Apple iPhone 7 full review
It's that time of year where we have both Apple and Samsung flagship phones available to buy, but which is better? There's only one way to find out and that's our iPhone 7 vs Samsung Galaxy S7 comparison review. See also: Best phone 2016 and read our full iPhone 7 review and Galaxy S7 review.
Also see: Best Black Friday Phone Deals
iPhone 7 vs Samsung Galaxy S7 review: Price
Many consumers still get their phones on a contract, even though it can often end up being more expensive, as it's more convenient and you don't need the large amount money to buy a phone outright. However, it's nigh on impossible for us to compare these devices based on the huge selection of fluctuating contracts.
So, let's look at how much they will cost you to buy outright (and it you can then grab a SIM-only deal).
The iPhone 7 costs the same amount in the US this year but here in Blighty we've been treated to a price hike – likely because of Brexit. Whatever the reason, the iPhone 7 will set you back a cool £599 (up from £539) for the cheapest 32GB model. As usual there are various options and you can spend up to £799 if you want the Jet Black model with 256GB of storage.
Meanwhile, the Samsung Galaxy S7 will cost you £569 for the same 32GB storage, although you can pick it up at £549 from Carphone Warehouse. Your best bet is head to Amazon where you can buy the Galaxy S7 for just £489 – that's a saving of more than £100 compared to the iPhone 7 and the advantage of Samsung's phone being on the market for a little longer.
See also: iPhone 7 Plus vs Galaxy Note 7.
iPhone 7 vs Samsung Galaxy S7 review: Design and build
Both of these phones follow design traits of previous generations, the iPhone more so than the Galaxy, despite its new colour options. Apple's new Jet Black finish might look nice but it's not available in 32GB and many have reported that it scratches easily.
As usual, you'll need to buy a case to protect the somewhat delicate iPhone and although the Galaxy S7 is more robust, its glass rear means that it can easily slide off surfaces or out of your pocket when sitting down.
The Galaxy S7 and iPhone 7 each offer premium design and build and you'll know which one you prefer from looking at them. If you're bothered, the iPhone wins on thickness and weight – it's 7.1mm and 138g compared to 7.9mm and 152g.
This namely due to its smaller screen, not the lack of the headphone jack; the iPhone 7 is actually no thinner than its predecessor.
Something which used to separate the iPhone from some rivals is waterproofing but this has changed with the iPhone 7. It's now IP67 rated which means you can dunk it in up to 1m of water for up to 30 minutes. The Galaxy S7 does have a higher rating at IP68 so you can take it to depths of more than 1.5m, also for up to 30 minutes.
Coming back to the headphone jack to finish this section, it's arguably the biggest design change for the iPhone. That's right; you can no longer simply plug in a pair of regular headphones to listen to music. You'll need to use Lightning compatible headphones, wireless ones or use the included adapter. If that all sounds like too much hassle then the Galaxy S7 is the way forward in this comparison.
iPhone 7 vs Samsung Galaxy S7 review: Specs and performance
While some areas of tech are accelerating quickly, neither Samsung nor Apple has done much with the screens in these phones. The iPhone 7 remains at 4.7in and 750x1334 to maintain the 326ppi pixel density. It is 25 percent brighter than the iPhone 6S, though, and has a wider colour gamut so colours are a bit more vibrant.
Those who prefer a larger screen can opt for the Galaxy S7 which has a 5.1in display and a higher Quad HD resolution. A decent 1440x2560 means a high pixel density of 577ppi. The SuperAMOLED panel also offers punchy colours, although for some it's a little too much.
If you're into virtual reality then the Galaxy S7 is compatible with Samsung's Galaxy VR headset.
Technically speaking, the Galaxy S7 has the superior screen, but it will be the size which most will want to choose between. Something which might tempt you to go the iPhone way is 3D Touch which means you can do extra things by putting more pressure on the screen.
You needn't worry too much about the performance of flagship phones like these, they are more than capable of the tasks which you'll throw at it. There are bigger differences to consider but if you're interested the iPhone 7 benchmarked at 5491 in Geekbench 3 with its new A10 Fusion chip. Meanwhile, the Galaxy S7 scored 6466 thanks to its Exynos 8890 processor. Just bear in mind these are synthetic tests.
An area of greater difference is storage as although both phones come with 32GB as standard, the iPhone also comes in 128- and 256GB capacities. The Galaxy S7 just comes in 32GB but has a Micro-SD card slot for adding more (up to 256GB cards) which is a cheaper way of having lots of space. Although we're pleased Apple has finally gone to 32GB, Samsung wins here as Apple charges a premium price for additional capacity.
While both offer a fingerprint scanner (pretty standard for a flagship now), the Galaxy S7 also has a heart rate monitor, NFC which isn't limited to mobile payments and wireless charging which are all potentially handy features.
Cameras will be one of the biggest deals when it comes to choosing a phone and the Galaxy S7 is one of the best around with its 12Mp rear camera which features an f/1.7 aperture and optical image stabilisation (OIS). It produces great photos even in low light and can also record 4K video.
The iPhone 7 has an upgraded camera compared to the 6S at 12Mp and finally has OIS so you don't need to buy the Plus model for this, although this year the larger phone has dual-cameras. Compared to the Galaxy S7 it has an f/1.8 aperture which isn't quite as good but it's a decent jump. The Galaxy S7 is marginally better but it's a very close call and you're unlikely to be disappointed with the results from either phone.
Read: Best phone camera 2016.
iPhone 7 vs Samsung Galaxy S7 review: Software
Like design, software is quite a personal thing and so you'll want to choose the operating system which suits you. This will depend on what phones you've used in the past (it can be a difficult transition if you're accustomed to one) and what other hardware you have. If you already have a Mac of some kind then there are benefits to getting an iPhone such as sharing files and messages between them easily.
At the end of the day, Android and iOS are the two best mobile operating systems and each have their pros and cons. For example, the Galaxy S7 supports Multi-window so can run two apps side-by-side at the same time which the iPhone 7 can't. As mentioned earlier, the iPhone 7 has 3D Touch so you can put push the screen to get more options etc.
Read more in our iOS vs Android comparison.
Read next: Best new phones coming in 2017
Apple iPhone 7: Specs
- iOS 10 4.7in 1334x720 IPS touchscreen, 326ppi 2.33GHz Apple A10 Fusion quad-core processor 2GB RAM 32/128GB/256GB storage 12Mp main camera, quad-LED flash, support for 4K video at 30fps 7Mp front camera 802.11ac dual-band Wi-Fi with MIMO Bluetooth 4.2 4G LTE Cat 6 Nano-SIM A-GPS with GLONASS NFC 1960mAh non-removable battery 67.1x138.3x7.1mm 138g
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