It’s been a little over a month since I started using the Samsung Galaxy S7 as my daily driver, which I upgraded to from the Apple iPhone 6. Two completely different ecosystems, both of which I am familiar with; yet, every time I decide to return to Android, the experience feels new. Sometimes that’s a good thing, and sometimes it's not. Since it’s been years since I’ve really had a Samsung device of my own (my last one that I owned and did not return was the first Galaxy, the Samsung Vibrant) I really wasn’t sure what to expect. I was cautiously optimistic.
Being cautiously optimistic served me well. I’m impressed with the device in some ways, not so much in others. Overall, I’m not over the moon about the S7. I’m fond of the camera, the performance is good when I’m not using battery saver, Samsung Pay is super easy to use, and I’m pleasantly surprised at how much I don’t hate the size of the phone, which is a bit larger than I’m used to. Otherwise, it seems like everything else is just meh.
The thing about Samsung is that the company seems to try and make sure you have everything you could ever possibly ever think about needing right out of the box with the bloatware and features that they offer. This might have been great for me a few years back, but at this point I’m pretty much the most boring end user imaginable. Aside from Samsung Pay, I don’t use a ton of features because I can’t remember to use half of the smart features I could use even when they are turned on, and I’m not really doing anything graphic-heavy on the phone. I think the most battery taxing thing I do on my phone is using the camera.
Speaking of the battery, I will say that this phone so far does a good job of keeping up with me on a daily basis. I’d say I use my phone more often than most people being that I work from home, so with that in mind the S7 does do a good job. On battery, with intermittent turning on and off of battery saver, I usually get about 24 hours of usage. I hate the performance dip that the phone takes when I use battery saver, but it works to make the phone safely last throughout the day without needing a recharge.
But even when I need a recharge, the phone really does recharge very quickly, despite the fact that it still uses micro USB rather than USB C. Not a big deal. The bottom line is that I can’t complain about battery life, because I can’t remember the last time I didn’t make it to the end of the day.
Camera, as I mentioned, is great. I have two kids that aren’t so great at holding still for photos, so the fact that I’m able to grab some still shots despite their wiggly demeanor makes me a happy camper. Front-facing camera is nice as well.
I will say I’m really happy to have the ability to expand my storage via micro SD again. All to often on my iPhone did I get the message that I was running out of storage. micro SD just feels like a really simple solution compared to the other options, which entails either investing and relying on cloud storage, or buying a new phone entirely. I also appreciate still having a 3.5mm headphone jack.
Adjusting to the S7 has been an adventure, but life with Android has been made easier with the help of my 10 favorite apps that I wrote about the other day. I do miss some aspects of my iPhone, but the positives of switching have outweighed the negatives at this point.
I think the experience has gone better than expected. When I purchased the Galaxy S4 a few years ago with the intent of using it as my daily driver, it didn’t take me all 14 days to know that I really didn’t like the device. I do wonder whether I would have been happier with the HTC 10, or the LG G5, or (now) even the OnePlus 3, but I’m not so unhappy that I would be willing to switch to find out. I think my only real complaint is that, while the device is good, I do question whether it is $700 good (luckily for those interested, there always seems to be some sort of sale going on for unlocked versions).