Samsung Galaxy S7 Rumors Hint At Release Date, Return Of Biggest Missing Feature

Samsung phone stand on display.

As usual, the new Samsung smartphone is already a hot topic of discussion. Fans of Android have high hopes for the flagship Samsung phone of 2016, the Galaxy S7. Samsung is rumored to be completing a redesign of its popular Galaxy line of smartphones that could bring back the biggest feature missing from the S6: the microSD slot, which may make a return in the Galaxy S7.

Samsung removed the slot from its Galaxy S6, Galaxy S6 Edge, and Note 5 models, and consequently the ability to expand the total memory of the device. As of now, there is no mention if the removable battery, also missing from the latest models, will make a comeback as well.

Gizmodo first broke the story from an Italian news outlet about the possible return of the external storage option. The report also mentions that the Galaxy S7 will be a 5.2-inch smartphone with a flat screen while the Galaxy S7 Edge will be a larger 5.7 inches with the Edge’s distinctive curved screen. This would allow Samsung to compete with Apple, who offers two different sizes for the iPhone.

Samsung's Galaxy Note 5 smartphone.

MicroSD card users are able to increase their storage, but external storage is much slower than internal. As such, the usefulness of microSD cards remains controversial. Users of the cards say it gives them the advantage of being able to endlessly expand their storage, whereas critics allege it allows companies to skimp on built-in storage.

ZDnet’s interview with a representative of Chinese smartphone maker Xiaomi stated that the main reason the microSD cards were removed in the first place was to increase profits and sell the phones at a premium price.

“The reason that smartphone manufacturers are ditching micro SD card slots in their devices, especially at the high end, is money. Manufacturers can’t charge a premium for an SD card slot, but they can charge a $100 for a few extra gigabytes of flash storage.

“What Apple began with the iPhone, other manufacturers are now doing with their smartphones. And from a making money point of view, it makes good sense. A 128GB iPhone 6 costs the consumer $200 more than the 16GB version, but adding that extra storage costs Apple less than $50.”

The South Korean tech giant may also adopt USB-C technology for the S7. This would present an alternative to the micro-USB technology currently used and would allow for faster data transfer, though the report says that is still undetermined.

The Samsung Galaxy S6 Edge

Samsung’s new Galaxy may hit the shelves early next year after an expected unveiling at the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, where the Galaxy S6 was revealed in 2015, but not much is known about the new smartphone. The report regarding the heavily-rumored return of the microSD slot comes amid speculations that Samsung could be dropping its retail price and even releasing the S7 earlier than anticipated. Samsung has so far not commented on an official release date for the phone.

It’s safe to say that Samsung will be improving the quality of the camera as they have in past releases. The company recently held a conference in which it discussed its new and improved Britecell camera technology, which it says will allow for brighter and cleaner pictures. Other recent rumors speak of the inclusion of Qualcomm’s new Snapdragon 820 processor as well as a ClearForce pressure-sensitive display, a similar alternative to 3D Touch technology, which will interpret unique commands in response to various levels of pressure on the screen. This would lead to a dramatically different experience on the Samsung Galaxy phones as opposed to the typical swipe-and-tap interface on most smartphones.

[Photo by Sean Gallup/Getty Images]