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Galaxy Note 7 vs Galaxy S7 Edge: Samsung’s 2016 phablets face off

We compare the Samsung Galaxy Note 7 and the Galaxy S7 Edge, Samsung’s biggest (in every sense) mobile phones of 2016 so far. How do they stack up in terms of specs, design, battery life, camera tech, performance and more? Here’s our full Note 7 vs S7 Edge review.

At 5.7-inches and 5.5-inches respectively, the Galaxy Note 7 and Galaxy S7 Edge are two of Samsung’s biggest handsets of 2016. Not only that, but they’re the most expensive too. The Note 7 costs an eye-watering £700 SIM-free, while the S7 Edge isn’t far behind at £550.

Of course, you really do get what you pay for, with the Note 7 and S7 Edge proving themselves as two of the best smartphones of 2016 to date. But what’s the difference between these mighty mobiles and which is best for you?

Check out our Galaxy Note 7 hub for our full review, guides, comparisons and more.

Samsung Galaxy Note 7 vs Samsung Galaxy S7 Edge: At a glance

Phone Samsung Galaxy Note 7 Samsung Galaxy S7 Edge
Weight 169g 157g
Screen size 5.7-inches 5.5-inches
Screen resolution 2560×1440 Quad HD 2560×1440 Quad HD
Water resistant? Yes Yes
Security Fingerprint sensor, iris scanner Fingerprint sensor
Processor Snapdragon 820/Exynos Snapdragon 820/Exynos
Memory 4GB 4GB
Storage 64GB 32/64GB
MicroSD? Yes Yes
Battery 3500mAh 3600mAh
Cameras 12MP + 5MP 12MP + 5MP
Price £700 £550

Samsung Galaxy Note 7 vs Samsung Galaxy S7 Edge: Which is best?

The Galaxy S7 Edge and the Galaxy Note 7 are obvious siblings when stacked side-by-side. Good looking siblings too, thanks to that gorgeous, curvy blend of metal and glass. However, both phones sport a glossy backing which is a magnet for finger grease, dust and other crap. You’ll want to give them a good buffing once in a while to keep them looking shiny.

Alternatively, you can actually dunk them in some suds and give them a wash, becuase the Note 7 and S7 Edge are both water resistant.

There’s not much difference in the dimensions of these phones either – both are a definite handful. Thankfully the edge-to-edge screen design means they’re actually quite comfortable to clutch, although you’ll still struggle to use them one-handed. If you’re after a smaller handset that still competes, check out Samsung’s Galaxy S7 instead.

Read next: Galaxy S7 vs Galaxy Note 7, what’s the difference?

Thankfully Samsung seems to have realised this potential pitfall. As a result, it added a special one-handed mode to the Note 7 and S7 Edge which shrinks your apps and desktops towards the bottom half of the screen.

Both mobiles boast a supremely crisp Quad HD screen, so your photos and videos will look ridiculously sharp. You also get punchy, vibrant colour reproduction, a strong maximum brightness and wide viewing angles. However, the Note 7 is the only one of these two handsets to support HDR video, giving enhanced contrast when streaming HDR movies and shows.

The Note 7 and S7 Edge both pack in a Snapdragon 820 or Exynos processor backed by 4GB of RAM. The result is silky smooth everyday performance. Apps load instantly and you can run two side-by-side, with only the very occasional stutter when multi-tasking. Outside of that, we didn’t see any slowdown whatsoever, even when playing the latest games or running intensive editing apps.

Both phones use Samsung’s ‘Edge Display’, so you can pull out your favourite contacts or apps with a flick of your finger from that curved edge. You can also have it stream important info and flash pre-set colours for your besties. It’s all a bit ‘meh’.

Still, these phones also boast the same excellent camera tech, which produce great-looking photos in pretty much any conditions. You can shoot 4K Ultra HD video, slow-mo or hyperlapse footage on either handset too. Check out our Note 7 camera review and Galaxy S7 Edge camera review for photo and video samples.

They might have a lot of the same features, but the Note 7 wins when it comes to security, packing in an iris scanner as well as a fingerprint sensor. And of course one of the major benefits of the Note 7 is that excellent S Pen stylus, which affords precise input for sketches and document editing. Take a look at our Note 7 features guide for more info.

So, which Samsung blower is best for you, the Note 7 or the Galaxy S7 Edge? Well, the Note 7 boasts the best features overall, but also costs a packet. If you’re going to make full use of that S Pen stylus for creative or business apps, then it’s worth springing for. But if you only need a gorgeous phone with a brilliant camera and a gorgeous, spacious screen, the S7 Edge will more than do the job.

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