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Samsung Galaxy S7 rumour roundup: sales to begin from 11 March

Feature image: Evan Blass via Twitter

Samsung has been enjoying some Apple-like rumour attention in recent years, and we’re not too sure if its thriving as a result, or cursing that its phones’ specifications are seeping through the cracks before launch.

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Nevertheless, the latest rumours suggests an exciting prospect that will likely be the Samsung Galaxy S7.

Have a look at some conformed news from Samsung HQ’s back alley below, and further below, have take a look at all the rumours and potential features we’ve uncovered thus far.

Confirmed news:

  • Samsung will launch the Samsung Galaxy S7 at its Unpacked 2016 event, a day before MWC 2016 kicks off in Barcelona. The show will start at 7pm South African Time.
  • Thanks to a recent developer page leak, there’s almost certainly a Samsung Galaxy S7 Edge version coming as well.

Samsung Galaxy S7 to go on sale from 11 March — 19 February

We’re just two days away from the official launch, and rumours are coming in thick and fast. But if you’re less interested about what llamas think of the next Galaxy, stay tuned.

New reports from TechRadar suggest that the Samsung Galaxy S7 will go on sale from 11 March, that includes both the standard S7 and the S7 Edge version.

The site’s source also notes that pre-orders will go live once the event is over, which should be around 9pm CET (or SAST).

New renders leave nothing to the imagination — 15 February

Samsung’s not doing a very good job of quelling rumours or leaks, because leaker extraordinaire, Evan Blass, is at it again.

The current Venturebeat contributor outed new renders of the Samsung Galaxy S7 Edge, and they’re the most complete set of snaps we’ve had thus far. And just two weeks away from the launch — especially considering Blass’s previous reliability regarding leaks — it does seem that these could be the final designs of the devices.

Samsung will stick with a simple range of colours according to these renders, with black, silver and gold offered. The camera’s now also sunk deep into the bodywork, while the screen’s curve remains.

Beyond that, the phones look awfully similar to the S6 Edge, and that’s perhaps a good thing.

Samsung Galaxy S7 Edge all but confirmed, thanks to a developer page leak — 03 February

Well, usually when we spot these types of leaks online, it’s akin to an incognito marketing scheme. We doubt that Samsung coyly left a string of evidence in its developer portal suggesting that there’ll be a Samsung Galaxy S7 Edge by accident.

While not a massive surprise, the tidbit was spotted by sharp-eyed Dutch publication Galaxy Club. Samsung has since removed the information, but you can see the remnants here.

Samsung confirms launch for 21 February at MWC — 01 February

Another year, another launch just before MWC 2016, and as luck would have it, the LG G5 is also due the same day.

That’s right folks, the good people over at Samsung today confirmed that the Samsung Galaxy S7 will be unveiled on 21 February at its Unpacked event, just a day before the big annual smartphone showcase hits Barcelona.

Media invites have been posted, and Samsung has also posted a canny little video to its YouTube channel to garner some hype for its next flagship release.

The event will begin at 7pm SAST, and we’ll be sure to bring you all the action from one of the bigger smartphone launches of the year.

Samsung to pull an Apple, add Live Photos to its camera arsenal — 18 January

The rumours are coming thick and fast now, and the latest has airs of Apple about it.

The Cupertino company made its Live Photos feature semi-famous at the iPhone 6S’s launch, and now Samsung will be looking to do the same for its Vivid Photos feature. A new name, sure, but more or less the same idea. Users will be able to snap a photograph but the phone intelligently records a few instances before and after the still, essentially creating a gif.

While the company might not be able to finalise this before launch in late February or early March, it’s expected to arrive through a software update.

And a totally bonkers Samsung Gear S7 Edge concept emerges — 15 January

We’re all for concept renders that push the boat out into the sea of design, but many of them sink almost immediately. Sure, the really great once are considered and gawked at (have a look at our iPhone 7 rumour roundup for more of that), but others are just strange. So much so that we can’t help but write about them.

This Samsung Galaxy S7 Edge concept, courtesy of CURVED/labs, there are virtually no bezels on the phone, instead consists of a wrap-around screen. No folks, this isn’t just a curved display.

