Do we have a good one for you today – the Samsung Galaxy S7 goes up against the new Samsung Galaxy S8. Make no mistake; we already know that the Galaxy S8 is the winner of this comparison, but that is what we do – compare so you can see the differences between these two powerhouses. Both devices are made of all glass, yet they could not be more different in looks and feel. After a two-year experiment with the 'edge' model, Samsung has done away with the flat screen in their flagship phones and now uses the dual-curved edge on their displays. 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.
Because of Samsung's new Infinity Display, even though the displays vary by almost three-fourths of an inch, the physical size of the Galaxy S7 is almost identical to the Galaxy S8 coming in at only 6.5mm taller and only 3 grams heavier. Both displays use the Super AMOLED technology and both come to us with a Quad HD resolution, although the Galaxy S8 uses a new 18.5:9 display ratio making it taller and slightly narrower. This gives the Galaxy S7 576 pixels-per-inch (PPI) and the larger Galaxy S8 570 PPI. Both use an always-on display and the Galaxy S8 adds 3D Touch. Both US models use a Snapdragon processor and an Adreno GPU, but are different generation processors. Both pack 4GB of DDR4 RAM and both have expandable internal memory, although the base memory has increased from 32GB to 64GB. Both use the faster UFS style of memory. The primary cameras are about identical with 12MP of Dual Pixels, although software and features have been updated. The front-facing camera (FFC) on the Galaxy S8 has grown from 5MP to 8MP and Samsung added autofocus for even better selfies. The Galaxy S7 and S8 both have Hi-Res audio, but still only one speaker. Both have a fingerprint sensor – the Galaxy S7 is front mounted on the Home button and the Galaxy S8 is rear-mounted and now uses on-screen buttons with 3D Touch. The Galaxy S8 added an Iris Scanner and Facial Recognition for added security and to help make up for the rear-mounted fingerprint sensor placed awkwardly by the camera lens. They both have a 3000mAh removable battery with fast charging capabilities and wireless charging. They have the usual suspects – WiFi, Bluetooth (v4.2 on the S7 and v5.0 on the S8), GPS, NFC, Samsung Pay, and an USB port (microUSB v2.0 on the S7 and the reversible Type-C v3.1 on the S8) 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 is approaching its one-year old birthday and it is still an excellent smartphone. After the Galaxy Note 7 problems, Samsung threw its efforts into marketing the Galaxy S7 and Galaxy S7 Edge again which extended its sales life until the new Galaxy S8 could be released. The Galaxy S7 has held up well over the year, especially when you consider that it was a minor upgrade over the Galaxy S6 from the previous year. It retained the new glass backing, upgraded the processor, and dialed back its camera to only 12MP, but they were Dual Pixels, and provided excellent results. Let's see just how the Galaxy S7 holds up to the new Galaxy S8.
The Galaxy S7 sports a smaller 5.1-inch flat Super AMOLED QHD display with a resolution of 2560 x 1440 pixels and 577 PPI. The display takes up to 72.1-percent of the front of the phone and is protected by Corning Gorilla Glass 4. The Galaxy S7 incorporates an 'always-on' screen to help save battery life as well as making notification checking quicker and easier. The US model uses the steady workhorse Snapdragon 820 quad-core processor clocked at 2.15GHz and an Adreno 530 GPU. In other countries, 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. 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 in the camera area by dropping the 16MP lenses found in the Galaxy S6 series and replacing it with a Dual Pixel 12MP rather than bumping it up to 21 or 23 megapixels. They made additional improvements to the camera by increasing the aperture to a large f/1.7, including a faster phase detection autofocus (PDAF), LED flash, auto HDR and OIS. The Galaxy S7's FFC includes a 5MP sensor, a wide-angle lens, the same f/1.7 aperture as the primary camera, and Live HDR. It is a combination that results in excellent low-light selfies and video chatting. Samsung also increased the non-removable battery to 3000mAh, and it features Quick Charge 2.0 and offers Quick Wireless Charging.
Because it is a Samsung device, the Galaxy S7 can use both Android Pay as well as Samsung Pay, which will allow Galaxy S7 users to make mobile purchases at just about any retailer that requires you to swipe a credit or debit card. The Galaxy 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 a good pair of earphones. The Galaxy S7 received its Android Nougat 7.0 upgrade and measures 142.4 x 69.9 x 7.9 mm, weighs in at 152 grams, is available in Black, White, Gold, and Silver, and pricing has dropped to about $575 now that the Galaxy S8 is available for pre-order.
