Samsung Galaxy S7 vs Samsung Galaxy S6
The Samsung Galaxy S7 (L) replaces the Galaxy S6 at the top of Samsung's smartphone lineup after being revealed at MWC 2016Samsung

The Samsung Galaxy S7 is the new kid on the block within Samsung's smartphone lineup and while the Galaxy S6 is by no means defunct, the company's latest device brings with it several key upgrades to last year's model.

After going hands-on with the Galaxy S7 at MWC 2016, we're here to tell you how Samsung's 2016 flagship compares to its predecessor.

Samsung Galaxy S7 vs Samsung Galaxy S6: Design

Side by side, you'd be forgiven for thinking the Samsung Galaxy S7 and Galaxy S6 look very much the same – because they do. After revamping its design ethos last year, Samsung has opted to keep things familiar in 2016. That said, there are discernible differences between the handsets.

For example, the S7 has a more rounded back to make it fit easier in the hand. Measuring at 142.4 x 69.6 x 7.1mm the S7 is slightly smaller in dimension than the S6, but heavier at 152g compared to 138g. The camera lens on the S7 has also been reduced to just 0.5mm so that it remains flush with the smartphone's chassis.

The biggest difference in design is that the Galaxy S7 comes with IP68 water resistance and a microSD card slot, both of which were lacking on the Samsung Galaxy S6.

Samsung Galaxy S7
Galaxy S7 and S7 Edge will go on sale on 11 MarchSamsung

Samsung Galaxy S7 vs Samsung Galaxy S6: Display

Both the Samsung Galaxy S7 and Galaxy S6 offer the same 5.1in Quad HD display packing a resolution of 1440 x 2560 pixels, squeezing in 576ppi. While some will be disappointed not to see a bump up in this regard, the screen on the Galaxy S6 was one of its renowned features and our hands-on time with the S7 so far suggests the same holds true this time round.

One of the key new features in the Samsung Galaxy S7 is the always-on display, which shows time, date and notification info while the phone is locked.

Samsung Galaxy S7 vs Samsung Galaxy S6: Power and memory

Samsung shunned Qualcomm's chipset technology last year in favour of its own Exynos 7420 Octa platform. This year, the company returns to the Snapdragon bandwagon, at least in some regions. Depending on where you are, the Samsung Galaxy S7 will come with either a quad-core Snapdragon 820 chipset from Qualcomm, or the latest octa-core Exynos processor from Samsung. Memory has been given a boost from 3GB in the Galaxy S6 to 4GB in the Galaxy S7.

In terms of on-board storage, this is again where the Galaxy S7 comes out on top thanks to being expandable with a microSD card. The device comes with either 32GB or 64GB out of the box, whereas as Galaxy S6 also comes in a 128GB model.

Samsung Galaxy S7 camera
With larger pixels and faster autofocus, the Galaxy S7's camera is a great performerIBTimes UK

Samsung Galaxy S7 vs Samsung Galaxy S6: Camera

Samsung has reduced the megapixel count in its camera from 16MP in the Galaxy S6 to 12MP in the Galaxy S7. However, the company has increased the size of these pixels meaning it performs better in low-light conditions. Meanwhile, new dual-pixel technology in the S7 should lead to speedier autofocus and generally better on-the-go picture-taking.

Samsung Galaxy S7 vs Samsung Galaxy S6: Battery

Battery life was one of the biggest issues reported by Samsung Galaxy S6 users, with its 2550mAh battery proving unable to keep up with heavy demand. Samsung has upped this to a considerably larger 3,000mAh power pack for the Galaxy S7.

Samsung is also touting an "internal cooling system" in the Galaxy S7 that should help prevent the device from overheating, meanwhile the inclusion of Android 6 (Marshmallow) out the box means the phone will benefit further from the Doze power management feature included in Google's latest software.

Samsung Galaxy S7 vs Samsung Galaxy S6: Early verdict

Samsung has made some notable tweaks to the Galaxy S7 that will be well-received by fans who weren't wowed by last year's Galaxy S6, particularly in regard to the larger battery, waterproofing and the addition of a microSD slot. Coupled with the latest version of Android, the Samsung Galaxy S7 is shaping up to be a formidable contender in 2016's line-up of premium smartphones.