Do we have a good one for you today – the venerable Samsung Galaxy S7 goes up against the latest Google Pixel device. By now, we know all about Galaxy S7's all glass and metal frame construction. It is a genuine workhorse and has an excellent reputation. The new kid on the block, the Google Pixel, is designed out of polished glass and metal and available in your basic black, white, or bright blue. This is the smartphone that Google hopes will carry them into the future. They want the Pixel to help them develop an Apple-like ecosystem that keeps you coming back for more. Pricing is high, but so are the specs for the most part. Just how does this new entry from Google stand up to the tried and true Galaxy S7? Let's take a look at just what these two have in common before we take a closer look at each.
The Galaxy S7 and the Google Pixel do have a few things in common, and we can start with physical size. Even though the Pixel is slightly larger than the Galaxy S7, the S7 weighs in at 9 grams heavier. They both have some water resistance, but the Galaxy S7 takes the prize here with its IP68 rating. The displays are almost identical in size – 5.1-inch on the S7 and 5.0-inches on the Pixel – and they use the same AMOLED technology, Gorilla Glass 4, but have different resolutions. They both use a Snapdragon processor, 820 and 821, and the same Adreno 530 GPU for graphics. They both have 4GB of DDR4 RAM, and they both offer a 32GB variant of internal memory – the Galaxy S7 can be expanded, but the only option in the Pixel is to purchase a 132GB model. The main camera areas are very similar, and both take excellent shots. They both have a non-removable battery with fast charging built in and both enjoy a fingerprint sensor for unlocking the device or authorizing mobile payments. The usual suspects are here – WiFi, Bluetooth v4.2, GPS, NFC, and a USB port (microUSB v2.0 on the S7 and Type-C reversible on the Pixel.)
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
It is no secret that what Samsung does, so too does the rest of the market. The other manufacturers look to see what the new Samsung Galaxy S series will bring to the table and then try and keep up or exceed that bar. The Galaxy S7/S7 Edge outsold all other Android smartphones. Besides the new processor, the Galaxy S7 is a refinement of last year's complete makeover. Other than a few minuscule design changes, the same metal and glass construction can be found on the outside. The camera area was the big talk this year as we all expected to see a 21MP sensor; but instead, Samsung used a Dual Pixel 12MP shooter.
The Galaxy S7 sports a 5.1-inch Super AMOLED display with a QHD resolution of 2560 x 1440 pixels with 577 pixels-per-inch (PPI.) Samsung added an 'always-on' display, to help save battery life by allowing you the ability to glance at the time, date, and notifications without turning on your main device. If you purchased your Galaxy S7 in the US, your processor would get the 64-bit Snapdragon 820 quad-core with dual cores clocked at 1.6GHz and dual cores clocked at 2.15GHz. In 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 surprised everybody this year by using a new Dual Pixel 12MP camera that has a larger sensor than the old 16MP. Samsung increased the aperture to f/1.7, included a faster phase detection autofocus (PDAF), auto HDR and OIS. The Galaxy S7's front-facing camera (FFC) comes with a 5MP sensor, a wide-angle lens, the same f/1.7 aperture as the primary camera, and Live HDR. This allows excellent low-light selfies and video chatting. Samsung did increase the non-removable battery to 3000mAh, and it features Quick Charge 2.0 and Quick Wireless Charging.
The Galaxy S7 is able to use both Android Pay as well as Samsung Pay to make mobile purchases just about anywhere you can swipe a credit or debit card. It has IP68 certification against dust and water; it sports a heart rate and oxygen sensor, High-Res audio for listening through earphones, and has wireless charging. The Galaxy S7 measures 142.4 x 69.9 x 7.9 mm, weighs in at 152 grams, is available in Black, White, Gold, and Silver, and costs about $670. Please make note that many special promos are being run all of the time.
I feel like a broken record, but just in case you haven't heard, Google has made a huge change by getting rid of the Nexus line. Their new line of smartphones is called Google Pixel with two models – the Google Pixel or Google Pixel XL. Google claims they are in this for the long haul and that by building hardware and software together, they can more quickly get their own ecosystem going. Let's see how this newly designed Pixel with its polished glass and metal construction holds up to the Samsung Galaxy S7's design and specifications.
The Google Pixel sports a 5.0-inch AMOLED display with an FHD resolution of 1920 x 1080 pixels with 441 PPI. It is using the newest Qualcomm 821 quad-core processor with a dual-core clocked at 1.6GHZ and a dual-core clocked at 2.15GHz. The Snapdragon 821 is supposed to give a boost in performance of 10-percent over the regular 820 model. It packs 4GB of DDR4 RAM and 32GB or 128GB of fast UFS 2.0 memory with no means to expand. It uses a 2,770mAh non-removable battery for power and has rapid charge capabilities.
Google engineered a great camera in the Pixel devices even though the specifications do not seem that impressive – a 12.3MP sensor for their primary camera along with an aperture of f/2.0, phase detection autofocus (PDAF) and laser autofocus, a dual-tone LED flash, and no OIS. Even with these specs, the Pixel camera was tested by DxOMark and received a score of 89 – the highest yet for a smartphone. There is a large 8MP FFC that comes with a f/2.0 aperture, a 1.4µm pixel size, and 1080p. This setup should offer excellent selfies and video chatting.
A rear-mounted fingerprint sensor will allow you to unlock your device or authorize mobile payments, including Android Pay. The Pixel is IP53 rated splash and dust resistant. It will be running Android 7.1 Nougat out of the box. The Google Pixel measures in at 143.8 x 69.5 x 8.5mm and weighs in at 143 grams. It comes in Quite Black, Very Silver, and Really Blue (as a limited edition) and the 32GB Google Pixel will cost you about $650.
…And The Winner Is…
The Final Word
We are looking at two flagship devices that cost basically the same, and for this reason, I had to go with the Galaxy S7 as the winner of this comparison.The Pixel does come with Android Nougat and will be the first device to receive the next upgrade, but it takes more than that to be chosen the winner.
The Galaxy S7 has a Super AMOLED QHD 'always-on' display. It has expandable memory, is IP68 certified, incorporates a heart rate sensor and oxygen saturation sensor, Hi-Res Audio, Samsung Pay, a larger battery, and wireless charging.
It is also true that the Google Pixel uses the Snapdragon 821 versus the 820 in the Samsung. This addition will theoretically give you a 10-percent boost in performance. However, when you look at the entire package, the Galaxy S7 seems to offer just a little bit more. The Google Pixel is a solid buy, and if you are an old Nexus fan, it may just be your cup of tea.