Do we have a good one for you today – we are looking at six devices – the Apple iPhone 7 Plus, HTC 10, OnePlus 3, Samsung Galaxy Note 7, Moto Z Force, and the LG V20. The HTC 10 and OnePlus 3 have been out a while now, but the Galaxy Note 7 and Moto Z Force are in their infancy, and the iPhone 7 Plus and LG V20 have just recently been announced. So we have something old to something new and a couple in between – just how well do these devices stack up against one another. Let’s take a quick look at all six and see what we can find out about these flagship smartphones – is there much of a difference or are there striking features that would make you want one over the other.
We would be remiss if we did not mention the Galaxy Note 7's battery problems - several have exploded, and Samsung halted production and did a complete recall and is replacing some 2.5 million devices that were already shipped. With the launching of the new iPhone 7 series, this could not come at a worse time for Samsung. It will be interesting to see just how this story ends - however, we may have to wait a few months to read that ending.
The Apple iPhone 7 Plus looks similar to its predecessor. The antenna bands are moved to the edges for a cleaner look, and a dual camera was added to the Plus model, as was 2GB of RAM. Apple has done away with its physical home button and made it a touch button. HTC has played around the past three years with different cameras, tweaking the outside metal trim, and using an FHD display. The HTC 10 is their return to building a complete smartphone – the outside metal body has a new sculpted look, there is a new QHD display, the best processor around, and the camera area is finally on par with its competitors. The OnePlus 3 has a new metal body, although the same basic OnePlus look. They still insist on using an FHD display, but this time around, both a fingerprint sensor and NFC are present on the same device as well as the best available processor. The Galaxy Note 7 is not much more than a stretched out Galaxy S7 Edge with the addition of an S Pen, but considering how good the S7 Edge is, the Note 7 follows in its footprints. Samsung improved the S Pen and gave the Note 7 an IP68 rating. It is the first smartphone to use Gorilla Glass 5, and they included an Iris Scanner for increased security. The new Moto Z Force comes with a solid, all-metal body, an improved camera area, a QHD AMOLED ShatterShield display. It sports the best processor available and can use Moto Mods to add versatility to the Z Force. The new LG updated the LG V20 in all areas over last year’s LG V10 – even the metal used on the frame and outside. The second display is brighter and easier to see, it retains its removable battery, LG upgraded the sound quality, uses a similar dual camera as found on the LG G5.
The display on the iPhone 7 Plus is a 5.5-inch LED-backlit IPS LCD affair with an FHD resolution of 1920 x 1080 pixels and 401 pixels-per-inch (PPI.) It features Apple’s 3D Touch from last year and Ion-strengthened glass. The HTC 10 comes with a 5.2-inch Super LCD5 QHD display with a resolution of 2560 x 1440 pixels and 565 PPI. The OnePlus 3 sports a 5.5-inch Optic AMOLED FHD display with 401 PPI. The Galaxy Note 7 uses a 5.7-inch Super AMOLED always-on display with a QHD resolution and 518 PPI. The Moto Z Force comes with a 5.5-inch AMOLED QHD display with 535 PPI. The LG V20 sports a 5.7-inch QHD LCD main display with 515 PPI and a secondary display that sits over the top – much like an always-on display.
The iPhone 7 Plus uses Apple’s new A10 Fusion chip clocked at 2.45GHz and 2GB of RAM with either 32GB, 128GB, or 256GB on non-expandable internal memory. All of the other models compared here use the new Qualcomm Snapdragon 820 quad-core processor. The HTC 10 packs 4GB of DDR4 RAM and 32GB or 64GB of expandable internal memory. The OnePlus 3 comes with 6GB of DDR4 RAM and 64GB of the faster UFS 2.0 memory with no means to expand. The Galaxy Note 7 packs 4GB of DDR4 RAM and 64GB of UFS 2.0 internal memory that is expandable via a microSD card. The Moto Z Force follows the crowd by using 4GB of DDR4 RAM and packs in 32GB/64GB of UFS 2.0 internal storage and room for expansion via a microSD card. The new LG V20 packs 4GB of DDR4 RAM and 64GB of expandable UFS 2.0 internal storage.
Smartphone cameras have come a long way since the day of the flip phone – they are now our go-to camera for any occasion, even something as important as a wedding. The smartphone cameras have become so good that the old point-and-shoot cameras are a thing of the past. The new iPhone 7 Plus uses a new dual 12MP sensor - one for wide-angle (f/1.8) and one for telephoto (f/2.8). Then it adds phase detection autofocus (PDAF), Quad-LED True Tone flash, and OIS for its primary camera and a larger 7MP front-facing camera (FFC) with the f/2.2 for selfies and video chatting.
