Samsung Galaxy S7 Rumors Point To Magnesium Alloy Frame - InformationWeek
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12/28/2015
11:05 AM
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Samsung Galaxy S7 Rumors Point To Magnesium Alloy Frame

The launch of the new Samsung Galaxy S7 may be coming sooner rather than later, and new rumors suggest iris scanning capabilities and a magnesium alloy frame.

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Best Mobile Tech Of 2015: Our Top 10 List
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Samsung is still some ways away from releasing the latest iteration of its flagship handset, the Galaxy S7, but even during the holidays the rumor mill spins apace.

The latest speculation concerns the handset's magnesium alloy frame -- the metal is used in everything from notebook chassis to airplane fuselages -- which could constitute not only the casing but also interior components, lending the smartphone a particular material toughness.

Samsung's main rival, Apple, constructs its latest iPhone out of 7000 Series aluminum, the strongest alloy the company has ever used in an iPhone. However, as the smartphone blog Phone Arena points out, its strength and durability advantages over aluminum would give Samsung's next flagship device one more thing to stand out with.

The Galaxy S7 is also rumored to have an iris scanner as an additional security feature, though that slice of conjecture stretches all the way back to before the debut of the Galaxy 5.

(Image: George Clerk/iStockphoto)

(Image: George Clerk/iStockphoto)

The handset is slated for a March debut, according to The Wall Street Journal, and while the general appearance won't vary much from the Galaxy S6, new functions are lined up for the flagship handset.

The Galaxy S7 is also rumored to have pressure sensitive technology similar to the iPhone 6s, which Apple calls 3D touch. It allows users to press more firmly on the screen to open up more interface options.

On the iPhone 6s and iPhone 6s Plus, the 3D Touch function calls up secondary actions, information, and other content when the glass is pressed more forcefully. Apple calls some of these tools Peek and Pop. For example, a 3D Touch of the iMessage icon lets you initiate a new message or respond to recently received messages.

In another similarity with its Apple rival, the Galaxy S7 could also be arriving in two different sizes -- a 5.2-inch version with a flat display and a 5.5-inch curved-screen model, according to a report from South Korea's ET News.

The same report claims Samsung plans an initial production run of about 5 million units of its upcoming Galaxy S7, with 3.3 million units composed of the Galaxy S7 and 1.6 million of the Galaxy S7 Edge.

The South Korean tech giant is betting heavily on the upcoming its Galaxy flagship. The company recently changed executives in order to shake up the mobile division, especially after sales of the Galaxy S6 failed to live up to expectations.

Samsung's not the only smartphone giant shrouded with year-end rumors.

Apple's iPhone 6s is barely into the hands of consumers and already reports are flooding in concerning design changes for the iPhone 7, which is not likely to be unveiled before September 2016.

[Read about the troubles in Samsung's mobile division.]

A recent report in Japanese tech site Mac Otakara quoted an unnamed but "reliable" source which claimed Apple was getting ready to dump the standard 3.5mm headphone jack found on smartphones the world over and use the iPhone's Lightning connector dock as the audio output jack as well.

This means of course that anyone with a set of headphones with the standard jack would have to buy some sort of dongle or adapter in order to plug in to the iPhone 7, or else headphone manufacturers will have to reconfigure their products or offer a version that will fit the newest iPhone.

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Nathan Eddy is a freelance writer for InformationWeek. He has written for Popular Mechanics, Sales & Marketing Management Magazine, FierceMarkets, and CRN, among others. In 2012 he made his first documentary film, The Absent Column. He currently lives in Berlin. View Full Bio

