Apple and Samsung are facing off once again, and the biggest question of smartphone buyers this year is – Which mobile company has built the better phone this time around? The iPhone 7 is undoubtedly Apple’s best version to date, but can it compete with Galaxy S8, Samsung’s next generation device, and the iPhone’s chief Android rival? Does the ‘iPhone 7’ have what it takes to compete ‘Galaxy S8’ and which is the best upgrade? Here, we compare the iPhone 7 and Galaxy S8 design, performance, specs, battery power and price to help you decide. So Let’s take a look.
DISPLAYS: iPhone 7 VS Samsung Galaxy S8
The Samsung Galaxy S8 has a 5.8-inch Super AMOLED display. It uses a quirky 18.5:9 aspect ratio, which means you’ll get a seriously widescreen image. You will also benefit from a fairly generous QHD+ screen – that’s 2960 x 1440 pixels, giving you an overall pixel density of 567ppi.
By comparison, the iPhone 7 has a much smaller 4.7-inch backlit IPS LCD display with a less impressive 750 x 1334 pixels, which works out at a pixel density of just 326ppi.
That means the Galaxy S8 has a significantly sharper display. Samsung’s new OLED ‘Infinity Display’ that occupies nearly the entire face of the phone, is in a different league to the iPhone 7’s ageing LCD Retina Display. Added to the fact, Samsung’s Galaxy S8 is using an AMOLED panel, which should have richer colors and better contrast than the LED-backlit LCD screen on the iPhone 7. The iPhone 7 does have the benefit of 3D Touch.
Given that it is brighter, sharper and almost 20% larger, we think that the Galaxy S8 display screen will be far more impressive than the iPhone 7.
Winner: Galaxy S8
DESIGN: iPhone 7 VS Samsung Galaxy S8
Apple’s iPhone 7 is slim (7.1mm), lightweight (138g) and mostly flat handset. By comparison, the Samsung Galaxy S8 is thicker at 8mm, heavier at 155g, and boasts a curvy ‘Edge’-style screen that wraps around the sides of the phone.
Samsung Galaxy 8 probably wins out in design, with 20% greater screen size for just a 12% increase in weight. In fact, the Galaxy S8 even has a 5% larger display than the iPhone 7 Plus yet it weighs over 20% less. This compactness has taken Galaxy S8 to a whole new level from iPhone 7.
In Galaxy S8, there is also the added bonus of support for microSD expandable storage and Samsung has still managed to squeeze in a 3.5mm jack and facial/iris scanner. And the iPhone 7 strikes back with its more durable aluminum back and front-mounted fingerprint scanner. On the S8 it’s slightly awkwardly positioned on the rear, to the side of the camera. But unlike the iPhone 7, the fingerprint scanner in Galaxy S8 can be wirelessly charged, unlocked using an iris scanner.
The iPhone is available in more (and brighter) colors and the lack of a headphone jack on the iPhone 7 is little inconvenient.
Both phones are IP68 water and dust resistant, although the Samsung Galaxy S8 has a better IP68 waterproof certification (Galaxy S8 has been tested at depths of 1.5 meters for 30 minutes. iPhone 7 survived a more shallow one-metre dunk for 30 minutes).
Winner: Galaxy S8
PERFORMANCE: iPhone 7 VS Samsung Galaxy S8
In Galaxy S8, depending on the region, you’ll either find Samsung’s custom-built Exynos 8895 chip or the Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 835, both of which are built with a 10-nanometer process to pack in as much power as possible into a tiny chip. Bundled with 4GB RAM, it’s incredibly swift. But, the Galaxy S8 ships with Android 7.0 when there is seven months old Android 7.1.
Meanwhile, the Apple’s iPhone 7 delivers a much faster and smoother software experience compared to the Galaxy S8. Adding to it, the Apple’s custom-built A10 Fusion chip in the iPhone 7 has been a benchmark-slayer since its debut, beating every Android on the market at the time.
This isn’t the easiest comparison to make since Android and iOS are different beasts, but if we observe closely, it is Apple’s iPhone 7 which is the vastly better performer. Also, there is an endless duplication in Samsung Galaxy S8, which affects its performance. Of course, iOS may have gotten more bloated over the years but there is no duplication and it hasn’t affected performance.
Winner: iPhone 7
CAMERA: iPhone 7 VS Samsung Galaxy S8
The iPhone 7 has proved itself more than capable with a 12-megapixel camera that boasts a wide f/1.8 aperture and built-in optical image stabilization (OIS). Samsung’s Galaxy S8 also features a 12-megapixel shooter with OIS, and an even wider f1/.7 aperture, which means more light can reach the phone’s image sensor.
The iPhone 7’s front-facing camera boasts 7-megapixel shots and has a respectable f/2.2 aperture. But Samsung is offering higher resolution (8MP) selfies and an exceptionally wide f/1.7 aperture. Neither phone nails this category but Samsung takes the sharper more vivid shots.
Both phones have problems with colours. The Galaxy S8 has a tendency to oversaturate while the iPhone 7 washes out a lot of shots. Where the Galaxy S8 camera really stands out against the iPhone 7, however, is low light. When in low light, the S8 combines multiple frames to produce one – based on the best parts from three, reducing or removing blur and ghosting.
As for video, it’s closer with both phones. The iPhone’s 12Mp camera that also has optical stabilization, is capable of recording video in 4K. It uses Apple’s image processor for excellent performance and accurate colors.
Winner: Ultimately they are two of the best cameras to be fitted to a phone, and it’s very difficult to say which is better. Both are capable of taking great photos and videos.
BATTERY LIFE & STORAGE: iPhone 7 VS Samsung Galaxy S8
The Galaxy S8 comes with the 3,000mAh battery, along with wireless charging and fast charging capabilities. It is a strong full-day performer with regular use, although asking for a second day is a stretch, due to its significantly larger display.
The iPhone 7, which has a paltry 1,960mAh battery can typically (but not consistently) last a full day thanks to the smaller, lower-resolution screen and ultra-efficient iOS 10. No wireless or fast charging, however.
However, both the Galaxy S8 and iPhone 7 won’t get users through a full day with heavy usage.
The Galaxy S8 has a microSD slot for expandable memory beyond the 64GB base, while the iPhone 7 simply offers 32GB, 128GB, and 256GB local storage.
Winner: A Draw
PRICE: iPhone 7 VS Samsung Galaxy S8
The Samsung Galaxy S8 seems to be far more expensive than the iPhone 7. Samsung has confirmed that the Galaxy S8 will start from £689, which is far higher (£90 more) than Apple’s iPhone 7 – though the rumored iPhone 8 may match that pricing.
The iPhone 7 and Galaxy S8 are both good choices for your next phone. But if it’s the software you give priority to, you should buy the iPhone 7. For everything else, the Galaxy S8 capitalizes on Apple’s lack of daring in recent years.