Smartphones are, essentially, all just slabs of glass and metal with computers running inside them. The iPhone 7 is, fundamentally, no different from a Samsung Galaxy whatever – although neither Apple or Samsung admit such a truth. Having already compared Samsung’s latest flagship – the Samsung Galaxy S7 – with Apple’s iPhone 7, what does the future have in store for Samsung’s flagships post Note 7-explosiongate?
I’ve sat down to unpick the rumours floating around the internet about the Samsung Galaxy S8 and place them next to Apple’s iPhone 7 to determine which device should be the one you’re looking to buy next year.
iPhone 7 vs Samsung Galaxy S8: Design
When it comes to design, Apple are known for being kings of making desirable devices. This is no different with the iPhone 7, Apple has somehow made sleeker and slimmer than the iPhone 6S – even if this time around its camera protrudes out more than it should.
However, design is largely preferential and the sleek and curved metal and glass appearance of the Samsung Galaxy S7 won my heart over. With the Samsung Galaxy S8, it’s likely Samsung will keep with this successful design and could come with an extra button to enable its upcoming AI assistant.
Chances are that, despite slimming down the Galaxy S8, Samsung will still manage to pack in its Samsung Pay technology, a decent – hopefully non-exploding – battery and a full-size headphone jack. Samsung will probably stick to the same setup of making its curved-screened “Edge” variant a larger device than the standard S8. All-in-all, it’s going to be a similar setup as with the iPhone 7 and Samsung Galaxy S8.
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iPhone 7 vs Samsung Galaxy S8: Display
Samsung has, for a very long time, ruled the roost when it comes to display technologies. The Samsung Galaxy S7 screen was largely similar to that on the S6, so chances are the Samsung Galaxy S8’s display will be another incremental upgrade. Currently the Samsung Galaxy S7 uses a 5.1in Super AMOLED touchscreen with a huge 1,440 x 2,560 resolution and 577ppi pixel density. Because of this, it has perfect contrast ratios and covers practically 99.9% of the sRGB colour gamut – to put it simply, you can’t find a better phone display than the Samsung Galaxy S7.
Compare this to the iPhone 7, even Apple’s improved LED-backlit IPS LCD “Retina display” can’t compete. Despite Apple boosting screen brightness by 25%, widening the iPhone’s colour gamut and keeping 3D Touch technology, Samsung’s Galaxy S8 is likely to push the boundaries of display technology even further.
iPhone 7 vs Samsung Galaxy S8: Camera
For the iPhone 7, Apple improved both the iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 plus cameras. While neither device manages to go up against the Samsung Galaxy S7’s snapper, the addition of a f/1.8 aperture, 12-megapixel camera is certainly welcome. Optical image stabilisation has been thrown into the mix and its brighter quad-LED flash allows for more uniform flash photography. The iPhone 7 also gets a 7-megapixel FaceTime HD camera for selfies.
As I touched upon earlier, the Samsung Galaxy S7 camera is one of the best phone cameras out there right now – second only to the Google Pixel and Pixel XL. The S7 also uses a 12-megapixel sensor but with a lower f/1.7 aperture and larger 1.4µm pixels to generate superior low-light photos. It’s also incredibly speedy at snapping images, features optical image stabilisation and Samsung’s Dual Pixel sensor tech to make autofocusing faster. If you want to know what to expect from the Samsung Galaxy S8’s camera, it’s likely to be more of the same – possibly employing its upcoming AI to pick out the best photo a la Google Pixel’s image selection feature.
iPhone 7 vs Samsung Galaxy S8: Features and specs
When it comes to performance, Apple’s iPhone 7 manages to best Samsung’s current flagship. It’s quad-core A10 Fusion processor is 40% faster than the A9 found in the iPhone 6S and uses smart core analysis to work out which of its cores should handle the process to ensure battery life isn’t sacrificed by running a powerful core. This is paired with 2GB of RAM to ensure it can deliver slick mobile gaming experiences and smash most of our benchmarking tests too.
READ ALSO: iPhone 6S or Samsung Galaxy S7, which flagship is right for you?
The Samsung Galaxy S7 is, in the UK at least, powered by a Qualcomm Exynos processor and 4GB of RAM – making it one of the most powerful Android devices around. However, it can’t quite keep up with the iPhone 7, largely because it has a screen at twice the resolution of Apple’s device. For the Samsung Galaxy S8, it’s likely that Samsung will package it with the latest Qualcomm processor in the UK, using its custom-made chip in other territories. Chances are, it’ll release as the most powerful Android handset on the market while also besting the iPhone 7 in the process.
On the features front, the iPhone 7 contains only a smattering of new additions – or removals – over the iPhone 6S. First up, there’s no headphone port here – it’s all about bluetooth or lightning port headphones now. Apple has also removed a mechanical home button from its phone, opting for a Force Touch non-moving button instead. If you were fed up of only having mono sound, the iPhone 7 uses the front-facing call speaker as an extra media speaker too.
Currently it’s not known what new features the Samsung Galaxy S8 will have but expect it to be relatively similar to the Samsung Galaxy S7 in many ways. Samsung has also confirmed that it will be bringing a new, proprietary, AI programme to its next flagship so it’s likely Samsung will use that as a major selling point of its new handset. It’s unclear if this is something as simple as Apple’s Siri, or something more advanced like Google Assistant. Either way, it appears Samsung wants to put an integrated AI button onto its phone for fast access, so it’s likely to be more in line with Google’s AI approach.
iPhone 7 vs Samsung Galaxy S8: Battery
When it comes to battery, the Samsung Galaxy range can rarely be beaten. While the S7 was our standard bearer for battery life before the Moto Z Play came onto the scene, its 3,000mAh still bests Apple’s rather pithy 1,960mAh power pack. That said, Apple still manages to get a reasonable 13 hours of usage out of it in our tests – compared to 18 hours from the Galaxy S7.
With the Samsung Galaxy S8, expect battery life to float around the same sort of time frame. It’s likely Samsung will opt to keep battery size around the 3,000mAh mark and make use of optimisations in processor upgrades and display wizardry to squeeze more life out of the power cell. Hopefully Samsung can avoid another exploding Note 7 debacle with the Galaxy S8.
iPhone 7 vs Samsung Galaxy S8: Verdict
Overall it’s hard to come to a definitive conclusion about the iPhone 7 going up against Samsung’s upcoming flagship phone. Very little is actually known about what Samsung is planning and so, for now, we can only speculate that its next Galaxy S phone will be a reasonable improvement on what came before. Currently, that means that the Galaxy S8 will be a “better” phone than the iPhone 7 – although it really does come down to personal preference as, for many, the Samsung Galaxy S7 is more than powerful enough right now.
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