The company also released a specs list detailing what it hopes will feature in the phone, including that Snapdragon 820, a flush rear camera, USB Type-C and a microSD card slot. Preach.

Have a look at the concept video below, and be sure to let us know what you think in the comments section.

Samsung tasked with manufacturing new Qualcomm Snapdragon 820 chipsets — 15 January

It’s been a long time since we had another concrete rumour, but finally, January 2016 is bearing all of its fruit early.

More of a confirmed report than a rumour, American chip company Qualcomm has employed Samsung to manufacturer its upcoming Snapdragon 820 chipset, which lends more credence to the possible inclusion of the chip in the Samsung Galaxy S7.

It’s the first time that the company has used Samsung for a high-end chip, and as a result, it will benefit from the Korean company’s 14nm LLP fabrication process. The Snapdragon 820 is rumoured to save around 30% more power over the Snapdragon 801, 805 and 810 — the chipset that powers the likes of the Sony Xperia Z5, the HTC One M9 and the OnePlus 2.

Previous rumours also suggested that Samsung was working with Qualcomm to remedy the 820’s possible heat issues, but now it’s clear to suggest that this partnership was more fact than fiction.

Samsung Galaxy S7: could cost less, boast more power than any smartphone before it — 07 December

There’s a slew of new rumours this month, so let’s get into them.

Firstly, reports from the Times of India suggest that the handset will be priced around 10% lower than the Samsung Galaxy S6. The latter launched in South Africa for well over R11 000 earlier this year, but that number could change to better compete with the likes of Apple, LG, HTC and Huawei.

Now for the real juicy rumour.

Numbers on Antutu and GeekBench are only really relevant to the statistician, but consumers should take note of the following digits: 103 692.

That’s the Antutu benchmark score achieved by the Samsung Galaxy S7’s Exynos 8890 chipset. It’s nearly 30 000 more than the Huawei Mate 8’s chipset, for instance, and around 50 000 more than the iPhone 6S’s (granted with six more cores).

In terms of GeekBench, the Samsung Galaxy S7 also smashes the single core benchmark with 2270 (just short of Apple territory, the fastest phone running this benchmark around right now at 2527), and nearly 7000 in the multi core bench, thanks to its eight cores.

Edit: Previously mentioned that the Exynos 8890 boasts better single-core performance than the Apple iPhone 6S in Geekbench 3. This has since been corrected.

But what does this mean?

Well, for one, the Samsung Galaxy S7 in its Exynos 8890 guise will be the fastest phone in production, at least in terms of multi-core benchmark smashing. That should translate well into gaming, multimedia creation and multimedia consumption as well.

Samsung Galaxy S7 to use BRITECELL camera technology — 19 November

Earlier rumours suggested that Samsung was getting cozy with Sony in hopes to use its 25MP Sony Xperia Z5 sensor, but it seems that these rumours were just that.

Samsung this week announced its new camera technology dubbed BRITECELL which promises to improved low light performance, colour reproduction and lower the depth of the camera itself. This would allow Samsung to craft an even thinner phone thanks to the smaller pixel size.

BRITECELL also sees a change of heart from the company, swapping green pixels within the sensor to white units instead, which the company believes will benefit overall picture quality.

We’re not too sure of the size of the sensor that Samsung’s readying, but it’s interesting to note that the previous ISOCELL sensor fitted to the Samsung Galaxy S6 featured 16-million pixels.

Samsung’s sweet talking Sony into using its Z5 camera sensor in the S7 — 02 November

Here’s a great story.

The Samsung Galaxy S6 was a device defined by its cameras, which featured sensors made by Samsung (ISOCELL) and Sony (EXMOR RS). Arguably, the latter was a little better and for that reason (we imagine) Samsung’s trying to talk Sony into letting the Korean manufacturer use the Sony Xperia Z5’s 23MP sensor.

It’s an interesting move, especially since Sony, for the first time really with the Z5, features a bespoke sensor in its own device.

The Sony Xperia Z5’s camera is already regarded as the best in the business at the moment, at least according to DxOMark, a site dedicated to ranking mobile camera performance.

