Samsung Galaxy S8 vs iPhone 7: Which smartphone is best to buy in 2017?

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The Samsung S8 is here, but is it worth getting over the iPhone 7?

If you’re after a smartphone in 2017, you currently have two choices; the iPhone 7 and the Samsung Galaxy S8. Apple’s smartphone is the older phone, and has been out for the last few months, but the Samsung Galaxy S8 is weeks old, and it’s one of the best phones we’ve ever reviewed.

The Samsung Galaxy S8 and the larger Galaxy S8+ both come with some amazing specs, but their standout feature is surely their curved, bezel-ess screen – which Samsung calls an “Infinity screen.”. Apart from the edge-to-edge display, the Samsung Galaxy S8 also comes with a tonne of other new exciting features, including a new AI assistant called Bixby – but is it worth buying over the extremely popular, and still great iPhone 7?

In this article we’ll compare everything that matters about both phones, from the cameras and displays, to the price and specs, to work out which phone you should be buying in 2017.

Samsung Galaxy S8 vs iPhone 7: Design

The Galaxy S7 and S7 Edge looked and felt much nicer than Samsung’s previous plastic efforts, but the Android phone still didn’t feel as good as the iPhone 7 – or iPhone 6s for that matter. The Samsung Galaxy S8, how offers a huge change from the Galaxy S7, and it looks incredible. 

Out in Arctic, Silver and Black, the new Samsung Galaxy S8 features ramatically rounded corners, curved screen edges and virtually no top or bottom bezels. There's no home button either, and when you combine that with the S8's Galaxy Edge style wraparound screen, it's a 5.8 inch phone that feels like a 5.2 inch device.

On the other hand, the iPhone 7 looks pretty familiar, and that’s because, on the surface at least, it’s very similar to the iPhone 6 that came two years before it.

Verdict: The S8 wins. The iPhone 7 is by no means an ugly phone, but its overall design feels a little long in the tooth now. Apple’s latest flagship can be easily confused with a similar handset that launched two years ago – and that’s not ideal. The new Samsung Galaxy S8 ooks both futuristic and modern – and it will probably be the better-looking handset of the two.

Samsung Galaxy S8 vs iPhone 7: Features

The Samsung Galaxy S8 comes with several great new features, with the most important being an edge-to-edge, almost bezel-less screen. However, it should include one other interesting feature too.

The S8 features an all-new AI assistan called Bixby, and after buying Viv Labs – the company behind the original Siri. The Samsung Galaxy S8 also has a fingerprint sensor on the back, but it also has Iris scanning too, for even more biometric security. 

The iPhone 7 has some great features, such as a haptic home button and an extremely vibrant screen. What’s more, the iPhone 7 features technology such as 3D Touch and Live Photos, which aren’t essential, but help make the phone more enjoyable to use. Of course, the fact the iPhone is compatible with iCloud and most apps is a bonus, too. Siri might not be the best digital assitant, but it's probably the most popular – and you can expect Apple to constantly update it. 

Verdict: The Samsung Galaxy S8 wins. The iPhone 7 is great, but it can’t really compete with the Samsung Galaxy S8. Samsung's new phone is a generation ahead, and it certainly feels like it.

Samsung Galaxy S8 vs iPhone 7: Camera

The Sasung Galaxy S8's 12MP camera is more evolution than revolution – but that's not a bad thing. Instead, it comes with far more useful features, like a mode that grabs three frames in rapid succession every time you take a picture, combining them together to create a sharper photograph.

In contrast, the iPhone 7’s camera offers a huge jump over the performance on the iPhone 6s. Packing in a rear-facing 12-megapixel camera, and two of them on the larger Plus, the iPhone 7 is Apple’s best phone for taking pictures by far.

Verdict: Samsung Galaxy S8. The iPhone 7 might be the best Apple phone yet for taking pictures, but it was arguably beaten by the Samsung Galaxy S7 when we compared the two. We expect Samsung to give the Galaxy S8’s camera another boost, so there should be some serious daylight between both handsets. 


Samsung Galaxy S8 vs iPhone 7: Price

The Samssung Galaxy S8 will cost £689 in the UK, while the larger S8+ will cost £779. The iPhone 7 costs between £599 or £799 depending on the model you go for, whle the iPhone 7 Plus varies between £719 and £919. 

Verdict: A draw. Both phones are roughly the same price, although you need to factor in the cost of additional, upgradeable memory for the Samsung Galaxy S8. 

Samsung Galaxy S8 vs iPhone 7: Specs

Samsung Galaxy S8 vs iPhone 7: Display

The iPhone comes with either a 4.7 or 5.5in display, and although they aren't AMOLED panels, we found they display colours in a strong and vibrant manner. Because both screens are Retina HD, they’re extremely clear at distances associated with normal use, too.

The Samsung Galaxy S8 has a very different type of display. It's a super-widescreen 5.8in screen with a resolution of 2,960 x 1,440, a pixel density of 570ppi and an aspect ratio of 18.5:9. Because ithe Galaxy S8 an AMOLED panel, it's likely to have a far more vibrant screen than the iPhone 7, too. 

Verdict: The S8 wins. The iPhone 7 has a great display – especially when you consider the technology that it’s using – but the Samsung S8 already seems much better. The S7 was good, but when you combine AMOLED tech with an edge-to-edge form factor, it’s clear which screen is best.

Samsung Galaxy S8 vs iPhone 7: Processor

The Samsung Galaxy S8 uses a chip with 10nm technology, and Samsung reckon it's 10% faster for CPU operations over the Galaxy S7 and S7 Edge, and 20% for graphics. That makes us think it's using the Snapdragn 835 processor, but that's not confirmed yet.

The iPhone 7 Plus has 3GB of RAM, while the smaller iPhone 7 has just 2GB of RAM. Both phones use the Apple A10 Fusion chip, a quad-core, 2.35GHz processor.

Verdict: Draw. The Galaxy S8 has more RAM and a newer processor, so should be the faster of the two. However, Apple handsets are much better than their stats suggest in real-world use, so it’s probably worth withholding judgement in this round.

Samsung Galaxy S8 vs iPhone 7: Verdict

The iPhone 7 is still a great phone but, at this stage at least, it looks like the Samsung Galaxy S8 would make an even better purchase. Because Samsung’s release schedule is a few months earlier than Apple’s, the Samsung Galaxy S8 is essentially one step ahead of the iPhone 7.

If you’re not bothered about choosing iOS or Android, it’s probably worth waiting for. If you already have Apple products and you’re looking to stay within the iOS ecosystem, you might have to wait for the equivalent iPhone. The only catch? That should be out in September 2017, so you have a while to wait.

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