Samsung Galaxy S7

Samsung Galaxy S7

Additional Galaxy S7 Nougat beta program spaces open up

Samsung originally rolled out its limited Android Nougat beta program for the Galxy S7 last month and now there’s a chance for a new batch of customers to sign up to test out Nougat. If you missed the registration the first time around, you’ll want to act quickly to get in on the second round.

Just like last time, users will have to download the Galaxy Beta Program app from Samsung’s Galaxy Store in order to participate, which should appear after a quick search. Then simply hit the “Registration” button and follow the instructions. Currently, it only appears that UK customers can sign up right now, although this might change in the coming days. Previously the beta program has been available to customers in the US, South Korea, and China. Hopefully a few more countries will be included soon, although Samsung hasn’t confirmed anything at this stage.

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Samsung’s third Android Nougat beta update for the Galaxy S7/S7 Edge now rolling out

3 days ago

Samsung has been steadily rolling out improvements to its beta branch, fixing issues and bugs before Nougat for the Galaxy S7 is ready for a global launch. We’re currently on our third beta update. The final build for the S7 and S7 edge isn’t expected to appear until early next year though, as the beta will be running until mid-December..

If you’re in the beta, what are your thoughts on Android Nougat?

Samsung’s third Android Nougat beta update for the Galaxy S7/S7 Edge now rolling out

A few weeks ago, Samsung announced its Galaxy Beta program in the US and the UK, which enables a few Galaxy S7 and Galaxy S7 Edge users to try out an early version of Android Nougat on their devices and provide feedback on the experience.

By the looks of it, Samsung has really been paying attention to all the feedback it received. The tech giant has recently released a new Nougat update — the third so far — that brings a few nifty little features to its flagship devices.

The new update allows you to change the layout of the Quick Settings panel toggles, as you’re able to select between three different grid layouts — 3×3, 4×3, and 5×3. You can also choose to place the Brightness slider above the toggles for easy access or “hide” it in the expanded notification view. For some strange reason, Samsung has removed the Edge feed panel, but will probably bring back an improved version of it with the next update.

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Samsung has also made a few other small usability improvements — lock screen, multi-window, notifications etc — and fixed a few bugs in the process. However, the update is not without its faults. According to Samsung, some users may experience a problem with the screen. After you wake up the device, the screen won’t light up immediately (sound familiar?), which may pose a real problem for some.

The update is currently being rolled out to users in the UK, but we assume that it will soon be available on Galaxy S7/S7 Edge devices across the pond as well. If you get your hands on it, do let us know your first impressions in the comments below.

Latest Nougat beta for the Galaxy S7 defaults to 1080p display

The Samsung Galaxy S7 Android Nougat beta test is currently underway, before Samsung rolls out its latest software features to the wider public. However, some may have noticed that the display quality looks a little different with the latest beta version, as the resolution has been notched down from QHD (2560×1440) to FullHD (1920×1080) by default.

Samsung first debuted this type of feature with the Galaxy Note 7, which offered variable screen resolutions as part of its Power Saving Mode. The company has tweaked this software so that it’s now presented as its own feature, rather than under battery settings.Latest Nougat beta for the Galaxy S7 defaults to 1080p display Users are presented with three options, HD (720p), FHD (1080p), and WQHD (1440p), with the middle option being the default after updating. Of course this is a beta build, and Samsung may decide to restore the default to the panel’s full resolution come the final release, at least in some regions.

Interestingly enough, it’s quite likely that many users haven’t even noticed the difference. While some fonts and images may not look quite as sharp, optimized web elements and video streaming quality limits mean that a lot of content doesn’t look any different on a 1080p versus 1440p display anyway, especially on the Galaxy S7’s 5.1-inch panel. QHD is typically more useful on devices with a display above 5.5-inches, although users who opt to downgrade to the 720p mode will notice a much greater difference.

Why would Samsung include this type of feature? Perhaps the company has found a sweet spot between battery life and image clarity.

