If you purchased your Galaxy S7 or S7 Edge from AT&T like I did, you might find yourself in the same boat as I am right now; that is, casually glancing over at your phone bitterly and regretting the fact that you took the most convenient path to getting a Galaxy S7, which may have been all well and fine at the time, but has come back to bite you in the butt several times in regards to bloatware, rootability, and most recently the inability to participate in Samsung's Nougat beta program, which every other major U.S. carrier is allowed to participate in. I'm not bitter.
Even though I can't personally participate in the beta program, I have been ruthlessly stalking reports and reviews on initial impressions. For the most part, I was interested in seeing what changes come with the update. Given that Samsung's Touchwiz UI already offers a couple of key features that comes to Android users for the first time with Nougat, I expected to be pleased with the update, but not exactly surprised. For the most part, I think that's how I'm feeling after sifting through these reviews of the beta.
I am a little surprised at how much there is to be pleased about, though. The new features that will be coming to the Galaxy S7 with Nougat include:
Overall, I'm feeling pretty jazzed about what we see here. The updates seem small, but in reality make a noticeable difference. More performance mode options are nice to have for people who have different performance needs from their phone. The resolution adjustment is great for people who don't necessarily care about having the best resolution and would rather preserve battery life in any way that they can. The new animations and universal font look really nice. Night Mode will be nice to have baked into the system, despite the fact that the Play Store offers some alternatives for blue light adjustment already. My favorite part is the improved Always On Display, which is something I have longed for since seeing how much better AOD worked on the Galaxy Note 7.
I've really come around to the Galaxy S7 recently. I think it was a little rough for me to adjust from a year and a half of iOS, as well as jumping to a phone by an Android manufacturer that I typically haven't been a fan of in the past. But I've held onto this phone for nearly 6 months now, and I'm pleased with how well it has held up. I've even grown to like many of the Samsung-specific features and apps like Themes and Good Lock, which I hadn't previously considered useful.
With the year coming to an end and anticipation for the Galaxy S8 ramping up – especially now that the Note 7 is no more – I would still recommend the Galaxy S7 as an option for people in the market for a new phone. Not only is it a fine phone in its current state, but the Nougat update looks to improve the phone in refined (yet good) ways.