[Breakdown] Samsung Galaxy S7 Vs Galaxy S7 Edge Vs iPhone 6s Vs iPhone 6s Plus; Design, Specs & Features

Ramish Zafar
Posted Feb 22, 2016
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With the launch of the Samsung Galaxy S7 and Galaxy S7 Edge yesterday, the smartphone world now takes a new direction, as we can officially start comparing all the various flagship offerings out there. If you’re looking for a smartphone upgrade this quarter, pre-orders for the device begin tomorrow, so do book yourself one. Till then, take a look below at how both of Samsung’s latest launches compare with the other side of the smartphone sphere; Apple and its iPhone 6s/6s Plus.

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Design

When it comes to design, Samsung’s managed to vastly change its approach over the past two years. Both the Galaxy S7 and the Galaxy S7 Edge follow in their predecessor’s footsteps, maintaining the overall sleek form and build approach. However, there have been changes this time around, with both the devices being more user friendly in ergonomic terms. The overall approach on the Galaxy S7 and the Galaxy S7 Edge is fluid, with the smoothed out corners playing their part.

Thickness wise, the Samsung Galaxy S7 and the Galaxy S7 Edge stand at 7.9 and 7.7mm respectively, with the larger screened S7 Edge taking the lead. Comparing these to the iPhone 6s and the iPhone 6s Plus we see that Samsung’s devices are slightly big boned. Apple’s device measure 7.1 and 7.3mm respectively in thickness but you’ll see this accounted for later.

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The iPhone 6s Plus is the heaviest of the four devices, weighing in at 192g. Surprisingly, both the Galaxy S7 and the Galaxy Edge outweigh the iPhone 6s, even though the latter comes with Force Touch on board. The lighter 1715mAh battery accounts this fact, with the Galaxy S7 and the Galaxy S7 Edge packing 3000 and 3600mAh batteries.

Finally, coming towards Apple’s design approach on the iPhone 6s and the iPhone 6s Plus, we saw the company introduce new materials to improve structural stability. No made it on board, with both the iPhone’s following the iPhone 6/6 Plus’ and somewhat the iPod Touch 5g in terms of aesthetics.

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Photography & Multimedia

While design might make any device attractive on the outside, the critical selling point of most electronic gadgets is performance. But while the ability to run complex and demanding tasks on electronic devices might have been important, recently we’ve started to see manufacturers pay special attention to the photographic features as well.

Talking in terms of camera resolutions, rear cameras for the Galaxy S7 and the Galaxy S7 Edge stand at 12MP, Dual Pixel sensors with OIS on board. According to Samsung, not only does the camera sensor on its flagship smartphones uses all of its pixels for focusing, but both the Galaxy S7 and the Galaxy S7 Edge come with larger pixels on board; 30% larger than the iPhone 6s Plus according to Samsung.

Another significant addition to the Galaxy S7 and the Galaxy S7 this year is the aperture size, with both the front and rear cameras coming with f/1.7. This should allow for some very impressive results in low light environments, and is the largest on a smartphone as of now.

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The iPhone 6s and the iPhone 6s Plus also feature 12MP rear camera sensors, with aperture size f/2.2. Out of the two, only the iPhone 6s Plus comes with OIS on board in otherwise similar specifications between the two. All of the devices come with 4K video, HDR and Panaorama recording on board, though we’d expect that 4K should be tough to pull off with the 16GB variants of the iPhone 6s and iPhone 6s Plus.

For our verdict, we’d hand this one over to the Samsung Galaxy S7 and Samsung Galaxy S7 Edge. The aperture size and Samsung’s Dual Pixel take on the devices’ camera sensor shows a serious approach towards things which should definitely be expected to bear fruit once we get to test the device for ourselves. Apple’s software tricks on the iPhone might end up making the competition a tough one as well.

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Performance

Coming towards performance, the Samsung Galaxy S7 and Galaxy S7 Edge come with Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 820 on board, manufactured on Samsung’s 14nm FinFET. It comes with four Kryo cores arranged at 2+2 and clocked at 1.6 and 2.1 GHz per cluster. These are supplemented by alleged two L2 Caches of 512KB and 1MB respectively per core.

