When the first Galaxy S7 rumors started flying the alleged specifications were almost hard to believe. It had appeared that Samsung learned from their mistakes. All of the highly criticized areas of the S6, lack of microSD expansion, poor battery life, and no water-resistance, were heard by Samsung loud and clear.
Not only do the Galaxy S7 and Galaxy S7 edge feature 3,000 mAh and 3,600 mAh batteries respectively, they have the features the S6 lacked, microSD expansion and water-resistance.They also run a very capable Snapdragon 820 processor stateside and an arguably more capable processor in the Exynos 8890, both of which are backed by 4 GB of LPDDR4 RAM. So the question is, what is the Galaxy S7 duo missing?
Development. The Galaxy S7 and S7 edge are missing development.
One of Android’s biggest perks to me is the ability to customize your device how you see fit, whether that is rooting, using custom ROMs, kernels, etc. I think a lot of others feel the same way. The one thing about Samsung is they don’t mess around. They only use the best hardware and materials (lately) in their devices, so it gets a lot of attention. The issue is, what good is a high spec’d device with bad software?
Now this opinionated article isn’t about ripping on TouchWiz, but about how great the device could be with custom development. Just imagine a Galaxy S7 running an AOSP ROM and how smooth the device would be. Getting updates every night, knowing that yesterday’s bug will be fixed tomorrow. Just imagine the battery life and performance of the S7 edge using a custom kernel from the likes of franco or flar2. You could make a device that already has great longevity last two whole days with 7-10 hours of screen on time.
The unfortunate part is that the bootloader for the devices in the states is locked, for now. According to John Legere of T-Mobile, he is working on a solution for the T-Mobile devices. Now, I go through phones a lot, so I don’t bother rooting and customizing them much because I will trade them in eventually, but the S7 edge has caught my attention.
Is Samsung hearing our concerns?
Over the years Samsung has continually tried to improve their experience very… slowly. TouchWiz has been slimmed back and updates are getting more consistent for new devices. It’s not Nexus like, but at least it is a trend in the right direction. On top of that, Samsung recently revealed their alternative UI dubbed Good Lock which shows great promise.
The interesting thing about Good Lock, is that it employs a stock Android like status bar. A few quick settings are available with the first swipe down, then the full suite of quick settings appear with the second swipe down. Not only that but the status bar is much cleaner and features stock Android icons. This is something Android users have been clamoring for, and it seems like Samsung is finally taking notice.
But will they unlock the bootloader?
This is the main question. Samsung is slowly, but surely listening to its consumer-base more and more. I mean how can they not, we buy the phones right? If Samsung were to appeal to the development community, it could greatly increase their notoriety and credibility. People say we are the minority of Android users, which may be true, but who does the majority look to for advice on which devices to purchase? We do.
Honestly, all it would take would be setting up a sign-up where you get a code to unlock your device. If you choose to do so, your phone cannot be warrantied for certain defects. That is the risk when rooting and installing custom ROMs and kernels. I think this is a very reasonable trade off. I wouldn’t even think twice about doing this.That is saying a lot for a $700+ device that could become a sleek looking paperweight.
There is so much untapped potential that can be had with the Galaxy S7 and Galaxy S7 edge. These devices have top-of-the-line specs that have the ability to last for years to come. Samsung has finally learned from nearly all of their mistakes except one, being open to the developer community.