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Galaxy S7: 9 features we did love to see

Sunday, 31 January 2016
We're expecting Samsung's highly anticipated Galaxy S7 to be an expensive, premium smartphone, but what features are we hoping to see that'll justify the price? From improved battery life to a pressure-sensitive screen, here are nine features we'd love to see in the Galaxy S7.

1. Impressive battery life

The Samsung Galaxy S6 is an outstanding smartphone and a great all-round performer, but its battery is somewhat lacking. Arriving with a 2,500 mAh battery, the Samsung Galaxy S6's underwhelming battery life is one of its few key weaknesses, so we'd like an upgrade in this department.

As we found during our review of the Samsung Galaxy S6, the smartphone's QHD display has the biggest impact on battery life. Quick charging in the Samsung Galaxy S6 served as a reasonable substitute, but a large portion of buyers weren't really satisfied with the overall performance.

If the Samsung Galaxy S7 is arriving with an improved screen, we'd love a stronger battery that keeps the smartphone juiced up for far longer too. According to sources speaking to VentureBeat, the Samsung Galaxy S7 will pack in a 3,000 mAh battery, which is an update to the S7's predecessor.

Solid battery life was one of the very few missing pieces that prevented the Samsung Galaxy S6 from being perfect, so the Samsung Galaxy S7 should get this sorted.

2. Added microSD support

The Samsung Galaxy S6 didn't feature microSD support and this is certainly a feature that we'd quite like bundled with the Samsung Galaxy S7.

Admittedly, Samsung dropped microSD support in the Galaxy S6 to make way for Universal Flash Storage (UFS) 2.0. The smartphone group claimed that this tech brings better memory performance that's less energy demanding, hence the decision to include it.

This sounds reasonable, but from scanning the web, it's clear that microSD support is one of the most requested features to make a return to the Samsung Galaxy S7. The fact that the Galaxy S6 was such a brilliantly equipped smartphone made the omission seem easier to swallow, but expandable storage will always be a nice option going forward.

3. Keep the IR blaster

As more information on the Samsung Galaxy S7 comes to light, there are whispers that the next entry in the Galaxy lineup won't feature an IR blaster. This would be slightly disappointing if true, wouldn't it?

The IR blaster on the Samsung Galaxy S6 was a lazy person's dream, and plenty of third-party apps supported the technology with some handy features of their own. The IR blaster can be used to control HDTVs, games consoles like the Xbox One, sound systems and more, all from the comfort of the living room couch.

Samsung's own Smart Remote app is a joy to use ultimately because of how simple it is. It would be a shame if the S7 were to do away with one of the Galaxy S6's coolest tricks, so we hope that the IR blaster remains a part of the smartphone series. If not, we're going to have to keep a closer eye on the TV remote.

4. Make it waterproof

The Samsung Galaxy S6 is an expensive piece of kit and the Galaxy S7 will follow suit, which is why design changes focused on keeping the smartphone protected would be much appreciated.

Reports from GSMArena that dropped earlier in the month suggested that the Samsung Galaxy S7 will be dust- and water-resistant, and our fingers are crossed that this claim turns out to be a reliable one.

5. Improved speakers

The Samsung Galaxy S6 speaker is sat at the bottom of the smartphone and dishes out fairly mediocre playback. Considering the Galaxy S6 is one of the best Android smartphones you can buy today, it's unusual that its audio quality isn't top-notch.

While we appreciate that not every smartphone absolutely has to arrive with front-facing stereo speakers, the Samsung Galaxy S7 needs to improve upon the audio quality of the Galaxy S6. Meanwhile, the position of the speaker is a nuisance, because it's easy to accidentally cover it with your hand when it's in use.

As we noted in our review, the audio quality doesn't stack up against competition from the likes of the HTC One or the Sony Xperia series. We're hoping to see significant upgrades in audio on the Samsung Galaxy S7.

6. Force Touch technology

The thought of the Samsung Galaxy S7 arriving with a pressure-sensitive touchscreen is undeniably exciting, but as yet there's no official confirmation that it'll be included. Interestingly, a patent filed in April 2014 suggests that Samsung is indeed working on pressure-sensitive screens, although whether or not the technology will appear in the Galaxy S7 remains to be seen.

We'd love Force Touch technology to feature in the Samsung Galaxy S7. It's a nifty little trick that has clearly been working well for the iPhone 6s and iPhone 6s Plus. Force Touch technology would add a new level of functionality to the UI and for faster navigation through TouchWiz and apps, it would be great.

7. Removable battery

If Samsung really wants to please the masses with the Samsung Galaxy S7, it would be wise to include a removable battery. A removable battery is right up there with microSD compatibility as one of the most requested features that we've seen, so it'll be interesting to see if Samsung actually delivers.

The same source from Venturebeat that mentioned battery improvements to the Samsung Galaxy S7 ruled out a removable battery, which is disappointing. Still, if we wish for it hard enough perhaps our dream will come true. 

8. TouchWiz evolution

TouchWiz on the Samsung Galaxy S6 was easily the best version of the software we've seen, with Samsung finally doing away with many unnecessary features, menus and bloatware. The user experience was greatly improved as a result, and certain design elements really popped on the smartphone's crisp display.

Samsung will be hoping that the Galaxy S7 is its best smartphone yet, so we want to see an ever better TouchWiz build in action, powered by Android Marshmallow.

Ideally, we want to see TouchWiz close in on stock Android when it comes to speed and ease of use, and perhaps a bump up in the RAM department (the Galaxy S6 ran on 3 GB of RAM) will help Samsung achieve that too.

9. Reduced camera bulge

The Samsung Galaxy S6 was a beauty, with curves in all the right places. Even so, we found the protruding camera on the back of the smartphone slightly ugly, so it would be pleasing to see changes made to that wobble-inducing bulge.

While we're on the subject of the Samsung Galaxy S6's camera, we're keen to point out how fantastic the overall experience is. The smartphone truly excels where other gadgets fall, especially in low light, so improved camera specs aren't at the top of our Samsung Galaxy S7 wishlist, as a result of the S6's success.