iPhone 7 Vs Galaxy S7 Review: Which one should you buy?
We are approaching towards the end of 2016 and the smartphone market has never been this much excited before. Quite a lot has happened, including the demise of Samsung’s Note 7 and Apple’s headphone jack.
But tech savvy’s attention has been drawn particularly to the war between Samsung Galaxy S7 and Apple’s iPhone 7. These high end smartphones are basically defining the future. The Galaxy S7 has proven to us that virtual reality can be brought to the phone while iPhone 7 has told us you can have a smartphone without the typical 3.5mm headphone jack. As Samsung puts it, they are both “rethinking what a phone can do.”
We have compiled a comprehensive review of the iPhone 7 VS Galaxy S7 to help you decide on which one to buy. From the red corner we have Galaxy S7 – arguably Samsung’s best smartphone. Approaching from the blue corner is iPhone 7 – Apple’s most controversial smartphone ever. They both maze and frustrate, but if you can’t buy both, which one should go for?
We kick off our review by considering what the eyes can see as we dig deeper beneath the crust.
Design and Durability
Let’s first get done with the technical stuff:
- Galaxy S7: 142.4 x 69.6 x 7.9mm (5.61 x 2.74 x 0.31in) and 152g (5.36oz)
- iPhone 7 – 138.3 x 67.1 x 7.1 mm (5.44 x 2.64 x 0.28 in) and 138 g (4.87 oz)
After having pleaded with them for thousands of years, Apple and Samsung have appreciated what customers really want. They now acknowledge that in addition to attractive design, durability is a major factor to consider. Both iPhone 7 and Galaxy S7 are more stylish and durable than their predecessors.
The two giants have 7000 aluminium chassis in addition to the dust and water resistance capability. Apple has taken up a technology that it has for a long time ignored. Samsung on the other hand has re-introduced what it bizarrely removed from the Galaxy S6.
But differences are bound to occur. Considering that this is a technology well rooted in Samsung, the firm has an upper hand. Its Galaxy S7 can survive underneath the water for a maximum of 30 minutes, 1.5 metres below. iPhone 7 has the same survival time but only up to a height of 1 metre. The difference may not be a game changer but if your phone falls into a pool of water, the S7 has a higher chance of surviving.
This difference reminds us of an interesting Apple story – the headphone jack. When the Silicon-based company controversially eliminated the 3.5mm port, it had some reasons. One was that it wanted to achieve better water resistance, but as things turn out, Samsung has found its way around this.
Apart from durability, these flagship devices couldn’t be more different. And Samsung swiftly takes a lead here. Apple has given the iPhone 7 an iconic design, but the look is not as appealing as you would expect. Due to a large top and bottom bezels, its third generation 4.7 inch device looks much larger than needed compared to the 5.1 inch S7.
In addition, one doesn’t feel he has a firm grip on the iPhone 7. It is slippery and can be dropped when carelessly held during a phone call or any other activity. The Galaxy S7 on the other hand lacks grip but the tapered back assist in lowering the likelihood of dropping it. Purchasing a case for your phones eliminates this difference. However, this also has its own set of pros and cons.
Gordon Kelly of Forbes advices that you not to buy the ‘Jet Black’ iPhone 7, terming it “fingerprint magnet” that is woefully prone to scratches. It is the kind that you will have to rub on your shirt or trouser to eliminate the marks. If one chooses to buy a case for it, then the whole point of jet black finish looses meaning.
Apple winning on smaller details
Evaluating the two smartphones based on smaller details puts Apple on the front line. Yes the two are beautifully designed but Samsung’s plastic home button feels rather odd. The iPhone 7 new ‘taptic’ sapphire home button takes a 9/10 here. Also, the external audio is much better because Apple found a clever way to amplify the earpiece and create stereo audio. This has easily outgunned Galaxy S7’s muffled speaker.
The headphone jack controversy
But one cannot evaluate iPhone 7 design and leave out its most controversial feature: removal of the headphone jack. There are some who consider this to be a big deal but for others, it isn’t a deal breaker. But the reasons given by Apple (faced out technology, bigger battery, water resistance) do not make any sense.