Samsung Galaxy S8
The new Samsung Galaxy S8 is a total rewrite of its predecessor, the Galaxy S7, and it was no slouch. Samsung did away with the flat display and the 'Edge' model and the Galaxy S8 (and the S8 Plus) now uses what Samsung is calling their Infinity Display that seamlessly wraps around the sides of the device and meets the back glass panel with virtually no stopping point. It has allowed Samsung to squeeze much more display into a smaller area. Gone is the physical 'Home' button that is now an on-display key, as well as the 'Back' and 'App' keys that show when you press on the lower part of the display. 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. The new Galaxy S8 is a beauty to behold, but is it worth the extra money over the Galaxy S7? Let's check out the specs below to see where it stands. The Galaxy S8 sports a larger 5.8-inch Infinity Display that uses the Super AMOLED QHD+ display with a resolution of 2960 x 1440 pixels and 570 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 an 18.5:9 aspect ratio making it taller while it truly does go edge-to-edge taking up 83.6-percent of the front of the phone. The newest Corning Gorilla Glass 5 protects the display. The Galaxy S8 retains the 'always-on' screen to help save battery life and allows for quickly checking notifications. The US model uses the newest Qualcomm Snapdragon 835 octa-core 10nm processor clocked at 2.35GHz and an Adreno 540 GPU. In other countries, the Galaxy S8 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 packs 4GB of DDR4 RAM and has 64GB of the faster UFS 2.1 memory, as well as possible expansion up to 256GB via a microSD card.
Samsung once again surprised everybody in the camera area by using the same camera from the Galaxy S7 with a Dual Pixel 12MP sensor on the back. Samsung said they concentrated on making advancements in their imaging software and kept that same f/1.7, PDAF, LED flash, auto HDR and OIS. The Galaxy S8's FFC improved to an 8MP sensor, a wide-angle lens, the same f/1.7 aperture, Live HDR, and added its own autofocus. The camera area should continue to take great pictures, but it is odd that nothing more was improved. Samsung also kept the same sized non-removable 3000mAh battery that features Quick Charge and still offers Quick Wireless Charging.
The Galaxy S8 has IP68 certification against dust and water; it sports a heart rate monitor and oxygen saturation sensor and High-Res audio for listening through a good pair of earphones. Samsung Health has taken over for Samsung's S-Health. You will also find a new Samsung Connect feature to tie together Samsung's appliances, SmartTVs, thermostats and other IoT (Internet of Things). Another new feature is the DeX Station that will interface the Galaxy S8 with a monitor, keyboard, and mouse for a desktop experience. 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. The Galaxy S8 can use both Android Pay as well as Samsung Pay, which will allow Galaxy S8 users to make mobile purchases just about anywhere they can swipe a credit or debit card. The Galaxy S8 will come with Android Nougat 7.0 with a quick upgrade after or it may possibly include 7.1 by release time. It measures 148.9 x 68.1 x 8.0 mm, weighs in at 155 grams, is available in Midnight Black, Orchid Gray, Arctic Silver, Coral Blue, and Maple Gold depending where you are located. The Galaxy S8 will cost about $720 outright and is now available for pre-order to be delivered by April 21.
…And The Winner Is…
The Final Word
As we said at the beginning of this article – there was no doubt that the new Galaxy S8 would win this competition, as it was more about pointing out the difference between the two models and to see just how much Samsung updated its workhorse. We are happy to say that except for the primary camera, the Galaxy S8 is a totally new device from the glass back to the new Infinity Display and everything in between. It has a bigger and better display, the dual-curved Infinity Display, the Home button is now on the display via a 3D Touch pressure point, and with tiny bezels on the top and bottom only. The security is updated with biometrics that includes facial recognition and iris scanning. The Galaxy S8 also sports the latest and greatest 10nm processors – the Snapdragon 835 or the Exynos 8898 – it still uses 4GB of RAM and now has a standard 64GBs of expandable internal storage. While the primary camera remains at 12MP of Dual Pixels, the software has been improved. The FFC has jumped from 5MP to 8MP and now includes autofocus for better selfies and video chatting. Bluetooth has jumped from v4.2 to v5.0 and the Galaxy S8 now has the newer reversible Type-C port for the new and improved fast charging and data transfer. Samsung has included its new Bixby personal assistant, Samsung Connect, Samsung Health, and Samsung DeX desktop support.
While the Samsung Galaxy S7 is a great smartphone, the new Galaxy S8 simply blows it out of the water in terms of looks, build, performance, and features. If you can get yourself a Galaxy S7 for a real discount, it is still a solid device, but if you can afford the Galaxy S8, we suggest you go for it.