We compare the Samsung Galaxy S7 with Sony’s Xperia Z5, the LG G4 and Apple’s iPhone 6s, to see which has the best camera, design, performance, battery life and features. Here’s our full Galaxy S7 comparison review.
Samsung’s Galaxy S7 is out at last and as expected it’s a lovely slab of gorgeous, powerful tech – check out our full S7 review for more info. But how do those other massive flagship phones, Sony’s Xperia Z5, LG’s G4 and the iPhone 6s, compare?
Samsung Galaxy S7 vs Sony Xperia Z5 vs LG G4 vs Apple iPhone 6s: At a glance
|Phone||Galaxy S7||iPhone 6s||LG G4||Xperia Z5|
|Processor||Exynos 8890||Apple A9||Snapdragon 808||Snapdragon 810|
|Storage||32/64GB + microSD||16/64/128GB||32GB||32GB|
|Cameras||12MP + 5MP||12MP + 5MP||16MP + 8MP||23MP + 5.1MP|
Samsung Galaxy S7 vs Sony Xperia Z5 vs LG G4 vs Apple iPhone 6s: Our full video comparison
Samsung Galaxy S7 vs Sony Xperia Z5 vs LG G4 vs Apple iPhone 6s: Design
The Galaxy S7 is a gorgeously designed mobile, complete with beautifully contoured edging that naturally fits your grip. Any little flaws from the Galaxy S6, such as the smudgey surfaces and jutting camera lens, have been worked out to produce a phone that is both sexy and fully functional. Our personal opinion is that the S7 is the best-looking blower in this round-up.
That’s not to say the other phones are ugly, of course. Sony’s Xperia Z5 boasts a good-looking metal and glass frame, available in an attractive range of subdued colours. However, the Z5 is also rather fragile, with the rear end easily cracking and scratching under the tiniest duress. Definitely invest in a case.
The LG G4 is another prospect entirely, packing a soft-touch leather back that feels great and gives the phone some much-needed grip. The G4 is the biggest handset here at 5.5-inches, so it’s not one for smaller hands.
Meanwhile the iPhone 6s is the smallest phone in our comparison round-up, at just 4.7-inches. It’s just as easy to use one-handed as the Galaxy S7 (which actually has a special one-handed mode anyway in case you’ve got Drumpf-style tiny digits) and the metal frame feels suitably rugged, although the all-too-familiar Apple design is getting a little repetitive now.
If water resistance is a big thing for you, then the Xperia Z5 and the Galaxy S7 are the only handsets that won’t fizzle and die when dropped in fresh water. They’re fully dust-proof too, so well suited to lovers of the great outdoors.
Samsung Galaxy S7 vs Sony Xperia Z5 vs LG G4 vs Apple iPhone 6s: Screen and media
If you’re after the biggest possible display for comfortable watching of movies on the move, then the G4’s mighty 5.5-inch screen will definitely please. It’s a Quad HD screen too, so images are super-sharp. The Galaxy S7 is the only other phone in this round-up to boast a Quad HD panel, and because it’s smaller, it’s even sharper.
Still, while the iPhone and Xperia screens aren’t as dense, they’re still more than up to the task of HD movies and the rest. You’ll need bionic eyeballs to make out individual pixels on either phone.
As for colours and contrast, the Z5 boasts the crispest whites although its blacks aren’t as deep as on the other handsets. The S7 and iPhone 6s screens are very similar when it comes to white balance and contrast, producing the cleanest, most eye-pleasing images here.
And as usual, Samsung’s Super AMOLED screen tech means the S7’s colours really pop, which won’t be to everyone’s taste but we personally enjoy. Of course, you can also manually adjust the S7’s display mode to tinker with the colour reproduction, just as you can on the Xperia Z5.
The Xperia Z5 is also the brightest display here, with the S7 and 6s snapping at its heels. The G4 is disappointingly dim even at maximum brightness, which means you’ll struggle to see in bright sunlight.
