Do we have a good one for you today – the pride of Apple, the iPhone 7 Plus takes on the newest Samsung Galaxy S8 Plus. Many readers complain when we compare an iOS phone to an Android phone and I just do not understand their objection. Who wouldn’t want to see how Apple’s flagship stands up to one of the top Android devices? Android Headlines is a website about Android devices, and naturally, we believe in our OS and the freedom and customization that Android OS offers over the iOS environment. I just know if I owned Samsung Galaxy S8 Plus, I would surely want to know how it compares to its chief rival. These two devices couldn’t be more different in their specifications or design philosophy, but let’s take a look and see just what common threads we can find.
When it comes to specifications and looks, the iPhone 7 Plus and the Galaxy S8 Plus, could not be further from each other. Even though the Galaxy S8 Plus’s display is 7/10 of an inch larger, they are physically very close to the same size, although the slightly taller (1.3mm) and narrower Galaxy S8 Plus weighs 7 grams less. Besides their size, the displays use different technology and different resolutions. The iPhone 7 Plus uses its own Apple A10 Fusion processor, and the Samsung Galaxy S8 Plus uses the newest Snapdragon 835 octa-core 10nm processor in the US Model and Samsung’s Exynos 8895 octa-core 10nm processor in other markets. The iPhone offers 32GB, 128GB, or 256GB of fixed internal storage while the Galaxy S8 Plus offers 64GB of expandable UFS 2.1 storage. The primary cameras are both 12MP - the iPhone 7 Plus uses two of them and the Galaxy S8 Plus uses just one, although it is the Dual Pixel variety. The front-facing cameras (FFC) are only a megapixel a part – 7MP on the iPhone and 8MP on the S8 Plus. Both will provide you with excellent photos and social media selfies. They both provide non-removable batteries, but the Galaxy S8 Plus is larger and offers rapid charge and quick wireless charging. They both provide a fingerprint sensor for unlocking the phone and authorizing mobile payments – Apple Pay only on the iPhone while the Galaxy S8 Plus offers Android Pay and Samsung Pay. They have the usual suspects – WiFi, Bluetooth (iPhone with v4.2 and S8 Plus with v5.0), GPS, and NFC (the iPhone’s is only good for Apple Pay), and they each have a connector for charging and data transfer but the Apple plug is proprietary, and the Galaxy S8 Plus uses a standard reversible Type-C port.
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.
Apple iPhone 7 Plus
The Apple iPhone 7 Plus, which was released in September 2016, looks very similar to its predecessor, the iPhone 6s Plus, with the usual enhancements throughout the device. Apple moved the antenna positioning to the outside edges for a cleaner look, and the old physical Home button is a touch-sensitive button with no moving parts. Apple introduced 3D Touch on the iPhone 6 and made improves to both it and the Display Zoom. The processor is improved and they added IP67 dust and water resistance, and added a dual camera only on the iPhone 7 Plus. Let’s take a look and see just how the iPhone 7 Plus holds up to the new Samsung Galaxy S8 Plus.
The Apple iPhone 7 Plus sports a 5.5-inch LED-backlit IPS LCD display with a Full HD resolution of 1920 x 1080 pixels and 401 pixels-per-inch (PPI.) The display features an improved Apple’s 3D Touch that allows the user to press a finger, with varying degrees of force, to make multiple selections. The processor is their new Apple A10 Fusion quad-core clocked at 2.23GHz and coupled to a PowerVR Series 7XT Plus six-core graphics processor. The iPhone 7 Plus packs 3GB of DDR4 RAM and either 32GB, 128GB, or 256GB of non-expandable internal storage.
Apple did make some considerable changes in its camera area on the iPhone 7 Plus and it now features a new dual 12MP sensor – one for wide-angle (f/1.8) and one for telephoto (f/2.8) shots. Then it adds phase detection autofocus (PDAF), Quad-LED dual-tone flash, and OIS for its primary camera. For its FFC the iPhone 7 Plus uses a 7MP sensor with an aperture of f/2.2 for selfies and video chatting, or AppleTalk, in their nomenclature. It uses a 2900mAh non-removable battery to supply power and Apple still offers no form of rapid charging for their batteries.
The new Apple iPhone 7 Plus comes with many refinements – a dual-camera, improved camera lens, and Quad LED flash. Apple improved the 3D Touch, improved the stereo sound, improved Home button, and added IP67 dust and water resistance. They upped it to 3GB of RAM, did away with the 16GB model, which is worthless in today's age, and now offer 32GB of non-expandable memory as the smallest amount available. Apple removed the 3.5mm headphone jack and supplied an adapter for you to use with regular earphones or you can switch to Bluetooth earphones to avoid the proprietary plug. In what appears to be an increasing trend, Apple has lost their 3.5mm earphone plug. The iPhone 7 Plus measures 158.2 x 77.9 x 7.3mm and weighs in at 188 grams. Apple still uses its proprietary plugs and ecosystem services like iTunes, Apple Pay, iMessage, and AppleTalk, making it increasingly difficult for iPhone users to communicate with Android folks. Pricing starts out at $770 for the 32GB model and will cost you $870 for the 128GB model.
