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Samsung Galaxy S7 vs S7 Edge vs S8 vs S8 Plus: Should I upgrade?

Samsung's big 2017 flagship phones, the Galaxy S8 and S8 Plus, are packed with premium specs and innovative camera tech. Plus of course, they're truly stunning mobiles. But how do they compare to the Galaxy S7 and S7 Edge from last year, and should S7 owners consider an upgrade?

On March 29, Samsung launched two of the biggest smartphones of 2017 (in terms of size as well as sheer desirability). The Galaxy S8 and S8 Plus blew away most of the competition with their eye-catching design, top-end specs and Samsung's next generation of camera tech.

But if you already own last year's Galaxy S7 or Galaxy S7 Edge flagship phones, should you be considering an upgrade? Here's our S7 vs S7 Edge vs S8 vs S8 Plus comparison, taking a look at how these four Samsung phones stack up against one another.

Samsung Galaxy S7 vs Galaxy S7 Edge vs Galaxy S8 vs Galaxy S8 Plus: Specs at a glance

Phone Galaxy S7 Galaxy S7 Edge Galaxy S8 Galaxy S8 Plus
Screen size 5.1-inches 5.5-inches 5.8-inches 6.2-inches
Screen resolution Quad HD Quad HD Quad HD Quad HD
Fingerprint sensor? Yes Yes Yes Yes
Iris scanner? No No Yes Yes
Water resistant? Yes Yes Yes Yes
S Pen stylus? No No No No
Processor Snapdragon 820/Exynos Snapdragon 820/Exynos Snapdragon 835/Exynos Snapdragon 835/Exynos
Memory 4GB 4GB 4GB 4GB
Storage 32/64GB 32/64/128GB From 64GB From 64GB
microSD? Yes Yes Yes Yes
Rear camera 12MP f/1.7 12MP f/1.7 12MP f/1.7 12MP f/1.7
Front camera 5MP 5MP 8MP 8MP

Samsung Galaxy S7 vs Galaxy S7 Edge vs Galaxy S8 vs Galaxy S8 Plus: Design

Samsung has gone all-out with the new Galaxy S8 and S8 Plus, producing some gorgeous handsets that share some design DNA with the S7 and S7 Edge while clearly setting themselves apart as more premium smartphones.

Both the S8 and the S8 Plus sport that classy edge screen finish, previously found on the S7 Edge but not the S7. Those displays fill up pretty much the whole of the front panel, with a built-in fingerprint sensor replacing the S7 and S7 Edge's home button (which doubles as a scanner). The result is truly stunning, and helps to slim down the new Galaxy phones so they aren't much bigger than the older models. That's despite the significant increase in screen size.

Like the S7 and S7 Edge before them, both versions of Samsung's Galaxy S8 handset are fully water resistant. You can also expect the same glossy glass rear, which scuffs up a storm yet still looks really nice.

Samsung Galaxy S7 vs Galaxy S7 Edge vs Galaxy S8 vs Galaxy S8 Plus: Screen and media

Both of Samsung's 2016 flagship phones boasted a supremely crisp Super AMOLED screen, rocking a Quad HD resolution. The result was beautiful, crisp and vibrant visuals, no matter which version you chose. Of course, the S7 Edge's larger 5.5-inch screen meant for slightly more comfortable viewing over protracted periods. And you also had Samsung's Edge Screen features to play with, including app shortcuts and information streaming.

The new Galaxy S8 and S8 Plus also come packing a Quad HD resolution display, despite those early 4K rumours. They're once again Super AMOLED screens, but they're much bigger than the old S7 and S7 Edge panels. At 5.8-inches, the S8 is the dinkier model but still packs a larger screen than most rivals; even the mighty 5.7-inch LG G6 can't quite touch it. Meanwhile the 6.2-inch S8 Plus is an absolute monster, almost tipping into tablet territory; good thing Samsung has mastered that slimline design.

Any of these phones can take advantage of Samsung's Gear VR headsets, so you can get stuck into some mobile VR with immersive visuals.

All four Galaxy phones also support microSD memory card expansion, so you can carry around a beefy media collection.

Samsung Galaxy S7 vs Galaxy S7 Edge vs Galaxy S8 vs Galaxy S8 Plus: Performance and battery life

The Galaxy S7 and S7 Edge comes in two different flavours, depending on where you live in the world. However, both the Snapdragon 820 version and the Exynos model boast smooth performance at all times, with no stutters or pauses even when blasting through the latest Android games.

Of course you get benchmark-smashing performance from both the Galaxy S8 and the S8 Plus too. Both of these new Samsung flagships come packing Qualcomm's box-fresh Snapdragon 835 processor in western territories, which was actually designed in collaboration with Samsung. The 835 offers impressive connectivity (up to 1Gbps peak speeds), serious performance and lower power consumption than previous models.

As for battery life, the Galaxy S7 and S7 Edge can make it through a full day on a single charge and not much more. Samsung's own ‘Adaptive Fast Charging’ tech is on board, which does a respectable enough job of powering the handsets up again.

The S8 and S8+ don’t break any boundaries although they still offer up to a day and a half of use and support fast charging, wireless charging and fast wireless charging, just like the older handsets.

Samsung Galaxy S7 vs Galaxy S7 Edge vs Galaxy S8 vs Galaxy S8 Plus: Camera tech

The Galaxy S7 and S7 Edge’s camera is still one of the very best smartphone shooters out there, as you'll see from our best camera phones 2017 feature. That f/1.7 12-megapixel lens is dependable in almost any conditions, including seriously low light. And we're expecting the S8 and S8 Plus to be even stronger, with some all-new camera tech on board.

A look at the camera specs of the S8 and S8+ and you’d be forgiven for thinking that Samsung hasn’t tweaked the tech at all. However, the company has simply refined both the hardware and software on offer, to make an already spectacular experience even better.

As a result, the new S8 handsets capture photos with more natural colouring and fractionally better exposure control, helped by the phone’s automated multi-shot capture feature. This combines the data of three snaps each time you tap the shutter, for the best possible results. You can again shoot up to 4K resolution video too, again with solid image stabilisation.

Around the front of the S8 and S8 Plus you'll find an improved 8-megapixel selfie camera, which can shoot better low light photos than the S7 and S7 Edge's 5-megapixel effort. Of course, the S7 and S7 Edge both had a screen flash feature to help out, which illuminated the display to brighten your face; something you'll also find on the S8 and S8 Plus.

Take a look at our Galaxy S8 vs S7 camera comparison for samples and more, and check out our other Galaxy S8 comparison features:

Galaxy S8 vs Google Pixel

Galaxy S8 vs iPhone 7

Galaxy S8 Plus vs iPhone 7 Plus

Galaxy S8 Plus vs Google Pixel XL

Check out our Samsung Galaxy hub for all you need to know about these flagship Samsung phones.

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