iPhone 7 vs Samsung Galaxy S8: which is better?
We put the two phones side by side and compare everything from the screen to battery life to cameras. Read on to find out how they both scored… and what our final verdict is.
Phones at a glance
|iPhone 7||Samsung galaxy s8|
|Size (mm)||138.3 x 67.1 x 7.1||148.9 x 68.1 x 8|
|Available colors||Jet black, black, silver, gold, rose gold, red||Midnight Black, Orchid Gray, Arctic Silver (Coral Blue and Maple Gold available in some areas)|
|Display||LCD, 4.7 inches, 750 x 1334 pixels||Super AMOLED, 5.8 inches, 1440 x 2960 pixels|
|Processors||Apple A10 Fusion chipset||Exynos 8895 Octa Chipset|
|Operating system||iOS 10||Android 7.0 Nougat|
|Internal memory||32/128/256 GB||64 GB|
|Main camera||12MP with phase detection autofocus, OIS, dual-color flash, HDR||12MP with phase detection autofocus, OIS, flash, HDR|
|Front camera||7MP with face detection, HDR||8MP with HDR|
|Price*||From £ 599||£ 689|
* At the time of writing. Both phones are available on contract or with a SIM agreement only.
See Samsung Galaxy S8 offers
Looking almost identical to the iPhone 6 and 6s, the 7 doesn’t really offer a lot of new design stuff… but the design looks very nice. The aluminum used for the case is strong and comfortable to hold, and the classic home button has been replaced with a pressure-sensitive pad to keep everything flat and smooth. There’s no headphone jack, however – it’s worth mentioning …
The Galaxy S8, on the other hand, feels more innovative. The screen is huge – it extends to the edges and curls to the sides, with hardly any bezels. It’s a good size for reading eBooks and watching videos, but for some it might be a bit too big – if you have small hands you might have a hard time using it. And whatever your big hand is, the rear-mounted fingerprint sensor is a little hard to reach.
The Samsung looks amazing, with an amazing screen, and it has a headphone jack… but the iPhone isn’t bad either. It’s easier to hold and this new home button is pretty cool, although the overall design isn’t that unique. It’s a classic puzzle between Apple and Android. In other words, a tie.
Good news – Apple’s latest phone has an HD display. Even better news: the Galaxy S8 has a QHD (Quad HD) display.
And Samsung’s display is truly stunning: it’s AMOLED and HDR compatible, giving it vibrant colors and crisp lines. There’s also the “Always On” feature – meaning that part of the screen is, well, always on, so you can check the time or your notifications at a glance.
The iPhone also has a trick up its sleeve: Force Touch, a pressure-sensitive screen that matches its home button. Press down to preview an email, for example, while touching it will open it. As far as its appearance goes, it’s perfectly high-res and crisp, but can’t quite stand up to many Android displays.
For functionality, Force Touch adds something more. But visually, you won’t do better than Samsung.
Processors and performance
Apple, true to form, has equipped its iPhone 7 with a brand new A10 Fusion chipset – a quad-core offering at 2.34 GHz.
The Galaxy S8, meanwhile, has an octa-core Exynos chipset, making it one of the most powerful phones out there. Paired with 4GB of RAM, you’re looking at a device that can handle intensive gaming and switch between apps without any complaints.
The iPhone might look a bit pathetic in comparison – but remember that sleek iOS software means iPhones can generally get by with a lower spec count than Androids. So even if the numbers look a lot lower, we wouldn’t give them too much credit.
The Galaxy S8 has more raw processing power, which is great for gaming and heavy use – although for everyday use you will hardly notice a difference between the two.
Interface and software
IPhone 7 comes with iOS 10, the latest version of Apple’s operating system. With this iteration, the company has perfected pretty much everything, and it’s still so smooth and intuitive. It added things like ‘get up to wake up’ which wakes up the screen as soon as you pick up the phone, and a panel you can remove on the left side is chock-full of updates and information.
The Galaxy S8, meanwhile, comes with Android Nougat. It’s layered on top of Samsung’s TouchWiz user interface – an interface that tends to be divided. It’s generally pretty slick, but not everyone likes what it looks like, and it’s not as well integrated as iOS 10. There was at least only a light touch this time – here, and it’s one of the most customizable user interfaces with tons of settings to fiddle with.
It also comes with Bixby – Samsung’s brand new AI personal assistant. It’s still in its infancy, but in theory Bixby lets you control everything on your phone using just your voice. It’s nowhere near as advanced as Siri, be careful.
It really depends on which one you prefer. In general, however, iOS is smoother than Android, and Siri is much better than Bixby – so the iPhone wins here.
When you compare the cameras on these two phones, it’s – again – a very tight call. Both are great camera phones, capable of taking fantastic photos and offering 12 MP rear lenses.
IPhones have always had good quality snappers, with features like large focus pixels and phase detection autofocus proving that megapixel count isn’t everything. On the iPhone 7, there’s a quad-LED flash, something you won’t find on many smartphones. The 7 Plus model even comes with two lenses on the back, giving you even more control over the photos you take.
The S8’s camera is of a similar caliber: OIS, f / 1.7 aperture lens for better low-light shots and a front end with smart autofocus for better selfies.
It’s difficult. You will be very happy with the photos you take with either of these phones.
For what it’s worth, the camera experts DxOMark placed Samsung’s cameras a little higher than Apple’s in its ranking. So this is it.
The Galaxy S8 definitely has more power in its battery – 3,000mAh compared to the iPhone’s 1,960mAh.
In actual tests, however, they aren’t as different as you might think. You’ll get a full day of using both phones without having to rush to an outlet – remember that Apple and Samsung hardware work very differently and use power in different ways.
Samsung does get a few extra points here though: the battery can charge faster, and even wireless if you’re looking for a charger.
In terms of battery life, both offer pretty much the same. But we’ll give this one to Samsung for its fast and wireless charging.
The iPhone 7 is arguably the best iPhone ever, and comparing it to one of the best Android phones ever makes the competition very tough.
From Apple, we love the smooth software, flawless design, and unmatched performance. From Samsung, we get a hell of a screen, a camera that fits the iPhone’s, and huge internal storage options… and a headphone jack.
The crown for “best smartphone” goes to the Samsung Galaxy S8 – but whether that will be enough to woo iPhone fans in the long run is still up for debate.