Mobile Technology

Samsung Galaxy S8 vs. iPhone 7 Plus

Samsung Galaxy S8 vs. iPhone 7...
Here's how the smaller Galaxy S8 flagship compares to Apple's latest phablet, the iPhone 7 Plus
Here's how the smaller Galaxy S8 flagship compares to Apple's latest phablet, the iPhone 7 Plus
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Here's how the smaller Galaxy S8 flagship compares to Apple's latest phablet, the iPhone 7 Plus
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Here's how the smaller Galaxy S8 flagship compares to Apple's latest phablet, the iPhone 7 Plus
Operating system
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Operating system
Mobile VR headset
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Mobile VR headset
Voice assistant
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Voice assistant
Mobile payments
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Mobile payments
Starting price (full retail)
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Starting price (full retail)
Release
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Release
Camera aperture (rear)
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Camera aperture (rear)
Camera megapixels
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Camera megapixels
Battery
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Battery
Bundled headphones
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Bundled headphones
Optical image stabilization (OIS)
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Optical image stabilization (OIS)
RAM
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RAM
Processor
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Processor
Fingerprint sensor
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Fingerprint sensor
Pressure-sensitive display
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Pressure-sensitive display
Desktop PC dock
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Desktop PC dock
Fast charging
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Fast charging
Wireless charging
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Wireless charging
Headphone jack
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Headphone jack
Curved display
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Curved display
Face scanning
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Face scanning
MicroSD
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MicroSD
Iris scanning
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Iris scanning
HDR display
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HDR display
Display type
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Display type
Display resolution
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Display resolution
Colors
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Colors
Build materials
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Build materials
Dimensions
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Dimensions
Weight
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Weight
Water resistance
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Water resistance
Home button
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Home button
Storage
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Storage
Dual-lens camera
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Dual-lens camera
Display size
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Display size
View gallery - 36 images

The smaller of Samsung's S8 series flagships is quite comparable to Apple's latest phablet. Here's how the specs and features of the Samsung Galaxy S8 match up with those of the iPhone 7 Plus.

Size

Dimensions
Dimensions

The iPhone 7 Plus is about 6-percent taller and 13-percent wider, but the Galaxy S8 is the thicker of the two (by less than a millimeter).

Weight

Weight
Weight

The hefty iPhone 7 Plus is nearly 18-percent heavier (30 grams) than the S8.

Build

Build materials
Build materials

Both makers stick with tried-and-true builds. The Galaxy S8, like its previous generation, has a glass back and a thin aluminum frame. The iPhone 7 Plus has a an aluminum unibody like several iPhones before it.

Colors

Colors
Colors

There are several color options for these phones, but not all variants are available everywhere. In the US, the S8 is currently available in black, silver and orchid gray, and the red iPhone is a special edition.

Water resistance

Water resistance
Water resistance

The S8 has a slightly higher water resistance rating than the iPhone 7 Plus, but either one should be able to withstand splashes and quick shallow dips.

Display size

Display size
Display size

Samsung's so-called Infinity Display is the killer feature of the S8 series. The expansive display stretches around the phone's edges and covers nearly the entire front of the phone. So even though it's a smaller phone, the S8 has a 2-percent bigger display.

Display resolution

Display resolution
Display resolution

The QHD+ resolution on the S8 display beats the 401 PPI display on the iPhone.

Display type

Display type
Display type

These two makers fall on opposite sides of the AMOLED/IPS fence.

HDR display

HDR display
HDR display

The S8 flagships are the first phones to receive the Mobile HDR Premium designation from the UHD Alliance, which guarantees adherence to certain standards and means that the S8 supports HDR content.

Curved display

Desktop PC dock
Desktop PC dock

You may not be able to tell from pictures taken straight-on, but the Galaxy S8 takes after Samsung's "Edge" style phones from years past. The curved displays wrap around the side edges of the phone.

Pressure-sensitive display

Pressure-sensitive display
Pressure-sensitive display

Only the iPhone has 3D Touch pressure sensitivity built into its display. That means you can navigate differently depending on how long and hard you tap the screen.

Home button

Home button
Home button

The S8 has an onscreen home button with some pressure-sensitivity built into it (but not into the rest of the display). The iPhone 7 Plus has an offscreen solid-state home button below the display.

Fingerprint sensor

Fingerprint sensor
Fingerprint sensor

Samsung has moved the fingerprint sensor to the back of the phone, to the right of the camera lens. On the iPhone, the fingerprint sensor is embedded into the home button.

Face recognition

Desktop PC dock
Desktop PC dock

The S8 has a face scanning feature that lets you unlock your phone just by looking at it, but it may not be the most secure option.

Iris scanning

Fast charging
Fast charging

The S8 also has an iris scanner, a feature introduced on the ill-fated Note 7 that seems to have been much improved since then.

