Mobile Technology

iPhone 7 Plus vs. Galaxy Note 7

Side-by-side look at the iPhone 7 Plus and the Samsung Galaxy Note 7
Side-by-side look at the iPhone 7 Plus and the Samsung Galaxy Note 7
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Starting price (full retail)
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Starting price (full retail)
Release
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Release
Software
3/35
Software
Mobile payments
4/35
Mobile payments
Built-in storage
5/35
Built-in storage
Processor
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Processor
RAM
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RAM
Camera flash
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Camera flash
Water resistance
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Water resistance
Optical image stabilization (OIS)
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Optical image stabilization (OIS)
Fingerprint sensor
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Fingerprint sensor
Lens aperture
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Lens aperture
Camera megapixels
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Camera megapixels
Charging cable
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Charging cable
Battery
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Battery
Pressure-sensitive display
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Pressure-sensitive display
Dual lens camera for optical zoom
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Dual lens camera for optical zoom
Headphone jack
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Headphone jack
VR headset
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VR headset
microSD
20/35
microSD
Iris scanner
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Iris scanner
Wireless charging
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Wireless charging
Fast charging
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Fast charging
Stylus
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Stylus
Always-on display
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Always-on display
Curved display
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Curved display
Display resolution
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Display resolution
Display size
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Display size
Colors
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Colors
Build
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Build
Weight
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Weight
Dimensions
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Dimensions
Side-by-side look at the iPhone 7 Plus and the Samsung Galaxy Note 7
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Side-by-side look at the iPhone 7 Plus and the Samsung Galaxy Note 7
Capacitive home button
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Capacitive home button
Display type
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Display type

In a match between the new iPhone 7 Plus and the Samsung Galaxy Note 7, which smartphone comes out on top? Here's how the the expensive, stylus-navigated Note 7 stacks up to Apple's latest and greatest, the iPhone 7 Plus.

Size

Dimensions
Dimensions

Both phablets fall in the upper end of the size spectrum of this year's flagships. The body of the iPhone 7 Plus is four millimeters taller and wider than that of the Note 7, but it also shaves off some thickness. At 7.3 millimeters thick, it's nearly 8 percent thinner than the Note 7.

Weight

Weight
Weight

The iPhone 7 Plus is comparatively dense – it's nearly 20 grams heavier than the Note 7. That's a difference of about 11 percent.

Build

Build
Build

The iPhone's aluminum unibody is a little more streamlined than last year's, but mostly maintains the Apple look we're used to. Meanwhile, the Note 7's curvy glass body gives it a standout look and feel.

Colors

Colors
Colors

Apple's ditched the space gray option in favor of two new blacks, one glossy and one matte. The rest of its options are metallic tones. The Note 7 is available in a similar palette, with a blue option in lieu of Apple's pinkish rose gold.

Display size

Display size
Display size

Though the iPhone 7 Plus has a larger front surface area, its screen is actually 7 percent smaller. The iPhone's home button – which has haptic feedback (read on) – takes up more real estate than the one on the Note 7, and there's a broader "forehead" on the iPhone as well.

Display type

Display type
Display type

Apple is one of the few manufacturers holding onto IPS display technology; Samsung has long embraced AMOLED.

Display resolution

Display resolution
Display resolution

The Note 7 has a handy lead in resolution and pixel density.

Curved display

Curved display
Curved display

The smaller iPhone display is bordered on all sides, but the Note 7's screen follows the rounded edges of its body, curving toward its minimal frame.

Always-on display

Always-on display
Always-on display

AMOLED technology helps the Note 7 offer an "always-on" option where the lock screen displays important notifications without needing to unlock the phone. No such feature on the iPhone.

Pressure-sensitive display

Capacitive home button
Capacitive home button

The iPhone 7 Plus retains Apple's 3D touch feature, which allows for navigational shortcuts based on how hard and long the screen is pressed. The Note 7 does not have a pressure-sensitive display, but it's not necessary due to the next item.

Stylus

Always-on display
Always-on display

The Note 7 remains the only high-end stylus-operated phablet on the market. The S Pen stylus offers thousands of levels of pressure sensitivity and numerous shortcuts.

Battery

Battery
Battery

According to Apple, the 7 Plus has the most powerful iPhone battery yet, but it has not released an exact mAh measurement. We'll verify that metric once we get ahold of one. On the other hand, the Note 7 has a 3,500 mAh battery, but that bulk of power may be contributing to the device's recent charging dangers and subsequent recall.

Charging cable

Charging cable
Charging cable

The iPhone is charged through its Lightning port, but the Note 7 uses USB-C.

Fast charging

Always-on display
Always-on display

We're not alone in wishing the iPhone had an expedited charging option. Fast charging is possible with the Note 7 and many other Android phones.

