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Samsung's special-edition Olympics phone splashes out with color (hands-on)

We go hands-on with the same phone Samsung is giving the world's best athletes for the 2016 Olympic Games.

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Jessica Dolcourt Senior Director, Commerce & Content Operations
Jessica Dolcourt is a passionate content strategist and veteran leader of CNET coverage. As Senior Director of Commerce & Content Operations, she leads a number of teams, including Commerce, How-To and Performance Optimization. Her CNET career began in 2006, testing desktop and mobile software for Download.com and CNET, including the first iPhone and Android apps and operating systems. She continued to review, report on and write a wide range of commentary and analysis on all things phones, with an emphasis on iPhone and Samsung. Jessica was one of the first people in the world to test, review and report on foldable phones and 5G wireless speeds. Jessica began leading CNET's How-To section for tips and FAQs in 2019, guiding coverage of topics ranging from personal finance to phones and home. She holds an MA with Distinction from the University of Warwick (UK).
Expertise Content strategy, team leadership, audience engagement, iPhone, Samsung, Android, iOS, tips and FAQs.
Jessica Dolcourt
2 min read

If Olympic fever is upon you, then pay close attention. Samsung is selling its splashily colorful, Games-inspired phone starting July 18 for a sum we still don't know. It's a bummer not to have a price yet to pair with the Samsung Galaxy S7 Edge Olympic Games Limited Edition, as it's laboriously known, but at least we've now had a chance to see the phone in the flesh.

A variation on the Galaxy S7 Edge, this special-edition handset just happens to be the same one Samsung (as an official Olympics partner) is giving to all 12,500 or so athletes. But the company is whipping up excitement by also making 2,000 of these handsets available in select countries, like the US, Brazil, Germany and South Korea.

Samsung's Olympics phone goes for gold: Check out this special edition Galaxy S7 Edge

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What you get is simple, but fun. Tiny statements of color dress up the black phone and correspond to colors on those iconic Olympic rings -- you get blue on the back, a red power button, green volume rocker, and yellow-gold front. Inside, a software theme surprises with lots of green, gold, blue and red tones on common screens (but not for third-party apps.) You'll also see a small echo of white rings on the lock screen, which you can display on the home screen if you apply some optional wallpaper. Other than all that, the Olympic edition is the same as the regular S7 Edge, hardware composition and all.

The jazzed-up phone comes in a sporty case with thick, sturdy zippers. You'll find headphones, a SIM card tool and the charger inside, but no surprising goodies like a case or VR games (the phone works with Samsung Gear VR) That's fine with me, but part of me always hopes for unexpected extras. We don't know what Samsung will charge, but if the phone winds up costing more for a few color accents, you'd be better off with a regular S7 or S7 Edge.

If you're itching for an even moodier take on the S7 Edge, check out Samsung's other summer spinoff, the one I like to refer to as...the Batphone.