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 is set to launch two of the biggest smartphones of 2017 (in terms of size as well as sheer desirability). The Galaxy S8 and S8 Plus should blow away most of the competition with their eye-catching design, top-end specs and Samsung's next generation of camera tech. We're already giddy with excitement at the prospect of getting our hands on these mobile masterpieces.
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 the leaked specs of the new Samsung phones.
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 resolution||Quad HD||Quad HD||Quad HD||Quad HD|
|Fingerprint sensor?||Yes||Yes||Yes, built into the screen||Yes, built into the screen|
|Iris scanner?||No||No||Yes (TBC)||Yes (TBC)|
|S Pen stylus?||No||No||No||No|
|Processor||Snapdragon 820/Exynos||Snapdragon 820/Exynos||Snapdragon 835/Exynos||Snapdragon 835/Exynos|
|Storage||32/64GB||32/64/128GB||From 64GB||From 64GB|
|Rear camera||12MP f/1.7||12MP f/1.7||12MP f/1.7||Dual 12MP f/1.7|
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 will 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 will be fully water resistant. You can also expect the same glossy glass rear, with a selection of new colours on offer.
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 can expect benchmark-smashing performance from both the Galaxy S8 and the S8 Plus too. Both of these new Samsung flagships are likely to come packing Qualcomm's box-fresh Snapdragon 835 processor, which was actually designed in collaboration with Samsung. Seen only in Sony's Xperia XZ Premium so far, 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 - although we're hoping for a speed improvement for the S8 and S8 Plus. If the Snapdragon 835 is indeed packed inside then Qualcomm's nippy Quick Charge 4.0 tech might be available, unless Samsung wants to give Adaptive Fast Charging another go.
We're hoping for at least a day of life per charge from the S8 and S8 Plus, with their bigger battery cells. Only time (and some serious testing) will of course tell.
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.
Some rumours point to a dual-lens 12-megapixel f/1.7 rear camera for the larger S8 Plus model, something already found on the likes of the Huawei P10 and LG G6. We're expecting these lenses to work together, like the P10's, to produce crisp and bokeh-packed images.
In comparison, the smaller S8 will likely come packing a single 12-megapixel f/1.7 aperture lens. You can still expect excellent performance in pretty much any conditions, plus the usual array of excellent Samsung camera and video features. Like the S7 and S7 Edge before it, the S8 and S8 Plus will shoot up to 4K resolution video.
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. We're expecting to see the same feature on the S8 and S8 Plus.
Check out our other Galaxy S8 comparison features:
Samsung Galaxy S7 vs Galaxy S7 Edge vs Galaxy S8 vs Galaxy S8 Plus: UK pricing
When they hit the UK, the Galaxy S8 will cost from £799 SIM-free, while the bigger S8 Plus will empty your wallets and purses to the tune of £899. Stock is expected to arrive in April 2017.
By comparison, the S7 can be picked up from £450 SIM-free right now in the UK. You can also grab it on contract from O2 from £31 per month. Likewise, the S7 Edge can be grabbed for roughly £500 SIM-free, or from £34 per month on contract from O2. So if you're after some of that Samsung styling and rival-smashing camera tech, but your budget is limited, then the 2016 flagships seem like a worthy alternative.
Stay tuned for our full Samsung Galaxy S8 and S8 Plus reviews. Also, check out our Samsung Galaxy hub for all you need to know about these flagship Samsung phones.