Samsung Galaxy S8 Plus
The new Samsung Galaxy S8 series looks nothing like its predecessor, in either looks or performance – and the Galaxy S7 Edge was no slouch. Samsung took the design of 'Edge' model and improved upon it on the Galaxy S8 Plus. Samsung calls it their Infinity Display and it seamlessly wraps around the sides of the device, almost ‘melting’ into the back glass panel with one smooth transition. This new design allows Samsung to squeeze a larger display into a smaller area. Samsung’s physical 'Home' button – long a staple on their devices – as well as the 'Back' and 'App' keys now show up on the lower part of the display with their new 3D Touch area. The fingerprint sensor is now on the back near the camera lens, but Samsung included facial recognition and an iris scanner to unlock your device, allowing you to avoid the fingerprint sensor. The new Galaxy S8 Plus is one beautiful smartphone and easily one of the sexiest devices ever produced. Let’s see just where the new Galaxy S8 Plus stands against the iPhone 7 Plus.
The Galaxy S8 Plus sports a larger 6.2-inch Infinity Display that uses the Super AMOLED QHD+ with a resolution of 2960 x 1440 pixels and 529 PPI. We must point out that out of the box, the default resolution is set to 2220 x 1080 to conserve battery life, but it can be manually turn up to the maximum through the settings. The display uses a 18.5:9 ratio making it taller and going edge-to-edge taking up 84-percent of the front of the phone. The newest and toughest Corning Gorilla Glass 5 protects the display. The Galaxy S8 Plus has the ‘always-on’ display feature to help save battery life while making it quicker and easier to view notifications. The US model uses the newest Qualcomm Snapdragon 835 octa-core 10nm processor clocked at 2.35GHz and an Adreno 540 GPU that can handle any graphics thrown its way. Other countries will use Samsung’s Exynos 8895 octa-core 10nm processor with four cores clocked at 1.7GHz and four cores clocked at 2.3GHz. The Galaxy S8 Plus continues to pack 4GB of DDR4 RAM and comes standard with 64GB of the faster UFS 2.1 memory, as well as possible expansion up to 256GB via a microSD card.
Last year, Samsung surprised everybody by going from a 16MP primary shooter to a smaller, 12MP Dual Pixel design, but the proof was in the excellent photos it can take. Well, Samsung has once again surprised everybody by using the same camera from the Galaxy S7 on the Galaxy S8 Plus keeping the same f/1.7, PDAF, LED flash, auto HDR and OIS. Samsung said they concentrated on making advancements in their imaging software and purposely avoided the dual lens because they could see no advantage. The Galaxy S8’s FFC did improve from a 5MP to an 8MP sensor, a wide-angle lens, the same f/1.7 aperture, Live HDR, and then added its own autofocus. The camera area should continue to take great pictures, but it is odd that no improvements in the lens area occurred. Samsung also lowered the battery size from the non-removable 3600mAh to a 3500mAh battery that features Quick Charge and still offers Quick Wireless Charging.
Besides the beautiful look and feel of the Galaxy S8 Plus, it has IP68 certification against dust and water; it sports a heart rate monitor, an oxygen saturation sensor, and Samsung Health has replaced Samsung’s S-Health. It has High-Res audio for listening through a good pair of earphones, but still only one speaker. You will also find a new Samsung Connect feature to tie together Samsung’s appliances, SmartTVs, thermostats and other IoT (Internet of Things). Samsung’s new Bixby personal assistant works a lot like Google Assistant, but you can also use the camera – point it at a historical building, it will tell you the history of the place or aim it at a sign in a foreign language, and Bixby will translate it for you. Another new feature is the DeX Station that will interface the Galaxy S8 Plus with a monitor, keyboard, and mouse for a desktop experience. The Galaxy S8 Plus can use both Android Pay as well as Samsung Pay, which will allow Galaxy S8 Plus users to make mobile purchases just about anywhere they can swipe a credit or debit card – no specific equipment needed as with Apple Pay. As of now, the Galaxy S8 Plus is running Android Nougat 7.0 with the promise of a quick upgrade – or it may arrive with 7.1 by release time. It measures 155.9 x 73.4 x 8.1 mm, weighs in at 173 grams, is available in Midnight Black, Orchid Gray, Arctic Silver, Coral Blue, and Maple Gold depending where you are located. The Galaxy S8 Plus will cost about $820 outright and is now available for pre-order to be delivered by April 21.
...And The Winner Is...
The Final Word
It is understood that the Samsung Galaxy S8 Plus is the winner of this comparison. We are not picking it over the obvious advantages of the Android OS over iOS – we are picking it because the S8 Plus is a better all-around smartphone. It is more innovative, it has a larger and better display, it's much better looking, it has more RAM for better multi-tasking, expandable memory, a larger battery with rapid and wireless charging, better water protection, a better camera, more features, and better mobile payments with Android Pay and Samsung Pay. Samsung Connect allows interaction with IoTs and the Samsung DeX Station can give you a desktop experience. If you exercise, you can take advantage of Samsung Health, the heart rate monitor and the Oxygen sensor. With Iris Scanning and Facial Recognition, Samsung gives you multiple ways to secure your Galaxy S8 Plus. Considering all things, it is just a much better looking device and more practical.
The Apple iPhone 7 Plus is well-built and a very popular device, but it lags behind in features when compared to the Galaxy S8 Plus. It may have dual lenses, but it does not out-shoot the single lens found in the S8 plus. The iPhone 7 Plus restricts your mobile purchases only to retailers that can afford to purchase a special piece of equipment. While it is a nice looking device, it is getting a little outdated when compared to the Galaxy S8 Plus. For a phone that loves to use its battery, Apple still resorts to smaller batteries and offers no quick charge feature. Apple still refuses to add expandable memory, but would rather charge $100 more for each memory upgrade - $870 for a 128GB and a 5.5-inch FHD display versus $820 for 64GB of expandable memory and a 6.2-inch QHD+ display in the S8 Plus. Apple has a long way to go to play 'catch up' to the Samsung Galaxy S8 Plus.