Our Honor 8 vs Samsung Galaxy S7 comparison review takes a look at two of the best Android phones of 2016, packing impressive camera tech, slick design and some seriously premium features. But what’s the difference and which is best for you?
Samsung’s Galaxy S7 is still one of the best smartphones of 2016 so far, winning a very respectable 4.5 stars from us when it hit the UK back in March. However, this mighty mobile is also a wee bit pricey, costing close to £500 SIM-free.
Thankfully there are other awesome Android options for anyone on a tighter budget. For instance, the OnePlus 3 costs a lot less – just £329 SIM-free, or from just £28 per month on contract now that it’s stocked by O2. But despite that dip in price, the OnePlus still offers impressive performance, a gorgeous and spacious display and excellent battery life.
Check out our OnePlus 3 vs Galaxy S7 comparison review to see how they stack up.
Another option is the all-new Honor 8, which costs just a little more than the OnePlus 3 but still offers plenty of premium features that you’d expect from a much more expensive handset, like the S7. But what’s the difference between the Honor 8 and the Galaxy S7, and is Samsung’s blower worth that extra cash? Here’s our full comparison.
Read next: Honor 8 vs OnePlus 3
Honor 8 vs Samsung Galaxy S7: Specs at a glance
|Phone||Samsung Galaxy S7||Honor 8|
|Heart rate monitor?||Yes||No|
|Processor||Snapdragon 820/Exynos||Kirin 950|
|microSD memory card?||Yes||Yes|
|Rear camera||12MP||Dual 12MP|
Honor 8 vs Samsung Galaxy S7: Design
If looks are important to you, the good news is that both of these phones are stunners. The S7 and Honor boast a solid metal frame finished off with a glass rear, an attractive and fairly hardy combination. Those glossy backs are serious fingerprint magnets of course, but nothing the odd spit n’ polish won’t sort out.
You can pick up both handsets in a variety of colours, and there’s a decent selection available to suit all tastes.
While the S7 or the Honor 8 can put up with a fair bit of abuse, only Samsung’s mobile is water resistant to boot. You can dunk it in up to a metre of water for half an hour, with no ill effects.
Honor 8 vs Samsung Galaxy S7: Screen and media
On paper, the Galaxy S7’s 5.1-inch screen is the superior panel here, offering a super-sharp Quad HD resolution. However, the 5.2-inch Honor 8 display is still perfectly crisp, even though it’s a toned-down Full HD panel. High def movies look fantastic on both phones, which also boast strong brightness levels and wide viewing angles.
In fact, the Honor 8 offers better control over visuals in its display settings. You can manually adjust the colour temperature and even filter blue light, for a more comfortable night time viewing experience. On the Galaxy S7, all you can do is tweak the vibrancy of the screen.
Both handsets here pack a microSD memory card slot, so you can quickly and easily expand the on-board storage. Great news if you want to carry around a massive media collection.
Honor 8 vs Samsung Galaxy S7: Features and OS
Although the Honor 8 and S7 both run Android Marshmallow, you’ll find a very different user experience waiting on each phone.
Samsung has spruced up Android with a colourful overlay, adding a few bonus features including a heart rate sensor. But on the whole, outside of Samsung’s apps suite and bonus store, this is a fairly clean Android experience.
The Honor 8 on the other hand completely transforms Android with Huawei’s own EMUI (Emotion UI) interface. The apps tray has been stripped out, so all of your apps must reside on your desktops, while the likes of the notification bar have been redesigned too.
Still, even if you’re not a fan of EMUI, there are some great bonus features on the Honor 8. There’s dual SIM support for one, to stick your work and personal SIMs inside at once. And there’s also an IR blaster, something you don’t find on many phones these days.
Both mobiles also boast accurate, responsive fingerprint sensors. The Honor 8’s is housed on the back, while the Galaxy S7’s is built into the home button (found beneath the screen).
Honor 8 vs Samsung Galaxy S7: Performance and battery life
When it comes to performance, the Galaxy S7 slightly edges out the Honor 8. Samsung has packed a Snapdragon 820 or its own Exynos processor inside the S7, backed by 4GB of memory. The result is silky smooth performance and perfect frame rates when playing the latest games, even if you’re recording your gaming session.
The Honor 8’s Kirin 950 processor also gives a stutter-free user experience. Gaming is once again a breeze, although the Honor 8 is likely to show signs of ageing before the S7. In our AnTuTu benchmark tests, the Honor 8 scored a very strong 93611, while the S7 hammered out a massive 128239 score.
Battery life is decent on both phones too. You can expect around a day or just over from the S7 before it needs a recharge, while the Honor 8 goes for between a day and 36 hours on a single charge.
Honor 8 vs Samsung Galaxy S7: Cameras
The Honor 8’s dual camera setup produces impressively sharp shots in most conditions. Those two 12-megapixel lenses work together to capture as much detail as possible, while also allowing for some pleasing boche in up-close snaps. Samsung’s Galaxy S7 only has a single lens, but is also one of the best snappers of 2016 – you’ll rarely get a duff shot in auto mode, with photos offering strong light balance and plenty of detailing.
However, in low light conditions the S7 is the clear winner. That high aperture lens can soak up lots of light and produces sharp, clean snaps, while the Honor 8’s photos are more grainy and less attractive.
The S7’s camera also wins when it comes to video, offering UHD 4K recording. The Honor 8 in comparison tops off at Full HD footage. Still, video shot on either phone looks great when viewed back on a big screen, with image stabilisation to cut down on judders.