Samsung has done a great job when it comes to the battery capacity and water resistance. Whereas age is a non-issue, the 3.5mm port is universal. The quality of sound it produces is also desirable.
Apple’s move to kill the headphone jack is felt even by its most loyal fan. Apple users will have to move around with thousands of adapters unless one chooses to buy the wireless headphones. But even buying these has not been made any easier. They cost $159 but remember losing a single one is as easy as ABC. Replacing a single lost AirPod will see you part with $65.
So who wins when it comes to the design and durability? Our take is that both Samsung and Apple have done a great job on the design but Samsung has an edge. It has more modern, compact, water resistant design all while keeping the headphone jack.
Display – OLED VS LCD
Galaxy S7 – OLED display
iPhone 7 – LCD display
Here is the brain-cracking technical stuff:
- Galaxy S7: 5.1-inch, 2560 x 1440 pixels, 534 pixels per inch (ppi), Super AMOLED
- iPhone 7 – 4.7-inch LED-backlit IPS LCD, 1334 x 750 pixels (326 ppi), 65.6% screen-to-body ratio
There is a common phrase that has become accustomed to most experts: iPhones are “too popular” to have OLED panels because companies cannot make enough of them to meet Apple’s demand.
As much as this may sound a nice problem, it still remains to be a problem.
[image shown on OLED screen]
In simpler terms, iPhone 7’s LCD display is far much behind Galaxy S7’s OLED. Apple pulled quite a lot of strings to ensure the 750p panel gets an additional 25% brightness but OLED remains the future.
Place the two phones on a table, side by side, and you will tell the difference. The Galaxy S7 is a clear winner. Due to its higher pixel count, you get much crisper display that is VR-ready. Indeed, the Korean-based firm is rethinking what a phone can do. There is no way iPhone 7 can match this as long as it continues using LCD, even in its wildest dreams.
What actually gives a plus to the iPhone 7 is the 3D Touch. However, this still
requires a better integration with the iOS. This is potentially going to be huge, but long after it was first introduced in iPhone 6S, we are yet to see what lies ahead.
Once again Samsung Galaxy S7 has won this battle. The 3D Touch still has a huge promise but the reality is that Apple’s best LCD display doesn’t come anywhere close to Samsung’s OLED.
As always, we will start with the technical aspects.
- Galaxy S7 (International) – Exynos 8890 octa-core chipset: Quad-core 2.3 GHz Mongoose and quad-core 1.6 GHz Cortex A53 CPUs, Adreno 530 GPU, 4GB of RAM
- iPhone 7 – Apple A10 Fusion chipset: Quad Core 2.34 GHz CPU, six-core PowerVR GT7600 GPU, 2GB of RAM
Yes, by just reading the paper you get the impression Galaxy S7 is fast enough but out of the box it depicts Samsung’s common failings. Bottom line, you will feel it is quick but it isn’t smooth. For instance, a webpage may load faster but will scroll slowly. This is unacceptable, especially after Google used its own Pixel and Pixel XL to prove us that Android has the ability to offer super silky experience.
Yet again there is the TouchWiz that at least these days looks much better. However you get 50 pre-installed and irremovable applications. Why would Samsung decide to offer you two media players, two email clients, two SMS apps, two app stores? Why have Samsung Galaxy Apps and Android Play Store from where you basically get the same thing? They may be market leaders but cannot dictate to me which apps to install and which not to.
In a sharp contrast to this is iPhone 7’s giant speed. The smartphone effectively blows Galaxy S7 even with just 2GB RAM. Then it comes with some level of silky smoothness that no other smartphone has ever (and I don’t think can ever) beat.
iPhone 7 has recorded massive points when it comes to fingerprint scanner. Several Android manufactures have lived up to expectation when it comes to TouchID, but Samsung still lags behind. Galaxy S7 fails to read your finger with multiple failings locking you out the phone. There is a likelihood Samsung may introduce iris scanner in next year’s Galaxy S8 but that isn’t a solution to the fingerprint problem.
iPhone 7 has swiftly won the performance battle.