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Apple iPhone 7 vs Samsung Galaxy S7: Which is best for me?

We compare Apple’s new iPhone 7 with the Samsung Galaxy S7 to see what the difference is in terms of straight specs, camera tech and the best unique features. Which premium smartphone is best for you?

Apple has just launched the new iPhone 7 and it’s a decent little update over last year’s iPhone 6s. But how does the iPhone 7 compare with one of the best Android mobiles of 2016, the Galaxy S7 from Samsung?

Here’s our full iPhone 7 vs Galaxy S7 comparison review to show you the differences between these two feature-packed phones. And to check out how the iPhone 7 compares with existing iPhones and the new iPhone 7 Plus, take a look at our huge iPhone comparison guide.

Check out our iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus hub too, for all you need to know about Apple’s new mobiles.

iPhone 7 vs Galaxy S7: Specs at a glance

Phone iPhone 7 Galaxy S7
Screen size 4.7-inch 5.1-inch
Screen resolution 1334×750 2560×1440
Water resistant? Yes Yes
Fingerprint sensor? Yes Yes
Processor Apple A10 Fusion Snapdragon 820/Exynos
Memory TBC 4GB
Storage 32/128/256GB 32/64GB
microSD? No Yes
Battery TBC 3000mAh

iPhone 7 vs Galaxy S7: Design

When it comes to look and feel, the iPhone 7 hasn’t evolved a massive amount from last year’s iPhone 6s. The aerial bands have been stripped out and it’s a wee bit thinner, and there’s now a glossy ‘Black’ model as well as a blacker-than-black ‘Jet Black’ model if you really, really can’t get enough of black. But it’s essentially the same 4.7-inch slab of metal we already know and love.

The Galaxy S7 isn’t much of a risk taker either, sporting a slightly more curved and attractive design than the old Galaxy S6. It’s a bit bigger than the iPhone 7, sporting a 5.1-inch screen compared with Apple’s 4.7-inch display. However, both mobiles are pleasingly slim and a comfortable fit for the hand.

While the standard iPhone 7 opts for rugged brushed metal as usual, the Galaxy S7 sports a glossy, reflective rear. This picks up scuffs and grease marks all too easily, but proves just as scratch resistant as the iPhone. Here’s hoping the glossy Black iPhone is more resistant to marking.

The Galaxy S7 and iPhone 7 are both fully water resistant, which is particularly big news for Apple lovers as this is the first waterproof iPhone. So either phone will suit water babies who can’t leave their mobiles alone for more than five minutes, as well as anyone who’s lost a handset to a toilet when a wee bit inebriated.

iPhone 7 vs Galaxy S7: Screen and media

Samsung’s Galaxy S7 boasts not only a bigger screen, but a sharper one too. That 5.1-inch panel’s Quad HD 2560×1440 resolution makes for crisper, more detailed images than the iPhone 7’s 1334×750 resolution. However, the iPhone 7’s screen is now 25 percent brighter, so even more easy to view and comfortable to use in bright conditions.

That said, both displays are sharp enough to mask individual pixels from the naked eye. The iPhone produces more realistic images than the Galaxy S7, which boosts colour vibrancy for really punchy, stand-out visuals. However, the iPhone 7 does boast a wider colour gamut too. Neither is ‘better’ than the other; it’s all a matter of personal preference.

Of course, Apple’s iPhone 7 rocks the same 3D Touch tech as last year’s iPhone 6s. This means you can press hard on an app to shortcut to specific features, rather than simply opening it with a tap. That’s something the Galaxy S7 doesn’t have.

However, the Galaxy S7 has a serious advantage if you’d rather carry around a massive media collection, instead of streaming your video and music. Slot in a microSD memory card and you can quickly and cheaply expand the 32/64GB of built-in storage, something that’s not supported by the iPhone 7. Instead you’ll have to stump up for the models with more storage, which costs a pretty penny – although at least Apple has ditched the base 16GB model, bumping it up to a 32GB handset.

Apple has also decided to remove the headphone jack from the iPhone 7. That means you should listen to music with Bluetooth headphones, or special new sets that plug into the Lightning port (used to charge the phone). One benefit is that noise cancellation headphones can charge directly from the port.

However, you can still use old wired earphones using Apple’s adapter, which will be bundled and sold separately. And that lack of a jack means the iPhone 7 boasts a stereo speaker setup, for improved audio output.

iPhone 7 vs Galaxy S7: Other features

Both phones pack a fingerprint sensor, so you can unlock to your desktops securely and quickly. Even more impressively, the iPhone 7’s home button is force sensitive, like the 3D Touch screen. That can be used by any app to add an additional layer of input.

The iPhone and S7 Edge also boast bonus security features, to keep your data safe. For instance, they can be remotely located and wiped if lost.

The Galaxy S7 and iPhone 7 both have their own built-in health features too. The S7 can monitor your pulse and track your exercise with the S Health app, while the iPhone uses Apple’s own Health app.

iPhone 7 vs Galaxy S7: Performance and battery life

As for performance, both of these phones will happily smash through the latest apps and games without a stutter in sight. The Galaxy S7 comes in either Snapdragon 820 or Exynos flavours, while the iPhone 7 packs Apple’s own A10 Fusion quad-core processor, which makes it the most powerful Apple device to date – 35 percent faster than last year’s iPhone 6s.

We haven’t had a chance to test the iPhone 7’s battery life just yet, but you can expect around a day of use from Apple’s new mobile; Apple reckons you’ll enjoy an extra two hours of general use compared with the iPhone 6s. Samsung’s Galaxy S7 also keeps you going for 24 hours between charges, even with plenty of play time.

iPhone 7 vs Galaxy S7: Cameras

Several rivals have come damn close, but the Galaxy S7 still boasts the best camera tech of any phone in 2016. You can shoot detail-packed, gorgeous photos in pretty much any conditions, with particularly impressive results in low light environments. Check out our in-depth Galaxy S7 camera review for samples and more.

The iPhone 7 sports an all-new 12-megapixel camera, now including Optical Image Stabilisation and a lens that’s better suited to low light, as well as super-smart new imaging software. Check out our iPhone 7 camera feature to see exactly what’s new.

We reckon the iPhone 7 camera will be a strong rival to the Galaxy S7’s, and we’ll be sure to test in full for our full iPhone 7 camera review and supertest.

Check out how the iPhone 7 Plus compares with the Galaxy S7 Edge.

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