Samsung Galaxy S7 vs iPhone 6s: Which one is the best smartphone?


Samsung Galaxy S7 vs. iPhone 6s

When we compared iPhone 6s with Samsung Galaxy S6 in September, it was difficult to pick a winner. Some said it was unfair to compare it with the Galaxy S6 as it was almost six months old, so now that Samsung unveiled its much-awaited Galaxy S7 and Galaxy S7 edge we thought we should compare it with the new Samsung flagship to see how it stacks up against Apple’s iPhone 6s.

Design

Samsung certainly raised its game with the Galaxy S6 with an all-new design. The front had a familiar look and feel to it, but the metal frame with the shiny bezel, and glass back panel instead of cheap plastic that it has always been criticized for, made them the most visually stunning devices Samsung has ever made. So you can’t fault Samsung for not making any major changes in the design with the Galaxy S7 and Galaxy S7 edge. Instead Samsung added IP68 dust-proof and water resistant capabilities and an SD Card slot. The IP68 rating without the use of any port covers is quite a feat of engineering.

iPhone 6s comes with a unibody aluminum chassis and glass front panel that is curved around the edges of the display. Apple has used 7000 series aluminium for iPhone 6s’ chassis, which makes it stronger and less slippery than its predecessor. 

It is difficult to pick between the iPhone 6s and Galaxy S7 when it comes to design, they’re probably the most good looking smartphones that are available in the market. I would give the Galaxy S7 an edge as I don’t like the ugly antenna bands at the back of the iPhone 6s.

Display

iPhone 6s comes with a 4.7-inch Retina HD display with a 1334×740 resolution serving up to 326 PPI. It also comes with 3D Touch, one of the major new features of the device. 3D Touch introduces a completely new way with how you interact with your iPhone. Instead of just tap and gestures, the iPhone 6s is also capable of detecting how much pressure has been applied on the screen. You can check out our article on how 3D Touch in iPhone 6s works to know more about it. The glass screen of the new iPhone is manufactured from a new dual ion-exchange process, which involves replacing sodium ions in glass with potassium ions, which Apple says makes it the strongest glass ever used on a smartphone.

Galaxy S7 comes with a larger 5.1-inch Quad HD Super AMOLED display with a 2560×1440 resolution serving up to 577 PPI. Display experts, DisplayMate, say that the newest smartphone from Samsung improves in every area that could be improved upon from the Galaxy S6, and even manages to earn the publication’s “Best Smartphone Display” award for all of its improvements.

Processor and RAM

iPhone 6s is powered by Apple’s new 1.85 GHz A9 chip, which comes with an embedded coprocessor and 2GB RAM.

Galaxy S7 is powered by Samsung’s Exynos 8890 chip comprising of 4 x Cortex-A53 cores clocked at 1.5GHz and 4x custom M1 cores clocked at 2.4GHz.

On paper, Galaxy S7 seems far superior, but we will have to wait for the benchmark scores to find out if it outperforms the iPhone 6s. Despite having just a dual-core 1.85GHz processor, iPhone 6s had outperformed the Galaxy S6 in single-core performance in benchmark tests with a score of 2488 compared to Galaxy S6’s score of 1213. iPhone 6 had offered similar multi-core performance as the Galaxy S6. Leaked benchmarks have revealed that the Galaxy S7 GPU performance will be better than iPhone 6s/iPhone 6s Plus.

Single-core performance is arguably the most important performance metric for smartphones. Every app benefits from improved single-core performance while only specialized applications will benefit from improved multi-core performance.

Camera

iPhone 6s and Galaxy S7 both ship with terrific smartphone cameras. Galaxy S6’s camera got rave reviews, and according to some experts, it was better than the iPhone 6s especially in low-light conditions. Samsung has upped the ante even further with the Galaxy S7. It comes with a 12.7-megapixel camera, which is a downgrade in terms of resolution compared to Galaxy S6’s 16MP camera but with larger 1.4µ pixels. Galaxy S7 also features a large f/1.7 aperture and OIS, which when combined with the large 1.4u pixels should make the Galaxy S7’s camera even better for low-light shooting.

S7’s camera sensor comes with a bigger aperture so it has an edge over the iPhone 6s (f/2.2) when it comes to taking photos in low-light. It also has Optical Image Stabalization (OIS), which is available only on the iPhone 6s Plus.

