Samsung has proven time and time again that it knows how to make excellent hardware that sells hundreds of millions of units every year, but the company’s track record with software, on the other hand, is abysmal. It’s almost impressive how Samsung is able to take even the lightest, smoothest versions of Android and turn them into a bloated mess by polluting them with apps that nobody wants, and which slow down the operating system. However, that all started to change with the introduction of the Galaxy S6 last year, and the Galaxy S7 has improved upon that even further. It’s looking more and more like Samsung has finally figured out how to make an Android skin that’s both smooth and aesthetically pleasing.
The Galaxy S7 and Galaxy S7 Edge are now available and, predictably, there’s a lot to love. We reviewed both devices earlier in the week, concluding that they’re two of the best smartphones on the market right now; certainly the best Galaxy handsets Samsung has ever released. The designs are great, the cameras are improved and battery life is off the charts, especially for the S7 Edge model. But one thing we didn’t expect to love so much was Samsung’s Android skin. Over the last few years, TouchWiz has become the bane of Samsung’s existence. Not only did the company’s handiwork make Android feel incredibly bloated, but it also made Google’s OS feel frustratingly slow. Worse, Samsung insisted on stuffing it with features that, frankly, most users just didn’t care to use. You get the picture. But that all changed with the Galaxy S6. After a period of turmoil, Samsung took huge steps toward creating a more beautiful experience, and that hard work paid off in a big way with the S7 and S7 Edge. On top of Marshmallow, Samsung’s skin is not only very functional but it feels smooth and light, and offers a lot of nice tweaks that stock Android doesn’t have. In fact, Android N looks to be implementing a feature in the notification shade that Samsung phones have offered for a while.