Aside from Kryo, the Snapdragon 820 comes with the Adreno 530 on board, which should expected too make quite a difference for the processor in overall performance. The Adreno 530 can clock up to 736 MHz and some alleged benchmark scores show the GPU matching up to Nvidia’s Tegra X1 as well. Thile this can only be confirmed once actual tests are run, hopes are high for Qualcomm’s resurgence this time around.

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Apple on the other hand takes a simplistic approach with its processors. The Apple A9 under the iPhone 6s and the iPhone 6s Plus comes with two Twister cores, compatible with ARM’s v8-A on board and is clocked at 1.86GHz. The Cupertino manufacturer has always relied on its complete control over both the hardware and software aspects of the iPhone and with the A9’s single pipeline chips a similar approach is seen yet again.

In addition to the 3MB of shared L2 and 4MB of shared L3 Cache, we also see the A9 come with its own dedicated image processor, which gives the iPhone 6s and the iPhone 6s Plus an interesting edge over Samsung and Qualcomm’s launches. That being said, the Snapdragon 820 isn’t short of any tricks up its sleeve either, with Qualcomm to push Heterogeneous computing even further this time around. Performance scores of both the processors will be interesting to look at though we expect the A9 to lead in single core and the Snapdragon to lead in multi-core results as usual.

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Display

Coming towards perhaps the final piece in the smartphone puzzle, we see the Samsung Galaxy S7 and the Galaxy S7 Edge come with WQHD resolutions on board, with a pixel density of 534 and 577ppi respectively. When compared to the iPhone 6s and 6s Plus, which feature full HD resolution for the larger variant and 1334 x 750 for the 6s. These, combined with ppi values of 326 and 401 respectively for the iPhone 6s and iPhone 6s Plus respectively give the Galaxy S7 and Galaxy S7 Edge the clear lead.

But higher resolutions don’t mean better screen performance, particularly given the fact that after a certain limit, pixel densities cease to be relevant when being seen by our eyes. Plus, the Galaxy S7 and the Galaxy S7 Edge come with batteries of 3000 and 3600mAh; we’re sure these could be put to better use if Samsung had chosen to stick with lower resolutions. But the Snapdragon 820’s power consumption improvements should help Samsung in this regard.

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However, the Apple iPhone 6s and iPhone 6s Plus take the lead over Samsung’s Galaxy S7 and Galaxy S7 Edge when it comes to display functionality. Apple’s 2015 offerings come with Force Touch on board, which is Cupertino’s pressure sensitive input mechanism for the devices’ screen, based on principles of haptic feedback. In fact, soon after the launch of the ninth generation iPhones, we began to see rumors surface of Samsung’s similar plans for the Galaxy S7 and S7 Edge, though they’ve failed to materialize as it can clearly be seen.

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Conclusion

To conclude, it’s obvious that both of the devices come with their relative strengths and weaknesses on board. In terms of hardware performance, nothing can be said for sure until comprehensive tests can be carried out on the Snapdragon 820, but do expect Krait to make a strong comeback this year. Users who require the maximum possible computing power out of their smartphones should definitely consider the Samsung Galaxy S7/S7 Edge, especially given their 4GB of RAM and 3000/3600 mAh batteries.

On the camera side of things, we see the playing field pretty even, though you’d be advised to avoid the iPhone 6s if you’re looking for OIS. Samsung’s aperture size upgrades, pixel size increase and new sensors on the Galaxy S7 and Galaxy S7 Edge make a strong case for the device’s camera specifications, so we’d advise you to wait until the smartphones are released. Though if you’re feeling lucky then pre-orders are open as well, so go ahead and book yourself one.

The main differentiating point between the four devices is, in our opinion, Force Touch. Apple’s pressure based feedback definitely takes the lead over Samsung’s devices when it comes to making further additions on a smartphone’s functionality, a theme also echoed in LG’s launch of the LG G5. But once again, it all boils down to personal preference. Thoughts? Let us know what you think in the comments section below and stay tuned for the latest.

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