Earlier this week, Samsung unveiled the Galaxy S7 and Galaxy S7 edge at the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, Spain. Since Samsung’s flagship Galaxy handsets are launched six months after Apple’s iPhones and six months before a new iPhone is due, they not only need to be better than Apple’s existing offering but also compete with the upcoming models.
There are many features on the Galaxy S7 and its curved sibling, the S7 edge, that makes them better than the iPhone 6s, and I wish that Apple ended up including a similar such feature on the iPhone 7 that is due to be unveiled later this year. Wondering what these features are? Read below and find out for yourself.
#5 Wireless Charging
While most OEMs include wireless charging on their devices, Samsung has gone a step ahead of them and included fast wireless charging on the Samsung Galaxy S7 and S7 edge. This allows the company’s latest Galaxies to charge almost as fast wirelessly as a wired fast charger.
Apple is reported to be working on a ‘true’ wireless charing technology for future versions of iPhone, but until it manages to find a working solution, I hope the company considers adding Qi wireless charging to the iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus. Yes, the current form of wireless charging is not truly wireless, but putting your phone on a pad to charge is still more convenient than plugging a cable into it.
#4 Fast Charging
At this point, I am just sick and frustrated with my iPhone 6s Plus taking ages to charge and using a 2A charger only helps things to a certain extent. Android OEMs have been some form of fast charging technology in their devices since the last couple of years now, and at this point, even a $199 Android smartphone is capable of charging faster than the iPhone 6s and iPhone 6s Plus, despite coming with a bigger battery than both of them.
To add insult to injury, Samsung has added fast wireless charging to the Galaxy S7 and S7 edge, which means that even when charged wirelessly these devices can charger almost as fast as an iPhone — if not faster. Samsung states that the Galaxy S7 can be charged wirelessly from 0-100% in around 90 minutes, which is faster than the time taken by the iPhone 6s to charge to full using a wall charger.
So, here’s hoping that Apple finally gets around to implementing some form of fast charging technology on the iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus this time around to greatly reduce their charging times.
Samsung tried its hand at waterproofing with the Galaxy S5 in 2014, but failed miserably at it. Samsung went about waterproofing the handset from outside, which led the company to introduce ugly flaps to protect the microUSB port. Learning from its mistakes, Samsung this year has gone about adding IP68 certification to the Galaxy S7 and Galaxy S7 edge this year from the inside, which ensures that there are no ugly flaps this time around to protect any opening or ports on the phone. As for the IP68 certification, it means that the Galaxy S7 and Galaxy S7 edge can be immersed in up to 1-1.5m of fresh water for an unlimited period of time without any side effects. It also means that the internals of the handset are sealed tight to avoid any dust ingress.
Rumors about Apple adding waterproofing capabilities to the iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus have been circulating since last year, and if there is any feature from this list that I am sure will show up in the next iPhones, it has to be some waterproofing.
#2 Always-On Display
The improvements in Super AMOLED technology has allowed Samsung to introduce an always-on mode for the display on the Galaxy S7. As its name suggests, the display on the Galaxy S7 remains in an always-on state to display the date/time and other relevant notifications. This is a special low-power mode where only certain pixels are lit up on the display, so as to ensure that the impact on battery life is minimal. This feature might seem like a gimmick at first to many, but as an ex-Moto X owner, I can vouch for the fact that it is extremely useful to have.
Apple is rumored to switch to an AMOLED display with a future version of the iPhone, but it is unlikely that this change will happen with the iPhone 7. While it is possible to implement an always-on display with an LCD display by modifying the IC and drivers as LG has done with the G5, I am not sure if Apple will take the trouble here. Nonetheless, here is hoping against hope that Apple ends up including this feature on the iPhone 7.
#1 Hybrid SIM
Most smartphones users in the United States will be unaware of this, but in China, India and other neighbouring markets, smartphones with dual-SIM slots are selling like hot cakes. As the name of the feature implies, you can have two different SIMs running on your smartphone at any given time without any issues. These two SIMs can be from two completely different operators: say one with cheaper calling plans, while the other one with better LTE network coverage.
Looking at consumer demands in regional markets, many companies release modified versions of their smartphone with this feature built-in. Samsung did this last year with the Galaxy Note 5, and this year with the Galaxy S7 and Galaxy S7 edge, it is including a hybrid SIM card slot. This slot allows the S7 and S7 edge to accept one SIM card and one microSD card or a second SIM card, depending on your needs. Hybrid SIM can also be a boon for international travellers. They can put a local SIM and pay local rates instead of paying expensive international roaming rates.
There is no denying the fact that there is a demand for dual-SIM iPhone in markets like China, though the question is whether Apple will give in to that demand and include a similar hybrid SIM slot on the iPhone 7 or not.
And one feature that I wish Apple does not remove from the iPhone 7 after looking at the Galaxy S7…
Apple is rumored to ditch the 3.5mm audio jack with the iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus in favor of its own lighting port and to further slim the phone down. The company has in the past played a key role in quickly replacing inadequate technologies from its products with something better.
While I am not denying that the 3.5mm audio jack is ancient, I don’t think replacing it with a lightning jack is a good idea. Sure, it will lead to the iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus offering better music quality and other new features that were previously not possible, but that does not undermine the fact that it will also make iPhone 7-compatible audio accessories incompatible with other devices out there. Yes, you can always use an adapter, but we all know that they are clumsy and you will likely lose them sooner than later. Plus, it is not like Apple has opened the lightning connector for other OEMs to use in their devices.
If there is one feature that Apple should not eliminate from the iPhone 7 after looking at the Galaxy S7, I hope its the 3.5mm audio jack. Perhaps, the company can look at replacing lightning altogether with USB Type-C interface, which will eventually replace almost every connector out there.
What do you think about the above features? Or do you think there are other features in the Galaxy S7 that Apple should include in the iPhone 7? Drop in a comment below and do let us know about them.