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Samsung Galaxy S7 Edge review: The ultimate splurge

Monster battery life, bigger size

Battery life was killer in our lab tests, which measure video playback time: almost 20 hours on average, compared to the S7's already astounding 16-hour average. Real-life results were also full steam ahead. Expect the battery to last a long day on a single charge, but I'd prepare to top it up each day anyway, especially if you tend to hit streaming and navigation hard.

It's a solid, heavy device, but I never dropped the phone or felt like I was going to. I'd still buy a glass screen protector and case anyway to protect your pricey investment, but the same goes for any phone. For my small hands, its 5.5-inch screen is a little more manageable than other larger-than-average handsets, such as the iPhone 6S Plus, Google Nexus 6P and Samsung Galaxy Note 5.

The Edge is Samsung's latest evolution in curved screens.

James Martin/CNET

My colleague Nic Healey didn't agree. He prefers his screens larger, and said he kept accidentally tapping the screen when he was trying to simply hold it to watch a video. He also found the wraparound effect distracting, especially when watching video.

The Edge's screen's picture isn't technically quite as sharp as the S7's, just because you're spreading the same amount of pixels around a larger display, but you won't notice a difference -- the screen still looks outstanding.

Minor drawbacks

As the S7 Edge shares the S7's triumphs (clear 12-megapixel camera, smooth-running processor), it also shares the S7's drawbacks: slightly plastic-looking selfies, a bastion of finger grease you'll have to constantly wipe away and a non-removable battery, which was expected, but whose presence would check the final box of most-wanted features.

S7 Edge versus the iPhone 6S Plus, others

Some people identify as "Apple" people and some are "Google" people and I'm not trying to change that. But I do think that the Edge is more interesting and capable than the plus-size iPhone. Android's operating system adds some pretty terrific benefits, such as Google Now and excellent voice recognition.

The S7 Edge's design is also a well-crafted standout, and its battery life and camera blow past the iPhone's in almost every situation.

Even though the S7 Edge is at the top end of the price scale, but it's still a better deal than the iPhone 6S Plus once you factor in the cost of storage. You can spend less on the 32GB S7 Edge and a 64GB microSD card than you would on a 64GB iPhone 6S Plus.

Samsung Galaxy S7
2,323
5,429
29,031
Samsung Galaxy S7 Edge
2,370
5,493
28,896
Apple iPhone 6S
2,527
4,404
27,698
Apple iPhone 6S Plus
2,403
4,240
28,080
Google Nexus 6P
1,286
4,313
24,224
OnePlus X
904
2,552
17,369

Legend:

Geekbench 3 Single-Core
Geekbench 3 Multi-Core
3DMark Ice Storm Unlimited

Note:

Longer bars indicate better performance

The Galaxy S7 Edge versus Apple's iPhone 6S Plus, the LG G5 and the Google Nexus 6P.

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