Wireless charging

Stylus
Stylus

With the purchase of a charging pad (sold separately), Note 7 can be charged wirelessly, another iPhone incapability.

Dedicated headphone jack

Always-on display
Always-on display

Apple bid adieu to the dedicated 3.5-mm headphone jack in this year's flagships, but Samsung held onto it. Lightning-port headphones and a 3.5-mm-to-Lightning adapter ship with the iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus.

Camera megapixels

Camera megapixels
Camera megapixels

The two phones have matching megapixels in their rear cameras, but Apple just boosted the front camera to 7 megapixels. That makes for sharper selfies with the iPhone.

Camera aperture

Lens aperture
Lens aperture

Smartphone manufacturers are opting for larger camera apertures across the board. That's a big help for taking pictures in darker settings. The Note 7 just barely edges out the iPhone 7 Plus's aperture size (the smaller the f-stop, the larger the aperture).

Dual lens camera for optical zoom

Dual lens camera for optical zoom
Dual lens camera for optical zoom

The iPhone 7 Plus has a dual camera with one standard 28 millimeter-equivalent lens and an additional telephoto lens. The telephoto lens brings 2x optical zoom to the iPhone for the first time, and boosts the possible digital zoom up to 10x (up from 5x previously). Bottom line, the dual lens camera takes sharper pictures of objects in the distance.

Apple also added a software-based portrait feature to the 7 Plus that can give shots a bokeh (blurred background) look that may rival DSLRs.

Optical image stabilization (OIS)

Optical image stabilization (OIS)
Optical image stabilization (OIS)

Both cameras have optical image stabilization, so you don't need to worry as much about keeping your hands steady through long exposure times.

Camera flash

Camera flash
Camera flash

Apple also updated the flash in its new flagships; it now has twice the LEDs and a "flicker detection" feature for adapting to artificial light. It's better tested than described, but it should be another helpful feature for making clear captures in a variety of environments.

Water resistance

Water resistance
Water resistance

Water resistance has finally come to the iPhone, but it's not as water safe as the Note 7. Apple's IP67 rating denotes protection from immersion in water between 15 centimeters and 1 meter deep; Note 7's IP68 rating means the phone is safe in water over 1 meter deep.

Fingerprint scanner

Optical image stabilization (OIS)
Optical image stabilization (OIS)

Both phones have a handy fingerprint sensor for security and shortcuts, which is practically an industry standard in middle-of-the-road and high-end phones at this point.

Iris scanner

Wireless charging
Wireless charging

The Note 7 has another biometric security measure: iris scanning. Read more about this borderline party trick feature in our full-length Note 7 review.

Capacitive home button

Dual lens camera for optical zoom
Dual lens camera for optical zoom

The iPhone's home button has vibration-based haptic feedback similar to the Force Touch technology on its MacBook touchpads. The Note 7's physical home button keeps it simple.

VR headset

Stylus
Stylus

Samsung released a new Gear VR headset to connect to the Note 7 via USB-C, with games available through the Oculus store. Apple touted new gaming capability during its keynote speech unveiling the iPhone 7 Plus, but has yet to touch VR.

RAM

RAM
RAM

Note 7 has 4 GB of RAM, which is twice the amount in last year's iPhones. We've yet to confirm the amount of RAM in this year's iPhones, but since Apple has always made operating efficiency a priority, we don't foresee a deficiency even if RAM doesn't budge.

Processor

Processor
Processor

The Apple new A10 fusion chip is surely powerful, but we have yet to confirm an exact processing speed. The Note 7 has an ample Snapdragon 820 chip in large markets; outside of the US, China and Japan, it has an octa core Exynos 8990 processor.

Built-in storage

Built-in storage
Built-in storage

Apple majorly upped the storage capacity of the iPhone this year, with 32 GB, 128 GB and 256 GB tiers (though the jet black version is not available in the 32 GB size). 64 GB storage is the sole option for the Note 7, but that's not a major concern due to the next point.

MicroSD

microSD
microSD

Unlike the iPhone 7 Plus, Note 7 has microSD compatibility. With the Note, it's easy to opt for external storage if the 64 GB capacity is insufficient.

Mobile payments

Mobile payments
Mobile payments

Apple Pay may have more name recognition, but Samsung Pay is actually easier for merchants to accept. Apple Pay requires a contactless-capable (NFC) point of sale terminal. Samsung Pay can be used with a contactless terminal or it can mimic the swiping of a magnetic stripe. That means any merchant with a stripe reader should be able to accept Samsung Pay.

Software

Software
Software

The iPhone 7 Plus ships with iOS 10. The Note 7 has started shipping with Android 6.0 Marshmallow with Samsung's custom skin. Samsung has stated the Note 7 will receive the Nougat update before the end of this year, but in light of more urgent issues (see below) we wonder if that will prove true.

