We all get that weird feeling when we know a relationship just isn’t working out. You know you should end it there and then but you stay for a while, hoping that things will get better but they never do. The longer you leave it the harder it gets and then one day, you just snap and you can’t take it anymore. You come to terms with it, you pluck up the courage and you say the fateful words “I think we should go our separate ways”.
This is exactly what happened between me and my past love, Sony Xperia.
In March 2013 Sony released one of the world’s greatest phones, the Xperia Z. It was beautiful, it was powerful and it was mine. Bored by plastic and terrible battery life that my Samsung Galaxy S3 plagued me with, I had already lost interest in the upcoming S4. I needed something special and the Xperia Z was it.
With a stunning waterproof design, a brilliant camera and excellent battery life it was quite simply miles ahead of the competition. I fell in love and parted ways with Samsung.
Sony and I had a lot of fun. We took photos in the pool and we lasted all day and night on a single charge. From there the relationship grew, the Z1 replaced the plastic frame with a sleek and robust aluminium one. Drops and tumbles were no match for it. Maybe be a dent here or there, but never did it break.
With the Z2 and Z3 we hit our peak. The design got even sexier and the camera just got better and better. With 20.7 megapixels we outshone everyone else and the stereo speakers made videos and games sound perfect.
Then came the Z5 (the Z4 was known as the Z3+ over here in the UK for anyone counting) and things took a turn for the worse. The new 23 megapixel camera was awful, producing noisy sub-par photos. The fingerprint reader was flaky at the best of times and the auto brightness was a joke. There was a complete lack of software innovation too and any cool features that we did have were taken away from us in the Android 6 update.
Sony had failed me and I knew it was time to move on. But where to? Who could comfort me in my hour of need?
In the distance, a familiar face appeared. It called to me, forgave me for leaving them behind all those years ago and handed me the phone I had secretly been dreaming of, the Samsung Galaxy S7 Edge.
It was gorgeous inside and out and I fell in love all over again.
Samsung have really pulled out all the stops with this one. The curved edge to edge screen is unbelievably beautiful to look at. Everything from text, to photos and videos is vibrant and lifelike. Waterproofing has been added and the wireless charging from the previous S6 has been made faster. The battery will see me though till the early hours of the next day, or even right through to the end of the next day with the built in battery saving option switched on. The camera really has to be seen to be believed, I am blown away with each and every photo I take or video that I record with the 12MP Dual Pixel sensor. Optical Image Stabilisation is also included to make it almost impossible to take a blurry photo or shaky video.
To top it all, Samsung has added endless innovations to their software. A split screen mode lets me use two apps at once. The edge of the screen holds a menu with quick access to contacts, apps and more from anywhere. The screen also has an ‘always on’ mode that shows a clock and notification indicators so you can take a quick glance at it and not need to press any buttons to check up on things.
Always On display
Split screen mode
Edge screen apps
ALWAYS ON DISPLAY, SPLIT SCREEN & EDGE MENU
Double pressing the home button from anywhere activates the camera, even with the screen off, and it launches almost instantly. The camera itself has some neat tricks. 360 degree photos, animated gifs and a panoramic selfie mode to name but a few for still images. For video, 240fps slow motion, hyperlapse and even live broadcast options are available out of the box. Low light performance is outstanding, I never imagined a phone camera could be this good at night. The few features that Apple’s iOS has going for it are included here too like live photos and a selfie flash mode where the screen flashes brightly.
Rear camera modes
Rear camera modes
Front camera modes
Camera Pro Mode
A triple press of the home button reduces everything on screen to a small window to make it much easier to use with one hand. Speaking of windows, swiping down from the top corner of the screen will reduce the app you’re using to a resizable box you can float on top of other apps. Handy for watching YouTube while texting or browsing the web. The keyboard has the option for “swipe” style typing or you can opt for it to behave like a touchpad where holding down and then moving your finger will move the cursor around a text field.
One handed mode
One handed mode
ONE HANDED MODE & WINDOWED MODE
Samsung has incorporated a system wide clipboard that keeps a track of all your past copies of text, pictures or screenshots so you can copy and paste multiple things at a time. On top of this, when you take a screenshot of the phone screen you get a preview of the image and three options. One to delete it, one to share it and the last one, ‘Capture More’, will automatically scroll the page down and add it to the image. With this you can take one really long screenshot of a webpage or text message instead taking of several to get everything you need.
Gallery options with Private Mode option
CLIPBOARD, SCREENSHOT OPTIONS, LONG SCREENSHOT & PRIVATE MODE
You can also activate a ‘Private Mode’ that is secured with a pin or fingerprint. Things like photos, files and documents can be hidden and only seen from within this mode. Great for keeping things safe from prying eyes. With the phone itself, Samsung have built in the option for the phone to recognise unknown numbers from directories on the internet and will also warn you if the number is known for scams or cold call sales.
Lastly, this is the first phone I have ever owned to get auto brightness exactly right. The Sony Xperia Z5 was useless. It took far too long to change and when it did it wasn’t the right setting. Too bright in dark situations so it would blind you at bedtime and far too dim in bright sunlight making it almost completely unusable outside. The S7 Edge though has perfect and instant brightness adjustment, making the screen always viewable and gorgeous to look at. Just another little thing that makes me love this phone so much.
All these features and more make for one hell of a device and while Sony doesn’t include ANY of them in their new Xperia X range, not even the waterproofing that it was once famous for, it’s easy to say that I made the right choice.
I’m sorry Sony, we had a good run and I really enjoyed our time together. I still love my TV and my tablet, but Samsung has won back my heart and that special place in my pocket that I keep my phone.
Goodbye, take care and farewell.
Click here to see the full specs on the Samsung Galaxy S7 Edge.