Samsung has also included a breakthrough ‘dual pixel’ technology, which allows the Galaxy S7 camera to focus almost instantly. No, we are not even talking about 0.25 seconds focus time here, we are talking about almost instantaneous focus, irrespective of the lighting condition. ‘Dual pixel’ sensor technology is usually seen in DSLRs, and this is the first time that this technology has been employed in a smartphone camera sensor.A dual pixel sensor uses 100 percent of the pixels for phase-detection

A dual pixel sensor uses 100 percent of the pixels for phase-detection autofocus, while a traditional camera sensor with PDAF uses less than 5 percent of the pixels for this. The light being absorbed by the sensor is sent to two pixels — instead of one — which then allows the ISP to process it better and focus quickly.

iPhone 6s comes with a 12-megapixel camera with 1.22µ pixels. Apple has been renowned for the quality of its smartphone camera for years. The camera alone was a reason to recommend the iPhone over Android smartphones. However, things have changed in the last couple of years as Android OEMs have managed to catch up, and in some scenarios even outshine the iPhone.

Apple had introduced a new feature with the iPhone 6s called Live Photos, a way to bring photos to life, which is quite cool. It may seem gimmicky to some people, but people with children will immediately realize the value of the feature. Not surprisingly, Samsung has introduced its own take on the feature called Motion Photos.

Battery

One of the things that probably matters most when it comes to the smartphone is battery life. Galaxy S6 comes with a 3000 mAh battery, which is almost twice as big as iPhone 6s’ 1715 mAH battery. It remains to be seen how the Galaxy S7 performs in real world situations. Despite Samsung claims that Galaxy S6 offers better battery than the iPhone 6, the general feedback has been largely negative, with some users struggling to get more than 3 hours of screen-on time on their Galaxy S6.

Pricing

On Verizon, the Galaxy S7 and S7 edge have been priced at $672 and $792, respectively, with monthly instalment plans starting from $28 and $33/month. On T-Mobile, you can buy Samsung’s latest Galaxies for $669 and $779. AT&T is charging the highest for the retail variant of the handsets: $695 and $795; though under its Next plan you can get the handsets for $23.17 and $26.50 monthly payments. Sprint is charging the lowest at $650 and $750 for the full retail variants of the handset. Please note these prices are for the entry-level 32GB model.

But if you’re planning to buy the Galaxy S7 then it may be a good idea to wait for sometime, as unlike Apple, Samsung ends up slashing prices after a month or two. When Samsung launched the Galaxy S6, it was priced at $672, but since then prices have dropped, and you were able to get it for as low as $576 for the entry-level 32GB model in couple of months.

iPhone 6s starts at $649 for the 16GB model, however unlike Samsung, don’t expect Apple to drop prices anytime soon.

So if you wait for sometime, you can not only get the Galaxy S7 for a lower price, you also get twice the storage space for that amount.

Samsung Galaxy S7 vs iPhone 6s Tech Specs

Here’s a more detailed comparison of the two flagship smartphones.

Samsung Galaxy S7 vs iPhone 6s - Which is the best smartphone?

Click on this link to see a larger version of the comparison

Conclusion

Samsung made a strategic mistake by following Apple’s footsteps by forgoing features such as removable battery, microSD card slot and waterproofing. It didn’t do down too well with their ardent followers, as those were the primary reasons to buy their smartphones over the iPhone. But Samsung seems to have learnt its lesson and responded by including a microSD card slot, waterproofing, a bigger battery along with more RAM.

iPhone 6s Pros

  • 3D Touch
  • Tight software and hardware integration
  • App Ecosystem
  • Support

Samsung Galaxy S6 Pros

  • Low-light photos and OIS
  • Wireless Charging
  • Fast Charging
  • Waterproof

Some of the key advantages of the iPhone 6s over the Samsung Galaxy S7 are 3D Touch, ease of use due to the tight integration of hardware, software and services, the quality of apps, and support, which is probably one of the most underrated aspects that people consider while buying a device. On the flip side, Android is a lot more tweakable, which makes it a compelling option for power users.

In case of the Galaxy S7, it comes with a better camera when it comes to taking photos in low-light, and comes with innovative features that are not available on the iPhone like Wireless Charging and Fast Charging, which allows you to charge your device without needing a chord, and allows the Galaxy S7 to be charged from 0-50% in just over 30 minutes, and to 100% in just over 100 minutes (iPhone 6s takes 3 hours or 180 minutes to charge). The fact that it is dust and water resistance is another advantage. Samsung is also giving its Gear VR virtual reality headset to those who pre-order Galaxy S7 and Galaxy S7 edge.  Taking everything into consideration, Samsung Galaxy S7 seems like the better smartphone, however, it remains to be seen if people will leave the ease of use of the iPhone 6s and the app ecosystem to switch to an Android smartphone.

I hope I have been fair in my comparison and haven’t sounded biased towards Apple. Feel free to rip it apart in the comments below, and I will be happy to update the post with your inputs if you have a valid argument.

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