Do we have a good one for you today – the Samsung Galaxy S7 goes up against the new Huawei P9 Plus. The metal and glass of the Galaxy S7 go head-to-head with the all-metal P9 Plus – very reminiscent of the iPhone design. Both devices are beautiful to look at, feel solidly built and premium looking in any direction. Does the new Huawei P9 Plus have what it takes to compete with the more established and tested Samsung flagship devices? We will first see what these two devices have in common before we take a closer look at each.
The Galaxy S7 and the Huawei P9 Plus do have a few things in common – they both use a Super AMOLED display, but are different sizes (5.1-inches for the S7 vs 5.5-inches on the P9 Plus) and different resolutions. They both have 4GB of RAM with the Galaxy S7 coming with 32GB of storage and 64GB in the P9 Plus, but they both allow for memory expansion via a microSD card. The Galaxy S7 has an award winning Dual Pixel 12MP camera and the P9 Plus uses a dual 12MP shooter with Leica optics, which should guarantee some great photos. They both have a fingerprint sensor in different locations – the front on the Galaxy S7 and on the back of the Huawei P9 Plus. They both sport a non-removable battery and they both have rapid charge capabilities. 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 P9 Plus, 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
After last year's Galaxy S6 redo, the external look of the Galaxy S7 looks very similar as Samsung kept most of the changes or upgrades to the inside the device. This 'same-look' does take away some of the excitement of the new Galaxy S7's arrival, but Samsung did enough to make it a worthy contender. In this comparison, we are looking at the specifications and the innovations of these two devices, so let's first take a closer look at the new Galaxy S7.
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 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 and offers 32GB of faster UFS 2.0 memory and allows room for expansion up to 200GB via a microSD card.
Last year's favorite 16MP shooter on the S6 models is gone and rather than increasing the pixels, Samsung 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. They increase the aperture to f/1.7, they included faster phase detection autofocus, auto HDR and retained the OIS. Many were worried Samsung messed up a good 'thing' – however, the new S7 has already been cited by DxOMark as the best mobile camera currently available. The Galaxy S7 uses a 5MP wide-angle lens with a larger 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 Huawei P9 Plus? 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 at this time – even BOGO.
Huawei P9 Plus
The new Huawei P9 Plus is their next generation 'P' series device and the first one developed under Huawei's partnership with lens and camera maker, Leica. The P9 series looks much like the popular Nexus 6P and Huawei P8, with maybe a little iPhone thrown in for good measure. The aluminum-clad body is as beautiful to look at, as it is to hold. The real 'focus' (pun intended) on the P9 series – the Plus version uses the same camera – is definitely the camera area. The Galaxy S7/S7 Edge and even the LG G5 are very camera oriented, although the G5 modules are getting more attention.
The Huawei P9 Plus comes with a larger 5.5-inch Super AMOLED FHD display with a resolution of 1920 x 1080 pixels and 401 PPI. Huawei uses a 3D Touch display, much like the iPhone, where different pressures on display cause the phone to react differently. The P9 Plus uses a HiSilicon Kirin 955 octa-core processor with one quad-core clocked at 1.8GHz and another quad-core clocked at 2.5GHz and the Mali-T880 MP4 GPU for graphics. It packs 4GB of DDR4 RAM and 64GB of internal memory that is expandable by 128GB via a microSD card.
If you go to Huawei's website, it is abundantly clear that the emphasis on the P9 and P9 Plus is the camera and its Leica optics. They use dual 12MP (Sony IMX286) sensors – one is an RGB camera and the other is a monochrome camera, which Huawei claims can capture more detail than the RGB lens. Together, they should produce some excellent photos along with an aperture of f/2.2, dual LED flash and laser autofocus although there is no OIS. There is an 8MP with autofocus and f/2.4 FFC for selfies and video chatting. Power is supplied by a 3400mAh non-removable battery with fast charge capabilities.
What does the Huawei P9 Plus offer that the Samsung Galaxy S7 does not? It has a built-in IR Blaster, stereo speakers, it uses the newer reversible USB Type-C plug, a slightly larger battery and has dual-IC Rapid Charge that claims six hours of talk time on a 10-minute charge. It measures 152.3 x 75.3 x 7 mm and weighs in at 162 grams and comes in The P9 Plus is available in Ceramic White, Rose Gold, Haze Gold and Quartz Grey with a price of about $850, based on its European price. The P9 Plus will be released in Europe and Asia…no definite plans were mentioned for a US version, but word has it that Huawei will bring the P9 series to the US at a later date. It would be a great way to build on the popularity of the Huawei Nexus 6P. It is running Android 6.0 Marshmallow with Huawei's Emotion UI 4.1.
…And The Winner Is…
This was really a no-brainer unless you hate Samsung and covet Chinese phones – the winner of this comparison is the Galaxy S7. It does have a slightly smaller display, but it is also a QHD resolution versus the FHD technology used on the P9 Plus. The Galaxy S7 uses a slightly better processor, the same amount of RAM and memory, as well as room for 200GB (versus 128GB) of additional memory. The memory used in the Galaxy S7 is the newer and faster UFS 2.0 variety. We will have to wait and see how the camera is on the Huawei P9 Plus, but so far, the Galaxy S7 is the camera to beat according to DxOMark. The battery is smaller in the Galaxy S7 – 3000mAh versus 3400mAh – but it also has rapid charge and quick wireless charging. It also sports IP68 water resistance, Samsung Pay, a heart monitor and an oxygen saturation sensor – and it does it all for a lesser cost.
The Huawei P9 Plus looks to be an excellent high-end smartphone with a real emphasis on the camera and build quality. However, when compared against one another, I do not see anything the P9 Plus has that would warrant a price tag higher than the Galaxy S7, which clearly has more features.