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March 31, 2017

Samsung Galaxy S8 vs. iPhone 7: Duking it out with the cream of the crop

by John_A

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The highly anticipated Galaxy S8 has finally arrived, and it’s just as impressive as expected. Samsung’s newest flagship features a ultra-slim bezels, curved screen, cutting-edge processor, a brand-new digital assistant, and more.

But the Galaxy S8 isn’t the only heavyweight on the mobile playing field. Apple’s iPhone 7 is still a top performer. To put an end to the debate, we pitted the two phones against each other in a specs battle to the finish.

More: Behind the scenes: How Samsung designed and built the Galaxy S8 and S8+

Specs

Galaxy S8

s8-thumb-123x250.png

Apple iPhone 7

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Size
148.9 x 68.1 x 8 millimeters (5.86 x 2.68 x 0.31 inches)
138.3 x 67.1 x 7.1 millimeters (5.44 x 2.64 x 0.28 inches)
Weight
5.47 ounces (155 grams)
4.87 ounces (138 grams)
Screen
5.8-inch Quad HD+ Super AMOLED
4.7-inch Retina HD LED-backlit widescreen
Resolution
2,960 x 1,440 pixels
1,334 × 750 pixels
OS
Android 7.0 Nougat
iOS 10
Storage
64GB
32/128/256GB
SD Card Slot
Yes
No
NFC support
Yes
Yes (Apple Pay Only)
Processor
Qualcomm Snapdragon 835 (U.S.)
Samsung Exynos 8895 (International)
Apple A10 Fusion with 64-bit architecture, M10 motion coprocessor
RAM
4GB
2GB
Connectivity
4G LTE, GSM, CDMA, HSPA, 802.11a/b/g/n/ac Wi-Fi
4G LTE, GSM, CDMA, HSPA+, 802.11ac/b/g/n/ac Wi-Fi
Camera
12MP rear dual with OIS, 8MP front
12MP rear with OIS, 7MP front
Video
4K at 30fps, 1080p at 60fps,
4K at 30fps, 1080p at 30 or 60fps, 720p at 240fps
Bluetooth
Yes, version 5
Yes, version 4.2
Fingerprint sensor
Yes
Yes
Other sensors
Barometer, gyro, accelerometer, proximity sensor, iris scanner
Barometer, 3-axis gyro, accelerometer, proximity sensor, ambient light sensor
Water Resistant
Yes, IP68
Yes, IP67
Battery
3,300mAh
1,960mAh
Charger
USB Type-C
Lightning
Quick Charging
Yes
No
Wireless Charging
Yes, Qi and PMA
No
Marketplace
Google Play Store
Apple App Store
Color offerings
Black, silver, orchid gray, blue (international), gold (international)
Rose Gold, Gold, Silver, Black, Jet Black
Availability

AT&T, Verizon, Sprint, T-Mobile, Unlocked

AT&T, Verizon, Sprint, T-Mobile

Price
Starting at $720
$650
DT Review
Hands-on
3.5 out of 5 stars

Comparing the specs of the Galaxy S8 and iPhone 7 gets a little tricky — Apple controls the operating system and the hardware, so it can offer a smooth and optimized user experience. Samsung uses Google’s operating system, and in the U.S. it uses Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 835, so it doesn’t have the same level of control as Apple.

Qualcomm’s eight-core, 64-bit Snapdragon 835 processor is the newest and beefiest of the company’s chip arsenal. It’s built on a 10-nanometer FinFET process, which crams 30 percent more parts into the same space than the previous generation of Snapdragon processors. It features four levels of thermal shielding that protect against overheating.

It’s too early to tell how — or if — those synthetic gains translate to real-world performance, but Qualcomm gave Anandtech a preview at its San Diego headquarters. Apple’s iPhone 7, meanwhile, packs the company’s quad-core 64-bit A10 Fusion processor, which is 40 percent faster than the A9 in the iPhone 6S and 6S Plus. Graphics performance is significantly improved, too — Apple said the A10’s image chip is 50 percent faster than that in the A9. And it’s dramatically more efficient thanks to two dedicated co-processors that handle low-intensity tasks.

In all likelihood, the Snapdragon 835 and A10 will trade blows. Anandtech’s testing shows the Snapdragon 835 scoring 2,672 in the web benchmark Kraken compared to the A10’s 1,119 (lower is better). In GFXBench, the two are neck-and-neck — the Snapdragon 835 managed 60 frames per second, while the iPhone 7 averaged 59.90. Basemark put the A10 ahead with a score of 1,538 compared to the Snapdragon 835’s 889. But 3DMark had the Snapdragon 835 dominating the A10 with a score of 3,844 versus the latter’s 2,806.

It’s worth noting that the iPhone 7 has half the amount of RAM as the Galaxy S8 (2GB vs. 4GB), but iOS doesn’t require the kind of memory that Android does, so it may be a moot point. We’ll be testing the S8 soon, but Apple’s OS-level control may still put the iPhone 7 ahead of the competition in terms of performance.

Winner: Apple iPhone 7

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