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Those who purchased a Samsung Galaxy S7 or Galaxy S7 Edge in the United States were treated to a wonderful surprise when they turned on their device: carrier bloatware. Companies like Verizon couldn't resist packing in all the crap they could fit, resulting in a less-than-stellar software experience.
Luckily, prospective buyers now have an option if they'd rather get an S7 or S7 Edge without the added bloatware. Samsung has launched carrier unlocked versions of both their flagships in the United States, which come pre-loaded with clean editions of Android 6.0 and Samsung's TouchWiz skin.
All of the hardware inside both the unlocked S7 and S7 Edge is identical to previous versions. Samsung is selling the Qualcomm Snapdragon 820 variant in the United States with 32 GB of on-board storage, plus a huge collection of LTE bands that allows this handset to work on all four major US carriers, as well as the vast majority of carriers around the globe.
Buying an unlocked Galaxy phone from Samsung will come at a cost: $669 for the Galaxy S7, or $769 for the Galaxy S7 Edge. Currently this is around $100 more expensive than importing an unlocked phone from an international source, but buying through Samsung in the United States will make any warranty or repair issues a lot more straightforward.
When we reviewed the Galaxy S7 Edge in March, we thought it was fantastic, and that still holds true several months and several other phone launches later. Without any carrier bloatware, it's an even better buy.