Mobile Technology

Samsung Galaxy S7 edge vs. iPhone 6s Plus

Samsung Galaxy S7 edge vs. iPh...
Gizmag compares the features and specs of the Galaxy S7 edge (left) and iPhone 6s Plus
Gizmag compares the features and specs of the Galaxy S7 edge (left) and iPhone 6s Plus
View 30 Images
3D Touch
1/30
3D Touch
Always-on display
2/30
Always-on display
Camera aperture (rear)
3/30
Camera aperture (rear)
Battery
4/30
Battery
Build
5/30
Build
Physical camera shortcut
6/30
Physical camera shortcut
Camera megapixels
7/30
Camera megapixels
Color options
8/30
Color options
Processor
9/30
Processor
Curved display
10/30
Curved display
Dimensions
11/30
Dimensions
Display resolution
12/30
Display resolution
Display size
13/30
Display size
Display type
14/30
Display type
Fast charging
15/30
Fast charging
Fingerprint sensor
16/30
Fingerprint sensor
Gear VR support
17/30
Gear VR support
Gizmag compares the features and specs of the Galaxy S7 edge (left) and iPhone 6s Plus
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Gizmag compares the features and specs of the Galaxy S7 edge (left) and iPhone 6s Plus
Liquid cooling
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Liquid cooling
Mobile payments
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Mobile payments
OIS
21/30
OIS
Starting price (full retail)
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Starting price (full retail)
RAM
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RAM
Release
24/30
Release
Removable battery
25/30
Removable battery
Software
26/30
Software
Storage
27/30
Storage
Water resistance
28/30
Water resistance
Weight
29/30
Weight
Wireless charging
30/30
Wireless charging
View gallery - 30 images

In the old days, the iPhone vs. Galaxy question involved just one flagship phone from each company. Now that both Apple and Samsung have flagships in multiple sizes, lets compare the features and specs of their latest phablets, the Galaxy S7 edge and iPhone 6s Plus.

Size

Dimensions
Dimensions

Remember this category in a minute, when we get to screen size. The iPhone 6s Plus is 5 percent taller and 7 percent wider than the Galaxy S7 edge.

The iPhone is smaller in one dimension, coming in at 5 percent thinner. The Edge does have a curved back and front, though, and its 7.7 mm (0.3-inch) thickness only counts its thickest point.

Weight

Weight
Weight

The smaller Galaxy S7 edge is also 18 percent lighter than the 6s Plus.

Build

Build
Build

You won't find any chintzy plastic here, as you used to on pre-2015 Samsung flagships. The Galaxy S7 edge has a smooth glass (back) and aluminum (frame) build, while the iPhone sticks with its iconic and oft-copied aluminum unibody design.

Color options

Color options
Color options

You have three color options for the Galaxy, along with four for the iPhone.

Display size

Display size
Display size

Remember how much bigger the iPhone is? Well, all that extra real estate in your pocket doesn't give you any more screen real estate. This is a big win for the Galaxy, with its much more economical screen-to-size ratio.

Display resolution

Display resolution
Display resolution

Here's another big win for the Galaxy, with its 33 percent sharper screen. With that said, the 6s Plus' screen doesn't look pixelated by any means, and we're impressed with Apple's combination of white balance, brightness and viewing angles.

Display type

Display type
Display type

AMOLED vs. IPS is a regular tradition when comparing iPhones and Galaxies.

Always-on display

Always-on display
Always-on display

In its 2016 flagships, Samsung added an always-on display that leaves things like time, date and recent notifications on an otherwise dimmed display.

Curved display

Curved display
Curved display

Samsung's Edge series has dual-curved displays that slope off on either side.

Samsung keeps trying to turn this into a practical feature, with app shortcuts and widgets that launch when you swipe over from the edge. But let's be honest: this is mostly about making your phone look damn sexy. There's no shame in that, Samsung.

Pressure-sensitive display

3D Touch
3D Touch

Some pre-announcement rumors had suggested Samsung would copy 3D Touch in the new Galaxies, but that turned out to be bogus. We're thankful for that, as blindly copying Apple features reinforces an old reputation that diminishes Samsung's own (numerous) innovations.

As for the feature itself, the iPhone's 3D Touch lets you press hard (or harder) on the screen to pop up shortcuts, previews and menus. It's basically a new kind of mobile right-click, which is handy to have, but also not a must-have or killer feature.

Camera megapixels

Camera megapixels
Camera megapixels

Samsung is advertising much better low-light shooting with the S7 and S7 edge, and our brief hands-ons confirm that. It will be interesting to compare their cameras to the iPhone's; we suspect Samsung is going to have the upper hand.

Camera aperture (rear)

Camera aperture (rear)
Camera aperture (rear)

In addition to pixel size, camera aperture is one ingredient in that better low-light shooting recipe.

OIS

OIS
OIS

Though Apple's smaller iPhones don't have this, the Plus series joins the S7 edge in having Optical Image Stabilization. When shooting, it can cut down on the effects of over-caffeinated, shaky hands.

Physical camera shortcut

Physical camera shortcut
Physical camera shortcut

A simple home button double-tap to launch the camera app was one of Samsung's smartest additions last year. That shortcut is back for its 2016 Galaxies.

