The Samsung Galaxy S7 looks very similar to last year’s Galaxy S6. However, there were subtle improvements made outside and major ones inside. Does the Galaxy S7, which just came out in February, but already seems ‘old,’ still have what it takes to compete with the new HTC 10? The elegantly sculptured metal frame and edges with its Gorilla Glass front and back still look so premium, yet there is no denying the chiseled metal body of the new HTC 10 is a work of art. Smartphones have gone from a flip-phone mess to a work of art in just a few years. We will first see what these two devices share in common before we take a closer look at each.
The Galaxy S7 and HTC 10 share many things on which they have common ground. They are very similar in physical size and only 9 grams apart in weight. While they use a different display technology, their sizes – 5.1-inch for the S7 and 5.2-inch for the HTC 10 are close – and they both use a QHD resolution of 2560 x 1440 pixels. They are running the identical Qualcomm Snapdragon 820 processor and an Adreno 530 GPU, they both use 4GB of DDR4 RAM, 32GB of internal storage, and they both have room to expand that memory. Both devices use 12MP for their primary cameras with larger pixels and both use 5MP for their front-facing cameras (FFC). They both sport a 3000mAh non-removable battery and they both have rapid charge capabilities. They both have a fingerprint sensor in identical locations on the bottom front. They both have the usual suspects – WiFi, Bluetooth v4.2, GPS, NFC and a microUSB port (v2.0 on the S7 and Type-C reversible on the HTC 10, for charging and data transfer.
Please take a deliberate look at the detailed Specifications Comparison chart below and here you will see just how these two great devices stack up against one another – click on the “View Full Comparison” link at the end of the chart to expand the details. After that, we will look at each device in greater depth and point out some of its pros and cons. From all of this information, we will try to determine the winner based on specs and execution of design and functions.
Samsung Galaxy S7
The Samsung Galaxy S7 was no big surprise this year – the same metal and glass look, the same size, and with the newest of processors. This is a good thing since the complete redo of the Galaxy S6 received considerable praise. Samsung also did something smart this year – one Galaxy S7 and one Galaxy S7 Edge with a slightly larger display. This causes less confusion and less chance of cannibalism between models. Now that the Galaxy S7 has been outed since February, it has to go up against the LG G5 and the newest device, the HTC 10. Let’s see if it still has the ‘right stuff.’
The Galaxy S7 has a beautiful 5.1-inch Super AMOLED ‘always-on’ display with a QHD resolution and 577 pixels-per-inch (PPI.) The Galaxy S7 uses either the newest 64-bit Snapdragon 820 quad-core processor with dual cores clocked at 1.6GHz and dual cores clocked at 2.15GHz if you live in the US or in another country you will get an Exynos 8890 octa-core processor with four cores clocked at 1.6GHz and four cores clocked at 2.3GHz. The Galaxy S7 packs 4GB of DDR4 RAM, offers 32GB of faster UFS 2.0 memory, and allows room for expansion up to 200GB via a microSD card.
Samsung did away with their award winning 16MP camera and replaced it with a new Dual Pixel 12MP that has a larger sensor than the old 16MP used, allowing it to take in more light and information. The aperture increased to f/1.7, they included a faster phase detection autofocus, auto HDR and retained the OIS. Worried customers questioned Samsung’s decision – however, the new Galaxy S7 tied with the HTC 10 in DxOMark’s testing as the best mobile camera currently available. The Galaxy S7 uses a 5MP wide-angle lens with a large f/1.7 aperture and Live HDR for its front-facing camera (FFC) allowing for excellent low-light selfies and video chatting. The S7 includes a larger 3000mAh non-removable battery than its predecessor and comes with quick charge and quick wireless charging as well.
What other features distinguishes the Galaxy S7 from the HTC 10? The S7 offers IP68 water and dust resistance. While you can use Android Pay, you can also use Samsung Pay to make mobile purchases just about anywhere you can swipe a credit or debit card. The S7 also has a heart rate monitor, oxygen saturation sensor and quick wireless charging. The S7 measure 142.4 x 69.9 x 7.9 mm, weighs in at 152 grams and is available in Black, White, Gold and Silver, costing about $670, although the carriers are offering many specials.
HTC has a loyal following and a reputation for building a quality device, although not always leading edge. Well, the HTC loyalists finally have a reason to be excited with the new HTC 10. It seems to have it all – a beautifully carved aluminum body on the outside that replaces a tired, old design used the past three years – the best technology out there when it comes to processor, GPU and memory – and finally a great camera. In addition, while it is not the original BoomSound, it still looks like it may rule that roost once again.
The HTC 10 sports a 5.2-inch Super LCD5 display – and they finally used QHD with a resolution of 2560 x 1440 pixels and 565 PPI. HTC picked the best processor on the market – the 64-bit Snapdragon 820 quad-core processor with a dual-core clocked at 1.6GHz and a dual-core clocked at 2.15GHz. This excellent processor is paired with the Adreno 530 GPU to handle the most complex game graphics you can throw at it. The HTC 10 packs a full 4GB of DDR4 RAM and 32GB of internal memory that is expandable to 2TB via a microSD card.
HTC could never settle on a good camera strategy for their flagship…never getting it quite right, until now. With the HTC 10, they use a 12MP that uses UltraPixels 2 to capture more light and image. HTC added laser autofocus, a dual-tone LED flash, an aperture of f/1.8 and OIS. This combo added up to a DxOMark score of 88, equaling the Samsung Galaxy S7/S7 Edge as the tops in mobile photography. They added a 5MP FFC with a f/1.8 aperture, wide-angle lens, screen flash and even OIS to ensure great selfies even in low light and a great video chat. The HTC packs a 3000mAh non-removable battery with Quick Charge 3.0.
The HTC 10 comes with BoomSound Hi-Fi sound and uses two separate speakers – a woofer placed on the bottom of the device and the high-end sounds originate from the earpiece. It also has Dolby Hi-Res music for your earphone enjoyment. The HTC 10 measures 145.9 x 71.9 x 9mm and weighs in at 161 grams. It comes in Carbon Grey, Topaz Gold, Glacier Silver and will cost you about $699 for 32GB of memory.
…And The Winner Is…
This is a very tough decision because both the Galaxy S7 and HTC 10 have so much in common – even in pricing. This situation called for picking the extras that these two devices have to offer and basing my decision on those, and that is why I am picking the Galaxy S7 as the winner of this comparison.
The HTC 10 is a formidable contender, and if you are sold on an all-metal device, you must go with the HTC 10. However, other than its exterior, the HTC 10 offers better sound and…that is it. What else does it have over the Samsung Galaxy S7? We cannot include the cameras in this discussion because they are both excellent. You might say that the Type-C reversible port is better, but what advantage is that over which device is better. I have said that HTC did everything right with the HTC 10, but nothing outstanding or different from any of the other flagship smartphones – and you do not get extra points for finally getting it right.
The Galaxy S7 has several features that the HTC 10 does not offer – some are noteworthy and others are subjective…but they are there. Let’s start with the superior Super AMOLED ‘always-on’ display, then move to the IP68 dust and water resistance, then there is the quick wireless charging. The Galaxy S7 includes a heart rate monitor and oxygen saturation sensor. It also offers Samsung Pay, which allows the user to make a mobile purchase almost anywhere the retailer uses a card swipe device.
Both are excellent smartphones and you would be happy with either one – it all comes down to glass or metal and which device has more in the features department…to me, that makes the Galaxy S7 the winner of this comparison.