The release of the Galaxy Note 7 in the last few days has shaken up the smartphone marketplace, but many consumers will still be wondering what Apple will offer when the iPhone 7 is released. Apple confirms absolutely nothing about its hardware products until it is absolutely ready to do so, and thus any information about the iPhone 7 is very much based on speculation.

Samsung Galaxy Note 7
Image source: Samsung.com

Galaxy Note 7 vs iPhone 7 – Game on

However, there is no particular reason to believe that Apple will release its flagship handset at any other time than the September window which has been utilized in recent years. So we can expect the Galaxy Note 7 to be up against some serious competition by the mid-point of next month.

There is no doubt that the iPhone range remains the market leader, but there has been good news for Samsung recently, while Apple has had to deal with some lukewarm data. The Californian corporation has already indicated that it expects to shift less iPhone units in the current calendar year then during 2015, which will be the first time this has occurred since 2007; when the first iPhone was launched.

Meanwhile, Samsung has enjoyed some good sales data in recent quarters, and this means that the 2016 battle between the Galaxy Note 7 and iPhone 7 is one of the more even contests of recent years. The Korean company can have serious hopes of eating into Apple’s market share, and Apple will certainly have been monitoring the Galaxy Note 7 and its development closely while settling the makeup of the iPhone 7.

There are several factors for consumers to consider when purchasing a next generation mobile, and although Apple retains a fashion cachet and street cred that any other competitor struggles to match, there is no doubt that the Galaxy Note 7 is a viable competitor with many strengths of its own. So what sort of performance can we expect from these two phablet contenders?

iPhone 7 Black
Image Source: Martin Hajek

Design

Samsung has closed the gap on Apple in this department over the last few years, with the Galaxy Note 7 borrowing its design largely from the existing Galaxy S7 Edge. Curved metal and glass make this an attractive handset, and one that can hold its own against the iPhone range. The iPhone 7 is largely expected to resemble last year’s iPhone 6S, but it is important to note that the iPhone retains an iconic image which even the Galaxy Note 7 cannot match. This almost goes beyond the objective properties of the two devices, and ensures that Apple has a brand awareness which cannot be taken for granted.

Specs

It is probable that the Galaxy Note 7 will significantly outrank the iPhone 7 in terms of its raw specifications, with Apple continuing to rely on a combination of proprietary hardware and software in order to deliver the sleek iPhone experience. Fans of Android devices continually point to the fact that Samsung handsets feature better specs than the iPhone series. This is likely to continue with the Galaxy Note 7 and iPhone 7, although there have been reports that Apple will address the battery life problems which have plagued previous releases.

Display

The Galaxy Note 7 will also likely retain an edge over the iPhone 7 in the display department. The Galaxy Note 7 is fitted with a 5.7-inch QHD Super AMOLED display that has acquired plaudits from critics and consumers alike in recent years. The display in the iPhone 7 is perfectly acceptable, but Apple is unlikely to bump up the resolution to Quad HD in this generation, and plans have been shelved to include AMOLED technology this time round.

Stylus vs 3D Touch

Both devices attempts to deliver a user-friendly package in different ways. Samsung has relied on its S pen stylus over the last few years, which enables Galaxy Note consumers to scribble notes and messages in familiar fashion. By contrast, the iPhone range initiated the 3D Touch system last year, which enables users to access various functions in the smartphone by pressing down the screen with varying degrees of severity.

It is largely expected that Apple will continue with the 3D Touch System for the iPhone 7, but that it will also be updated for the next generation smartphone. There have been rumors that the pressure sensitivity of the system will be improved, enabling more features on the iPhone 7 to be accessed via varying degrees of pressure.

IOS 10 elevates 3D Touch to an even more impressive level than the original iPhone 6S, and it is reasonable to assert that Apple has the edge in this area, despite the fact that many people are fond of the S Pen in the Galaxy Note range. Samsung had been expected to introduce a similar pressure sensitive system to 3D Touch, but this continues to be conspicuous by its absence.

Operating system

This remains one of the biggest debates in the ever contentious technology niche, but the general feeling is that iOS continues to outperform the Android operating system. iOS is simply considered to be sleeker and more intuitive, and Android can still be a little clunky and demanding on system memory. With the release of iOS 10, many consumers will reflect that Apple remains ahead in this area.

Camera

This is another aspect of smartphone technology in which Apple has closed the gap on Samsung in recent years. It seems that there will be very little to choose between The Galaxy Note 7 and iPhone 7 this year, with Apple including similar technology to the dual-pixel system in its flagship handset. There will also be no difference between the two in terms of megapixel rating, with both handsets featuring 12-megapixel snappers, and one can expect the iPhone 7 to take very similar quality photographs to its Galaxy Note 7 competitor.

Conclusion

The Galaxy Note 7 will once again appeal to those consumers who want a phablet with knockout specs and display. But the iPhone 7 will deliver a slick and uniquely recognizable package, and Apple must be credited for addressing some of the iPhone bugbears in recent years.