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Samsung Galaxy S8 vs iPhone 7: Is the S8 a better buy than the iPhone?

Samsung Galaxy S8 vs iPhone 7: Is Samsung’s 2017 flagship phone, the Galaxy S8, a serious rival to Apple’s latest iPhone? Here’s our full comparison of the S8 and the iPhone 7’s camera tech, specs, design and everything else that matters.

Apple’s iPhone 7 is undeniably one of the best iPhones to date, with its fresh new design work, beefy performance, updated camera tech and the rather brilliant iOS 10 on board.

But Samsung’s Galaxy S8 has finally launched and if we were Apple, we’d already be a wee bit concerned. After all, this premium Android smartphone packs some seriously strong specs and a mouth-watering new design, and already has us reaching for our wallets.

Here’s how the Galaxy S8 flagship phone compares to Apple’s iPhone 7 handset. Don’t miss our Galaxy S8 vs the world feature, where we stack up the S8 against the very best phones of 2017 so far.

Samsung Galaxy S8 vs iPhone 7: Specs

Phone iPhone 7 Samsung Galaxy S8
Screen size & type 4.7-inch IPS 5.8-inch Super AMOLED
Screen resolution 1334×750 2960×1440
Water resistant? Yes Yes
Fingerprint sensor? Yes Yes
Processor Apple A10 Fusion Exynos
Memory 2GB 4GB
Storage 32/128/256GB 64GB
MicroSD? No Yes
Battery 1960mAh 3000mAh
Rear camera 12MP f/1.8 12MP f/1.7
Front camera 7MP 8MP f/1.7

Samsung Galaxy S8 vs iPhone 7: Design

Apple’s iPhone 7 now comes in a ‘blacker than black’ glossy finish as well as the standard matt metal model, and it’s now fully water resistant to boot. Samsung’s handset can also survive a dunking, and while it sports a much bigger screen than the iPhone 7 – at 5.8-inches versus just 4.7 – the phone still boasts surprisingly slender dimensions. That’s because the display actually wraps around the edges of the phone, as well as reaching close to the top and bottom of the handset. It’s a truly stunning finish that leaves Apple’s pretty standard finish coughing up dust.

Around the back of the S8 lurks Samsung’s new fingerprint sensor, which seems to be just as accurate as ever while leaving the front of the phone blemish-free. The iPhone’s TouchID sensor is just as responsive of course, but Samsung offers a greater range of security measures thanks to the built-in iris scanner, up above the display. This is even better than the Note 7’s, offering an impressively fast unlocking speed.

Read next: iPhone 7 tips, tricks and best hidden features

Samsung Galaxy S8 vs iPhone 7: Screen and media

Media fans will be more than happy with the movie playing chops of either the Galaxy S8 or the iPhone 7, but Samsung is undeniably once again in the lead. That spacious Super AMOLED display offers rich, vibrant colour reproduction and a widescreen aspect ratio to make the most of your movies. Visuals are beautifully crisp thanks to the QHD+ resolution, and there’s support for Mobile HDR video with improved colour ranges and contrast levels.

Meanwhile the iPhone 7 opts for more realistic visuals thanks to its IPS technology, with a greater range of colours on offer than ever before. And while the Full HD iPhone 7 screen isn’t as sharp as the S8’s and there’s no HDR support, it’s still strong when it comes to high-def movie streaming.

However, when it comes to storage space for your media collection, Samsung is the clear victor. For while the Galaxy S8 packs just 64GB of storage and the iPhone 7 Plus comes with an option of up to 256GB, only the Samsung phone here offers microSD memory card expandability.

Samsung Galaxy S8 vs iPhone 7: Features

If you’re interested in mobile VR, the Galaxy S8 is the one for you. Samsung has its own Gear VR platform which offers a strong catalogue of games and experiences, while that crisp and gorgeous screen makes for pleasingly clear images when the phone’s right up against your face. By comparison, the iPhone 7 sports a lower res screen and no dedicated VR support. Boo.

The iPhone 7 runs iOS 10, Apple’s own mobile OS, while the Galaxy S8 runs Google’s Android Nougat with a splash of TouchWiz action. Both offer side-by-side multitasking, a strong selection of apps and games for download, and their own built-in virtual assistants – although Samsung’s Bixby looks like it may be a step up from Apple’s Siri effort. We’ll be sure to test out Bixby fully for our in-depth S8 review.

For more info, check out our iOS guide and Android guide.

Samsung Galaxy S8 vs iPhone 7: Performance and battery life

The latest premium Exynos processor is packed inside the Galaxy S8, offering blistering everyday performance. Of course, Apple’s own A10 Fusion processor also delivers a nippy experience on the iPhone 7, so you won’t notice any lag or stutters here either. Either phone should be capable of playing the latest games with a perfect frame rate for the next couple of years.

As for battery life, you should manage a day of life from either phone with moderate use, although the iPhone sports a much smaller cell than the S8. Samsung’s handset is the only one to support wireless charging, however.

Samsung Galaxy S8 vs iPhone 7: Cameras

The iPhone 7 boasts Apple’s all-new f/1.8 aperture lens, which offers better low-light performance compared with older iPhones. You also get Optical Image Stabilisation to cut down on blur from hand judders and PDAF for a fast focus action. And you can shoot up to 4K resolution video, complete with time lapse and slow-mo video support if you want to shoot some funky footage.

Take a look at our iPhone 7 camera review and iPhone 7 camera tips and tricks guide for more info.

By comparison, Samsung’s 12-megapixel camera packed away on the back of the S8 seems to be just as effective in dim conditions, thanks to that f/1.7 lens.

Our test photos packed plenty of detail, with attractive results captured even in quite tricky conditions. There’s OIS, just as you get on the iPhone, plus that clever Dual Pixel focus tech found on last year’s S7 and S7 Edge which helps provide a super-fast shutter action.

You can once again shoot up to 4K resolution video and also stream to social media if your life is that damn exciting.

Samsung Galaxy S8 vs iPhone 7: UK pricing

If your heart is set on one of these mighty flagship phones, then better get saving – or looting.

The Galaxy S8 will hit the UK in April 2017 for the princely sum of £799, while the iPhone 7 can already be bagged for the slightly-more-modest £599 (for the base 32GB model). Either way, you’re getting some seriously premium smartphone tech for your cash.

Check out our iPhone 7 and 7 Plus hub for everything you need to know about Apple’s latest iPhones and our Galaxy S8 and S8 Plus hub for more on Samsung’s 2017 flagships. Stay tuned for our full Samsung Galaxy S8 and S8 Plus reviews!


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