Do we have a good one for you today – it is always exciting when we compare archrivals, Samsung and Apple, to each another. There are those out there that believe we should not compare 'Apples-to-Androids, but why not? As Android lovers, we certainly need to know how our devices stack up to Apple's. Today we are looking at the new Samsung Galaxy S7 Edge going against the Apple iPhone 6S Plus. There is no denying both devices look the part of a premium device – they are well-built, nice looking and feel great in your hand. The Galaxy S7 Edge is made from sculptured metal and glass, front and back while the iPhone 6S Plus is an all-metal design. Let’s first look and see if these two devices have anything in common before we look at each one more closely.
The two devices have very few similarities, but you would expect that – they both are about the same physical size, with the iPhone 6S Plus coming in just a little bit larger and weighing in at 35 more grams. Their display size is identical at 5.5-inches, although both use different technologies and resolutions. The both have a 12MP, primary camera with phase detection autofocus and OIS. They both use a 5MP front-facing camera (FFC) for selfies and video chatting, although you must use FaceTime on Apple unless both users agree to a third party chatting App. They both have a bottom-mounted speaker and have the usual suspects – WiFi, GPS, and NFC…although the NFC is only for Apple Pay, and both have non-removable batteries.
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 individual device in greater detail 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.
Apple 6S Plus
The iPhone 6S Plus is really the same as the iPhone 6S - only stretched out to accommodate a larger display and Apple added OIS to the main camera. Apple took the iPhone 6, used the same all-metal body and upgraded its internal specifications. It is nothing as wildly new as Tim Cook claimed at its introduction or the many TV commercials would have you believe – and sales of the new iPhone 6S/Plus have reflected that fact.
The iPhone 6S Plus sports a 5.5-inch Full HD IPS LCD display with a resolution of 1920 x 1080 with 401. It uses a 64-bit A9 dual-core ‘Twister’ processor clocked at 1.84GHz and a PowerVR GT7600 GPU for graphics. It allows the iOS operating system to run smooth and fast. The 6S Plus comes with 2GB of RAM, which is enough to handle iOS quite nicely, but would not be up to the multitasking powers of the 4GB of RAM found in the Galaxy S7 Edge. The iPhone 6S Plus offers a choice of 16GB, 64GB or 128GB of storage with no expansion available.
The iPhone has always had a great camera – at one time, it was one of the best ‘point and shoot’ cameras on a smartphone and on the iPhone 6S Plus, Apple finally increased the size of the sensor from 8MP to 12MP along with some new software options. It comes with the usual autofocus, a dual-tone LED flash and for the first time, they added OIS only to the Plus model. What is so strange is that after increasing the megapixels and adding OIS, the iPhone 6S Plus scored only 2 points higher in DxOMark’s tests than the iPhone 6. Apple also increased the FFC to a larger 5MP for social media selfies or video chatting – ONLY through Apple’s FaceTime unless both users download a third-party app. The iPhone has always struggled with battery life and the 2750mAh non-removable battery in the 6S Plus won’t do much to help its cause, and Apple still does not offer a rapid charge capability.
Does the iPhone 6S Plus have anything over the S7 Edge? It has Apple’s proprietary Apple Pay and its proprietary FaceTime video chat feature – if you can call those good features. The iPhone is easy to use – it is smooth and efficient – but compared to an Android device, it can be rather boring. You are stuck with what Apple says is your one selection, whereas Android gives you choices – Samsung Galaxy S7/S7 Edge, LG G5, the new HTC 10 and others. With Android, you can customize the way your display looks and add more features. Apple is proud of its new 3D Touch display, where the display can ‘sense’ up to three pressure levels – press once to open up an app and then press again within the app to go somewhere else. The pricing for the iPhone 6S Plus is $850 for the 64GB model.
Samsung Galaxy S7 Edge
The new Samsung Galaxy S7 Edge is more evolutionary in nature after last year’s complete overhaul. It retains the same metal and glass design, but there are subtle differences on the outside, although the insides prove to be a different story. The Galaxy S7 Edge is a beautiful device with a solid build quality and premium look- especially with those dual curved edges on the display. Samsung also increased the size from 5.1-inches to 5.5-inches, which eliminates the need for a Galaxy S7 Edge Plus.
The Galaxy S7 Edge has a beautiful 5.5-inch Super AMOLED display with a QHD resolution and 534 PPI. The S7 Edge also sports the dual-curved display that can function on its own to access quickly your ten favorite contacts and more. In the US, the Galaxy S7 Edge uses the 64-bit Snapdragon 820 quad-core with dual cores clocked at 1.6GHz and dual cores clocked at 2.15GHz. Other countries will get the Exynos 8890 octa-core processor. The S7 Galaxy Edge packs 4GB of DDR4 RAM and offers either 32GB or 64GB of faster UFS 2.0 storage and room for expansion up to 200 GB via a microSD card.
The main camera area of the Galaxy S7 Edge was changed quite a bit this year. Samsung did away with their conventional 16MP from the S6/Note 5 models and moved on to a new Dual Pixel 12MP with a larger sensor. This allows it to take in more light and information than the smaller 16MP sensor. They also increased the aperture from f/1.9 to f/1.7, made autofocus much faster, auto HDR, and retained OIS. The S7 Edge uses a 5MP wide-angle lens, f/1.7 aperture and Live HDR for its FCC. The S7 Edge includes a large 3600mAh non-removable battery with quick charge and quick wireless charging as well.
The S7 Edge adds IP68 water and dust protection – great for those beach goers or users that work in dusty environments. The S7 Edge offers a Super AMOLED QHD curved display with an always-on feature and a better camera area. It offers expandable internal memory, and a larger battery with rapid charge and quick wireless charging, includes a heart rate monitor, oxygen saturation sensor, Android and Samsung Pay. The S7 Edge measure 150.9 x 72.6 x 7.7 mm, weighs in at 157 grams and available in Black, White, Gold and Silver at approximately $770 for the 32GB model.
...And The Winner Is...
I know we are an Android website, but even an Apple lover will have to admit that the Galaxy S7 Edge is the winner in this matchup. It has the looks with that dual curved display that just make it so darn sexy. It has a better ‘always-on’ display – with Super AMOLED and QHD resolution – both processors may be equal, but the Galaxy S7 Edge has double the RAM at 4GB and expandable storage. The Galaxy S7 Edge has a better-rated camera than the iPhone 6S Plus. While the iPhone 6s Plus has a fingerprint sensor for unlocking the device and making Apple Pay mobile purchases, the fingerprint sensor on the S7 Edge does not require the merchant to buy a reader specifically for the device. With the S7 Edge you can unlock the phone, make Android Pay mobile purchases and Samsung Pay mobile purchases at just about anywhere there is an old fashioned card swipe machine. The Galaxy S7 Edge sports a heart rate monitor, oxygen saturation sensor, IP68 dust and water resistance, a much larger rapid charging battery and built-in quick wireless charging.
The iPhone 6S Plus runs fast and smooth on iOS, but then very little is asked of it – hence the 2GB of RAM. Their new Force Touch is a nice feature, but hardly enough to pick the iPhone as the winner. If you are locked into the whole Apple ecosystem – iTunes, FaceTime and Apple Pay – then you would certainly want the iPhone 6S Plus. It is easy to operate and it does what Apple allows it to do. However, I like the selection of smartphones that Android offers and the freedom to customize home screens with working widgets, such as a big clock and alarms and the weather. The price is so close that it comes down to the features and flexibility you need in your smartphone. For me, my money is on the Samsung Galaxy S7 Edge.