Samsung Galaxy S7 specs, rumours, and release date: everything you need to know
Samsung's predicted big reveal of the Galaxy S7 and S7 Edge will be the most significant announcement of this year's Mobile World Congress (MWC), taking place in Barcelona from February 22 - 25.
The South Korean company has sent out media invitations for its Unpacked Event, which will take place at 19:00 CET on February 21, ahead of the world's largest mobile conference opening its doors to the public.
While details are scant, we expect the Galaxy S7 will make an appearance given that the company chose to launch flagship models the Galaxy S6 and S6 Edge at the same event last year.
What is the Galaxy S7?
The Galaxy S7 and its counterpart the S7 Edge will replace the S6 and S6 Edge as Samsung's premium handsets, and represent the company's best chance of clawing back valuable market share from Apple, which as the world's most valuable company, dominates the luxury end of the smartphone sector.
While the S6 was an excellent phone in its own right, it failed to sell in the volumes Samsung anticipated. "Despite the launch of Galaxy S6, improvement to earnings was quite marginal due to low smartphone shipments and an increase in marketing expenses for new product launches," the company said in a press release during July last year.
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Samsung's net profit slumped 40 per cent during the last three months of 2015 to 3.2tn won (£1.9bn), meaning its executives will be fervently hoping the S7 can revitalise its high-end sales.
The new phones will be the first major mobile products released under its new chief. In December Samsung replaced its mobile communications chief executive JK Shin in the wake of a troubled year for the South Korean company, ceding control to Dongjin Koh, who was head of Samsung’s mobile research arm.
What's the difference between the S7 and the S7 Edge?
Should Samsung choose to keep to the conventions of the predecessor models, the S7 will retain its 5.1-inch flat 'candybar' display with a resolution of 1440 x 2560, while the S7 Edge will sport gently curved sides and a slightly larger 5.5-inch display.
Last year Samsung explained how fear of missing out, or FoMo for the uninitiated, was the reason behind the S6 Edge's curvature. The curved sides of the S6 Edge were born from the notion that answering calls, texting or even glancing at your phone's screen in social situations is impolite, according to research conducted by the company.
While consumers said they knew it was rude to continually check their phones, they felt conflicted between being socially polite and wanting to keep in touch with their loved ones should an urgent situation arise.
The handset sported new feature People Edge, allowing a user to register five contacts with individual colours. When the S6 Edge is placed face down, the curved sides light up with the appropriate colour of the contact who is calling, which Samsung claims allows the owner to check who's trying to get hold of them discreetly without interrupting their conversation.
How much will they cost?
Pricing details are being kept closely under wraps, but they're likely to be priced in the region of £600 upwards, second only to the iPhone 7 which is due for launch in September.
What specs and features will the handsets have?
The first image purporting to be of the Galaxy S7 has emerged in Vietnam, which appears to show a metal-framed body and possible glass back.
Leaks so far suggest the models will ship with Android Marshmallow, with 4GB of inbuilt RAM, 32GB/64GB of storage and 12MP camera with f/1.7 aperture optimised for low-light photography.A leaked video recently also hinted at the phones being waterproof.
However, Samsung could chose to stick with the 16MP convention laid down last year. It's also possible the company may choose to reverse its controversial decision to do away with the microSD card which causedso much outrage last year.
Other features could include pressure-sensitive touch and a retina scanner, according to the Wall Street Journal. Apple popularised the concept of pressure-sensitive screens with the release of 3D touch, a feature contained in the iPhone 6s and 6s Plus which allows users to open up new menus and options within apps without fully opening them.
On February 12 Samsung's Indonesian branch uploaded a video to YouTube starring Indonesian archer Dellie Threesyadinda using an unspecified Samsung curved-display handset to aid her training, including during a rainstorm. While the phone looks very similar to the Galaxy S6, the current flagship model is not waterproof. While this is an unorthodox announcement method to say the least, it's highly likely to be legitimate.
Sammobile.com has spotted an FCC filing detailing a 3600mAh battery, a significant upgrade on the S6's 2,5500mAh, which was widely criticised for not being powerful enough.