Do we have a good one for you today – the Samsung Galaxy S7 takes on the new Honor 6X. With the Galaxy Note 7 out of their lineup, the Galaxy S7 and S7 Edge remain as Samsung's current flagships. It is always interesting to compare a flagship device like the Galaxy S7 with a mid-range device like the Honor 6X. The Galaxy S7 uses a metal and glass construction and clearly has the higher specifications. The Honor 6X is an all-metal device that sports a dual camera set up to allow photographers to add special effects to their photos. Which one of these devices has what it takes to win this competition? Let's see just what these two smartphones have in common and just how much they differ.
The Galaxy S7 and the Honor 6X do have a few things in common despite their huge different in price. Their displays are different sizes – 5.1-inches vs. 5.5-inches – different technologies, and different resolutions, and this makes them different in physical size. They both use different processors and GPUs for graphics. They both offer a 32GB variant of internal memory, and they both are expandable to 256GB via a microSD card. The main camera areas vary, but both take great photos. They both pack a non-removable battery with rapid charging, and the Galaxy S7 enjoys built-in wireless fast charging. They both enjoy a fingerprint sensor for unlocking the device, but only the Galaxy S7 can authorize mobile payments, including Samsung Pay, as the Honor 6X does not have an NFC chip. The usual suspects are here – WiFi, Bluetooth (v4.2 in the Galaxy S7 and v4.1 in the Honor 6X), GPS, and they both include a microUSB v2.0 port 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
The Samsung Galaxy S7 and Galaxy S7 Edge were released in the early spring of last year, so this comparison involves a device at is close to one year old. Although the Galaxy S7 was merely a refinement of the Galaxy S6, the Galaxy S7/S7 Edge outsold all other Android smartphones. The Galaxy S7 continues the same exterior look of metal and glass construction but uses a much improve processor and camera on the inside. The camera area was the only big surprise this year as we all expected to see a 21MP+ sensor; but instead, Samsung dialed it back to a Dual Pixel 12MP shooter.
The Galaxy S7 sports a 5.1-inch Super AMOLED QHD display with a resolution of 2560 x 1440 pixels and 577 pixels-per-inch (PPI.) Samsung added an 'always-on' screen to help save battery life. Rather than having to turn the display on to check for notifications, the 'always-on' display feature allows you glance at them all of the time. In countries other than the US, the Galaxy S7 uses Samsung's Exynos 8890 octa-core processor with four cores clocked at 1.6GHz and four cores clocked at 2.3GHz. In the US, it uses the popular Snapdragon 820 and Andreno 530 GPU. 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 256GB via a microSD card.
Samsung surprised everybody by dropping the 16MP lenses found in the Galaxy S6 series and replacing it with a Dual Pixel 12MP. They made improvements to the camera by increasing the aperture to f/1.7, including a faster phase detection autofocus (PDAF), auto HDR and OIS. The Galaxy S7's front-facing camera (FFC) includes a 5MP sensor, a wide-angle lens, the same f/1.7 aperture as the primary camera, and Live HDR that allows for 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 Samsung Galaxy S7 can use both Android Pay as well as Samsung Pay, which will allow Galaxy S7 users to make mobile purchases just about anywhere they can swipe a credit or debit card. The S7 has IP68 certification against dust and water; it sports a heart rate monitor and oxygen saturation sensor and High-Res audio for listening through earphones. 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, although the carriers are running frequent specials.
Huawei's mid-range offering has always offered good specs at a reasonable price, and the Honor 6X continues in this direction. The 3GB/32GB model goes for only $250 the 4GB/64GB model will cost you a mere $299. It has a solid metal design – there are some small pieces of plastic at the top and bottom for better antenna reception – with rounded corners that make it a pleasure to hold. It also uses 2.D-curved glass that pairs up nicely with the curved sides. The Honor 6X is only 8.2mm thick and rather light at only 162 grams. Considering this is a mid-range device under $300, it is unusual to find dual cameras in the Honor 6X. Let's see how it stacks up to the more expensive Samsung Galaxy S7.
The Honor 6X sports a 5.5-inch IPS LCD Full HD display with a resolution of 1920 x 1080 pixels and a respectable 403 PPI. Huawei used their processor in the Honor 6X, the HiSilicon Kirin 655 octa-core with four cores clocked at 1.7GHz and four cores clocked at 2.1GHz. Their Mali-T830MP2 GPU is part of the package to handle the graphics. The base Honor 6X packs 3GB of RAM and offers 32GB of expandable internal memory via a microSD card, but Huawei claims there will also be a 4GB/64GB option coming soon.
Usually, dual cameras are used in the higher priced devices, but Huawei was able to squeeze one in the Honor 6X that uses an unusual dual camera setup with the secondary camera using only a 2MP sensor. The primary camera is a 12MP, and it uses the 2MP secondary camera to deliver what Huawei says is a "professional-grade bokeh effect." It comes with PDAF and a LED flash. The FFC is an 8MP lens for selfies and video chatting. The Honor 6X uses a large 3340mAh non-removable battery.
Once you start using the Honor 6X, you forget it is a mid-range smartphone as it has an excellent build quality and good looks. It comes with a fingerprint sensor for unlocking the device, but mobile banking is not an option since it lacks an NFC chip. Huawei added a feature to prevent eye fatigue that filters out the blue light. It measures 150.9 x 76.2 x 8.2mm, weighs in at 162 grams, and comes in Gray, Gold, and Silver. Pricing is about $250 for the 3GB/32GB model and only $300 for the upcoming 4GB/64GB model. It comes with Android 6.0 Marshmallow with a planned upgrade to Android 7.0 Nougat. The Honor 6X is a GSM device so it will function only on AT&T or T-Mobile in the US.
…And The Winner Is…
The Final Word
This decision is another choice I made only because of the great value that the Honor 6X offers. Will it take better pictures or handle heavy graphic games as smoothly as the Galaxy S7 – certainly not. But for an everyday smartphone or one for the kids, it is a slam dunk for its price…as long as you are on AT&T or T-Mobile.
There is no doubt that the Samsung Galaxy S7 is the better built and more spec'd out device, but many people do not require all of its 'bells and whistles,' and this is where the Honor 6X can step in. It is more than a basic phone, and if you do not care about making mobile payments, a heart rate monitor, an O2 monitor, or an AMOLED display, it should satisfy your most every need – and save you over $400 in the process.