iPhone 7 vs. Samsung Galaxy S7

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New Atlas compares the iPhone 7 to Samsung's Galaxy S7

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While tech products are more than just lists of features, there has been a feature gap of late between iPhones and Galaxies: Things like water resistance, fast charging and VR on the Samsung phones; while 3D touch is one of the few neat/unique iPhone features. That dynamic changed a little bit with the arrival of the iPhone 7. Let's see how it sizes up next to the Galaxy S7.

Size

Apple didn't shrink or grow the iPhones this year, so this 4.7-inch model still measures in at 3 percent shorter and 4 percent narrower than the Galaxy S7.

Weight

Samsung's phone weighs 10 percent heavier.

Build

These are two of the sleekest-looking pieces of kit you can buy today, with the iPhone's well-worn aluminum unibody build and the GS7's aluminum-meat with glass-bread sandwich.

Water resistance

The iPhone 7 is the first Apple handset that can (officially) survive an unfortunate dip into a pool, sink or toilet. It still trails, though, behind the stronger liquid protection in the S7.

Colors

Apple shuffled its color options a bit this year, with the new jet black model looking like a fraternal twin to the GS7's black.

Display size

No screen size changes on either side this year, so the S7 still has an 18 percent bigger screen.

Of course if you fancy an iPhone with a super-sized, phablet-ized screen, you can opt instead for the 5.5-inch iPhone 7 Plus.

Display resolution

Apple historically has some of the best displays in the business, but the company hasn't bothered much playing the pixel density arms race games that are common with Android handsets.

Display type

Always-on display

If you like to chuck your phone onto a desk and glance over when alerts come in, then Samsung's always-on display feature might tickle your fancy.

Pressure-sensitive display

In what may be the best sign that the iPhone's 3D Touch hasn't been a game-changing feature, Samsung has yet to copy it.

Fingerprint sensor

Nothing out-of-the-ordinary here, fingerprint sensors are standard today.

Capacitive home button

Similar to the magic trick it pulled with the latest MacBooks, Apple gave the iPhone 7 a home button that doesn't move but – gasp – feels like it is moving! That's courtesy of some haptic (or, if you're Apple, "Taptic") feedback.

It is a neat feature, just don't expect any practical value.

VR

Speaking of neat features, the Galaxy S7 can transform into the best mobile VR headset, the Samsung Gear VR.

There are technically VR headsets from smaller companies that work with the iPhone, but, in addition to a watered-down VR software selection in the App Store, that 4.7-inch screen has no business being inside a VR headset. Your field of view will have some cutoff.

Camera megapixels

Apple went all-in on selfies this year, with a higher-res 7 MP front camera.

Camera aperture (rear)

The iPhone 7 doesn't quite have as wide aperture as the S7, but it's still a big improvement over last year's iPhones – and should lead to some impressive low-lit shots.

OIS

This is the first year that the smaller 4.7-inch iPhone gets Optical Image Stabilization.

Battery

We'll have to wait for teardowns to get a somewhat official reading on the iPhone 7's battery.

Fast charging

If there's one ginormous Android feature that we'd expected Apple to have copied by now, it's fast charging. No dice.

Wireless charging

Not quite as significant as fast charging, but still a convenient option for some folks, is wireless charging.

Storage

Dear Apple fans: The gods (or at least Tim Cook and Jony Ive) have smiled upon you and granted you a much more with-the-times 32 GB storage in the entry-level iPhones. That doesn't mean, however, that Apple isn't still happy to upsell you on a phone with 4x the storage for "only" US$100 more.

MicroSD

iPhones have never – and probably never will – had expandable storage.

Mobile payments

We have Apple Pay on the iPhone side of the aisle and (the oh-so-creatively-titled) Samsung Pay on the other. Despite its formulaic brand-name copying, Samsung Pay is the more versatile, as it works at not just NFC terminals but also most swipe-based credit card machines.

Software

The iPhone ships with the new iOS 10; the GS7 is still on Android Marshmallow, with a thick layer of Samsung's TouchWiz UI gooped on top.

Release

A major holiday for Apple fans, this Friday is D-Day for the new iPhones.

Starting price (full retail)

Pricing is similar – and keep in mind the S7's price varies from carrier to carrier. Apple uses its significant clout to mercilessly clobber carriers into using set pricing across the board.

For more on each handset, you can check out our reviews of the iPhone 7 and Galaxy S7.

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