Samsung rolled out its Galaxy S7 and Galaxy S7 edge, two new flagship devices that have brought back SD card storage and cut back the megapixels on the camera from 16MP to 12MP, but added a dual pixel sensor.
What remains to be seen is whether Samsung's mix of additions and subtractions results in an upgrade cycle. On the surface, the Galaxy S7 pair resembles the Galaxy S6 duo. However, Samsung did bring back external storage after hackles after removing it in the S6.
At Mobile World Congress, Samsung noted that its devices can be the center of your digital universe. Samsung is trying to woo Apple iPhone customers without much success, but clearly has to keep its Android base too.
On the enterprise side of the equation, Samsung pushed Knox refinements and additional tools to improve productivity. Like previous Galaxy smartphone pitches, Samsung walks the line between courting businesses and consumers at the same time.
Among the key points:
The Galaxy S7 duo has added a new camera sensor that can capture more light with a wider aperture. Samsung also added that its camera can perform in low light. However, Samsung's megapixel count was downgraded from 16 to 12.
Samsung has a Gear VR deal in a bundle with the S7. While that bundle--VR headset roughly free--won't matter to businesses consumers may be interested.
Both S7 devices are water and dust resistant. The S7 pair can be submerged in a meter of water for up to 30 minutes.
Battery capacity was increased.
There's an option to use a microSD card.
Samsung emphasized deep integration between the S7 pair and other apps and software from the company. Samsung KNOX, Samsung pay and Samsung+, a live tech support, diagnostics and tips service, were emphasized.
In the U.S., Galaxy S7 and S7 edge will be available on March 11 with preorders starting Feb. 23.
First look at Samsung's Galaxy S7, S7 edge: Launch day at MWC 2016
Best Android smartphones: February 2016 edition
Add it up and Samsung's S7 launch is more evidence that we're in the smartphone service pack era. The hardware innovation has hit a plateau, but efforts from Samsung and LG highlight incremental improvements. If you need to upgrade, the S7 is a good choice, but there's no compelling reason move up your plans.