After spending a year with a Galaxy S7, these are the five reasons I'm ditching Samsung. Samsung's flagship phones generally do not have long battery life. After one year, my battery never lasts the day. With a Galaxy S7 -- the same phone we praised in a CNET battery test -- I'm lucky to make it to lunch with 30 percent of the battery's charge remaining. If I don't charge while I'm at work, it dies before dinner. (It's typical for battery life to dwindle with use and with time -- we weren't wrong with our out-of-the-gate tests -- but this feels excessive.).
I've tried uninstalling apps and I've tried wiping the entire phone, but the battery meter shows a rapid decline no matter what I'm doing, It feels like deja vu, because the battery was the main reason I gave up my Galaxy S6 for a Galaxy S7, I won't make the same mistake again, dual layer protection with brushed aluminum finish for iphone 7 plus Update, March 29: Samsung says the S8's battery won't wear down as quickly, though, My Galaxy S7 still takes great pics -- but it's no longer as quick on the draw, One year ago, there was no question in my mind: the Samsung Galaxy S7 was the phone with the best camera, Not necessarily because of raw image quality, but rather how fast I could snap a picture, Just double-tap the home button (even with the phone asleep) and boom -- ready for action..
But -- like other functions of my phone that used to be speedy -- that supreme shutterbug speed has vanished. Now, there's always a substantial lag before I can take a picture. Again, I tried removing apps thinking it might solve the issue. I factory reset the entire phone. I installed the Android 7.0 Nougat update. Nothing has brought my Galaxy S7 back to its speedy original state. (I'm not the only tech reviewer who's anecdotally seen this behavior from Samsung phones.). Most of the time, my Galaxy S7 is still speedy enough to use -- but it's to the point now where the whole phone sometimes freezes for a split-second when I'm typing on the touchscreen keyboard, or dismissing gobs of notifications.
Which brings me to the likely culprit for my speed and maybe even battery drain: unwanted Samsung software, I wasn't kidding when I wrote, in my review of the Nexus 5X, that Google's budget phone felt nearly as fast as my Galaxy S6 despite its notably slower processor, And that was dual layer protection with brushed aluminum finish for iphone 7 plus when my Galaxy was relatively new, The reason was pretty clear: Google doesn't install all kinds of unnecessary apps like Samsung, (Why would I use Samsung's sub-par web browser, calendar or voice assistant when the stock Google versions are so much better?)..
I paid full price for an unlocked Galaxy S7 at T-Mobile, assuming I could change carriers in the US at will. Too late I discovered that Samsung's playing the band game -- where you have to buy a totally different version of the phone for each carrier, because each model is conveniently missing support for certain specific LTE cellular radio bands which are necessary to switch over. Might there be another reason why they do that? Sure. But it sure doesn't seem to stop Google, Motorola, and -- yes -- even Samsung from shipping phones that seamlessly support all four major US carriers.