If you’ve been thinking about upgrading to the latest and greatest smartphone, check out the new Samsung Galaxy S7 phone, available now from Boost Mobile with no contract and no commitment.
I already love Samsung products and often recommend them when asked my opinion on smartphone brands. I carried a Galaxy S4 for two years, and my husband and daughter both have Samsung phones. The Galaxy S7 is Samsung’s new entry to their flagship S series, and it’s definitely a winner.
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The Galaxy S7 weighs 5.36 ounces and measures 5.6 inches by 2.7 inches by .31 inches. Its 5.1-inch Super AMOLED display is just a tad larger than the S4’s 5-inch screen, and the weight and dimensions are a bit larger, too. However, it feels about the same in my pants pocket.
The S7 runs Android 6.0 (Marshmallow) on a Snapdragon 820 Quad-core processor with 4 GB of RAM and 32 GB of onboard memory. That’s a pretty good chunk of memory, but you can also add an optional microSD card up to an astounding 256 GB in size!
As with Samsung’s other current high-end phones, the S7 works with Samsung Pay, which lets you easily pay at a compatible credit card terminal simply by waving your phone over it.
Another cool thing about the Galaxy S7 is the always on display. This feature puts important information on the screen even when the screen is dark, so you can check the time and your notifications without waking your phone.
I’m hoping I don’t have to try this, but the S7 is also IP68 rated water resistant to handle spills and splashes. It’s also hotspot capable, something that’s included now on Boost Mobile plans. That means you can use your phone as a mobile WiFi hotspot, using data from your Boost Mobile phone’s plan.
The Galaxy S7 supports fast wireless charging with the required charging pad, which is sold separately. It comes with a standard microUSB charging cable.
My Samsung Galaxy S4 phone and Galaxy Tab both have the screen-swipe feature – swipe from left to right to take a screenshot. The S7 takes that one step further and offers additional options when you take a screenshot, such as cropping or sharing your screenshot.
A favorite Android 6 feature of mine is the notifications settings. I want notifications for very few events from a handful of applications. Previously, I’d have to go through each individual app’s settings, uncheck the box to allow notifications, say “yes” to the warning box, then escape out of the app settings.
It seems like every app wants to tell me something, most of which I don’t need to know. I don’t want my phone to buzz when my Amazon or Walmart order shipped. I have email for that.
I don’t want it to buzz when photos are uploaded to the cloud or when a Kindle book finishes downloading. I don’t even want notifications for social media updates.
Android’s new notifications settings makes getting rid of unwanted notifications super easy. Just go into Notifications under Settings and tick the apps that you don’t want notifications from. I nearly did a touchdown celebration dance the first time I saw this.
One of the most important features on a smartphone, at least for me, is its camera, and the Galaxy S7 certainly delivers in this respect, too. Its 12 MP rear camera is the first dual-pixel camera on a smartphone, meant to provide professional camera performance with super fast autofocus.
The S7’s camera is getting quite a workout lately since I’ve decided to clean out my garage and sell a bunch of unwanted stuff. I’m taking photos of the items I post to Craigslist and eBay.
The photos I’ve taken so far have turned out sharp and vibrant – even better than with my Galaxy S4 phone or my Galaxy Tab S tablet. For selfies, the S7 features a 5 MP front-facing camera with flash.
The one downside I’ve found with the S7 is that it’s screen is hypersensitive. You can toggle a setting that keeps it from accidentally turning on when it’s in a dark place like your purse, briefcase, or pocket.
However, if you want it to remain turned on in your pocket (like I do when I’m on a Pokemon walk with my daughter), things keep getting selected from my body motion. That doesn’t happen on my Galaxy S4.
Boost Mobile recently launched a new slate of plans, which use Sprint’s nationwide 3G/4G LTE/Enhanced LTE mobile network. They don’t charge extra if you go over your monthly data allotment – they just slow down your speeds until your next billing cycle.
Boost Mobile’s Unlimited Starter gives you 1 GB of 4G LTE data for $30 a month, with the option to add another 1 GB anytime for another $5. Their Unlimited Unhooked plan offers unlimited 4G LTE data for $50 a month.
They also offer family plans, with the option to add another line to either Starter or Unhooked for $30. All of their mobile plans come with unlimited texts and voice minutes, plus unlimited music streaming from certain services.
If you sign up for auto-pay with a credit card, Boost Mobile will knock $5 off each monthly bill. That lowers their $30 plan to just $25 a month!
You can stream from any of the following music services without using your data allotment: Napster, Pandora, I Heart Radio, Slacker Radio and 8 Tracks. Incidentally, if you have Amazon Prime, you can listen to ad-free music and download your playlists while you’re on WiFi with any tablet or phone. That way, you don’t need to stream using your data plan.
I’ve been very pleased with Boost Mobile’s service coverage. I’ve had coverage almost anywhere I’ve needed signal, with only one exception. I generally have a strong signal at home, in retail stores, when I’m walking around my neighborhood, and when I’m in a large cement office building.
The Samsung Galaxy S7 is an outstanding smartphone, and Boost Mobile’s low monthly cost can drastically lower the monthly cell phone bill.
I received a demo device for use in this honest evaluation. All opinions are my own.
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