Do we have a good one for you today – The venerable Samsung Galaxy S7 Edge takes on the new ASUS ZenFone AR. The Galaxy S7 Edge became Samsung’s flagship device in 2016 by default when Samsung removed the Galaxy Note 7 from the marketplace. The Galaxy S7 Edge is an all-glass design and looks great with its dual curved display. The ZenFone AR is a beautiful looking metal-framed device with a faux leather backing over plastic – ala Galaxy Note 3. Its general shape and its fingerprint sensor on the front remind one of a Samsung device – however, no Samsung device is both augmented reality (AR) and virtual reality (VR) ready. Both devices are high quality, and well-built. Let’s look at just what these two devices have in common, if anything, and then we will take a closer look at each one in hopes that we can determine a winner of this comparison.
The Samsung Galaxy S7 Edge and the ASUS ZenFone AR have a few things in common. The display on the ZenFone AR is only 0.2-inches larger resulting in a similar physical size, but the ZenFone AR does weigh 13 grams more than the Galaxy S7 Edge. The displays use the same Super AMOLED technology, the same Quad HD resolution, and the same Gorilla Glass 4 for protection. They both use a Snapdragon processor (US version of S7 Edge), but a slightly different variation, although they do use the same Adreno 530 GPU for outstanding graphics. They pack different amounts of DDR4 RAM – 4GB in the S7 Edge and 6GB/8GB in the AR - both have a 32GB memory option, and both have the means to expand their memory via a microSD card. The primary camera areas could not be more different – the Galaxy S7 Edge uses one 12MP sensor, and the ZenFone AR uses a 23MP with extra sensors/lenses for its AR capabilities. They both included Hi-Res audio, although the AR cranks it up a notch with DTS sound enhancements. Both have a front-mounted fingerprint sensor for unlocking your device as well as authorizing mobile payments. They both use a non-removable battery, and both have rapid charge capabilities. They come with the usual suspects – WiFi, Bluetooth v4.2, GPS, NFC, and the ZenFone AR has a newer Type-C reversible port for charging and data transfer, while the Galaxy S7 Edge uses the older microUSB v2.0 port.
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.
SamsungGalaxy S7 Edge
The Samsung Galaxy S7 Edge would just be a footnote by now, and Samsung’s Galaxy Note 7 would be their latest device. However, once Samsung discontinued production of the Galaxy Note 7, Samsung stepped up advertising of the Galaxy S7 and Galaxy S7 Edge. The Galaxy S7 Edge uses a metal and glass design, and the familiar dual-curved screen still looks awesome. How does this aging premium smartphone hold up to the new ASUS ZenFone AR? 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 that give it a resolution of 2560 x 1440 pixels and 534 pixels-per-inch (PPI.) The Galaxy S7 Edge comes with the Snapdragon 820 quad-core processor with dual cores clocked at 1.6 GHz and dual cores clocked at 2.15 GHz if you live in the US. Globally, 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 Adreno 530 GPU is used with the 820 processor, and the Exynos 8890 uses the Mali-T880 MP4 GPU. 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 put in some great thought to their new camera and rather increasing the size from 16MP to 21MP, they went smaller, to a new Dual Pixel 12MP sensor. They increased the aperture to a large f/1.7 for low-light shots, included a faster phase detection autofocus (PDAF), auto HDR, LED flash, and OIS. The Galaxy S7 Edge uses a 5MP wide-angle lens with the same large f/1.7 aperture and Live HDR for its front-facing camera (FFC) for great low-light selfies and video chatting. The battery size is a non-removable 3600mAh battery with Quick Charge 2.0 and quick wireless charging as well.
The Galaxy S7 Edge is well endowed with features – an ‘always-on’ display helping to conserve battery life. The dual curved edges have indeed lost most of their ‘wow’ factor, but they still make the phone sharp looking as well as providing some limited functionality with quick access to several features. Because it is a Samsung, you can enjoy Android Pay and Samsung Pay, which expands where you can make mobile purchases. The Galaxy S7 Edge includes a heart rate monitor, oxygen saturation sensor, quick wireless charging, and IP68 dust and water resistance. The Galaxy 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, promotions are sometimes available.
ASUS ZenFone AR
The new ASUS ZenFone AR could be the smartphone to beat in 2017. It comes in black with a metal frame and a faux leather backing. It looks very much like a normally aspirated Samsung Galaxy S7 with its round corners and fingerprint sensor that looks like a home button. It is the first Tango-enabled smartphone that has both Augmented Reality (AR) and Virtual Reality (VR) in one smartphone and three camera lenses and software to make it work. ASUS also gave it high-quality audio, both out of its five-magnet speaker and earphones. Does it have the right stuff to beat out the Samsung Galaxy S7 Edge?
The ASUS ZenFone AR sports a 5.7-inch QHD Super AMOLED that give it a resolution of 2560 x 1440 pixels and 515 PPI. The ZenFone AR comes with the revised Snapdragon 821 quad-core processor with dual cores clocked at 1.6 GHz and dual cores clocked at 2.35GHz. The v821 also uses the Adreno 530 GPU for its graphic duties. One version of the ZenFone AR packs 6GB of DDR4 RAM and offers 32GB of memory, with expansion up to 256GB via a microSD card. Another version will be coming out that packs 8GB of RAM.
ASUS equipped the ZenFone AR with a TriCam system that uses three rear cameras for its AR, Tango, and other special effects. It starts with a 23MP camera, adds a motion tracking lens and a depth-sensing lens with an infrared (IR) projector. It includes laser autofocus, 3X Optical zoom, 4-axis OIS, dual-colored LED flash, and an aperture of f/2.0. The ZenFone AR uses an 8MP wide-angle lens with the same f/2.0 aperture, autofocus, and dual-tone LED flash FFC for excellent low-light selfies and video chatting. The battery size is a non-removable 3300mAh battery with Quick Charge 3.0.
The ASUS ZenFone AR is going to be a hot commodity in 2017. It is Tango-enabled and is the first smartphone design with both AR and VR capabilities as well as Daydream ready. It has a fantastic camera area and includes a five-magnetic speaker for impressive sound as well as DTS Headphone X for virtual 7.1 surround sound and Hi-Res audio. With its NFC chip and fingerprint sensor, you can enjoy Android Pay mobile purchases. The ASUS ZenFone AR measures 158.7 x 77.7 x 9mm, weighs in at 170 grams and is available in Black with the faux diamond cut leather backing. It should be available in early April and should cost somewhere in the neighborhood of $600.
...And The Winner Is...
Without a doubt, the winner is the ASUS ZenFone AR, even though it is a GSM device. It has a larger Super AMOLED display, slightly better processor, more RAM, the same expandable memory; it is AR and VR ready via Tango and Daydream, it has an excellent camera area with more options, and better sound. You take all of that with a much lower price tag, and that equals a winner.
The Samsung Galaxy S7 Edge is a beautiful device - certainly more so than the ZenFone AR - with many features like a heart rate sensor and oxygen saturation sensor, but their usefulness will be wasted on most people. It does have wireless charging and IP68 water and dust certification, but with a smaller display, lesser processor, less RAM, and a higher price, it lends credence to the fact that the ZenFone AR is the real winner.