Samsung to use high-end audio chip on S7, purchase Tidal? — 25 October

It’s safe to say that Samsung can’t beat Apple at its own game, but it can try. New reports suggest that Samsung’s flagship designers will focus on two primary aspects of the phone: music delivery, and video output.

The first point will see Samsung employ ESS Technology’s audio chip, the SABRE 9018AQ2, which is essentially a pocket-friendly vinyl player and one of the closest-to-analog audio digital chips can get right now.

More interestingly, ValueWalk suggests that Samsung might be looking at Tidal as an Apple Music competitor, with the Korean giant pondering a takeover bid of Jay-Z’s music streaming service.

Samsung’s pushing the S7’s launch date to January, new report suggest — 20 October

We’ve heard previous murmurs that Samsung intends to bring the launch of Samsung Galaxy S7, but now a new report from Korean tech news site ETNews suggests that January’s the likely launch month.

According to the publication, “this is Samsung Electronics’ plan to block off effects of new iPhone that have recently started by marking Galaxy S7 as a flagship Smartphone brand that opens fire for the first time in a new year.”

While moving the device launch forward will give Samsung a longer device life span, it also means that it has to push development. The S6 for instance launched in March at MWC 2015 in Barcelona.

Samsung to ditch micro USB in favour of USB Type-C — 17 October

According to SamMobile, Samsung will ditch the common but dated micro USB standard in favour of the new USB Type-C port and plug seen on the new Nexus devices.

While this might seem a bit obvious, especially since Samsung would want to remain ahead of the tech curve, it does give the user another reason to consider an S7. Fast charging has always been a big thing with Samsung, and USB Type-C allows a thicker current to pass from the charger to the phone’s battery. Additionally, that’s also true with data, with USB Type-C supporting the USB 3.1 standard.

Samsung’s Galaxy S7 will use ClearForce technology, similar to Apple’s 3D Touch — 12 October

In a move that isn’t completely surprising, Samsung might use Synaptics’ ClearForce contextual touch system in its new Galaxy S7 smartphone, which will give the new phone similar powers to that displayed in the iPhone 6S.

The iPhone 6S’s 3D Touch system, alongside iOS 9, allows the touchscreen and thus operating system, to responded contextually to various forces of touch inputted through the screen.

Although Huawei’s Mate S also features a similar system, it seems that Synaptics’ technology will be more iPhone 6S-like.

Read more: Huawei Mate S impresses at IFA 2015 with Samsung Galaxy-killing specs

The technology is called ClearForce and has been under development by Synaptics, a human interface solutions company, for a while now. Announced on 6 October, the company suggested that the technology “enables OEMs to differentiate smartphones by providing customers with new dimensions in user interfaces such as speed scrolling, zoom, gaming, and text or photo editing by applying variable force with a finger or stylus.”

Synaptics has also noted that ClearForce will be ready to ship early 2016, falling perhaps perfectly alongside the proposed Samsung Galaxy S7 launch window.

Exynos 8890 chipset is an absolute monster — 07 October

We previously reported that Samsung is looking to use two distinct chipsets for the Samsung Galaxy S7 for two distinct areas of the globe: namely, China and the US, and everywhere else. But new benchmark figures have arrived and suggests that those poor souls not getting the Exynos 8890 (previously known as the Exynos M1) version of the device will be very hard done by.

The chip has been spotted by Weibo leakers coming quite close to shattering the current GeekBench echelon of 7000 points. It’s 6908 score definitely isn’t bad, considering that the Apple iPhone 6S’s Apple A9 chipset scores in the 4000s. The A9, however, does boast better single core performance.

The Exynos 8890 is also clocked at 2.3GHz with the readings also taken on power saving modes, which is fairly interesting for those battery saving nuts out there.

It now seems that Samsung could use three distinct chipsets in the Samsung Galaxy S7, something we haven’t seen ever from a smartphone manufacturer.

America and China versus the rest of the world — 03 October

South Korea’s Electronic Times is at it again. Its latest paper (spotted by Reuters) suggests that Samsung is torn between using Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 820 chipset and its own Exynos chipset in the upcoming Samsung Galaxy S7 phones. Interestingly though, it seems that America and China will receive Qualcomm units while other markets across the world will receive Exynos chips.