HTC finally came through with a winner on the HTC 10 – the primary camera is a 12MP UltraPixel 2 sensor with laser autofocus, dual-tone LED flash, a large f/1.8 aperture, and OIS. A 5MP FFC with a f/1.8, 23mm, autofocus, HDR, and OIS should allow for some great selfies and video chatting.
The OnePlus 3 uses a 16MP sensor with an aperture of f/2.0, phase detection autofocus (PDAF), a LED flash, and OIS. For the FFC it packs an 8MP sensor and f/2.0 aperture for great selfies and video chatting.
The Galaxy Note 7 uses the same great camera found on the Galaxy S7 Edge – a new Dual-Pixel 12MP with a large f/1.7 aperture, quick phase detection autofocus (PDAF), OIS, auto HDR and LED flash as its main shooter and a 5MP, f/1.7, 22mm wide-angle and auto HDR for its FFC.
Motorola always built a solid device but never took the camera area very seriously. In steps Lenovo and the new Moto Z Force has an excellent camera. Its primary camera packs a 21MP sensor with a f/1.8 aperture and uses both laser and phase detection autofocus (PDAF), OIS, and a dual-tone flash. The FFC uses a 5MP sensor with a f/2.2 aperture and even a LED flash for selfies and video chatting.
The new LG V20 is packing a 16MP sensor with an aperture of f/1.8 and another 8MP sensor with a smaller f/2.4 aperture, but a wide 135-degree wide-angle lens for capturing more of the background. It uses a 5MP FFC with a 120-degree lens for terrific group selfies or video chatting.
The new iPhone 7 Plus feature a non-removable battery, but no size is given yet - Apple claims it will last one hour longer than last years. The HTC 10 comes with a non-removable 3000mAh battery with Quick Charge 3.0 and v3.1 Type-C reversible connector for charging. The OnePlus 3 packs a 3000mAh non-removable battery with OnePlus’s Dash Charge – it will give you up to 60-percent charge in only 30 minutes with its v2.0 Type-C reversible plug. The Galaxy Note 7 uses a non-removable 3500mAh battery with quick charge and even quick charge wireless charging and the new Type-C reversible plug. The Moto Z Force has a 3500mAh non-removable battery with Moto Turbo Charging 2, as well as a Type-C reversible connector. The new LG V20 has a 3200mAh removable battery with Quick Charge 3.0 capabilities.
The new Apple iPhone 7 Plus comes with many refinements - dual lens camera, quad, LED flash, improved 3D Touch, improved stereo sound, IP67 dust and water resistant, and 2GB of RAM with 32GB of memory now being the smallest available. The headphone jack was removed, but Apple supplied an adaptor. It measures 158.2 x 77.9 x 7.3 mm and weighs in at 188 grams. Pricing starts out at $769 for the 32GB model. The NFC can only be used for Apple Pay.
The HTC 10 measures 145.9 x 71.9 x 9.0mm and weighs in at 161 grams. It features a new BoomSound Hi-Fi sound with one ‘woofer’ speaker at the bottom of the device and a ‘midrange/tweeter’ at the top front of the device. It now sports a physical home button that doubles as the fingerprint sensor.
The OnePlus 3 is the only device in the group that packs 6GB of DDR4 RAM – the rest of the Android devices use 4GB and the iPhone 7 Plus packs 2GB. It is limited to its LTE Band usage in the US – working on AT&T and T-Mobile. The OP3 is certainly the bargain of this group. It measures 152.7 x 74.7 x 7.4mm and weighs in at 158 grams.
The Samsung Galaxy Note 7 measures 153.5 x 73.9 x 7.9mm and weighs in at 169 grams. It is the only one of the group that has a dual curved edge display. This year, Samsung added IP68 water certification and gave back the expandable memory. An Iris Scanner was added for more security, and it is the only device that offers Samsung Pay as an option. The Note 7 is also the only device in this group that has an S Pen and all of the features it provides.
The Moto Z Force measures 155.9 x 75.8 x 7mm and weighs in at 163 grams. It comes with ShatterShield glass to protect it from drops and the ability to use Moto Mods to expand its capabilities – larger battery, wireless charging, JBL speakers, Hasselblad camera option, and more.
The LG V20 measures 159.7 x 78.1 x 7.6mm and weighs in at 174 grams. Designed for photo and sound enthusiasts, it features dual displays, dual cameras, and 32-bit Hi-Fi Quad DAC. It is the only member of the group with a removable battery and comes running Android 7.0 Nougat right out of the box.