Do we have a good one for you today – the original Samsung Galaxy S7 goes up against its big brother, the Samsung Galaxy Note 7. Some may say that this is not a fair comparison, but I say poppycock – if you take away the S Pen and shrink down the phablet-sized display (both of which many do not like), you have a Galaxy S7. True, the Galaxy S7 does not have the dual curved display, but even that feature isn’t the ‘wow’ factor it once was. Both devices are built rock-solid, beautiful to look at and a joy to hold. These two devices do have many things in common that we will take a look at now, and then later we will look at each device to try to determine a winner of this specification comparison.
The Galaxy S7 and the Galaxy Note 7 have many things in common because Samsung decided not to upgrade the Note 7 over its S7 siblings. As different as the screen size is, physically, the Note 7 is only slightly larger than the S7 and only weighs 17 grams more. Both devices are IP68 certified, and both can accept Samsung Pay. Their displays are both Super AMOLED, with a QHD resolution, and both use the ‘always on’ technology to save battery life. The US versions use the same Snapdragon 820 quad-core processor and an Adreno 530 GPU. The international versions use the same Exynos 8890 octa-core processor and Mali-T880 MP12 GPU. The S7 and Note 7 both use 4GB of DDR4 RAM, and both have a 64GB variant and both now have expandable memory. They both use the same 12MP primary cameras and a 5MP front-facing camera (FFC) to take excellent photos and selfies. Both have Hi-Res audio for listen through earphones, as well as non-removable batteries – 3000mAh in the S7 and 3500mAh in the Note 7 – that offer quick charge and wireless charging. Both have a fingerprint sensor that can unlock the device or authorize mobile payments. They have the usual suspects – WiFi, Bluetooth v4.2, GPS, NFC, and a USB port – microUSB v2.0 on the S7 and Type-C reversible on the Note 7 – for charging and data transfer.
Please take a careful 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 S series sets the standards for other flagships – the Galaxy S7 and Galaxy S7 Edge outsold all other Android smartphones. The Galaxy S7 is just a refinement of last year’s complete makeover – it has the same metal and glass construction (refined just a little), with all the latest and greatest components inside. The only real shocker was the camera area that went from a standard 16MP shooter to a Dual Pixel 12MP shooter – we expected to see a 21MP or 23MP camera.
The Galaxy S7 sports 5.1-inch Super AMOLED display with a QHD resolution of 2560 x 1440 pixels with whopping 577 pixels-per-inch (PPI.) Samsung improved the display by adding an ‘always-on’ display, which should help save battery life. Samsung went with two variants of the Galaxy S7 – the US model gets the newest 64-bit Snapdragon 820 quad-core processor with dual cores clocked at 1.6GHz and dual cores clocked at 2.15GHz. For other countries, Samsung will use their 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 has 32GB of the faster UFS 2.0 memory, as well as possible expansion up to 200GB via a microSD card.
Samsung has slowly increased the megapixels in its camera area every year – however, the complete opposite occurred – Samsung is using a new Dual Pixel 12MP camera that has a larger sensor than the old 16MP. Samsung also increased the aperture to f/1.7, included a faster phase detection autofocus (PDAF), auto HDR and they retained the OIS. The Galaxy S7’s FFC comes with a 5MP sensor, a wide-angle lens, the same f/1.7 aperture as the primary camera, and Live HDR, which allows excellent low-light selfies and video chatting. The non-removable battery was increased to 3000mAh and features Quick Charge 2.0 and Quick Wireless Charging for both Qi and PMA standards.
The Galaxy S7 has both Android Pay as well as Samsung Pay to make mobile purchases just about anywhere you can swipe a credit or debit card. The Galaxy S7 measures 142.4 x 69.9 x 7.9 mm, weighs in at 152 grams and is available in Black, White, Gold, and Silver and costs about $670 – although, special promos are being run all of the time.
Samsung Galaxy Note 7
The new Samsung Galaxy Note 7 is essentially a stretched Galaxy S7 Edge with an S Pen. The Note 7 finally gets its curved display, but not quite as pronounced as the S7 Edge and not even close to the Galaxy Note Edge. While using the same metal and glass design, the new display gives the device a softer and more elegant look. The Note’s competitors keep trying to steal Samsung’s customers away but have had little success – it all comes down to the S Pen and the accompanying software.
The Galaxy Note 7 sports a 5.7-inch Super AMOLED QHD display with the addition the dual curved edge. This gives the Galaxy Note 7 the resolution of 2560 x 1440 pixels and 518 PPI. The Galaxy Note 7’s sold in the US/Canada will pack a Snapdragon 820 quad-core processor with four cores clocked at 1.6GHz and the other four cores clocked at 2.3GHz. Elsewhere it will sport an Exynos octa-core with a quad-core clocked at 1.6GHz and a quad-core clocked at 2.3GHz. The Note 7 uses 4GB of DDR4 RAM and a base 64GB of the faster UFS 2.0 internal memory and includes the return of expansion via a microSD card.
The primary camera on the Galaxy Note 7 is the same, as you will find in the Galaxy S7 series – a new Dual Pixel 12MP sensor with an increase in the aperture to f/1.7, including faster phase detection autofocus (PDAF), auto HDR, and retains OIS. The Galaxy Note 7 uses a 5MP wide-angle lens with a larger f/1.7 aperture and Live HDR for its FFC. The Note 7 has a non-removable 3500mAh battery, but it features a quick charge feature as well as quick wireless charging capabilities.
Samsung added a new Iris Scanner that allows you to unlock your Galaxy Note 7 by looking into the top area of the display – it also acts as your gateway into a secret folder where you can store things for your “eyes” only. The S Pen has many new added features giving it even more functionality and sensitivity, not to mention it is waterproof and color coded to your device. The Note 7 will be the first Samsung device with the newer USB Type-C reversible connector for charging and data transfer and the first to use Gorilla Glass 5. Depending where you buy the Galaxy Note 7, it will come in Blue Coral, Silver Titanium, Black Onyx, and Gold. It measures 153.5 x 73.9 x 7.9mm, weighs in at 169 grams, and will cost you about $865.
...And The Winner Is...
The Final Word
Now don't look at me like that! The Galaxy S7 and Galaxy Note 7 have the same display (albeit, smaller), the same processor, the same GPU, the same camera, the same 4GB of RAM, the same UFS style internal memory, and they both have expandable memory. Both are IP68 certified, both have Samsung Pay, both have the heart rate and oxygen sensors, and both have quick charge and wireless charging batteries.
The Galaxy Note 7 does have the larger dual curved display, the S Pen, and an iris scanner - but if you do not care about those features is spending the $200 difference in price worth it to you? That is only a decision you can make - if you will take full advantage of the S Pen and all of its capabilities or just dying to have an iris scanner, then spend the extra $200 and enjoy - you will not be disappointed.
The Galaxy S7 is solid all around performer and for most people it will be their ideal smartphone and that is why I picked it the winner of this comparison.