A new report (via PhoneDog) claims that the Samsung Galaxy S7 will reveal a number of additions when it’s unveiled in late February, although it will look relatively similar to this year’s Galaxy S6. The report, in today’s edition of the Wall Street Journal (subscription required), posits that the flat version of the 2016 flagship will be endowed with a fast-charging USB Type C port, a resurrected microSD slot (which we’d heard before), and a pressure-sensitive display, à la 3D Touch on Apple iPhone 6s and 6s Plus.
In addition to these new features, the WSJ report also states that Samsung is considering building a retina scanner into the device (most recently seen in the Microsoft Lumia 950 and 950 XL), for biometric security that is more convenient than the traditional fingerprint reader. While the curved screen version, the S7 edge, will also reportedly adopt most of these new features, it will allegedly lack the microSD slot, most likely due to a lack of real estate on the device’s thinner sides.
Conspicuously absent from the report is any mention of a second set of variants, which have been rumored for release around the same time as the refreshed Galaxy S range: the S7 Plus and S7 edge Plus. These would be larger-screened — reportedly, six-inch — versions of the flagship phones. The variants were spotted at the beginning of the weekend in a database screenshot, and the alleged S7 Plus was pictured just prior to that in a leak from tipster OnLeaks.
Furthermore, an alleged leaked presentation slide out of Poland, reportedly detailing the entire 2016 roadmap for that country’s T-Mobile affiliate, showed four Samsung Galaxy models being offered in close proximity to one another in the first half of the year. One possible interpretation of this material suggests that the S7 and S7 edge would hit retailers shortly after their Mobile World Congress debut — as claimed in the WSJ report — while the Plus variants of these handsets would see a release soon afterwards.
The report cautions that the retina scanners are only being considered by Samsung, and with just three months to go before their debut (and the subsequent accelerated release timetable), the company may not have enough time to incorporate them into its headline devices.
As for the pressure-sensitive displays, with their inclusion on the latest iPhone models, Samsung is under increased pressure (no pun intended) to catch up in a timely manner. While the feature is, practically speaking, little more than the long-press UI function that has long been available on touch input devices, it has achieved buzz in the mainstream press as a game-changing interface dynamic.