Recently, I hit the 1.5yr mark with my Galaxy S7, and wanted to give you an update of how it’s being going.
Wear and tear
As I’ve always had my phone in a leather flip case, my S7 is showing barely any signs of wear and tear.
However, there is some paint chipping on the home button – it still works, but my constant use of the screenshot feature may have caused this extra wear/tear.
Phone also performs well, just as speedy as when it was new. I do keep it on Power Saving mode to prolong battery life when out and about, but when I occasionally bring it out of PS mode, it’s incredibly fast and capable of everything I throw at it.
Gaming – tick.
Movies – tick.
I recently updated my S7 from Android 7.1 Nougat to Android 8.0.0 Oreo (SM-G930F, EE, UK).
Battery life has taken a slight hit during constant daily usage (I’m what’s known as a ‘heavy user’), but nothing too drastic if it’s in my pocket and not being used a lot.
For example, last week I volunteered at a beer festival for 9 hours. As a testament to the quality of the device and battery, from a full charge, I used the camera a bit and did some social networking while at the beer festival. When I got home at midnight, the battery still had 58% capacity remaining. Impressive, given that my device is now almost 19 months old.
Camera has been okay for past 19 months. Haven’t really used selfie camera at all, but when I have, results have been varied – photo quality is okay during daylight, but at night and indoors, photo quality isn’t great at all. Beauty mode seems to be on by default – even if I toggle the switches to turn it off. The front flash – basically, the screen flashing white – does help, but both these things I hadn’t realised until very recently.
Otherwise, camera does a decent job. Personally I prefer 16:9 photos, even if that means a drop to 9 MP. However, I have been using the upper, 12 MP setting at 4:3 scale, for a few months now – results aren’t bad. I’ll leave a few photos on here for you to judge for yourself.
Game Launcher is really useful, keeps games separate from other apps, meaning less of a decluttered apps drawer. Also helps to add Netflix (etc.) to it, as GL stops all pop-up notifications – they’ll still be there, but in background, meaning I can watch my favourite shows undisturbed.
I’ve had to resort to using the default, Samsung Music app, which is actually pretty good, and everything that I want in a music app.
I wanted to use PowerAmp, like on my previous Android device, but a constant SD card removal/discovery pop-up notification on boot-up of phone – I’m assuming a software problem is responsible for this – means PowerAmp playlists kept resetting every time I turned my phone on/off. Therefore, the default Samsung Music app has been my mainstay for the last 1.5 years.
Samsung Music can also play FLAC and WAV files, so that’s a plus.
Accessories – GearVR
GearVR is also really good. I got a cheaper, older model – one that was made for the S7/Edge model year, and cost me just £30 from Amazon.
VR picture quality is surprisingly good, a lot better than what I was expecting – especially given that my previous experience of Virtual Reality was limited to a cheap copy of Google Cardboard.
However, VR is not perfect, wears the battery down like there’s no tomorrow and sometimes stops working because it reckons my device is ‘too hot’ – something I’ve been able to confirm as untrue when I remove the phone from the headset.
Original USB Charging Cable
Original cable lasted less than 12 months, and I resorted to safety tape to repair it.
However, I then went and bought a few replacements from Amazon, as well as a spare Quick Charge 3.0 adapter. These all work very well with my S7, with no problems whatsoever.
Wireless Qi Charging
This feature I’ve never used. The reason? If you still have to plug the wireless charger base into the wall (and then place the phone on the base), to my mind it’s still technically-speaking ‘wired.’
Most options I’ve seen, including Samsung’s own wireless chargers, don’t get great reviews, and take longer than wired cables to charge the phone to 100%. Therefore, I’d be paying for a luxury that (in my opinion) doesn’t really exist.
I have, however, been looking into 10W dual- or triple-coiled Qi chargers, as these promise faster charge times, similar to Quick Charge. And if they could work like portable batteries, in that they’re ‘portable’ and can be used away from mains sockets, then I’d consider a purchase.
But in their current form, wireless chargers are a waste of money for me – especially as I’m likely to always be sitting right next to a wall socket at home or in the office.
That’s all for now, more in a bit.
– Chris JK.