On the eve of the official start of Mobile World Congress, Samsung made good on months of speculation that it would be once again announcing its next flagship handsets in advance of the biggest event in mobility. The Korean OEM indeed launched its two latest smartphones, following the trend it started last year with the Galaxy S6 and S6 Edge. Dubbed the Galaxy S7 and S7 Edge, in name the devices only differ in number.
Take a look at the new phones in this official announcement video from Samsung:
The S7 models are very pretty and address a number of issues consumers had with the previous model, which was still widely seen at Samsung’s graduation into premium mobile devices. Waterproof, and sporting memory augmentation features as well as a better camera, the S7 is an impressive generation in Samsung’s mobile family tree. The Verge’s Dan Seifert has even remarked in his hands-on first impressions that “They are, very likely, the best phones that Samsung has ever made.”
In terms of identity tech, not much has yet been made of the Galaxy S7 fingerprint scanner, other than its being flatter. Ergonomic improvements aside, it will remain to be seen after the phone’s launch where or not there have been marked improvements in the speed and matching capabilities of the sensor—Apple’s iPhone 6S Touch ID improvements, for instance, saw the mobile sensor doubling in speed.
It should be no surprise that Samsung has stuck with the fingerprint sensor in the home button of its latest devices. The company’s mobile wallet, Samsung Pay, relies on fingerprint biometrics for transaction authentication. Samsung Pay, thanks to the novel LoopPay technology at its core, has an advantage over its competitors since it can be used on retail card readers that haven’t been upgraded to support NFC payments, taking advantage of mag-stripe reading tech instead.
While it was rumored that Samsung Pay would be launching in the UK alongside the release of the S7 smartphones, no concrete date has yet been set. That said, the service will be coming to both the UK and Australia later in 2016.
As for the phones, Samsung did give a hard release date. Pre-orders start February 23 and the Samsung Galaxy S7 and S7 Edge will be available through all major US carriers on March 11.