So why would Samsung include this type of feature? Battery life is probably the biggest factor, along with heat, as a lower resolution puts less strain on GPU and memory bandwidth. When you consider even the small UI animations that are rendered over and over again each day, a reduction in GPU power could add up over a day’s use. We’re not talking huge battery life extensions, but for heavy users this could make the difference between getting through the day on a single charge. Of course, display brightness, running apps, and signal strength are bigger contributing factors to battery life.

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Samsung rolls out second Android 7.0 Nougat build in Europe

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Along with the resolution scaling option, Samsung has also included additional “screen zoom” options, which replace the old Condensed setting. Users can now opt for tiny or huge settings, with the former allowing for a little more content on the screen just like the old condensed option. Huge mode scales up object significantly for those who struggle to make out text and UI elements.

It will be interesting to see whether Samsung keeps the 1080p default option for its finished Nougat build. Perhaps the company believes it’s found a sweet spot between battery life and image clarity, while still allowing advanced users to go all out on QHD if they so wish. It’s also an interesting prospect for the rumored arrival of a 4K display with the Galaxy S8, as the panel might just kick into its highest resolution to watch 4K content or play a VR title, much like Sony’s Xperia Z5 Premium.

T-Mobile offers “free” phones and more for Thanksgiving and Black Friday weekend

Following its “Magenta Friday” sales event last weekend, T-Mobile is offering Thanksgiving and Black Friday shoppers some deals on new phones, plus a nice offer for people who are traveling to their loved ones by plane. The deals include a way to get a “free” Samsung Galaxy S7, Galaxy S7 edge or LG V20.

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Of course, “free” is a bit of a misnomer. In this particular case, if you trade in a qualified phone and sign up for either an T-Mobile ONE or Simple Choice Unlimited plan, you can get one or more of those phones, along with an iPhone 7, and pay just the sales tax up front. Your bill will get credits for 24 months, making those phones free if you stick with it for two years. T-Mobile is also offering people who switch lines to the carrier $200 on a prepaid MasterCard card for each line, up to $2,400.

Some of the other deals in this promotion include a free Gear VR headset and $50 in a Oculus app store gift card with the purchase of a Samsung Galaxy S7 or Galaxy S7 edge, or you can get a free Samsung Tab E or LG Gpad X tablet when you sign up for a tablet data plan (again, you get the tablet free via 24 monthly bill credits). T-Mobile is also selling the Mophie Powerstation Mini for just $9.99 during the weekend, a savings of $50.

Finally, from November 24 to November 26, anyone on a airplane with Gogo Wi-Fi service can get one hour of free Internet, sponsored by T-Mobile. That’s for anyone on those flights, not just for T-Mobile customers.

A ‘glossy black’ Samsung Galaxy S7 might be coming soon

Samsung may add yet another color choice in the near future for people who want to get its flagship Galaxy S7 smartphone. A new report claims that the phone will be available in a ‘glossy black’ color option sometime in early December.

The report comes from the South Korea-based site The Investor, citing unnamed sources. As you may know, Samsung already sells the Galaxy S7 in a Black Onyx color option, but this new glossy black color is rumored to better compete with the Jet Black iPhone 7 that launched earlier this year.

This move certainly makes sense on Samsung’s part. The company is trying to boost sales of the nine-month old Galaxy S7, in part to make of for the lost sales of the recalled Galaxy Note 7 smartphone. Plus, launching a new color variant isn’t anything we haven’t seen before; earlier this month the company announced a new Blue Coral option for the Galaxy S7 Edge, which is now on sale at all four major US carriers.

If the new Galaxy S7 color option is similar to the Jet Black iPhone 7, do you think you’ll buy one? Be sure to let us know your thoughts in the comments.