Release

Release
Release

The Note 7 hit shelves a month earlier, but was almost immediately recalled due to a manufacturing defect that caused some batteries to explode or catch fire. Now, Note 7 replacements and shipping seem to be a little touch-and-go. Apple unveiled the iPhone 7 and 7 Plus at their September 7th keynote event; the new phones start shipping September 16th.

Price

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

The Galaxy Note 7 has more features that the iPhone lacks than vice versa, but are they worth almost $100 extra? It's debatable, especially if you're wary about the Samsung recall. To us, the features most likely to make or break the decision (apart from operating system loyalty) are the stylus and dual lens camera.

For more information, read our full reviews of the iPhone 7 Plus and Galaxy Note 7.

9 comments
ZhiyongSun
Nice comparison! IMHO the extra builtin ram (64GB vs 32GB of iPhone entry) + expandable memory alone is worth the difference. As a phone/portable computer, the note 7 is far more useful than the iPhone 7 plus.
Augure
So as predicted, Galaxy Note 7 wins on about every aspect except for the slightly better iPhone camera. If Samsung weren't biollionaire untalented screw-ups maybe the Galaxy Note 7 would've sold more instead of being recalled for a fucking burning battery?
RichDavis
iPhone 7+ = Stereo Speakers Note 7 = mono Speaker What is so great about a curved display? All I know is screen protectors typically don't work very well with a curved display. A stylus pen on a smartphone? For what? to write short words in a list? I can type faster than using a Stylus Pen. Drawing pictures? On what? A screen that's less than 6 inches diag? I'm sorry but now I know why 99% of the human population that uses a smartphone doesn't use a stylus pen Note phone. It's a gimmick. The OS and apps that are on the platform is a main reason. It's what makes a product useful or not. Some of us simply prefer one OS over another and that's what makes or breaks a product. For some of us, Android breaks the cardinal rule of not updating the OS in a timely manner. Does Note 7 ship with Nougat? Not yet. Ouch, that seems kind of silly to spend near $900 on a phone and it comes with a year old OS. Why do people put up with this slimy practice? I don't get it. If Apple did that, they'd get crucified and rightly so, if non-Apple companies do it, the media and users look the other way in denial just like an alcoholic is afraid to admit they have a drinking problem. 64 Bit apps. Apple has finished their transition to 64 Bit devices and 64 Bit apps on the App Store, Android hasn't, they are far behind iOS since 90% of the Android devices being used are old 32 Bit processors using a 2+ year old OS. Not exactly giving developers any incentive to develop 64 Bit apps. This will plague Android for the years to come in terms of getting great apps. The Iris Scanner used on Samsung products isn't a big deal, especially since they don't work well and weren't completely integrated and fully functional. Samsung's version doesn't work well in direct sunlight, and you can't wear sunglasses around them and they aren't faster than a fingerprint sensor. Unless they have some kind of functionality other than basic unlocking the phone, the Iris Scanner is a gimmick. Wireless charging is still more of a gimmick. Now if there was wireless charging stations in public places and they were readily available, then maybe, but one can always add wireless charging to an iPhone if they really want it. I have been tempted, but it's not that big of a deal, yet. Application launching. Even last year's 6S/6S+'s launch applications faster than any top end Android phone. I expect the 7/7+ do perform even better. I still don't know why people don't discuss the lack of performance on top end Android phones. They simply don't perform this function as well.
christopher
My S7 edge loads Pokemon from scratch exactly 2x faster than my Wifes iPhone 6s+ If the new iPhone really is 2x faster as they claim (I bet it is not really), the *best* Apple have done is catch up to what Samsung are already doing. f1.7 is better than f1.8 bigger screen smaller phone = better IP68 is better than IP67 518ppi=better than 401ppi wireless charging=totally awesome: IMHO - omitting this = Apple biggest mistake - their brand new phone is 2+ years behind Samsung... oops.
AllenLaRose
Too bad the Note 7 is DOA. World wide recall and now a ban on commercial aircraft, including packed in baggage....
Rann Xeroxx
I'm not a Samsung fan but the Note 7 beats the iPhone 7 in just about every aspect. Things like the crappy screen the iPhone has is just pathetic for a supposed flagship phone. The LG V-20 is also a great phone as well.
KeniaCruz
Combustible phone is missing from the comparison list.
VincentWolf
You forgot to compare flammability.........iPhone wins hands down. Samsung owners should stick to buying an LG5 with it's removable modular design.
DaríoVasquezComarazamy
Augure: Better camera on the iPhone? ... Not really get on YouTube and look for (supersaf) camera comparison note 7 vs iphone 7 plus Note 7 has the iPhone beat on 8 out of 10 shooting situations