Read Samsung Galaxy S7 Reviews, Google Previews Android N… [Tech News Digest]

Read reviews of the Samsung Galaxy S7 and S7 Edge, Google launches Android N developer preview, experiment with Google’s Chrome Music Lab, Steve Chen launches Nom, and YouTubers play real-life Hitman.

A Roundup of Samsung Galaxy S7 Reviews

Samsung has launched two new handsets, the Galaxy S7 and the Galaxy S7 Edge. The differences between the two are minimal. The Edge has the curved edges, obviously, plus a larger screen (5.5 inches over 5.1 inches), and a bigger battery. But the two handsets can really be treated as one, at least for the purpose of writing reviews.

We will probably be reviewing the Samsung Galaxy S7 in the near future (as we did last year for the Galaxy S6 Edge) but for the time being let’s see what the other tech sites are saying about these new phones…

The Verge praises the hardware, calling it “solid and refined”. The reviewer, Walt Mossberg, who is known to be a bit of an Apple fanboy, even compares the S7 and S7 Edge favorably to the iPhone 6S and iPhone 6S Plus. However, he isn’t so keen on the software, citing unnecessary gimmicks and carrier bloat.

Engadget states that while the S7 “falls short of game-changer territory … anyone even considering a new Android phone needs to consider owning one of these things”. Chris Velazco praises the “beautiful screen,” the “top-tier performance,” and the “improved style and ergonomics”. However, he isn’t so happy with the camera. The overall take is that while these phones are not “revolutionary,” they’re definitely “worthy sequels”.

Gizmodo loves the fact these handsets are waterproof, adores the camera, and considers the new TouchWiz to be a great improvement. Darren Orf suggests the “Galaxy S7 is the best Android smartphone” he has ever used. Because, “It looks great. Feels great. Lasts forever”. He concludes that while it isn’t yet perfect, the Galaxy S7 is “the closest Samsung — or any other phone maker — has ever come to making the perfect smartphone”.

CNET praises the “polished design” and “awesome camera”, but finds the reflective screen and constant smudges an annoyance. Jessica Dolcourt actually welcomes the lack of bloatware, which suggests this depends on which carrier you choose. She concludes that the “might of Android’s software excellence, that gorgeous design, a lot of customization options and top hardware guts” make this a worthy purchase over the competition.

Google Shows Android N to Developers

Google has launched the Android N developer preview, allowing developers to get their apps ready for the next version of Android. Thanks to the Android Beta Program, anyone with a Nexus device can also get early access to Android N. Google is also offering $150 off the price of the Pixel C to encourage more developers to test Android N on a tablet.

We’re likely to do a full write-up of what’s new in Android N, but features include a new split-screen mode for phones and tablets, bundled notifications for specific apps, and efforts to preserve battery life and reduce the strain on system resources. Google will reveal more about Android N at I/O 2016 in May, with the final release set for the summer.

As for the name, it has to be Android Nutella, right?

Google Launches Chrome Music Lab

Google has launched the Chrome Music Lab, a website designed to “make learning music a bit more accessible.” The site, which features a host of different Chrome Experiments all related to music, was put together for Music in Our Schools Month. So, it was designed for kids, but will entertain adults too. And that’s a guarantee.

Nom Is Twitch for Foodies

Steve Chen, one of the three founders of YouTube, has launched Nom, a live-streaming service for foodies. Nom is to chefs as Twitch is to gamers, allowing them to start their own channel and broadcast their cooking skills to the world.

As Chen says in the press release, “Nom is a place for food lovers. If you’ve ever snapped a picture of your dinner, Nom is for you. If you have a food blog and want to connect with a bigger audience, Nom is for you. If a restaurant kitchen is your office, Nom is for you”.

While most people are likely to broadcast themselves cooking, there are no hard and fast rules. So, you could, if you were so inclined, broadcast yourself eating at a restaurant. Because shooting food porn and posting it to Instagram is so passe.

Watch YouTubers Play Real-Life Hitman

And finally, while playing video games is extremely fun, playing real-life versions of video games must be even more fun. Sadly, most of us will never get that opportunity, but a select bunch of YouTubers recently did, with Realm Pictures creating a real-life version of Hitman.

Hitman is a series of games from IO Interactive, and a brand new title is set to be released tomorrow (March 11). In the games, players take control of Agent 47, a genetically enhanced assassin who will take out targets for fun. But this real-life version is much more intense.

Your Views on Today’s Tech News

Are you interested in the Samsung Galaxy S7 or S7 Edge? Are you looking forward to upgrading to Android N? Which Chrome Music Lab experiment is your favorite? Will you be watching Nom? Which video game would you like to play in real life?

Let us know your thoughts on the Tech News of the day by posting to the comments section below. Because a healthy discussion is always welcome.

Tech News Digest is a daily column paring the technology news of the day down into bite-sized chunks that are easy to read and perfect for sharing.

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