Do we have a good one for you today – the Apple iPhone 6S goes up against the Samsung Galaxy S7. We have the all-metal iPhone 6S versus the sculptured metal and glass Galaxy S7 to battle it out in our specification comparison. Does the iPhone 6S, its components, and its iOS have what it takes to win out over its archrival, the Galaxy S7? It is always extra fun to compare an Apple and an Android device – while they both accomplish receiving phone calls, texts, emails and taking pictures they do it with a different philosophy. Let's look for some common ground among these two devices and then we will look at each device on their own.
The iPhone 6S and the Samsung Galaxy S7 have very little in common – the both are similar in physical size with the iPhone 6S being just slightly smaller and 9 grams lighter. Their processors, RAM, storage, batteries and even NFC are all different, although they both sport a 12MP main camera and 5MP front-facing camera (FFC). They do share WiFi, Bluetooth v4.2, GPS and a fingerprint sensor. Apple travels a different road than Android when it comes to ideology, and it shows in their hardware and devices.
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.
Apple iPhone 6S
According to Apple and Tim Cook, the iPhone 6S is "totally new," but in reality, it is a refresh of the iPhone 6, which is not necessarily a bad thing if you are a lover of all things Apple. It does have an improved aluminum body, a new camera, new video options and 3D Touch Display. There is no arguing it is a beautifully designed smartphone with a solid build – but we could say the same of the Galaxy S7.
The iPhone 6S has a 4.7-inch IPS LCD FHD display with a resolution of 1334 x 750 pixels and 326 pixels-per-inch (PPI). The iPhone 6S uses a 64-bit A9 dual-core processor clocked at 1.84GHz, and it is smooth and fast when operating iOS and its great GPU as the PowerVR GT7600 GPU offers up fantastic graphics. The 6S comes with 2GB of DDR4 RAM and a choice of 16GB, 64GB or 128GB of storage and no expansion is available.
Apple has always included a great camera and it continues to be one of iPhone's high points. For the iPhone 6S, Apple increased the size of the sensor from 8MP to 12MP along with other tweaks here and there. It has the phase detection autofocus and a dual-tone LED flash. It has always been one the best point-and-shoot cameras on a smartphone. However, the Android phones have not only caught up to the iPhone cameras but have surpassed them in many cases. The FFC on the iPhone is now a larger 5MP for social media selfies or video chatting – but ONLY through Apple's FaceTime unless both users download a third-party app. The iPhone has never been known for great battery life and the 1715mAh non-removable battery in the 6S does not do much to help its cause, nor does Apple give it a rapid charge feature.
What does the iPhone 6S have the Galaxy S7 does not? Its iOS is easy to use, runs smoothly and efficiently, but is rather boring and restrictive when compared to the Android OS with its customization capabilities and multitasking features. If you never used anything but iOS, you will love it, but if you give the Android OS a whirl, there will be a definite difference – we think for the better. The iPhone has Apple's proprietary Apple Pay and its proprietary FaceTime video chat feature – if you can call those a good thing. New this year – Apple improved the photo and video options and added what Apple calls 3D Touch display. This is where the display can 'sense' up to three pressures – press once to open up an app and then press harder within the app to go somewhere else – this is much like Android's long-press, only somewhat more advanced. The pricing has always been a sore spot with the iPhone, commanding an off contract price of $650 for just the 16GB all the way up to $850 for the 128GB model.
Samsung Galaxy S7
After Samsung's major redesign of the Galaxy S6 last year, the Galaxy S7 is a mere refinement of the design. The outside is still the same metal and glass construction and, except for a few changes, rather hard to distinguish from the Galaxy S6. The top of the device now has a slight downward curve added to make it more comfortable to hold up to your ear, and the side metal was curved slightly to make it easier to pick up off a flat surface. It is still a beautiful smartphone with a solid build and a premium look and feel, but most of the improvements or changes occurred on the inside of the device.
The Galaxy S7 sports the same 5.1-inch QHD Super AMOLED display found on the Galaxy S6, except for Samsung's usual tweaks here and there, with 577 PPI and employs the 'always-on' display technology. The Galaxy S7 model uses two processors – the international version uses the new Exynos 8890 octa-core processor and in the US, the new Qualcomm Snapdragon 820 quad-core processor with dual cores clocked at 1.6GHz and dual cores clocked at 2.15GHz. It uses the powerful Adreno 530 GPU for graphics. The Galaxy S7 uses 4GB of DDR4 RAM and offers 32GB or 64GB of faster internal UFS 2.0 memory but added back the ability to expand this to 200GB with a microSD card.
Samsung changed the camera area this year and is using a new Dual Pixel 12MP with a larger sensor, allowing it to take in more light and information than the old 16MP sensor found on the Galaxy S6. They also increased the aperture to f/1.7, increased the speed of the phase detection autofocus and kept the live HDR and OIS. DxOMark has already selected it as the best mobile camera available. The Galaxy S7 uses a 5MP FFC with Live HDR, an even larger f/1.7 aperture and 22mm wide-angle lens for selfies and video chatting. The Galaxy S7 battery, though still non-removable, jumped in size from 2550mAh to 3000mAh, comes with rapid charge and quick wireless charging.
The Galaxy S7 does offer IP68 water/dust proofing, expandable memory and "always-on" display. It offers Android Pay, Samsung Pay, retains the heart rate and oxygen saturation sensors and built-in wireless quick charging. The Samsung battery will charge for up to four hours of usage in only 10 minutes. The Galaxy S7 measures 142.4 x 69.6 x 7.9 mm, weighs in at 152 grams and will be offered in Black Onyx and Gold Platinum and cost about $670 off-contract.
…And The Winner Is…
This is another easy pick – the Samsung Galaxy S7 is the winner of this comparison. I do not want to hear from the Apple crowd about how I chose the Galaxy S7 over the Apple iPhone 6S just because this is an Android website. If just once you can be honest with yourself, let's look at the facts – the Galaxy S7 has just as nice build quality, it has a much better display (QHD vs FHD and Super AMOLED vs LCD), more advanced processor, double the RAM, expandable memory, better camera, IP68 certification, heart rate monitor, oxygen saturation sensor, quick charge, quick wireless charging, Samsung Pay and Android Pay. That is a very hefty list of extras that the Galaxy S7 has over the iPhone 6S, and when you factor in the price, it becomes an easy choice.
If you are already deep in the Apple ecosystem, then the iPhone 6S might be the device for you, but the Android OS offers true multitasking, widgets operating on the main displays and the inclusion of many third party apps. With iOS, you will be guaranteed an update when available, but most people like the ability to customize their displays, pick their music player, their favorite keyboard, etc. When the Galaxy S7 offers this flexibility and so much more for the same price, it must be the winner.