxy S6 and S6 Edge smartphones, but now, it's coming installed by default on the S7 and S7 Edge out of the box. That will make it easier for small business owners to keep their work phone secure.
Improved Edge display
The S7 Edge's curved edges aren't just for looks. Like previous phones in Samsung's Edge line, this one lets you swipe in from either side to access a variety of time-saving shortcuts and other content.
This year, the Edge display feature has received a bunch of improvements. For starters, when you swipe in from the left or right, it reveals two rows of app shortcuts, compared to just one on last year's model. That's handy for jumping around between applications without exiting back out to the phone's home screen. I also like the new Task Edge screen, which lets you create and save compound actions, such as creating a new note or sending a text message to a colleague.