Operating profit was around 6.6 trillion won for the quarter, while sales reached 49.0 trillion won (42 billion dollars), up 4 per cent year-on-year, it said in its earnings guidance.
The operating profit exceeded the expectations of a poll of South Korean financial experts by Yonhap News Agency, which had forecast 5.6 trillion won.
The company will release net profit figures with a later full earings report.
“Sales of the Galaxy S7 series are estimated to have hovered above 10 million units in the first quarter, above the expectation of 7 million,” Shin Hyun-joon, an analyst at LIG Investment & Securities Co, was quoted as saying by Yonhap.
The Galaxy S7 was unveiled in February and went on sale last month, has an improved battery and is resistant to water and dust, according to the company.
Samsung has been squeezed between increased competition from US company Apple and its iPhone at the higher end of the market, and from Chinese manufacturers at the lower end of the smartphone range.