The Galaxy S7 was announced by Samsung this week. A high-end smartphone that has to compete for the title of 'best smartphone' this year. So it's high time to compare the features and specifications of the S7 next to Apple's successful phone: the iPhone 6s. Because what is the best smartphone?
It is never entirely fair to compare an iPhone with a smartphone from Samsung's Galaxy line. This is because normally there is half a year between the announcements of both brands. Still, it is worth putting the half-year-old iPhone 6s next to the new Galaxy S7. Also read: Don't miss anything from the Mobile World Congress with the MWC 2016 Dossier.
Galaxy S7 vs. iPhone 6s: The Similarities
The Galaxy S7 and iPhone 6s can be seen as the 'little brother' of the S7 edge, and the 6s Plus, respectively. However, that does not alter the fact that both smartphones still fall in the highest segment, and that segment more or less define it.
But the comparison pretty much ends there, apart from the standard functions of a smartphone. Apple and Samsung both take very different paths to create the ultimate smartphone, and in their own way they both come pretty close.
Galaxy S7 vs. iPhone 6s: Performance and Memory
Inside the smartphones, the biggest difference is immediately visible. Samsung chooses to put the best and most powerful hardware in its Galaxy S7, while Apple opts for the lightweight approach. For example, the S7 has a homemade Exynos 8890 processor in the ranks. That processor is supported by no less than 4GB of RAM. The iPhone 6s has the - also homemade - A9 chip from Apple and has to make do with 2GB RAM. So inside it is a kind of David versus Goliath, with both having a good chance of winning the fight. This is because Apple itself has the development of the iOS operating system in its hands, and can therefore use the available horsepower very efficiently.
Galaxy S7 vs. iPhone 6s: The display
The same actually applies to the screen. Samsung opts for large and strong, Apple opts for finesse. At first, it looks like Samsung is winning this two-finger battle with the larger screen (5.1 inches vs. 4.7 inches) and higher resolution (1440x2560 pixels vs. 750x1334).
However, in practice this is not so bad. Apple has found a good way to make the most of the pixels, and the iOS design makes the effects look good. 3D Touch is also a nice extra option. But competing against the Galaxy S7's superb display is no easy feat, and the S7's new 'always on' feature makes it just that little bit better.
Galaxy S7 vs. iPhone 6s: The camera
The camera has always been the domain of Samsung, but since the iPhone 6, Apple has made significant progress there. Since then, both companies have invariably attacked the competitor's camera on Keynote presentations, but the arms race is pushing the two ever closer together.
Today, the two are not much different from each other. Both smartphones have a 12 megapixel camera with autofocus and a panorama function on the back, and a 5MP selfie camera on the front. The quality of the photos differs depending on the circumstances, but in practice it will soon be clear whether the new f/1.7 aperture from Samsung (which leads to a flood of extra light) actually provides better photos in the dark than with the iPhone 6s.
The iPhone 6s is still one of the best smartphone cameras.
Galaxy S7 vs. iPhone 6s: Android versus iOS
Android vs iOS: The debate has been going on for years, and it doesn't look like it's going to end anytime soon. Android is perfectly customizable and you are not stuck with the iron hand of the Play Store to download apps. iOS is praised for its simplicity and appearance. There is a lot to be said for both, and in the end it is really a matter of taste.
The fact is that with version 6.0 (Marshmallow) Android mainly builds on Lollipop, and has mainly made improvements under the hood; something Apple has also done with iOS 9, since the operating system was completely overhauled in version 7. A small disadvantage of Android (and specifically of Samsung devices) is the excessive bloatware, which is less present with the S7 than on previous devices. Whatever your preference, there is no need to miss the mark anymore.
Galaxy S7 vs. iPhone 6s: Battery and Storage
When it comes to storage space, Samsung always had an edge, until last year the company decided to remove the SD card slot, depriving the user of the option to add extra storage space. That possibility is now available again, so that you can easily exceed the maximum storage of 128 GB of the iPhone 6s with the Galaxy S7.
In terms of battery, we are falling back into the old pattern. The Galaxy S7 has a 3000mAh battery, while the iPhone 6s has to make do with 1750mAh. Due to the frugality of Apple's hardware and the size of Samsung's battery, you have to charge both phones overnight - the advantage of the S7 is that you no longer need a cable, because the device supports wireless charging.
Galaxy S7 vs. iPhone 6s: The preliminary conclusion
Both the Galaxy S7 and the iPhone 6s make relatively small changes compared to its predecessor. The appearance will not change much in the near future: both companies seem to have found their sweet spot in terms of size and looks. The arms race in hardware ensures that both smartphones have plenty of power to play heavy games and multitask. It remains difficult to choose between Android and iOS, because both systems have advantages over the other. If you are looking for a high-end phone that you can perfect to your own requirements and wishes, then the Galaxy S7 is the best choice. If you want a ready-to-use top device, you'd better go for the iPhone 6s. However, we can only make a final judgment about this once we have been able to subject the Galaxy S7 to an extensive review.