Samsung almost fixes a small design problem with the S7

Have Samsung designers finally figured out how to line up ports and speaker grills properly? I take a look.

Sarah Tew/CNET
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Samsung's fixed its misaligned grille holes.

Sarah Tew/CNET

Samsung is listening. Its new Galaxy S7, launched at Mobile World Congress 2016, does more than bring back important features it jettisoned from previous Galaxy phones. It also fixes a minor, but unsightly, problem on the S7's bottom end.

The fix in question? A simple matter of aligning the holes of the S6's speaker grilles and its microphones. Many Samsung users probably didn't notice the issue, but I wager it drove you crazy if you have an eye for design.

Before you roll your eyes at a non-issue, stick with me. The alignment problem on the Galaxy S6 was one of those things that couldn't be unseen once you'd seen it. And my problem is this, I don't see other manufacturers making mistakes like that. Whether it's HTC, Apple, even a Chinese manufacturer such as Meizu, most smartphone designers get their lines straight.

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Meizu's Pro 5 Ubuntu Edition easily gets the lines straight. Perhaps it takes proper dedication to get it crooked.

Aloysius Low/CNET

Fortunately, the Galaxy S7 shows a definite improvement. You can draw a straight line through the speaker and port holes at the bottom and the line will end somewhere in the middle of the 3.5mm audio jack. I compared it with the Galaxy S6 at MWC, and the difference between it and its crooked predecessor was clear. Or it was -- until I flipped the phone around and found that the S7's SIM card slot and tiny microphone hole are still misaligned.

No, it's hardly the end of the world. This won't bother you too much unless you have a crazy obsession with alignment, especially if your S7 performs well in every other respect. But the Samsung haters out there -- you know who you are -- will likely take the opportunity for some opportunistic flaming.

Instead, why not love the S7 for what it does have? It builds on what was great about the S6 with its great new camera and the tweaked ergonomic design. The phone brings back what you best loved about Samsung's flagships, including the much-missed microSD card slot and water resistance, and it comes with a bigger battery to boot. Just don't pay any mind to you-know-what.

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