Samsung Galaxy S7 Edge (£640)
The Galaxy S7 Edge is a gloriously vain smartphone. Costing around £100 more on contract than the already splendid Galaxy S7, it gives you a bigger, curved-edge 5.5in screen… and that’s about it. But if you have the spare cash to hand, then this is undoubtedly the S7 you should be getting.
That extra-spacious display is a dream when it comes to skimming through Facebook and it’s even better for video. Netflix and YouTube clips come to life with vibrant colours and sumptuous flecks of detail. Despite its phablet-sized design, the S7 Edge never feels uncomfortable to hold. A curved back makes it easy to grasp this phone, so you’ll rarely worry about it slipping out of your fingers.
Granted, Samsung’s Edge apps haven’t improved much since the S6 Edge. Swipe at the side of the screen and you’ll be greeted with an array of widgets listing stuff like your favourite contacts, apps and weather. One of them is a compass, which pretty much sums up their usefulness.
In truth, the Edge’s greatest attribute is that it just looks good. Really good. In a Stuff staff poll to choose 2016’s most dapper smartphone, the S7 Edge won by a landslide. And with the return of IP68-certified water-resistance and microSD support, as found on the old Galaxy S5, this phone ain’t just a pretty face. Simply put, the S7 Edge is a phenomenal all-rounder.
As well as looking the part, the S7 Edge is immensely practical. With a huge 3600mAh battery, its stamina trounces almost every other smartphone. As long as you don't pummel it with too much video, you can squeeze almost a day and a half's use out of it.
The same 1440x2560 resolution as the standard S7 means the Edge technically offers fewer pixels per inch due to its larger screen. You’re unlikely to notice the difference, though. What will grab you are the Edge’s vivid shades, which pop off its screen.
Galaxy phones have long been famed for their cameras, and the S7 Edge is no exception. Its rear-facing snapper has been given a wider aperture and bigger pixels to take particularly great photos in low light – even more so than the S6, which was no slouch.
OS and apps 8/10
Running on Android 6.0 Marshmallow with Samsung's TouchWiz UI, there are lots of options for customisation here. You can use Samsung’s widgets, such as the new Game Tool software, or drop almost all of them for Google’s Now Launcher.