Samsung Galaxy S7 rumours round-up: A February release, bigger batteries and a waterproof case?
The launch of the hotly-anticipated successor to the Galaxy S6 could happen in a matter of weeks
As the New Year begins, tech fans are gearing up for the next round of major smartphone releases, beginning with the launch of the highly-anticipated Samsung Galaxy S7.
The Galaxy S6 was warmly received after its release in April 2015, for its top-of-the-range performance and impressive camera, with the Edge model getting a lot of attention for its innovative curved screen.
So it's no wonder that Samsung fanboys have been eagerly waiting for the new Galaxy since the S6's launch.
As always, there's a number of rumours swirling about the new phone, many of which have surfaced at the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas. Here's what we know (or think we know) so far.
It's probably coming out in early March
Release date rumours are always flying in the tech world, and the various guesses out there can sometimes be wildly different.
However, everyone seems to agree that the S7 will come out in late February or early March - slightly earlier than the usual release date of new flagship Samsung phones.
Samsung tends to announce their phones close to theMobile World Congress (MWC), a major mobile device trade show. Last year it took place in early March, but this year's is slightly earlier, running from 22-25 February.
Samsung's announcement press conference usually occurs on the Sunday prior to the event (21 February this year), so we can guess that preorders should open around that time, with the phone actually arriving in consumers' hands in early March.
It's going to be waterproof and dustproof
No, this isn't another hoax - signs suggest that the Galaxy S7 could be waterproof and dustproof, making it much more resilient that its predecessors.
According to Evan Blass, journalist and tech industry insider, the S7 will be built according to the IP67 standard - an industry ranking system for the 'ingress protection' levels of electronic equipment.
the IP67 rating would mean the phone will be 'totally protected against dust' and 'protected against the effect of immersion between 15cm and 1m' - meaning there won't be any need to go reaching for the bag of rice if you accidentally drop your S7 into water.
The S7 will have a MicroSD slot
Good news for those who like to fill their phones to the brim - the S7 will have expandable storage via a MicroSD card slot, a feature sadly missing from the S6 and many other smartphones.
MicroSD cards going up to 64GB can be bought fairly cheaply, and there's even 200GB cards available if you feel like spending more. However, storage sizes will increase dramatically over the phone's lifetime, so the MicroSD slot should ensure that you never run out of space.
Both models will have bigger batteries
As phone tech has progressed, poor battery life is a constant pain for users.
Fortunately, according to Blass, the S7 and S7 Edge will boast 3,000mAh and 3,600mAh batteries respectively - that's a big increase on the 2,550mAh and 2,600mAh batteries on the S6 and S6 Edge respectively.
The camera won't have as many megapixels as before, but it should still be better
According to leaked images of the phone's specs, the S7's main camera apparently has a 12.2MP sensor, much lower than the 16MP camera on the Galaxy S6.
This would be worrying for Samsung fans, were it not for the knowledge of Samsung's Britecell technology, which cuts down on resolution but makes the sensor bigger, apparently resulting in much better low-light shooting.
The end result of this major redesign will only be seen when the phone is released.
It probably won't look too different
Samsung majorly altered the design of their phones for the S6 and S6 Edge, turning the device from a slightly cheap-feeling plastic phone into a much higher-end metal and glass device.
The design of the phone was highly praised at the time of release, and the rumours are pointing to a regular and Edge verison of the S7 - so don't expect a major departure from the S6 design in the new model.