Samsung issues pre-emptive statement on Galaxy S7 batteries

Samsung has issued a slightly odd pre-emptive statement on the batteries found in Galaxy S7 series of smartphones. Stating the company “stands behind the quality and safety of the Galaxy S7 family” the short note goes on to say that “there have been no confirmed cases of internal battery failures with these devices among the more than 10 million devices being used by consumers in the United States.”

As you may have seen around the web recently, a few stories of exploding Galaxy S7 and S7 Edges have circulate. But practically all of these have occurred in the aftermath of the Note 7 recall, when any story of a Samsung phone on fire hits the front page of every mobile site or technology section in a newspaper, even if that fire is the owner’s fault.

Samsung notes that the company has “confirmed a number of instances caused by severe external damage” – these are likely the S7s you’ve seen making headlines in recent weeks. But “until Samsung is able to obtain and examine any device, it is impossible to determine the true cause of any incident”.

Unfortunately, phones catch fire sometimes. Batteries swell and leak, components short-circuit, things break and butter-fingered owners don’t help things along either. But as the statement says, until testing can be done on any damaged devices it’s best not to jump to any inflammatory conclusions.

Have you ever had a phone catch fire or a battery swell?

Deal: Best Buy offering $250 gift card with every Galaxy S7, S7 Edge or S7 Active

Like most retailers, Best Buy is offering a few early Black Friday deals in hopes of getting more people through their doors. If you’re currently in the market for a new Android smartphone and are looking around for a great deal, keep on reading.

The consumer electronics chain is giving out $250 gift cards to customers who purchase a Samsung Galaxy S7, S7 Edge, or S7 Active. Some conditions do apply, though, as the devices have to be activated on a monthly instalment plan (on Sprint, Verizon or AT&T) in order to be eligible for the deal.

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The gift card, which is valid for any purchase made at Best Buy, will be sent out via email within 48 hours after the retailer fulfils your order. The offer kicks off today and is valid for S7 purchases made in stores as well as online.

To get the deal, head over to Best Buy’s website by clicking the button below or visit one of their stores across the country. You’ll probably want to move fast, as the deal is, of course, available for a limited time only.

Get the deal

Does the $250 gift card make you want to snatch this deal up? Or would you still rather buy a different device with your hard earned cash? Let us know in the comments below.

Samsung rolls out second Android 7.0 Nougat build in Europe

 

Samsung’s Android 7.0 Nougat beta program went live last week for the Galaxy S7 and S7 Edge, and now the South Korean manufacturer has released the second build of its latest Android software. Sam Mobile reports that the update is rolling out over-the-air in Europe and that those who’ve already signed up to the beta program will see a notification on their handset for the new build sometime soon.

The 92 MB update doesn’t appear to introduce any new features – none are mentioned in the changelog – however, it should reduce the number of bugs or crashes that are encountered.

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Samsung launched its Android 7.0 Nougat beta program last week, which provides an opportunity for Galaxy S7 and S7 Edge owners to test an early version of Samsung’s latest UI before its official release.

To apply for the beta, Galaxy S7 and S7 Edge owners need an active Samsung account and must register through the Galaxy Beta Program app (available through Samsung’s Galaxy Apps store). Samsung said that the program will run until mid-December.

Samsung Galaxy S7 receives November security update (India)

Samsung is now rolling out November’s Android security patches to the Samsung Galaxy S7 in India. The security update, which brings the S7 up to build version G930FXXU1BPJJ, has been rolling out to the Galaxy S7 and Galaxy S7 Edge in various markets recently, though the S7 Edge is yet to receive it in India.

The November patch comes in at 64.42 MB and addresses 14 vulnerabilities associated with Samsung devices, in addition to a number of other Android-wide exploits. No other improvements are outlined in the change log, though device performance and stability may see a benefit as with any other update.

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Samsung Galaxy S7 and Galaxy S7 Edge Android 7.0 Nougat Firmware leaks

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Head to settings > about device > download updates manually to see if your device is ready to download the upgrade. Galaxy S7 Edge owners should look out for the same update within in the next few days.