While the company has employed Exynos chips (its own chipsets) in the Samsung Galaxy S6, a move to Qualcomm is rather interesting. The Exynos 7420 was much faster than the Snapdragon 810 which powered flagships in the same era. So is Samsung planning to ship slower hardware to the US and China?

Samsung will launch the Galaxy S7 duo earlier than expected, latest rumour claims — 25 September

Spotted by International Business Times but sourced by Korean publication EToday, the latest Samsung leak suggests that the Galaxy S7 (and possibly the S7 Edge) will not be outed in March, but instead be pushed forward to January. This also means that the devices will ship in February, well before Samsung’s traditional launching pad at MWC.

All previous Galaxy S smartphones have launched at MWC. Could the S7 finally spell a change? Image: Kārlis Dambrāns via Flickr

This leak does hold water as well. With the new iPhone 6S making a massive splash with its new technologies, chances are that Samsung will want to launch a competitor sooner rather than later.

Read more: Samsung Gear VR consumer edition will retail for $99, work with latest Samsung phones

Additionally, considering the company’s recent Gear VR virtual reality headset launch, could a combo deal make the new smartphone a more attractive deal, and give it that edge over Apple’s handset?

Two Samsung Galaxy S7 variants reportedly confirmed, the Edge lives on — 23 September

Here’s something that isn’t too surprising.

A new exclusive report by SamMobile has revealed that there will be two Samsung Galaxy S7 versions launched; one with a “flat” screen and the other boasting the company’s famous curved edges.

While this may not come as a surprise, it’s important to consider just how successful the curved Samsung Galaxy S6 Edge was.

For now, “Canada, China, Europe, Korea, and the US” are the confirmed locations for the S7 duo’s arrival, but more regions will likely be confirmed as we edge (no pun intended) closer to launch day.

Qualcomm Snapdragon 820 benchmarked, things looking good for S7’s processing power — 23 September

Image: SamMobile via Weibo

As we’ve noted previously in this roundup, Samsung might be employing the services of Qualcomm — the American chipset maker — and its Snapdragon 820 SoC. Now, thanks to SamMobile (and G For Games initially), we have a much better understanding of just how the new chipset will perform. And initial impressions show a marked improvement over the 820’s first build.

“The new chipset is offering 1.38x and 1.77x the performance over the older variant in terms of single-threaded integer and floating point operations,” SamMobile reports. And an even higher improvement over the Snapdragon 810.

While these numbers might not be important to the consumer, it does mean that Qualcomm and Samsung are slowly eking more and more power from the 820 as it progresses in its development cycle. In turn, this could signal the rise of the Samsung Galaxy S7 as one of the most powerful mobile devices ever made.

Of course, while the Snapdragon 810 was a slob that could barely play a video without overheating profusely, we probably won’t see Qualcomm make such a major marketing gaffe like that again.

Initial rumours point to extremely varied concepts — 21 September

Rumoured for launch in February 2016 (a little earlier than its traditional launch venue at Barcelona’s MWC), the phone itself will be crafted from a magnesium alloy unibody which Samsung hopes will be about as strong but lighter than Apple’s 7000 series aluminium cocktail used on the iPhone 6S series. We’re not too sure if this will ruin the phone’s signal reception but it should give the phone a more iPhone-like buttery smooth appearance.

More importantly, under the hood is where Samsung’s trashing Apple, and it isn’t going to stop anytime soon.

Either Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 820 will feature of the new in-house Exynos M1, which is said to use Samsung’s own CPU cores instead of ARM’s Cortex. Slap 6GB of RAM on that and you have one insanely powerful pocket computer.

More interestingly, rumours of a foldable screen have also surfaced, but this seems unlikely and extremely risky, but a 5.7-inch screen would almost surely mean that Samsung’s Note range will be dying or getting a lot bigger in the future. There’s suggestions of a 5.2-inch standard version too, so the larger display might be that of a Samsung Galaxy S7+ model.

Additionally, Samsung could finally crack Apple’s stranglehold on the mobile photography market with a dual camera setup similar to the HTC One M9‘s setup which allows users to adjust the depth-of-field after an image has been shot.

Feature image: Kārlis Dambrāns via Flickr

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