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Samsung Galaxy S8 Plus vs iPhone 7 Plus: Is the S8 an iPhone beater?

Samsung Galaxy S8 Plus vs iPhone 7 Plus: We compare Samsung’s Galaxy S8 Plus handset against the excellent iPhone 7 Plus, to see which of these mighty mobiles is worthy of your money in 2017.

Apple’s iPhone 7 Plus is one of the best smartphones you can buy right now, elevated above the hordes with its blistering performance, water-resistant design, intelligent camera tech and of course iOS 10.

However, Samsung may have just urinated all over Apple’s parade with the mighty Galaxy S8 Plus. Flagship cameras, premium performance, gorgeous design – The S8 Plus is at least a match for the iPhone in pretty much every area, or so it seems.

So which oversized flagship phone is best for you: the Galaxy S8 Plus or the iPhone 7 Plus? Here’s our full comparison review, sticking these two big blowers side-by-side.

Check out our Samsung Galaxy S8 and S8 Plus hub for everything you need to know about Samsung’s 2017 flagships.

Samsung Galaxy S8 Plus vs iPhone 7 Plus: Specs

Phone Apple iPhone 7 Plus Samsung Galaxy S8+
Screen size & type 5.5-inch AMOLED 6.2-inch Super AMOLED
Screen resolution 1920×1080 2960×1440
Water resistant? Yes Yes
Fingerprint sensor? Yes Yes
Processor Apple A10 Fusion Exynos
Memory 3GB 4GB
Storage 32/128/256GB 64GB
MicroSD? No Yes
Battery 2900mAh 3500mAh
Rear camera 12MP (Dual lens) f/1.8 12MP f/1.7
Front camera 8MP f/2.4 8MP f/1.7

Samsung Galaxy S8 Plus vs iPhone 7 Plus: Design

While the standard model of iPhone 7 Plus looks remarkably similar to the previous iPhone 6s Plus, Apple actually tweaked the design in a couple of key areas. For a start you get full water resistance now, so the 7 Plus can survive a tumble into the toilet. And you now get a choice of the standard matt metal finish or a new glossy surfacing, which is sadly a little prone to scratching.

Samsung’s Galaxy S8 Plus is also water resistant, and while it sports a bigger screen those dimensions are almost the same, thanks to Samsung’s sexy design work. That mighty 6.2-inch display curves enticingly around the edges of the handset, with no bezels to speak of, making the S8 Plus surprisingly comfortable to clutch.

Read next: iPhone 7 Plus tips, tricks and best hidden features

Samsung Galaxy S8 Plus vs iPhone 7 Plus: Screen and media

If you want a device for watching movies on the move, either the Samsung or Apple handset will do the job.

The Galaxy S8 Plus packs an absolutely flipping enormous 6.2-inch Super AMOLED display – expect rich, vibrant colour reproduction and a stretched 18.5:9 aspect ratio that’s built for media, just like the LG G6’s. That Quad HD+ resolution will keep images crisp and detailed too, despite the crazy size, and there’s support for Mobile HDR video with improved colour ranges and contrast levels. Those YouTube cat vids will never have looked better.

The iPhone 7 Plus isn’t quite as ‘Plus’ as Samsung’s model, with a more modest 5.5-inch screen. However, although the resolution isn’t as strong, with Full HD visuals instead of Quad HD, Apple’s smartphone still produces pleasingly sharp images. You get more realistic colours compared with the rich hues of the S8’s panel, and neither is necessarily better than the other. It all comes down to personal preference.

However, when it comes to storage space for your media collection, the S8 Plus is our pick of these two mobiles. While the iPhone 7 Plus comes with up to 256GB of storage, there’s no option to expand via microSD. So while the Galaxy S8 Plus comes with 64GB as standard, you can greatly increase the space on offer by slipping a memory card inside.

 

Samsung Galaxy S8 Plus vs iPhone 7 Plus: Features

If you’re interested in virtual reality fun times, the Galaxy S8 Plus supports Samsung’s own Gear VR platform which offers a wealth of great VR games and experiences out of the box – and that QHD+ screen makes for pleasingly clear images. By comparison, the iPhone 7 Plus has a lower-res Full HD display and no dedicated VR support from Apple.

Of course, one of the major differences between these two handsets is the operating system which runs on them. The iPhone 7 Plus runs iOS 10, while the S8 Plus runs Android Nougat topped with Samsung’s TouchWiz interface. Both have their own advantages and disadvantages, but they’re getting more and more alike with each new edition.

For instance, they both now offer side-by-side multi-tasking and the ability to get real-time information such as the latest headlines on your desktops. You also get a smart assistant in each case, although Samsung’s Bixby could be a leap over Apple’s Siri with its context-sensitive smarts.

For more info, check out our iOS guide and Android guide.

With the S8 Plus you get more flexible security methods too. There’s a fingerprint sensor tucked away on the back of the phone, while up top you’ll find an iris scanner that can match your eyeballs. The iPhone in comparison relies on that TouchID sensor, which is still pleasingly accurate and responsive – as long as your fingers aren’t wet or dirty.

Samsung Galaxy S8 Plus vs iPhone 7 Plus: Performance and battery

Packed inside the Galaxy S8 Plus is the latest premium Exynos processor, giving you blistering fast everyday performance. However, the iPhone 7 Plus is also incredibly fast thanks to Apple’s own A10 Fusion processor. Either will smash through the latest games with ease, and show no signs of ageing for the foreseeable future.

The S8 Plus boasts a much bigger battery than Apple’s blower, but you can expect roughly a day of moderate to heavy use per charge. Only Samsung’s flagship supports wireless charging out of the box, however.

Samsung Galaxy S8 Plus vs iPhone 7 Plus: Cameras

The iPhone 7 Plus boasts Apple’s first dual-lens camera, with a standard 12-megapixel lens and a bonus optical zoom lens that allows you to get closer to your subject, to capture more detail. The dual-lens setup also allows you to capture some gorgeous bokeh. This basically adds a blurred background effect to your photos, which helps your subject to stand out.

Apple’s f/1.8 aperture lens means you can suck in plenty of light, for improved low-light performance compared with older iPhones. You also get Optical Image Stabilisation to cut down on blur from hand judders and PDAF for a fast focus action. And you can shoot up to 4K resolution video, complete with time lapse and slow-mo video support.

Samsung’s Galaxy S8 Plus offers just a single 12-megapixel lens in comparison, with f/1.7 aperture, and we’re expecting improved low light performance. OIS is again on board but the S8 Plus uses Dual Pixel focusing, which is impressively fast and accurate on last year’s S7 handset. You can again shoot 4K videos and indulge in some live streaming over YouTube, Facebook and even Samsung’s VR platforms.

Take a look at our iPhone 7 Plus camera review and iPhone 7 Plus camera tips and tricks guide for more info.

Samsung Galaxy S8 Plus vs iPhone 7 Plus: UK pricing

Fancy one of these phones as your own? Time to sell a kidney or two, then.

The Galaxy S8 Plus is going to hit the UK in April 2017 for the princely sum of £899, while the iPhone 7 Plus can already be bagged for the slightly-more-modest £719 (for the 32GB model). Either way, you’re getting some seriously premium smartphone tech for your cash.

Check out our iPhone 7 and 7 Plus hub for everything you need to know about Apple’s latest iPhones and our Galaxy S8 and S8 Plus hub for more on Samsung’s 2017 flagships. Stay tuned for our full Samsung Galaxy S8 and S8 Plus reviews!

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