Samsung’s latest flagship phones restore a couple of popular features dropped from the previous generation.
The Galaxy S7 and Galaxy S7 Edge both accept MicroSD cards, allowing their storage to be expanded, and can also be submerged underwater.
In addition, they feature new gaming tech and a rear camera that should cope better in low-light conditions.
Their overall design, however, is similar to the Galaxy S6 line-up.
Some experts suggested that could pose a challenge.
The new phones allow a MicroSD card to be added to the same tray as the device’s SIM card
“Although there are significant improvements under the bonnet with the camera, the chipset, the removable storage and the water resistance, Samsung will have to make sure that’s visible to consumers,” commented Ian Fogg from the IHS Technology consultancy.
“Because at a glance they look to be the same as last year’s model.”
Samsung does not disclose smartphone sales numbers. However its share of the market dropped by 2% in 2015, according to research firm IDC, at a time when Apple, Huawei and Xiaomi made gains.
Even so, IDC’s data still indicates the South Korean firm remains the bestselling brand by a wide margin.
1. Samsung Galaxy
2. Samsung Galaxy S
3. Samsung Galaxy S2
4. Samsung Galaxy S3
5. Samsung Galaxy S4
6. Samsung Galaxy S5
7. Samsung Galaxy S6
April 27 2009: Samsung Galaxy
Samsung’s first Android-powered phone ran version 1.5 (Cupcake) of Google’s mobile operating system.
It had a 3.2in (8.1cm) screen and was the first Android phone to include a 3.5mm headphone jack, allowing normal headphones to be easily connected.
March 23 2010: Samsung Galaxy S
The first of Samsung’s S-branded series had a 4in (10.2cm) screen, ran Android 2.1 (Eclair) and could shoot video in 720p high definition.
A 4G variant of the device attracted the ire of Apple’s lawyers, and became part of a high-profile patent case fought by the two rivals.
13 Feb 2011: Samsung Galaxy S2
The S2 was marketed as the world’s thinnest smartphone, measuring less than 8.5mm (0.33in) thick.
It had a 4.3in (10.9cm) screen and was powered by Android 2.3 (Gingerbread).
Samsung promoted the “zero lag” shutter speed of its main camera as being suitable for snapping fast-moving objects.
3 May 2012: Samsung Galaxy S3
The S3 used eye-tracking software to detect when it was being looked at, keeping its screen bright until its owner turned away.
It had a 4.8in (12.cm) screen and ran Android 4.0.4 (Ice Cream Sandwich).
The phone also introduced S-Beam, a way to send files and contacts between Samsung handsets.
14 March 2013: Samsung Galaxy S4
The S4 bordered on “phablet” status with a 5in (12.7cm) touchscreen, which could be used while wearing gloves.
Running Android 4.2.2 (Jelly Bean) it introduced a dual-video capture mode, allowing users to record footage from both cameras simultaneously.
24 February 2014: Samsung Galaxy S5
The S5 added dust and water resistance, promising to work after being submerged 3ft (0.9m) deep.
It came pre-installed with Android 4.4.2 (KitKat) and introduced a fingerprint scanner and heart rate monitor.
Samsung promoted its “ultra power saving mode”, which let the device eke out a day of life when its battery fell below 10%.
10 April 2015: Samsung Galaxy S6/S6 Edge
Samsung launched two models of its flagship phone – the Edge version had a screen that curved round its sides and was more expensive.
The phones had brighter, more detailed screens than before, and supported the firm’s new smart wallet service Samsung Pay.
However, their metal frames and glass-backed designs led to some of the S5’s features being jettisoned, including water resistance and the microSD slot.
The new devices were unveiled in Barcelona on the eve of the Mobile World Congress tech show.
Optimised for games
While the Galaxy S7 retains the same sized screen as the S6, the S7 Edge’s display has grown slightly from 5.1in (13cm) to 5.5in (14cm).
The Edge version is also slightly curvier than before and its camera protrudes less far out.
In addition, the “edged” parts of the screen now provide shortcuts to email, different photo modes and third-party apps.
Samsung says it has sealed the phones “from the inside” to make them water resistant.