All of these phones except for the iPhone 6s boast microSD expandability, so you can slot in a memory card to boost the storage and carry around a massive media collection. On the iPhone, you’re stuck with whatever storage you can afford.
Samsung Galaxy S7 vs Sony Xperia Z5 vs LG G4 vs Apple iPhone 6s: Security
When it comes to security, the LG G4 is the only handset here without a fingerprint sensor, so you’re stuck with PIN or password entry instead. The scanners work well on the other handsets, with the Xperia Z5’s side-mounted sensor proving the most comfortable to use as your thumb or finger naturally falls to it.
Apple and Samsung offer the best security features here. The Galaxy S7 boasts plenty of bonus security settings, such as an auto-wipe if your password is incorrectly entered 15 times, as well as the Knox software which adds an extra layer of security for your confidential data and allows remote wiping. Apple has a similar setup, remote wipe and all.
All four phones support some form of encryption however, as well as a Find My Phone-style feature in case you lose your handset.
Samsung and Apple both feature their own ‘Tap and pay’ style systems, imaginatively titled Samsung Pay and Apple Pay, while the Z5 and G4 should support Google’s own Android Pay when they receive the Marshmallow update. All three systems allow you to pay for goods and services with your phone, but Apple Pay is the only one to actually be in use in the UK. Thankfully Samsung Pay and Android Pay should roll out across the UK this year.
Samsung Galaxy S7 vs Sony Xperia Z5 vs LG G4 vs Apple iPhone 6s: Performance
Apple’s A9 chipset, stuffed inside the iPhone 6s, is still the best benchmarker out there, very closely followed by Samsung’s Exynos 8890 processor (found in the S7). Both phones perform beautifully, coping with multi-tasking, media editing and gaming without an issue. They can get a little toasty under duress, but not even close to a worrying level.
Sony’s Xperia Z5 uses Snapdragon’s 810 processor, which produces almost continuously fluid performance. We only see the occasional little stutter, although the Z5 can get rather warm when filming video or gaming.
Finally, the LG G4 uses Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 808 processor. Over time we’ve seen a fair bit of slowdown during everyday use, so if you want smooth long-term performance, the G4 isn’t your Huckleberry.
Samsung Galaxy S7 vs Sony Xperia Z5 vs LG G4 vs Apple iPhone 6s: Battery life
The Galaxy S7 boasts much better battery life than last year’s Galaxy S6, easily lasting over a full day even with regular use. In our media tests, we got around nine hours of constant video playback before the S7 died, one of the best results we’ve ever had from a smartphone.
Read next: S7 and S7 Edge quick charge tests
The LG G4 and Xperia Z5 also performed well in our battery tests, again lasting well into a second day and boasting just over seven hours of non-stop media streaming. However, the G4 also has the benefit of a removable battery, which can be replaced with a spare in times of need – something not found on the other phones here.
Finally, the iPhone 6s has the smallest battery here and its dinky 1715mAh cell can just about get your through the day. Media playback comes close to the others, but just falls short.
Samsung Galaxy S7 vs Sony Xperia Z5 vs LG G4 vs Apple iPhone 6s: Cameras
We’ve already published our Android camera supertest, pitting the S7 up against the Z5, G4 and last year’s S6. Check that out to see how the S7’s imaging chops hold up against its closest rivals.
The iPhone 6s is serious competition for the best smartphone camera right now, holding up very well against the Galaxy S7. They’re perfectly matched in terms of specs (both packing 12-megapixel lenses) and both phones produce crisp, well-detailed snaps, even in dodgy lighting. However, the S7’s low light performance is better, capturing more detail and less grain in bars, clubs and other dingy environments.
You’ll also find lots of extra camera modes on the Galaxy S7, although most of them are completely pointless and the few good ones – such as slow motion video – are also found on the iPhone.
Check out our full Samsung Galaxy S7 camera review for more info on this excellent mobile snapper.
You can buy the S7 and S7 Edge right now from O2