Samsung recently launched its newest flagship handset, the Samsung Galaxy S7 and S7 Edge at last weeks Mobile World Congress in Barcelona. The company has packed plenty of features and functionality into these devices whilst still maintaining the ultra-high tech and slender looking design that catches the eye.
One of the big questions many people ask undoubtedly asking themselves, is how the Samsung Galaxy S7 compares to the Apple iPhone 6s? There's certainly no doubt that they are in direct competition with each other, but who is winning the tech race and who is providing the most value for money? If you are looking to buy a new flagship phone and want to choose from one of the top two, then make sure you read this article before making any decisions and pulling out your wallet.
Smartphone batteries aren't terribly impressive in general and I still can’t understand why the tech world hasn’t created a solution to allow them to last longer than 24 hours under heavy use? Charging our smartphones has to be one of the most annoying aspects of owning one of these devices, presenting a big opportunity for manufacturers to take advantage of.
The Samsung Galaxy S7 and S7 Edge can charge from flat to 80% in 30 minutes, a big jump from the S6 models that could only do roughly 50% in the same length of time. The iPhone 6s on the other hand takes a dismal 2 hours and 30 minutes on a good day or sometimes as long as 3 hours. Swinging in Samsung's favour though, is the fact that both the iPhone's and Galaxy's last the same amount of time from usage.
The standard Samsung Galaxy S7 has a 3,000mAh battery whilst the S7 Edge has a 3,600mAh battery to support the larger screen size. The Apple iPhone 6s has a 1,715mAh battery while the 6s Plus has a 2,750mAh. Apple will argue that their operating system runs more smoothly and therefore draws less from the battery, which for the time being means Apple wins. The S7 has not been out long enough to properly test its battery yet, however the facts on paper strongly suggest it has the potential to last longer.
Apple has invested in plenty of technology to help its phones save power and reduce battery consumption, both whilst the display is on and during rest mode. The extreme battery savers will initiate flight mode and turn the screen brightness down to save power mainly. Samsung, in my opinion, have gone the extra mile by incorporating power saving features into its S7 and S7 Edge models.
If you want to check notifications, the time and messages then instead of powering up the whole screen, you can simply run your fingers along the edge of the phone to power up just the curved bit in order to read them. Also, the S7's new ‘Always On’ feature allows customers to have the clock and date displayed on low power mode all the time without having to power up the entire screen to see them. These are features that many may agree go that extra bit further in prolonging battery life.
Since the Samsung Galaxy S6 the flagship models have been able to wirelessly charge, but not just at a normal MicroUSB rate, they can also charge very quickly. At the time of launch Samsung announced that the Galaxy S7 will charge faster with a Samsung wireless fast charging dock.
Unfortunately for Apple customers, they are yet to receive this feature for their iPhones. This may not be an issue for some customers, however with the flimsy build of their charging cables it's hard to argue against the benefit of having this alternative when considering that it costs over $20 to replace one of these cables.
Apple and Samsung compete aggressively within the smartphone camera arena too, both striving to produce the best quality picture from their handsets. On a speed test the Samsung S7 camera autofocused faster than the Apple iPhone 6s.
The test was conducted at the Mobile World Congress on Sunday in front of thousands of people where the S7 completed auto-focus and locking onto objects notably quicker. The test also highlighted the quality of photos that were taken in very low lighting by both Apple and Samsung, to which the latter once again conquered with surprisingly clear results. (Photo from left to right: Samsung Galaxy S7, Samsung Galaxy S7 Edge and iPhone 6s).
Storage & Pricing
The iPhone 6s 16GB can be bought from the Australian Apple store for $929, the 64GB costs $1,229 while the 128GB will set you back $1,529. If you need extra storage then you have the opportunity to buy additional Apple Cloud storage of 50GB, which costs $1.49 per month or 200GB for $4.49 per month. Unfortunately for us, the usual Australia tax is added onto this because in the USA the same data allowances cost $0.99 for 50GB or $2.99 for 200GB.
Samsung have brought back their customer's favourite, additional storage. This is now incorporated into the same tray as the SIM card and can take advantage of a 200GB MicroSD card. They're not cheap though, with the basic Galaxy S7 Edge 32GB handset costing $1,149. And if you want the MicroSD card as well, that's another $241 giving you a total cost of $1,390 for 232GB of storage.
So on a price-comparison basis, if you opted for the 16GB iPhone model ($929) + 200GB cloud storage ($53.88 for 1 year), the total cost of $982.88 still means you're paying around $300 less that the 32GB S7 model mentioned above. Yes, you're getting 16GB less with the iPhone but you're saving a massive wad of cash at the same time.
Admittedly I'm a Samsung Galaxy owner, and a very happy one at that. So if you're a long standing iPhone fan then I appreciate you probably won't be very likely to switch to an S7, especially as you have to pay more. However, I still believe the S7 offers better value for money overall if you're looking for a phone that's watreproof, has exceptional display and camera technologies, expandable storage and longer battery life.
Lastly, it's also worth mentioning that Google gives all gmail users 15GB of free cloud storage not mention unlimited storage of all photos and videos through their innovative Google Photos app.