Do we have a good one for you today – the Samsung Galaxy S7 Edge takes on the new Google Pixel XL. The tried and true Galaxy S7 Edge is helping to keep Samsung in the smartphone business, especially after the Galaxy Note 7 fiasco. Made from Gorilla Glass 4 with a metal chassis and frame and the dual curved edges, it is one sexy looking smartphone. Google stunned the Nexus world by replacing the lineup with an all new Google Pixel and Pixel XL phones made with polished glass and metal. The devices do share many of the many of the same internal parts and specs, but the overall feel of the devices are quite different. Let’s take a look to see just what these two devices have in common and then we will take a closer look at each device
These two devices do have a few things in common, starting with a 5.5-inch display that helps keep both devices the same, close physical size and weight, although the Google Pixel XL does weigh in 11 grams heavier. They both use an AMOLED technology displays are both using a Quad HD resolution giving each screen 534 PPI. To protect their screens from abuse, the S7 Edge and the Google Pixel XL both use the Gorilla Glass 4. They both use a 64-bit Snapdragon processor – 820 versus 821 – and they both use an Adreno 530 for their graphic needs. Both devices are packing 4GB of DDR4 RAM and 32GB of UFS 2.0 of expandable internal memory. The camera areas are both terrific and even use the same number of megapixels. They both use non-removable batteries and offer rapid charge capabilities. They are both packing a fingerprint sensor for unlocking the device as well as authorizing mobile payments. They have the usual suspects – WiFi, Bluetooth v4.2, GPS, NFC, and a USB port – microUSB 2.0 on the S7 Edge and the newer Type-C reversible port on the Google Pixel XL – for charging and data transfer.
Please take a thoughtful 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 Edge
The Samsung Galaxy S7 Edge was moving to the side-shadows until the Galaxy Note 7 had problems. Now the S7 and S7 Edge have been renewed as sales are once again in full swing. The Galaxy S7 Edge has the same metal and glass design updated a bit, but the dual-curved screen does not have that initial ‘wow’ factor it once had. How does this aging premium smartphone hold up to the new Google Pixel XL? Let’s look and see just how they compare to one another.
The Galaxy S7 Edge sports a 5.5-inch QHD Super AMOLED ‘always-on’ display with dual curved edges. This gives it a resolution of 2560 x 1440 pixels and 534 PPI. Depending on where you live there are two processors used in the Galaxy S7 Edge – in the US you will get the newest Snapdragon 820 quad-core processor with dual cores clocked at 1.6 GHz and dual cores clocked at 2.15 GHz. Elsewhere, you will get Samsung’s Exynos 8890 octa-core processor with four cores clocked at 1.6 GHz and four cores clocked at 2.3 GHz. The 820 processor uses an Adreno 530 GPU, and the Exynos 8890 uses the Mali-T880 MP4 GPU – both setups should do an excellent job for you. The Galaxy S7 Edge packs 4GB of DDR4 RAM and offers 32GB of UFS 2.0 memory, with expansion up to 200GB via a microSD card.
Samsung uses a new Dual Pixel 12MP sensor for the primary camera with an increased aperture of f/1.7, included faster phase detection autofocus (PDAF), auto HDR, and OIS. The S7 Edge has a 5MP wide-angle lens with a larger f/1.7 aperture and Live HDR for its FFC for excellent low-light selfies and video chatting. Samsung increased the battery size to a larger, non-removable 3600mAh battery and included Quick Charge 2.0 and quick wireless charging as well.
The Galaxy S7 Edge display incorporates an always-on display to help conserve battery life, by letting you see your notifications without having to turn on the primary display. The dual curved edges do provide some limited functionality. Besides Android Pay, you also have the option of using Samsung Pay just about anywhere you can swipe a credit or debit card. The Galaxy S7 Edge provides a heart rate monitor, oxygen saturation sensor, and quick wireless charging. The S7 Edge measures 150.9 x 72.6 x 7.7 mm, weighs in at 157 grams and is available in Black, White, Gold, and Silver, costing about $790 – however, bargains and specials are everywhere.
Google Pixel XL
Google is in the process of calming down the media and former Nexus users. Google eliminated their Nexus name and devices and created a new Google Pixel device. Google claims the move was necessary to create an Apple-like ecosystem where Google fans can use their new Home products right along with their Google Pixel. We will be looking at the Google Pixel XL this time around to see just how this newly designed Pixel XL with its polished glass and metal construction holds up to the glass and metal construction of the Galaxy S7 Edge.
The Google Pixel XL is also sporting a 5.5-inch AMOLED display with a Quad HD resolution of 2560 x 1440 pixels with 534 PPI. It is using the newest Qualcomm Snapdragon 821 quad-core processor with a dual-core clocked at 1.6GHZ and a dual-core clocked at 2.15GHz. Strictly, a variation of the 820, according to Qualcomm, the Snapdragon 821 will put out 10-percent more speed than the usual 820. It comes with the Adreno 530 GPU to tackle the toughest graphics. It packs 4GB of DDR4 RAM and 32GB or 128GB of the faster UFS memory with no means to expand. It uses a large 3450mAh non-removable battery for power and has rapid charge capabilities.
In the camera area, the specifications do not seem very impressive, but the Pixel camera and its 12.3MP scored the highest of any mobile smartphone. It uses an aperture of f/2.0, phase detection autofocus (PDAF,) a dual-tone LED flash, and no OIS. There is a large 8MP FFC that comes with a f/2.0 aperture, a 1.4µm pixel size, and 1080p. This combination of specs should offer excellent selfies and video chatting. When DxOMark tested the Google Pixel XL camera, it received a score of 89 – the highest yet for a smartphone.
A rear-mounted fingerprint sensor will allow you to unlock your device or authorize mobile payments. Android Pay will be part of the package as well. It will be running Android 7.1 Nougat out of the box. The Pixel XL measures in at 154.7 x 75.7 x 8.6mm and weighs in at 168 grams. There are three different colors available: Quite Black, Very Silver, and Really Blue (as a limited edition color.) The 32GB Google Pixel XL is IP53 rated against dust and splashing water and will cost you about $770.
...And The Winner Is...
The Final Word
As much as it pains me to choose the Galaxy S7 Edge as the winner of this comparison - not because it doesn't deserve to win because it does - but the backlash from all of the Gogglers that will insist that only a Google Pixel device can and should win.
The Galaxy S7 as the Super AMOLED dual-curved display, the 'always-on' display feature, IP68 dust and water certified, Samsung Pay is available, expandable memory, Hi-Res audio, heart rate monitor, oxygen saturation sensor, and a cheaper price tag.
The only reason to buy the Google Pixel XL is if you are deadset on getting the fastest updates or you intend on using Google Home and Google Assistant in conjunction with the device. For $770 for only 32GB of non-expandable storage is a lot to ask of a customer. There is a 132GB model but then goes more money.
The Galaxy S7 Edge is a real, beautiful, and proven workhorse. There are some terrific deals going around with Note 7's recall.