Battery

Battery
Battery

Many other factors play into battery life, but the Galaxy S7 edge does have a 31 percent bigger (higher-capacity) battery. When we review the new Galaxy, we'll see how this fares in a real-world battery test.

Fast charging

Fast charging
Fast charging

Now ubiquitous among Android flagships, fast charging has yet to come to the iPhone. Samsung is sticking with the old Qualcomm Quick Charge 2.0, though, not the newer QC 3.0 found in the LG G5.

Wireless charging

Wireless charging
Wireless charging

You can also wirelessly charge the GS7 edge.

Removable battery

Removable battery
Removable battery

Both batteries are locked like a chastity belt.

Liquid cooling

Liquid cooling
Liquid cooling

Samsung threw in some advanced liquid cooling in its new flagships, likely designed to extend playtimes for the next category.

VR headset

Gear VR support
Gear VR support

Technically there are some third-party VR headsets that will support iPhones, but right now that doesn't make for a good experience (even if you put the sketchy hardware aside, the App Store has a crummy selection of VR content).

The Gear VR, though, is far and away the best mobile VR today, letting you snap your Galaxy phone inside to create a wireless VR console that's a terrific entry-level sneak peek of the high-end experiences you'll get from the Oculus Rift and HTC Vive.

... and if you pre-order the Galaxy S7 edge (only a little time left for that) you get a free Gear VR, which normally costs US$99.

Processor

Processor
Processor

Forget these specs on paper, as the actual performance of Apple's mobile chips often outperforms silicon with more cores and higher clock speeds. With that said, Qualcomm's new Snapdragon 820 looks like a beast and, being a 2016 chip next to Apple's 2015, will likely be a bit faster. Stay tuned for our benchmarks and impressions.

If you don't buy your Galaxy in the US, China or Japan, then you'll get a variant with an octa-core Samsung Exynos 8990 in its place.

RAM

RAM
RAM

The Galaxy doubles the iPhone's RAM, but this can also be deceiving on paper, as iOS has outstanding memory management.

Storage

Storage
Storage

If you live in the US, your beloved wireless carriers have deemed it unnecessary to give you the option of buying a 64 GB or 128 GB Galaxy S7 or S7 edge. We find that annoying, but at least the next category will help out.

MicroSD

Liquid cooling
Liquid cooling

Fortunately the Galaxy S7 pair have expandable storage to help you make the most of that 32 GB on the inside.

Mobile payments

Mobile payments
Mobile payments

The Galaxy S7 edge supports Samsung Pay, which lets you pay at most standard credit card readers, while the iPhone supports Apple Pay, which is limited to retailers with NFC readers installed.

Fingerprint sensor

Fingerprint sensor
Fingerprint sensor

Both phones have excellent, touch-based fingerprint sensors living inside their home buttons.

Water resistance

Water resistance
Water resistance

The S7 edge has IP68 water resistance, so you can take it with you in your next bath or hot tub, and also not worry about clumsily flinging it into a pool or toilet (ew!).

Software

Software
Software

The S7 edge launches with Android Marshmallow with Samsung's TouchWiz customizations on top. The iPhone runs iOS 9.

Release

Release
Release

If you're eyeing the Galaxy S7 edge and live in the US, March 11 is the big date to circle on your calendar.

Starting price (full retail)

Starting price (full retail)
Starting price (full retail)

Starting full retail prices (which US shoppers will either pay all at once or in installments over two years) are very similar, with the Galaxy coming out around $30-50 extra. Just remember that the S7 edge gives you double the internal storage, along with expandable storage, for around the same price. Apple's 16 GB (entry-level) iPhone is very hard to recommend, with the sizes of apps, photo files and video files taking up more space than ever.

For more, you can check out our full reviews of the Galaxy S7 edge and our iPhone 6s Plus.

View gallery - 30 images
3 comments
John Destacamento
This time it seems that Samsung is really blowing away Apple with stats and features however most of us know that user experience is why people still buy the iPhone. I believe the Galaxy series recently caught up with iPhone quality user experience when they released the Galaxy S6 and obviously the S7 will be better. This year so far, I must give a lot of credit to Samsung for acknowledging their customer's needs. Apple has always had the approach of, "Consumers don't know what they want, until you show them." - Steve Jobs. Perhaps this WAS somewhat true during the early releases of smartphones. Times have changed and smartphone technology has matured thus Apple needs to start listening to their customers.
christopher
force-touch is easily emulated on waterproof phones using the atmospheric pressure sensor - graph pressure, and you can correlate touch and "how hard" with extreme accuracy.
That said - it's a really stupid idea for almost everything (art excluded). If you need some way to give users access to otherwise unusable features, that is a bug in your UX or a basic screwup of your interface design, not anything you need to introduce a non-intuitive custom secret action to accomplish!
"Push Harder" is basically something that never should have been invented, and whoever got it to exist should be ashamed of themselves for destroying "easy" from every product that uses it!
MikeZumbrunn
They are both good phones, but holding both of them side by side and toying around with them both. IOS is just better than the android platform. Regardless of the phones features if what it runs sucks than what good it the phone. I do think that there is improvements that need to be made on both parts but as for Samsung taking any business or knocking down apple with this phone they are not even close. Their position has not changed at all. They only put phones out once a year and samsung puts out phones what seems like all the time. I love that I get to test them all and review cool gadgets but IOS is simply better in my opinion for now.