As 2016 draws towards an end, we welcome you to the final smartphone fight of the year. Approaching from the red corner is Galaxy S7 – one of Samsung’s best smartphones ever made. From the blue corner is iPhone 7 – arguably one of the most controversial smartphones Apple has ever offered to the dynamic market. Both of them are amazing and frustrating at the same, but what should you go for?
Let’s kick off our review with the visible segments: the design.
Design and durability
The uniting factor between these obviously antagonistic forces is simple – they have both recognized that customers care a lot about the appearance of their smartphones. Customers want a device that is not only effective but also appealing to the eye. In addition, durability has become a major 2016 consideration.
Consequently, the iPhone 7 and Galaxy S7 come packed with 7000 aluminium chassis in addition to dust and water resistance. Apple has added this for the first time and Samsung has re-invented what it had bizarrely killed in the Galaxy S6.
But Samsung seems to have an upper hand in water resistance (no surprise anyway). The S7 can remain submerged for up to 30 minutes at a depth of 1.5 metres while iPhone 7 on the other hand survives 30 metres underneath but at a height of 1m. This may not be such a huge difference but the survival chances of the Galaxy S7 in a pool are higher than that of the iPhone 7.
What’s more, when Apple gunned down the headphone jack, it claimed the intention was to achieve, but Samsung has managed to maneuver its way around this.
Apart from durability, the two giants still have a lot of differences between them. The iPhone 7 may have an iconic design but the Galaxy S7 was designed to kill. It obviously takes the trophy when it comes to appearance.
Here is some 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)
Grasping the iPhone 7 feels more slippery than the Galaxy S7, making it feel as though it’s about to fall. The casing can help you a lot here but they have a number of pros and cons out of the box.
Apple gets an opportunity to fight back using the smaller details. Yes both smartphones are beautifully made for the bride but some slight makeup is missing in the S7. Its plastic home feels odd and is in sharp contrast with iPhone 7’s ‘taptic’ sapphire home button. iPhone 7’s stereo audio is also much better, thanks to Apple’s clever amplification of the ear piece. This easily beats the Galaxy S7 muffled speaker.
One cannot talk of iPhone 7’s design and leave out the fact that the 3.5mm headphone jack is no longer on place. For some, this doesn’t matter but for others, it is a big deal. But the reasons Apple gave for excluding it (bigger battery, water resistance) do not make any sense.
Samsung still wins the battle when it comes to water resistance and battery (explained below) and still features the universal headphone jack that delivers top-notch quality.
Forbes magazine describes the Jet Black iPhone 7 as a “fingerprint magnet” that is woefully prone to scratches, and if your counterpoint is you’ll put it in a case then you’re not seeing the jet black finish anyway.
So, who wins the design and durability war? Well, it is Samsung Galaxy S7. It has more modern, compact, water resistance design and still maintains the headphone jack.
Display – OLED effectively beats LCD
There is one statement that experts are always fond of when asked about Apple’s display setback: iPhones are “too popular” to have OLED panels because companies cannot make enough of them to meet Apple’s demand. Aha! This may be a good problem for Apple but it still remains to be a problem.
Let’s fight get done with the technicalities:
- 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
In simpler terms, iPhone 7 comes with an LCD display that cannot in anyone’s wild thoughts beat Galaxy S7’s OLED. Apple may have pulled all strings to ensure the 750p remains attractive but OLED is the future.
Lay the two phones on the table and the Galaxy S7 takes an easy win. It’s dramatically higher pixel count results in a much crisper (and VR-ready) display while the jet blacks OLED excels at result in a contrast ratio the iPhone 7 simply can’t match.
iPhone 7 consoles itself with the 3D Touch but still better integration with the iOS is a necessity.
Who wins? Once again the display trophy goes to Galaxy S7 as OLED blows away Apple’s best LCD display. Let’s see how far 3D Touch can go.
Apple winning on smaller details
Grading the two smartphones on the basis of smaller details catapults the position taken by Apple. It is no secret that both are beautifully designed but the plastic button on Apple is quite odd. At times one feels as though he is pressing quite hard just to get to the home screen. Compare this with iPhone 7’s new ‘taptic’ sapphire home button, and you bet the Silicon Valley guys did quite a great job. Then it seems as though Apple got a secret on how to amplify its earpiece and come up with stereo audio. Without doubt iPhone 7 beats Galaxy S7 on audio and the home button.
The headphone jack controversy
We cannot comprehensively discuss iPhone 7 without really mentioning the removal of the 3.5mm headphone jack. For some this is a non-issue but for others it is a deal breaker. Apple gave out quite a number for the removal of the headphone jack but I must say all these are not worth taking in. They talked of faced out technology, water resistance and bigger battery. They all make no sense considering Samsung still leads on water resistance and battery capacity and still leaves the 3.5mm port intact.
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.
Let’s first clear up the technical parts:
- 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
Did Samsung impress you by just looking at what’s on your screen? Well, take a break and remember what the wise men said – do not judge a book by its cover. The figures may deceive you that Galaxy S7 is fast enough but it comes with the same failings that are familiar to Samsung. For instance, the webpage may load faster by scrolling it will feel slow. 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.
iPhone 7 on the other hand does an extraordinary job in getting us a smartphone that not only turns on/off quickly but also gives us a top notch performance. And yes, iPhone 7 wins in terms of speed and security.
Price and availability
Both iPhone 7 and Galaxy S7 are available globally.
iPhone 7 price:
128GB >>> $650
Galaxy S7 price:
UK>>> 490 Pound
India>>> 49000 INR
Galaxy S7 Edge:
UK>>> 560 Pound
India>>> 55000 INR