Samsung Galaxy S8+ vs Apple iPhone 7 Plus: Which is Better?

Lets face it, Samsung’s upcoming flagships, the S8 and S8+ look gorgeous (from the front at least) compared to most other phones in the market.

The only direct competition in terms of specifications, price and sales is offered by Apple’s own iPhone 7 and 7 Plus. The bigger phones from both companies offer the best in specifications so a comparison between the two is warranted.

Here’s how the Samsung Galaxy S8+ and the Apple iPhone 7 Plus compare:

Design

Design wise the winner is obvious, as the Galaxy S8 Plus’ looks are far better than the iPhone 7 Plus. It features an edge to edge infinity display that melds with the glass back which looks stunning to say the least. Couple this with the tiny top and bottom bezels on the front and the result is a much more appealing design.

Apple rarely tinkers with a winning formula and it hasn’t changed the iPhone 7 Plus’ looks since the original iPhone 6 Plus which was announced more than two years ago. The overall design is very similar with minor changes like the antenna bands moving towards the frame of the phone instead of covering the top and bottom of the iPhone’s back.

One interesting point to note is that the Galaxy S8+ is 4.5mm smaller in terms of width, compared to the iPhone 7 Plus, despite sporting a 0.7-inch larger display. The rest of the dimensions are nearly the same despite such a huge difference in screen size.

You also get an iris scanner alongside water and dust resistance in the S8+ (the latter is available in the iPhone 7 Plus). Galaxy S8+ gets an IP68 rating while the iPhone 7 Plus has an IP67 rating. The digital assistant could be a mixed bag for the S8+ as Apple’s Siri is old and well worn compared to the new and untested Bixby.

Another major difference between the two is the inclusion of a headphone jack in the S8 Plus.

Display

With the S8+, you get a 6.2 inch Quad HD+ (1440 x 2960) Super AMOLED screen with 529 ppi pixel density. iPhone 7 Plus on the other hand features a 5.5 inch Full HD (1920 x 1080) IPS LCD Retina display with 401 ppi pixel density.

For those who don’t know a “retina” display has just enough pixel density so that the individual pixels are indistinguishable with the naked eye over a certain distance.

Samsung has the advantage on the display side due to a Super AMOLED screen which features deeper blacks and more vibrant colors. It comes down to personal preference for AMOLED and IPS LCD screens, however, it doesn’t end here. The S8 and S8+ also feature 10-bit HDR support allowing Samsung to have a leg up in terms of colors and shadow definition on screen.

Internals and Storage

For the iPhone 7 Plus you get a Quad-core 2.34 GHz (2x Hurricane + 2x Zephyr) Apple A10 Fusion chip with 3 GB of RAM. On the storage side of things you have the option of 32/128/256 GB sans expandable storage.

The Galaxy S8+ will have two different SoC options:

  • Octa-core (4x 2.35 GHz Kryo & 4x 1.9 GHz Kryo) Qualcomm Snapdragon 835 (US model)
  • Octa-core (4x 2.3 GHz & 4x 1.7 GHz) Exynos 8895 Octa (international model)

It will have 4 GB RAM with 64 GB of UFS 2.1 internal storage as well as expandable storage of up to 256 GB via a microSD card or a faster UFS memory card. Some markets will also get 6 GB RAM variants with 128 GB of storage.

Raw performance-wise you can count on Samsung’s phone to deliver better results compared with the iPhone 7 Plus. Day to day performance on the other hand will not be very different thanks to optimizations for the iOS in the Apple phone.

Detailed comparison will be available after the Galaxy S8+ is released.

Camera

Samsung skipped on a newer/better image sensor for the S8 and S8 Plus’ cameras. They feature the same image sensor used in last year’s S7 and S7 Edge – a 12 MP, f/1.7 unit with optical image stabilization and dual-pixel phase detection auto focus. The improvements were made to the camera software and post processing of images.

The iPhone 7 Plus has a dual camera setup offering 2x optical zoom and bokeh effect in portrait mode. Overall the iPhone 7 and 7 Plus’ cameras don’t have any major differences except for the zoom offered in the latter.

Samsung has the lead here as well because last year’s S7 Edge offered better camera quality/performance compared to the iPhone 7 and 7 Plus. Add the minor improvements made to the camera software for the S8 and S8+ this year, and we have ourselves a winner in the camera department.

Battery and Release Price

The iPhone 7 Plus has a 2,900 mAh battery which is pretty good for a phone with a 5.5 inch 1080p screen. Samsung Galaxy S8+ on the other hand has a 3,500 mAh battery which seems kind of small for a 6.2 inch QHD+ screen. Comparing it the Galaxy S7 Edge which featured a 3,600 mAh unit with a 5.5 inch QHD display, it could be mean a smaller overall battery life for the S8+, however, the new phone uses newer processor chips built using a 10 nm process, which should consume less power.

The competition here, between the S8+and the iPhone 7 Plus, could be close as the Apple phone does feature a good battery for its screen size and resolution.

At release the iPhone 7 Plus cost:

  • $769 for the 32 GB model
  • $869 for 128 GB
  • $969 for 256 GB

The S8+ will cost $850 and will come in a 64 GB variant only (128GB in certain markets). Comparing the price of the 128 GB iPhone 7 Plus is fair as you get expandable storage on the S8 Plus. The S8 Plus wins here by a hair’s breadth.

Apple iPhone 7 Plus vs Samsung Galaxy S8+

For Galaxy S8+

  • Better design (edge to edge display with tiny bezels)
  • Better display (QHD+ with Mobile HDR Premium vs FHD Retina)
  • More RAM (4 GB vs 3 GB)
  • Better in raw performance
  • Better camera
  • Better storage option (expandable vs no memory card slot)
  • IP 68 water and dust resistance (IP 67 in iPhone 7 Plus)

For iPhone 7 Plus

  • Better optimizations for iOS compared with Android
  • Siri better than Bixby
  • Cheaper variant available compared to S8+
  • Smooth day to day performance

A techie, Overwatch and Street Fighter enthusiast, and Sub Editor at ProPakistani.