Processor

Processor
Processor

The two premium phones have similarly capable top-of-the-line processors. In the US and other markets, the S8 uses the latest Snapdragon 835 chip (elsewhere, it includes Samsung's Exynos-branded chip). The iPhone uses Apple's own A10 processor.

RAM

RAM
RAM

The S8 packs in one more gigabyte of RAM than the iPhone, but it's not quite an apples-to-apples comparison: The two operating systems use memory differently.

Storage

Storage
Storage

The S8 is available in one 64 GB size, while the iPhone comes in three sizes ranging from 32 GB to 256 GB (though the 32 GB size is not available in the glossy jet black color variant).

MicroSD

Desktop PC dock
Desktop PC dock

If you're worried about space, however, Samsung still has you covered with a microSD slot for expandable storage.

Headphone jack

Fast charging
Fast charging

Apple axed the traditional headphone jack, but it's still present on the S8 series.

Bundled headphones

Bundled headphones
Bundled headphones

Samsung includes a pair of wired AKG headphones (which retail separately for US$99) while Apple includes a set of wired earpods with a Lightning port. Apple also includes a headphone-jack-to-Lightning adapter in case you have an older pair you want to use.

Battery

Battery
Battery

The two phones have very similar battery capacities, but size alone is only one indication of overall battery life. We'll put the S8 to the test in our full-length review.

Wireless charging

Desktop PC dock
Desktop PC dock

The Galaxy S8 supports wireless charging with a compatible charging pad (sold separately), and even a degree of fast wireless charging.

Fast charging

Wireless charging
Wireless charging

The Galaxy S8 supports Qualcomm Quick Charge, but iPhone charging is not similarly speedy.

Camera megapixels

Camera megapixels
Camera megapixels

The two rear-facing cameras are both 12 MP, but the Samsung's front camera sneaks in an extra megapixel for sharper selfies.

Camera aperture (rear)

Camera aperture (rear)
Camera aperture (rear)

The S8 camera also has a slightly larger aperture, which could mean a small advantage for low-light shooting.

Dual-lens camera

Pressure-sensitive display
Pressure-sensitive display

The iPhone 7 Plus' dual-lens rear camera could be one of its major advantages. The camera uses one standard and one telephoto lens that lets the iPhone camera to achieve 2x optical zoom and 10x digital zoom, as well as depth-of-field effects in Portrait Mode.

Optical image stabilization (OIS)

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

Both cameras have OIS to combat image blur brought about by shaky hands.

Mobile payments

Mobile payments
Mobile payments

The S8's Samsung Pay has an advantage over Apple Pay – in addition to being read by NFC scanners, it can also imitate a magnetic strip card, so it can be accepted by more merchants.

Voice assistant

Voice assistant
Voice assistant

The iPhone has Siri, while the S8 has both Google Assistant and Samsung's all-new Bixby (and a dedicated Bixby activation button on the side of the phone). Unfortunately, we're not sure when Bixby is going to be fully operational, as its voice-related features are disabled at launch.

VR headset

Mobile VR headset
Mobile VR headset

The S8 supports the Samsung Gear VR headset, but the iPhone doesn't support mobile VR beyond basic Google Cardboard (and similar) functionality.

Desktop PC dock

Curved display
Curved display

With Samsung's DeX dock (sold separately) you can use your S8 to power a desktop PC computing experience using a separate keyboard, monitor and mouse.

Release

Release
Release

The iPhone 7 Plus is a 2016 flagship released late last year, while the Samsung S8 series is just starting to hit shelves.

Software

Operating system
Operating system

The S8 runs Android Nougat with Samsung's TouchWiz UI layered on top. The iPhone 7 Plus runs Apple's current mobile OS, iOS 10.

Starting price (full retail)

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

Pricing for the Samsung Galaxy S8 fluctuates depending on carrier and payment plan, but count on paying at least $720 when all is said and done. That makes it just a bit cheaper than Apple's most expensive iPhone, which starts at $769.

For the kind of information you can't get from a spec sheet, check out our review of the iPhone 7 Plus, as well as our hands-on impressions of the Samsung Galaxy S8. Stay tuned: We'll post a full-length review of the S8 series in the near future.

View gallery - 36 images
2 comments
LeighBentley
I don't understand why you compared the large iPhone with the small S8, and the larger S8 with the basic iPhone. In this comparison piece you get a more expensive iPhone with smaller screen at lower resolution, less memory, more weight and inferior camera, but it does have dual lenses... I'll take the Samsung every time, thanks. They seem to be leading Apple on the innovation factor. Love that Infinity display!
eprice
Great article! Both are great phones but would like to see a comparison between the S8 and the new iPhone when released. One of my co-workers just got the S8. The display is amazing but still not enough to make me switch from my iPhone. We will see what Apple has to offer later this year then decide from there.