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melgross
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melgross,
User Rank: Ninja
1/5/2016 | 8:44:47 PM
Re: Ho hum, another Samsung phone.
In case you're not aware of it, the UI is part of the OS, And it isn't that simple.
Li Tan
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Li Tan,
User Rank: Ninja
1/2/2016 | 2:12:23 AM
Re: Ho hum, another Samsung phone.
I am willing to see some killer stuff invented by Samsung to beat Apple - it would be exciting to see more competition in the market. More competition means more benefit to consumers.
SunitaT0
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SunitaT0,
User Rank: Ninja
12/30/2015 | 10:06:22 PM
Re: Ho hum, another Samsung phone.
@SachinEE. I loved the dotted back cover of the Galaxy S5. I wonder why they did away with that. Maybe because with all the other phones becoming so pretty to behold, Samsung was feeling insecure. And Samsung went all glass. Make a phone beautiful and luxurious. But also makes it slippery.
SunitaT0
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SunitaT0,
User Rank: Ninja
12/30/2015 | 10:04:03 PM
Re: Ho hum, another Samsung phone.
@SachinEE: I have to side with Melgross on this one. The Iris has had varying reviews. For some it has worked 100 percent of the time and for some (I saw in some reviews) it had worked 3/4 times. I think that is acceptable since iris scanners have just been launched and will grow better in the coming months.
SunitaT0
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SunitaT0,
User Rank: Ninja
12/30/2015 | 10:01:23 PM
Re: Ho hum, another Samsung phone.
@Melgross: Every phone is becoming better with developing tech. And it takes only an API upgrade for 3D touch to be supported on any Android device. Moreover it is not an OS element rather an UI element. And for Samsung making this change in their TouchWiz UI (which I think is the worst possible UI, even though I am a Samsung user for ever) wouldn't be difficult.
melgross
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melgross,
User Rank: Ninja
12/29/2015 | 11:22:12 AM
Re: Ho hum, another Samsung phone.
sachinEE, that's a pretty big assumption. When Samsung first rushed to copy Apple with a fingerprint scanner, they screwed it up badly. It was worthless. Even now, without Google supporting encrypted fingerprint information, Samsung, and others, keep this private information in an easily broken into place, in an easily read form. I have little confidence that Samsung will get this right either. But the Win Phone reader does NOT work well. Just read the reviews and articles about it. I'm sorry, but 80%, or worse, does not make a useful device. It must work 99.9% correctly. For consumer devices, iris scanners are not ready for prime time. I understand that with a rapidly disappearing smartphone footprint, Microsoft came out with this, and with Samsung's dropping Galaxy S sales, they may feel as though they need to have something like this too, because it's the latest thing, you know? Just like they're going to give us a copy of Apple's 3D Touch this year. We'll see how well that works out without support for it in the OS itself.
SachinEE
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SachinEE,
User Rank: Ninja
12/28/2015 | 9:53:27 PM
Re: Ho hum, another Samsung phone.
The year must have gone around extremely fast because people are still getting adjusted to the S6 and S6 Edge. To include magnesium, I agree with Melgross. Magnesium is a soft metal at thin slices and is prone to breaking on falls. Samsung should do away with its smooth metal body because that provides so little grip!
SachinEE
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SachinEE,
User Rank: Ninja
12/28/2015 | 9:50:35 PM
Re: Ho hum, another Samsung phone.
@Melgross: The lumia 950 Iris scanner is pretty good. It is fairly accurate as well. Remember when we used to complain to Samsung for making an inaccurate fingerprint scanner in the S5? Times have changed since then. Maybe Samsung knows what it is doing.
melgross
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melgross,
User Rank: Ninja
12/28/2015 | 11:28:38 AM
Ho hum, another Samsung phone.
While magnesium can have some advantages in thicker parts, and in larger ones, in thin devices such as a phone, where the metal needs to be very thin, it becomes more brittle than aluminum. While aluminum can bend a certain amount, and spring back into shape, magnesium is stiff, and then just breaks. With Samsung's new glass on both sides designs, magnesium would be an odd choice. As far as an irsis scanner goes, well, that's just a bad idea. We see how well a small, cheap one works with Win Phone. Not very well. All the reports have them at best, with an 80% accuracy rate, and some say that it's been much worse, depending on conditions. Why bother, except for the ability to announce yet another "feature"?
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